The arrival of Pritpal is a real milestone for the special section of project why. Pritpal is an occupational therapist and will work with the children every morning. This will be a quantum leap for many kids and is bound to help them have a better future.
My thoughts travel back to the day when Sylvia, a special educator, landed one winter morning in early 2001 at our doorstep. With her were 5 mentally and physically challenged kids who had lost the school they went to. It did not take us a minute to realise that we had to do something for the. That is how our special section began, on the road side, with a handful of kids and a tons of hope.
When I see that section today, I am filled with pride as it is by far our best class. We have gone a long way since that cold morning when we had nothing but our determination and faith and of course the unconditional love of these kids.
Today our special section is vibrant; it is the place I chose to go to when I feel a little blue, a little lost, a tad defeated. But all clouds are lifted as I hear the good mornings ma'am and see the smiles of each and every one urging to come and sit by them, or eager to show a new task achieved. If it is lunchtime then each one shares a bit of their lunch, even Anurag who never parts with any of his tiffin. But I am privileged, am I not?
Sometimes it is singing time, or dancing time, or jumping on the trampoline time, and all join in, even those who cannot hear or can barely walk. I have never seen such synergies, such joy and such positive energy. What is truly incredible is that this motley crew of 20 each with their own handicap never judges the other, but accepts her or him unconditionally.
They are family in the true sense of the world. It does no matter if they belong to different castes, or creed or socio-economic backgrounds. They all know what it is to be different and have borne that pain. It binds them in an incredible web of love and lust for life. This is there turf and they protect it. Those who cannot understand are not welcome. That is the only rule they have.