project why came into being to try and answer some of the innumerable whys that stare us in the face demanding answers. the answers however remain elusive and bring more questions and as you carry on you realise that apparently simple questions lead to deeper and more existential ones.
Little Deepak was no 8 in our open heart surgery saga. When he came to us we were already 'old hands' or so we wanted to believe. Raising the required funds was done in a jiffy and we even got a date for him, as by now we had established our own little network in the hospital. So all seemed to be on sched!
Not quite, the month was June 2006 and the place AIIMS. What should have been a hop. skip and jump race, turned out to be the longest obstacle race one has ever seen, and which even today is not over. Deepak is back in hospital with and overload of pleural fluid again.
Deepak's battle has not just been a medical one. His tiny broken heart has been a witness to much what is wrong with our land: the reservation issue that has been unabashedly used to fulfill dark agendas, violent strikes that finally affect innocent beings, lack of adequate medical facilities that delay cases, abysmal urban habitat for the poor that make recovery difficult (deepak's home is never kissed by sunlight), not to mention things like unemployment and lack of resources.
What Deepak had in abundance was love and care from his family and maybe that is what has seen him trough. Looking at this picture that was taken just a week back, you would not imagine his ordeal. But his battle is not over as even when this one is over, another one will begin: that of surviving in today's India when the cards seem to be loaded against him in spite of his being protected by the same constitutional rights as any other child.
And so you find yourself staring at new whys, scary ones as you know there are no real answers, at least at this moment..