another tale of two Indias

I have often written about the ever widening gap between the two Indias and the almost apocalyptic aftermath it entails. One would be justified in asking whether ways exist to bridge this frightening chasm.

When pwhy began and I set out crafting it I knew intuitively that if it were to make a difference and have a spati-temporal dimension one would have to shun all government and institutional and impersonal funding and support. I realise today is hindsight that it was a yet unformulated but real step towards bridging this gap. When one decided to use only local resources be it staff or space it was one more step in that direction. When one insisted on holding on to the one rupee a day in spite of numerous false starts it was because that was another way to bring the two Indias together.

When I look at the long list of supporters I feel a sense of pride to see that so many have reached out and been there. Most of the people mentioned on that page have never met me or come to pwhy, yet they are an integral part of this effort and have helped change many lives and brighten many morrows. However a tinge of regret mars my elation as there are so few from my city and peers. Most of those who are there live far away from their motherland and yet their heart beats for her.

One may wonder why those just around the corner do not feel it necessary to reach out is a question that has disturbed me as the obvious solution was to have them come forward as they could come and vindicate our plea by just dropping by. Nevertheless now for more than 7 years many have in their own way brought the two Indias together and that is a fact to be lauded.

There are many ways to try and bridge the widening gap: like Amit you could donate blood little Nanhe, like Tima you could take some time off from coffee mornings and spend them teaching underprivileged children, like Mansi could motivate your staff to come and share some of their skills with such kids, like Rishi you could accept to take on little Utpal in your swank school and ensure he becomes an integral part of it, like Monica you could lend your professional skills, and like Malavika you could send your monthly contribution without being reminded, like Kim spend time at pwhy and write about our effort or like Sonia lend us the much needed media support to expose abusers and highlight wrong doings.

These steps may look inconsequential but they help us carry on and reach out to children abandoned by all. There are many ways of bringing the two Indias together, provided you accept that it is something that needs to be done. One cannot wish away the other India because it stands at our doorstep and no amount of money can meet their ever growing presence and new found dreams. Their patience will run out if we continue treating them the way we do and forget the indubitable fact that they are protected by the same constitution and laws than us and no second grade citizens to whom we can throw second hand goods, be it education, health or habitat.

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