We have our library! And like everything else at pwhy it is a happy and even funky one. For me this is a very special moment. Many do not know, but when it all began, almost a decade ago, I had dreamt of pwhy being a space where children could come and be children for at least a little part of their day. A place where they could read, play, laugh and just be kids. That was before I had come face to face with the realities that surrounded us: the poor state of schools, the need to arrest drop out rates and so on. So the dream was shelved and our journey as a education support programme began.
But dreams never leave you once you have conjured them and somehow forces are silently at work to conspire to make them happen. Almost a year ago a mail from someone I did not know then dropped by. Another soul thousands of miles away had a similar dream: to bring thousands of books to children in India. Six months ago the books did land. We began a small library in the women centre, an instant success with the children! But most of the books lay quietly in cartons waiting for the right moment for want of space.
Then a small gift made the impossible possible. We decided to knock down our old jhuggi and build our library and children centre. And uncanny but true it would be in the very space where it all began, the place where our very first spoken English class was held. To crown it all this was when three graffiti artistes from France offered to decorate some part of pwhy: it was to be the library.
As I write these words the books are still in cartons and the paint still fresh but a few weeks from now the library will open and children of the area will have a place where they can come and reclaim their childhood.
The library is the realisation of a long cherished dream. It could not have happened without our friends from the omprakash foundation - Willy, Gordon, Lily - and our graffiti artist friends - Miguel, Martin and Ken. Bless them all