Finding its feet and its wings

The Kamala centre is now more than six months old and much has happened within its walls. It all began as everything does with lofty ideas, impossible dreams and ambitious plans though past experience had proved that these do not get fulfilled no matter how hard you try. We were of course prepared for all course corrections and open to all suggestions and constructive criticism.

It all began when two women needed some breathing space to take stock of their lives and chart out their future at a time where they had been dealt too many blows by an unforgiving and insensitive society. I guess what we did not understand at that moment in time that once you found your feet you had to start looking for your feet and we made the mistake of planning out a long term future for them.

It is true then when things look dark and without hope, people are willing to make adjustments and come to terms with many situations. But as things start looking up and problems resolved, old habits came back to haunt and wings slowly start growing. Often their growth is slowed by a misplaced sense of indebtedness but your heart is not there and you start slipping. Just like with children that is when the wise should let the bird fly out of the coop though many do not understand this.

The last few weeks have been difficult as one of our residents, now healed of all her ailments, started feeling stifled in an environment so different form the one she had known all her life and though it was one that gave the respite she so need a year back, it was not conducive to her needs and desires now that she had found her feet. It was time to let her go.

It was also time to understand that the women centre could only be a refuge and temporary shelter for those who needed to some breathing space. True some may turn up to want to stay for long but we must realise that we cannot and should not try and hold any one back.

On the flip side the Kamala centre has gone beyond our expectations in other ways. We had imagined the children activities to be a small part of the overall project but once again reality stares at us and our education support system now till class X is choker block and even has long waiting lists. Our activities with local women are also on the rise and over and above vocational courses like beauty and stitching, we now have English classes and regular get togethers where women share all their problems and discuss matter of interests to them or us: girl child, banking, legal rights, health and hygiene, government schemes etc.

So slowly we too are finding our feet before looking for our wings!