Project Why is a New Delhi
(India) based non-profit organisation engaged in education support and
life skill enhancement of slum children and their families. We opened our
first education center in 2000 and now, thanks to the generous support of
friends and well wishers, have expanded our activities and reach out to over 1000 children,
160 women and their families..
Our programmes include:
Centers, giving after school primary and secondary support Early Education, day care centre for pre schoolers Special
Education, day care centre for
children and young adults with special needs Women Center,
imparting vocational skills to women from underprivileged homes. Cyber
Why, 3 computer centres where all can make 'friends" with
computers! Heart Fix
Hotel, sponsoring heart surgeries and other medical emergencies for those most in
need. Inclusive Education
, sponsoring the education of 8 children in a boarding school
Project WHY was conceived to answer a
series of queries :
Why do children from underprivileged backgrounds perform poorly?
What could be done to enhance their performance?
What skills should be taught to them to better their employment
How could this be achieved in a replicable community driven model?
Project WHY set out to create a sound model
whereby quality education support in underprivileged areas, could be
spearheaded by parents even if they were illiterate.
The idea was to empower the community to
pool its resources and run a sound support programme for its
The first step was to employ teachers from within the community as it was felt
that they would have greater motivation. Diplomas and degrees were not sought after, but rather common sense, basic education and
a keen desire to learn. In spite of a few glitches, this was the best decision we took as it ensured long term
commitment and above all understanding of the problems of the children hence making it easier to findsolutions tailored
to their specific needs. This approach enabled us to 'create' about 40 jobs for persons thought to be unemployable.
However, our desire to empower the community to participate actively in
our programmes was not as successful as we hoped it to be. There is more work to be done in that field.
Project WHY started with 40 children and spoken English
Today it reaches out to over 1000 children
and runs one early education programmes, four primary and
three secondary after school support programmes, a day care and life
skills programme for 20 children with disabilities, as well as three
2013 was Project Why in the time of cancer. Let me elucidate. My husband who has been
ill since late 2012 was diagnosed with cancer leaving me devastated in more waya than one. Everything that had been normal till that moment was turned upside down, and a 'new
normal' had to be conjured in a jiffy. On a personal level I knew that I could not give the project all the time and attention that I had been giving, and thus I would have to let go
of my favourite child and take care of the one who made everything possible. I alsno needed to revise my famous bucket list
andmake it more manageable. The dreaded disease not only attacked my husband but also brought to the fore the fragility of project why in the light of my own transience.
My new normal consisted of accompanying my husband through his trying treatment while thinking almost all the time of project why's future. So between visits to the hospital, arguments
with the medical fraternity and reserach on ways to alleviate dreaded side effects, I also mulled on the different options that one could reasonably chose for project why.
The treatment would end in December 2013, but the next 6 months will be crucial as it is only then, that I will feel that the Damocles sword is no more hanging over my head.
Post June 2014 it will be project why's year. But before I venture into sharing my ideas in the future, I must put on record my gratitude and admiration
for my team who ran the project like a clock work orange and perhaps even better than I could ever have. Hats off to them!
Sadafulee the new jewelry store launched by a great
supporter. Every piece sold will help project why children smile. Click on
the image to know more.
Click to see our supporters
are now on the Chopra Foundation website. Humbled and elated. Click on the
image to know more
Our annual report and balance sheet are now on line