I have been so entangled and bogged down in trying to save the women centre that I have had little or no time to spend at pwhy. Some time back a volunteer gifted me a CD with pictures of Okhla. The CD lay unwatched for a few days, you see I was busy trying to save...
Yesterday I decided to have a look, mainly to see if there were any pictures I could use. I inserted the CD and clicked the open icon and clicked on the first image. It was a picture of a bunch of girls laughing and smiling and I must confess I too started smiling. It was infectious. How happy they looked. I started clicking on other pictures and all I found were smiles and more smiles.
Whatever the age, be it girls or boys they were all beaming. Needless to say, for that instant at least, my blues lifted and I felt elated. Soo many smiles as my grandson would say. I spent a long time looking at the pictures, allowing myself to enjoy the moment to the hilt. Then slowly as my thoughts wandered a little I felt an immense sense of pride: was this not something I had created. It was indeed time to allow myself one of those rare pats on the back. Were this not all kids who had been saved in the nick of time from a terrible fate. How could I forget how boys like these had been used by lurking predators to push drugs or steal from the waiting trains on the nearby tracks? The danger still existed as children who were not at school or at pwhy, were still found hanging around the tracks waiting to grab whatever they could. As for the girls, they simply turned into surrogate parent to the young siblings missing school at the drop of a hat.
True we do not teach every single child of the area. We do not have the resources to do so. But the 200 or so who come to pwhy are safe at least for the time being, and have reclaimed their right to be children: the proof being all the incredible smiles the wear all the time.
The Okhla kids are an incredible lot. They not only study well but also partake in a host of activities be it art work that is auctioned in far away lands, pen pals they write to regularly or theatre they are getting almost professional at! They are a pure delight to watch and they remind us that project why rocks.
Seeing these smiles made me realise how much I miss the days when I could spend more time with the children but also makes saving pwhy more vital than ever!