a  motley winning team

a motley winning team


remember ramu, babli’s sullen brother who was handled with great efficiency by our knights in shining armur… well he did us proud as he stood first in his school in Class V… and that is not all, all our primary kids have passed.. even those we did not think would make it..

as the kids proudly brought their results cards, it was the teachers who came into the office with beaming faces.. somehow they seemed to be more excited than the kids..

remember these teachers are all slum people who never dreamt that they could ‘teach’.. many had to leave studies due to early marriages.. for many it is also an imperceptible social climb, as some worked in factories, others were unemployed and some even cleaned homes.. and they know that they have to prove themselves at every step.. and they have.

these spirited ladies and the Kundan the token man, know that many a times I have to defend them and that sometimes we have even been refused funds as the teachers were not trained.. but they also know that I have always defended them and stood by them quiteky stating that 100%results for six runing years was sufficient prood of their competence..

and one must not forget the kids, who have believed in us and come before or after school, sometimes travelling for over an hour sustained by the meagre meal given by the MCD schools. The kids have always been there cold, rain or heat; they have never complained about the lasck of emenities, the roadside classroom or the porcine neigbours..

so a motley team it is, but one that wins…

heart caught in red tape

heart caught in red tape


I do not know Anshu Kumari.. I just hope someone had shown her the way to our heartFix Hotel..

A leading TV channel aired her story. It went like this: An 11-year-old girl in Bihar is awaiting help for her heart surgery despite President APJ Kalam offering to bear the expenses for the treatment. Anshu Kumari was born with a blockage in her heart. Her father, a security guard, cannot afford the treatment.
On a visit to Bihar in December, the President had promised to pay for the surgery needed to save Anshu’s life. But three months later, there is still no sign of help and Anshu’s treatment hasn’t started

This is the endemic problem that plagues us.. the huge gap between good intentions, programmes.. and the people they are meant for. Tritherapy for AIDS is now free, but few HIV +ve patients know about it, and even if they manage to reach centres, the way they are treated ensures they never return; many programmes for children never reach them as their parents do not have the voice needed to ask for their rights.. and the list is endless.. some people benefit, the task payer pays but the beneficiary gets nothing..

Good governance is today’s leit motiv and often quoted as a panacea for all ills.. as a first step maybe people like us should take on the simple task of acting as a bridge and beeing the voice of those who still have to learn to speak up.. It is encouraging to see that the voice of the people is now being heard, at least to redress wrong.. but the next step is to inform ourselves of the reality around and ensure action..

In Jammu and Kashmir relocated families are forced to see their children as rations promised were stopped and no work was available.. again a report that was aired today..

We need to take initiatives.. as we have all the tools needed from the Right to Information Act to the judicial system.. till every person garners the courage to speak, we have to be their voice.. and not wait for others tp do so, we have to learn to look with our hearts and beyond ourselves..

If a small project like ours could manage to get 5 heart surgeries done.. anyone can..

One simply has to want to take the first step

a smile lost

a smile lost

nanhe is in hospital again.. and we are worried.. he was doing much better and we were waiting for the doctors to decide upon the next surgery.. two days ago he was unwell and was taken to hospital where he had a series of fit.. he was admitted immediately..

nanhe recovered from the fits but seemed to have disconnected and lost part of his hearing.. he was discharged but yesterday his fits appeared again and he is now in hospital in poor shape.. his smile lost somewhere in the recesses of his brain..

The doctors seem at a loss and we are all distressed.. and praying for a miracle.. and the return of his smile

don’t forget she is a girl

don’t forget she is a girl


For young Sandhya the wait continues.. after her chicken pox got over and the 61 K were deposited, sanhya went to AIIMS and we were hoping that a date for her angiography and subsequent surgery would be given fast. Well for some reason or the other it was not and the date written on the green card was 15 may 2006, 7 weeks from now.

sandhya, as some of you may remember hails from a small village in Bihar. Her father is according to sandhya’s mom ‘simple minded’ and cannot work much. they survive on the meagre income they get from the little land they have..

They came to Delhi after Sandhya’s debilitating ailment was detected and live with a sister-in-law in a tiny hovel.. now 7 weeks is a long time.. and guests can start feeling unwelcome.. but were Sandhya to go back, I fear that many would advise on the futility of making the trip again and wasting more money.. don’t forget Sandhya is just a girl.. this is when the famous gender issues we highlight take their most poignant form..

We will try our level best to pre-pone the date, it has become a matter of life and death!

fiestas of another kind

fiestas of another kind


great bike.. all boys want one some day.. a valid dream that can be yours if you work hard would be the normal line to pitch..

well not quite as one has been witnessing with growing panic..

our ersthwile quiet world has been invaded by a new army.. and eebiz is the buzz.. in the past few months in spite of our best efforts, there is a proliferation of new recruits all in their newfound attire of black pants and white shirts and black ties..

the pyramid sale vessel has landed in our slum.. and two captains selected from our very own to lead the new army. One of them is our very first class X student..

the buzz is that 7500rs can give you the world.. learn and earn.. join the internet highway.. just buy a self learning education package!

Stop I scream.. the people targeted are practically illiterate and can barely survive.. but who is listening when the captains have got gleaming bikes and even a ford fiesta… and as more gullible people go scurrying to borrow the needed sum at alarming interest rates, young people get drawn into the net as the captains earn more..

but there are subtler dangers, the unexpressed jealousy and resentment.. the possible violence that can take all kind of hues when people lose all they have invested.. when the promised money remains elusive and the money lender’s is at your doorstep..