Yesterday I got my first monthly report from BiharWhy. I sat a long time reading the two neatly typed pages, my eyes moist and a lump in my throat. Was this really happening? Somehow it all seemed to good to be true but true it was. All the years spent trying to empower people and make them believe in themselves had borne fruit. Even the gentle prods on the wisdom of taking the road back home and reversing the migration seemed to have worked. It almost seemed I had come full circle, even if it was in a tiny way.
I was reminded of the umpteen staff meetings where I had urged my proteges to walk the extra mile and fly on their own wings, and where I had despaired at the sullen or at best blank looks I got and yet I had never given up. I guess that is the one thing I personally learnt at pwhy: never to give up!
Today I stood vindicated and somewhat liberated. BiharWhy was not some pipe dream of seeing the why spirit soar in the land of my ancestors but a vibrant reality. And Chandan who I must confess never seemed to be the one to take the lead and had made this dream come true. And as I read his report I saw that this quiet and sometimes sullen looking young man had learnt his lessons well. In a month he had managed a parents' meeting (something we still battle with), filled admission forms, made time tables, held a painting competition and taken a monthly test! What warmed my heart was that he had even convinced 18 parents to come for adult education classes. Soon he will be starting computer classes and even stitching ones. Wow!
His report ended with a simple statement: We are taking the classes in Bihar why project without roof. The words were pregnant with meaning: they need a roof on their little heads and I hope you will help us give them one.
Please take some time and look at these pictures: they speak volumes.