In the name of a father


Yesterday was my father's 14th death anniversary.. It almost slipped my mind. Strange as there was a time when I almost lived for that day.. planning all kind of commemorative mush: flowers, rituals etc..

Wonder why the change: simply because of project why!

Mourning and grieving are luxuries you can pursue when you have time on your hand. But when your days are filled with positive endeavours, pain and memories recede and lose their angst. Yet if pwhy exists today it is because of the very man I once mourned with destructive passion so I guess he deserves to be remembered.

So what do you tell a man whose dying words to his fried were: do not lose faith in India!

When I look back on the 7 years of pwhy's existence I see a lot of change and the micro level but the larger reality stills looks absurdly the same and are tiny achievements pale in front of the larger issues that glare at us from every direction.

Two roads again gape at me from the corner; the first is to continue the way we have gone and the other to start addressing larger issues. It is true that we could not have envisaged the later without having experienced the When we began our work, we were convinced that anyone doing such laudable things as us would have everyone accept if not help us. How naive we were. We soon learnt that doing good is the one thing that is anathema to many. If you dare touch the existing social equations you go against the agendas of many.

We have learnt and are still learning this the hard way as at every step we take, there are obstacles we need to overcome. What seemed positive when we began - children not dropping out for instance - today looks a bit jaded as you wonder what good will it do them in this cut throat society of ours. We have come to realise that education mans more than text book knowledge.

A recent survey done by a leading magazine showed that what ailed the education system was that it failed to teach children how to apply their knowledge to every day reality. If we are to be agent of changes, then children need to be taught how their rights and duties. they need to be made good and responsible citizens. Easily said than done when even poor and illiterate parents jump down our throats each and every time we try to do something that does not look like studies to them: environment programmes or any creative activity.

Our society is plagued by so many problems that it would need many miracles to start addressing them, but it needs to be done and maybe that is the personal pledge I need to take today in lieu of all the rituals and flowers

So be it!