It was a little over a month ago that I launched my appeal to save the women centre. What we needed to save this centre was 200 people who saw with their hearts and were willing to give us 500 Rs ( ~ 11 US$ or 8 Euros) a month on a regular basis. The response was heart warming and fifteen days later we reached the half way mark. However you will agree that we cannot save half a centre and that if we do not reach the magic figure of 200, the women centre is living on borrowed time and still faces closure.
I must admit that the thought scares me. The women centre is very close to my heart for more reasons than one: first of all it is our last born and thus a cherished one, but that is not all, the women centre was set up in the memory of an incredible woman who defied all odds to get an education. Closing the centre would be letting her down. I cannot see myself doing that.
For the last decade or so, it is my pen that has helped me get funds to keep pwhy going. My virtual begging bowl is made of words I guess. Today I need these to be poignant enough to reach the heart of the missing 100 so that we can save the centre.
Cynics may ask: what is so great about this centre. The question came to my mind too and so I decided to drop by the centre and view it in a dispassionate way. As I entered the yellow iron gate I was greeted by a warm and loud Good morning ma'am. It was the class V children. Then I heard a more subdued Namaste Madam. This came from the handful of ladies of the sewing class. Just looking at all them warmed my heart. I then dropped on the spoken English class where a bunch of kids were busy practicing for a play. I watched them for a bit and was truly impressed by the progress these children had made. Next a quick stop at the tiny computer class bursting at its seams where about a dozen young children were unraveling the mysteries of the computer. On the way I saw Roshni busy cooking the lunch of the day! It was time to go to the roof where classes were being held.
I somehow always get amazed at how well the women centre uses space. The big roof is carefully divided into many classes and everyone is busy studying. It is heartwarming and moving to see these children studying hard notwithstanding the weather. Believe you me it can get very cold in winter and extremely hot in the summer under the tin roof. But the children brave all odds and are always present. And as always all the children have passed their examinations and got promoted to the next class. The determination of these children is something unique and motivation enough for me to carry on fighting them.
So though the centre is at present on borrowed time it has become imperative to save it. The question is how? I only have my pen and my words to try and convey this need. So help me God!