Shashikant topped his school in the class X pre-boards. He was awarded a prize by the Delhi Government and received it yesterday. Shashikant has been a student of project why for some time and we always knew that he would do us proud one day.
A shy and reserved boy, Shashikant has always been very serious about his studies. He is your proverbial slumdog as he lives in a tiny hovel in the Govindpiri slums. His father is a bus driver and his mom a simple housewife. But unlike other families, his parents did not have many children. They perhaps knew that the future of their progeny lay in giving them a sound education. Shashikant has only one sibling.
Shashikant and many other students of the pwhy secondary programme have been performing extremely well in the past years. Recently one of our class XI boys got 99% in maths and many often top their respective schools each time there is a test of an examination. Wonder why? Well the recipe for success is simple and yet foolproof. Take a bunch of children from deprived homes and add a committed, passionate and dedicated teacher from a similar background whose only obsession in life is to ensure that his students shine, keep the two together in a classroom for a few hours a day and a few years and voila the topper is ready. We have tested this recipe for many years now and have never been disappointed. The secondary Sir - aka Naresh - is one of his kind!
And to say that it all began on a road side almost ten years ago. What a journey it has been! Why then is my joy filed with a tinge of sadness. Perhaps because we at project why can at best taken a 100 or so kids at a given time. What about the millions who will never get a chance at proving who they are or what they are capable of, those who will never enter the portal of a school or will simply quietly and unobtrusively drop our along the way because someone has hijacked the promises made to them.