Outraged and dejected

Some of you may remember my post about the little house of horrors, and the plight of orphan girls locked up in pure hell. I had ended the post with the words: we need to act.

Some of you may have wondered why the ensuing silence and even thought that we had forgotten about the little girls. No way. From the time we knew about their plight we sprung into action. But we knew we had a formidable and dangerous adversary and we also knew about the state of things in our land. After much thought I asked a dear friend for help. She is with NDTV and I knew that only the media could help.

Young Anchal went undercover and brought back a chilling story but we had all decided that this would be aired only after the safety of the girls was assured. It is a sad reality that the Minister in question did not act or help, even after seeing the footage. Finally the NCW intervened and a raid was organised today as the story went on air.

You would all think that once the raid was done with the proper permissions the girls would finally be out of that hell hole, but as I write these words they are still there huddled in a corner while the state and central police fight it out, and the DM has gone missing. NDTV reporters are there, and NGOs workers are there but some administrative hassles and battles continue. The network has asked for public blankets and food as they envisage a long night..

I am outraged as I cannot understand why the girls cannot be taken out and brought to safety. The story has gone on air, the little voices shared their horrific experiences in barely audible and pathetic words. The lawyer interviewed cited a litany of sections of the law that the owner of the place has infringed, and yet the little victims are still in that netherworld. What is wrong with us, with our administration, with our politicians.. with each one of us

It will wil be a long night….

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In the name of a father

In the name of a father


Yesterday was my father’s 14th death anniversary.. It almost slipped my mind. Strange as there was a time when I almost lived for that day.. planning all kind of commemorative mush: flowers, rituals etc..

Wonder why the change: simply because of project why!

Mourning and grieving are luxuries you can pursue when you have time on your hand. But when your days are filled with positive endeavours, pain and memories recede and lose their angst. Yet if pwhy exists today it is because of the very man I once mourned with destructive passion so I guess he deserves to be remembered.

So what do you tell a man whose dying words to his fried were: do not lose faith in India!

When I look back on the 7 years of pwhy’s existence I see a lot of change and the micro level but the larger reality stills looks absurdly the same and are tiny achievements pale in front of the larger issues that glare at us from every direction.

Two roads again gape at me from the corner; the first is to continue the way we have gone and the other to start addressing larger issues. It is true that we could not have envisaged the later without having experienced the When we began our work, we were convinced that anyone doing such laudable things as us would have everyone accept if not help us. How naive we were. We soon learnt that doing good is the one thing that is anathema to many. If you dare touch the existing social equations you go against the agendas of many.

We have learnt and are still learning this the hard way as at every step we take, there are obstacles we need to overcome. What seemed positive when we began – children not dropping out for instance – today looks a bit jaded as you wonder what good will it do them in this cut throat society of ours. We have come to realise that education mans more than text book knowledge.

A recent survey done by a leading magazine showed that what ailed the education system was that it failed to teach children how to apply their knowledge to every day reality. If we are to be agent of changes, then children need to be taught how their rights and duties. they need to be made good and responsible citizens. Easily said than done when even poor and illiterate parents jump down our throats each and every time we try to do something that does not look like studies to them: environment programmes or any creative activity.

Our society is plagued by so many problems that it would need many miracles to start addressing them, but it needs to be done and maybe that is the personal pledge I need to take today in lieu of all the rituals and flowers

So be it!

Wish I had a dream catcher

Wish I had a dream catcher


Good dreams slip through the hole, and bad dreams get caught in the web.. says an old Chippewa tradition… whereas the Lakota tribe believes that good thoughts get retains in the web while bad ones slip through the hole… which ever way I wish I had a dream catcher today..
One that would ensure that Nanhe continues to smile, .. one that would protect all the tiny tomorrows that we hold in our hands today..

My first blog about Nanhe was entitled when today is over, as I feared for his life from the very instant I saw him smile as his smile was one to die for.

True that Nanhe was a child without tomorrows but we still invested in his smile wanting to give him all we could and make his stay with us as happy as possible. And frankly many a time, he showed us the way as our problems paled in front of his. And soon we were all addicted to his huge smile that lit even the darkest moment. There were many a stay in hospital, many nights of excruciating pain, seizures and incontinence but he never stopped smiling. And last week I was thrilled to see that Nanhe had taken on the role of a mentor to little Himanshu.

That night I even dared dream about many tomorrows for Nanhe. But that was not to be. The next day I learnt that he was back in hospital and this time things were not quite right. His BP shot up, his seizures multiplied and the pain was agonising.

Nanhe is back home, still in pain and it seems that the men in white have given up. Today there was no smile..

At moments like these I feel helpless and hopeless. True that we knew that one day his frail body would give up and so would the smile. I do not know what to say to his brave mother who refuses to give up and looks at us with desperate eyes for some reassurance.

Yes I wish I had a dream catcher…

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how long does it take to become jaded

A few days back little Deepak went back home after his heart surgery and tomorrow little Anil goes for his. Statistically speaking they are no 8 and 9 in pwhy’s heart repair shop!

It was just over three years ago that we answered a desperate plea from a great father . Raju was operated upon and the matter could have ended there. But not with Sitaram who decided to help others. That is how from 1 heart surgery we have reached 9.

But this is not the reason for this post. What prompted me to write it is something quite different. As I sat writing an update on Deepak a few days back, I realised how easy it is to become inured to things, no matter how extraordinary they are. During operation no 1 I remember writing regular updates,almost giving a blow by blow account of the surgery and how numerous were the answers either seeking more information or just sending support.

Three years and 8 surgeries down the line, the situation is different: the updates were answered with an almost deafening silence. I sat and pondered for a long time about the possible reasons. Had the situation changed in anyway. Difficult to say as I am sure that the pain and anguish of Raju’s mother was in no way greater than that of Deepak’s or Anil’s. What could be different was the fact that to many this was something we had done earlier and almost become masters at . Once again we were in that space that frightens me: the comfort zone.

No matter how dramatic the event, it does not take log for it to become jaded. We are always on the look out for something new to admire, support, criticise and reach out to. Yet there are things that need our continuous support as no matter what way you look at them, they are still extraordinary.

remake the world

remake the world


Too many people are suffering
Too many people are sad
Too little people got everything
While too many people got nothing

We wile remake the world
With love and happiness
Remake the world
People, put your conscience to the test

Jimmy Cliff

Is this what these two little lads are singing. Maybe. Yet there is something wrong in this picture. Abhishek and Utpal should not be sitting together. If we had played by the rules, then one of them should have been far away in a dingy slum with his alky mom.

Yet today they sit side by side dreaming huge dreams in a world where everything is possible as no labels have been stuck to their heads yet.

Yes Sir, we are in India, in the one we all know, the one torn by caste, creed and shady agendas that hijack children’s hopes and aspirations.

Wonder where: in a little school tucked away on the fringe of the city, where the sun shines, and winds blow, where buffalos roam, and fields are green. Here children of all origins come together and discover each other. They learn, eat, play and sleep together and dream of remaking this world, their way.

When time is ripe for learning about labels, and differences, it will too late, or so I dare hope.

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