It was brain gym time for teamPwhy, as Sareylom held a day long workshop for our staff! Plates and flags were flung in the air amidst laughter and fun. This was the first workshop where all the staff participated..
The aim was to help individuals integrate body and mind through movement and to improve concentration, memory, reading, writing, organizing, listening, physical coordination, and more… it is all done through series of ludic excercises of deceptive simplicity.. it is only when you get down to them that each participant’s strengths and weaknesses come to light.. so the one that seems so connected and poised is at a loss when plates have to be turned in ways that would faze the best dervish.. and the quiet barely litereate creche worker impresses everyone by her dexterity..
It is for the first time that all pwhy staff competed with each other in a game of equals.. quite an experience.. particularly as the men where often the ones finding simple coordination excercises harder than rocket science..
When the idea of this workshop was mooted, I was a little apprehensive at the outcome, but all my doubts vanished as I heard the peals of laughter coming from the room… I simply tiptoed away
We will soon be moving.. from a comfortable 6 room flat to a motley medley of space. Many are a little perplexed about this change.. but it was necessary as we were slowly sinking into the comfort zone syndrome a.k.a according to me as the government job disorder.. a psychological ailment as debilitating as any of the known ones.
A strange and insidious affliction as you do not even know how and when it hits you and no one is safe from it. Hard working people leave their homes in villages to seek better pastures and the fabled government job in cities.. they soon get the bug as even if they do not get the ‘naukri‘ they acquire the syndrome. They look for employment that will ensure a secure salary and no or minimal work. They soon learn the ropes and the way to unions and courts.. On the way they lose their ability to work and above all think independently.
The safe surroundings of the seven rooms, insulated from the world outside were slowly but surely leading to us acquiring the dreaded urban bug… it was evident in the different attitudes of those still teaching in hardship conditions and those sinking in comfort zones.. so it was time to act.
Come the ides of April and our team will be shaken out of this unhealthy torpor and back to challenging spaces. Some like the special section and the babies will be housed in a small building and the primary sections will move to open spaces close to the homes of the kids… makes more sense that way..
We hope to rekindle the fire that makes pwhy what it is.. and will see that we do not sink into comfort zones again.
This may just seem a fun picture to many, but for me it is much more.. if you look with your heart..
This is our very special section.. one that has been crafted with love and patience with little souls no one wanted, let alone believed in..
Two years back little Sapna (extreme right) could not even hold her head up, today she walks talk and is full of mischief just like any other kid, Tampa now smiles her terrible ordeal a fading memory, Ruchi’s cerebral ataxia is now diagnosed and every offert wil be made to delay further damage, Anuraag can find a space where no one pushes him around and where he can cook to his hearts content, the impossible trio neha-rinky-shaheeda – spent fun filled hours practicing their newfound skills as make up artists on their pals, Munna is uttering his first words and Lucky a very new member of the family has found friends and this beautiful symphony of life is performed under masetro nanhe whose baton is his smile!
These special children are proof that life is worth living no matter what odds you face, that life is worth celebrating no matter how dismal seems.. simply because you are alive..
When project why began as a small spoken english centre, I had begun dreaming.. dreaming of the day when it would become an independant entity and fly on its own on the wings of the people that made it happen: the kids, the community, the staff, the well wishers.. and even the detractors..
March 19th 2006 saw the fulfillment of that dream.. and yet it went unnoticed by many of us.. An email that dropped by my box yesterday made me realised the importance of that day. Amit, one of our friends and supporters, is a young exceutive with a multinational, he came by pwhy one day and then became a regular visitor.. somehow his heart took him to okhla.. and I came to learn much later that he was a regular vistor there, building his connections with the kids, the community and our teachers..
One day he mentioned a puppet show on 19/3 to spread AIDS awareness.. Unfortunately I could no be there, but here is an account of the day in his words:
Famous puppeteer Dadi Pudamjee of Isshara Group lead the performance. Six young youths spread this health awareness.
We reached Okhla Site at 11 AM with Dadi and his team. We faced some problem in getting an electric supply at our school, but finally the local junta supported and we were able to get a electric connection for Mics and Music System.
One of our Employees announced about the puppet show and some more people joined as audience for the show. Ishara team started their performance- Chunati-The Challenge. Kids were really enjoying the show and more people gathered for the Awareness.
Ishara Team started with the meaning of AIDS
They explained the meaning in Hindi and then tried to explain the causes and how prevention could be the only cure of AIDS
It was a 15 minutes show followed by a Question & Answer session. Ishara Team distributed some questions to young kids and asked them the answer them. Such as, “Can Aids be transmitted through Mosquitoes?”.
Students were very enthusiastic in Question-Answer session and even briefed up their learnings from the show.
Performance was followed by some refreshments and a cup of Tea for Ishara team.
In the end, Dadi Pudamjee also appreciated kids enthusiasm and sharpness!!!!!!
About the funds for the show. Amit, Pallavi and three teachers Sophia, Pushpa & Ismail contributed…
As I read these words and the meaning slowly sank in, I realised that somehow my impossible deram had come true: this little show was a real solo flight.. it had been put up by the combined effort of the many streams that make planet why, and every aspect had been taken care of, no one had come asking help of anykind.. I has a wtinge of regret at not having been there, but then that also passed as actually independance means cutting of all umbilical links..
It was one the best gifts I have ever received, as for the first time I felt that pwhy had a life of its own and would have the wings it needs to fly on..
You can see pictures of this day at this link
“He who has a strong enough why“, said Nietzsche ” can bear almost any how“. I must be blessed, having project why!
Life would stop if we stopped asking questions and seeking answers.. I guess that is why people often grow bitter in their twilight years.. there are no more why’s in our lives as everyone is seeking their own and you desperately find cracks to fill, and get msiesrable when you find there are none, so you create them and hence the infernal spiral..
You need to find a big enough why to borrow Nietzsche words, one that will fill your life and make it worth living.. with each why comes a challenge that needs a solution that you must seek. On the way you make mistakes but then you learn and set out again..
The last six years have been a wondrous journey on planet why, a journey of discovery but also a journey of inner growth.. a journey of learning where the teacher is the smile of a child people have given up on, or the will of a mother who refuses to give up!