to fight is much better than to win...

One of my favourite authors has been oriana fallaci. In her often acerbic and cutting words I have many a times found inspiration.

In her letter to a child never born, which is a commentary on life itself she says: " to fight is much better than to win, to travel much better than to arrive: once you have won or arrived all you feel is a great emptiness... and to overcome your emptiness you have to set out on your travels again, create new goals.."

With a few alterations this could be a very apt description of what we are facing at pwhy today. True that we did not quite arrive or win, but we have reached moment in time when things have to be redefined and new goals set.

I always held that pwhy had to remain dynamic and adapt to situations. When I set this out, I was thinking of the programmes and the need to adapt them to field requirements, but today I see that they apply also to the management and running of the project.

In my quixotic belief that good was inherent in each one and just needed to be sought, I never thought that problems would arise from within the team. I guess I never imagined that there I would be faced with detractors and continued in my naive conviction that no one would want to do away with someone imparting education. But oh darling this is India, a land where the powerful can only retain their power riding on the shoulders of illiterate masses, and anyone daring to disturb this equation is enemy number one!

So we have reached an impasse, a state of perfect and unproductive immobility and we need to chart out the future. This was conveyed to team projectwhy and each section was told that they had to raise 50% of what was needed, and I would meet the other half.

I love my team, like you would a child, and I feel amused at how much they shy of asking, even if it is a rupee. Come on, old biddy, you are the one who changed their status, made them teachers, and now these mams and sirs take life seriously and begging - whatever the form is infra dig. What they need to comprehend is that seeking funds to empower and teach is the first step to acquiring freedom.

If they seek money for the work they do they actually create new jobs, new markets and opportunities for the area they work in over and above ensure that kids do not drop out. Now that is far more than they politician/bureaucrat duo do.

The challenge I face today is to make them understand that, to shake them out of their torpor and give them a set of new eyes to see the world in a different way, when they are the centre and the kingpin.

Not easy, but eminently doable as I myself was one of those who never asked for money, even the one that was owed to me. Today I have perfected the art of high tech begging.

So I set out on my travels again...

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