when ruchi primps champa

Thursday afternoon is grooming and self-care time in the special section of project why. This is when the students are taught all about looking after themselves and even looking after each other.

Manu gets a vigorous pedicure courtesy Shalini Rinky tries her hand at making up Neha and Shaheeda gives Neetu a hand massage.
Each using her special ability in helping the other feel and look better. This week Ruchi, who suffers from a debilitating nervous condition often leads to uncontrollable tremors decided to style Champa's unruly tresses.

To many this may seem trivial but to those who know the reality it was an extraordinary moment as for Ruchi to be able to wield a comb was nothing less than a momentous effort. And Champa's patience was laudable.

These children never fail to move me. They come from different social ad economic backgrounds and would have never met, let alone interacted had they been what we call normal! The common denominator is that they are different in normal parlance. But when you are with them you can feel the bonding that transcends anything one could imagine.

From Manu who was a street beggar a few years ago to Rinky who comes from an educated middle class family, from Himashu barely 5 to Shalini now 31, they form a close knit group that spends a few hours each day laughing, fighting, learning, playing or in a word living!

What a beautiful example they are of how easy it is to forget differences and find a common ground. Maybe we should learn from them.