A friend and supporter sent a mail with these words: "Are you dreaming to hopefully build a concrete school in the area for such kids one day..".
This is a question that has come our way many a times... and that is why I thought that it needed to be adressed and answered as best as possible.
Yes, we dream and we dream big.. and we have also sometimes wished for a building, particularly when the heat is unbearable or the rain floods our ad hoc space, or the cold turns us all blue and we have to jump before starting class.. and it is also true that we have now got a small building where our babies and special kids are housed and safe.. but that is where we stop..
When pwhy began, we always saw it as something the community could replicate and that is why we drew our human resources from within even if it meant that we fell out of the net of a myriad funding agencies as we had untrained teachers.. that is also why in the six years of our existence we have taught in reclaimed pig styes and garbage dumps, on the road side, between houses, in airless jhuggis and open parks.. erecting classrooms in a jiffy when we were pushed around and bulldozed, wearing down our detractors. Bamboo poles and plastic sheets were all that was needed.. the idea being to show that to teach children one needed the will to do so, the rest was there if one looked for it.. it also meant that no matter where slums were relocated, classroom activities could be recreated without problems as all resources were right there..
Yes we dream but our dream is to be able to reach out to as many children as possible, and on the way give more jobs to people who have none.. and thus our magic formula remains the same: 2 shifts = 50 x 2 kid + 2 teachers @ 10K per month and it is a succesful one as proved by the school results. There are over 1.7 million kids who run the risk of dropping out.. and that is what should remain our objective if we are to be true to our mission... so the answer is no we do not dream of a building.. we do not have the time to as at every moment children are growing and mising the one chance they may still have...
So when the heat gets unberable, as it was today, we just hold on to our dream and then somehow a cool wind blows our woes away