way to go India

The teach India campaign is in full swing, or so we would all like to believe. Our tryst with them was short lived: we did not fit the model they proposed as we could not take in the minimum of 100 volunteers that they offered - we had asked for six. The organisers could not understand why in spite of our 9 centres we were unable to accept the 100 volunteers offered. To them the maths was simple: 9 centres into 2 shifts into 6 days = 108!

We tried to explain to them that it would be terribly unfair and even disruptive to the children and their teachers to have a new volunteer each day of the week. And though they did try to pressurise us, we stood firm: the children and their well being was far more important to us than being associated with any campaign no mater how glitzy or big.

I decided to spend some time on the website of the teach India campaign and landed on their message board. I was saddened to see that there were many young volunteers waiting for a phone call that would tell them they had been selected and would assign them a teaching opportunity. The message board was replete with words like: not received a call, no reply, no call, I am disappointed, how long?????

My heart went out to these young Indians who had taken a first step towards making a difference and were waiting for the call that would allow them to do so. Some even said they had registered 2 months ago and the campaign being for 3 months I wonder if their phone will ring. There were a few lucky ones and they shared their experiences which were heartwarming. The idea is a winner and it would be a tragedy if it failed.

In the midst of all the message threads was one that brought whoops of joy: tt simply said: Can we Form a Group if teach India doesn't call us and go ahead. For me those simple words showed that no matter how the blitz ended it had succeeded as it had ignited a sparkle in young India. Here was a group of youngsters who were not waiting for calls but simply going ahead. They had understood the real message, the one that would save and change India. One did not wait for someone else but took on the challenge and make it happen.

I sincerely hope that the thousands of would be volunteers who may not get a call will not give up but will find it in themselves to carry the torch and teach India