Light up a Child's Smile

Light up a Child's Smile is a new campaign launched by the Mamagoto restaurants across India. This wonderful venture is the result of  serendipitous synchronicity. Yesterday when I received the long anticipated call tell me that WE WERE LIVE, my thoughts travelled back to where it all began almost a year and a half ago.

A dear friend and mentor told me recently that the universe always conspires to fulfil your dreams even if we mere mortals give up on them too easily. What you ask with your heart is always granted, even if you may have forgotten your prayer.

From the very outset my dream was to create a large and varied donor base who would give tiny amounts to make our work possible be it the one-rupee-a-day campaign that we launched long ago or  the various attempts at getting restaurants owners to add a tiny rupee to their bill. In the later case I remember being gobsmacked when the owner of a chain of restaurants asked me in all seriousness what he would do if five years down the line someone objected to the rupee parted with and pressed charges. Needless to say I was speechless. Come one ONE RUPEE or 0.015 cents. There are better ways to refuse Dear Sir! I can look at it with humour today but it was not the case on that fateful day. Were you to take out a rupee from a beggar's bowl it would not make a difference. But my marketing skills were poor I guess.

In the same line we decided to hold a raffle where the prizes were: a meeting with a top star, a colour TV and so on and I managed to get an entry to my Alma Mater's fair hoping to sell tickets by the dozen. We did not even sell one dozen. We were no match to the Tarot card reader at the next table.

We did have our share of silver linings; they came from over the seas!

We managed to secure some regular donors and even sunk into a comfort zone till we were rudely jolted out of it and run helter skelter.

The Universe on the other hand does not move post haste and also does not forget the messages it receives. It also operates in its inimitable manner we humble humans call synchronicity. A little before we received the news of a large regular donor backing out, the Heavens had begun setting the stage. Mid last year I came to know about the raw food diet and wanted to learn more. An email, a phone call and a meeting was all it took to establish a bond with a wonderful human being who felt like a soul sister. A few months later she even managed to get the recluse into a party outfit and come to dinner. Serendipity found me seated next to a young man who I learnt owned chain of restaurants. I almost fell of my chair when he told me that a good fund raising way was to add a fixed amount to bills! And his idea was TEN not ONE Rupee! Time stood still for a instant. I was hearing myself in an earlier avatar.

I had forgotten about this option but the Universe had not!

It took a few months to set it all up. But we are in business now.

A new world has opened up to Project Why.

For me meeting this wonderful young man who has a heart as big as the Universe is precious. It validates my belief in human kind. Everyone has a good heart; they have simply forgotten how to use it. It is time we helped them do so.