One always tends to highlight the achievements of the pwhy kids. One talks of their school results, their Board results, the jobs they get, their successes and so on. This has almost become a norm as every year and in all our centres children do us proud in more ways than one. What we tend to forget is the fact that none of this would be possible without our incredible band of teachers! It is they, and they alone who make all the small and big miracles happen.
It is time I paid tribute where it is truly due: the terrific staff that holds the fort and holds it so well.
Let us begin at the top: the two souls who run the two arms of project why with utmost efficiency and like a clock work orange have been with us for almost a decade. One of them was barely sixteen when she joined our wagon as an unpaid volunteer who use to come and run a small medical post that we opened for two half hours a day. She then graduated to distributing nutrition and that is when I discovered her inborn managerial talent. She learned at the speed of light and slowly but surely carved her place in project why. Today she runs her part of the show single handedly. Over the years she carefully selected her team, hired and fired with the needed aplomb. I have never seen her buckle under any circumstance, she always conjures a better solution. When she joined she was what you call a school drop out, not because of lack of aptitude but because she was beaten mercilessly and her mom decided that she should not go back. But she is not one who gives up. While working with us she completed her class X, XII and is now sitting for her BA final exams. What is amazing is that she never took a day off. You may have guessed, I am talking of Rani.
Rani is aptly seconded by a vibrant team of teachers. Some have been with us for many years, others have joined more recently. Each and everyone of them is committed and diligent. Come to think of it most of them were not destined to be teachers. Many were simple housewives whose education had been truncated by an early arranged marriage. Others were young people who had finished their studies in some remote place and come to the city to seek greener pastures. They learned on the job and boy they learned well. I can only say Chapeau bas to all of them.
The other arm of project why, namely the women centre was created from scratch by a young man who joined us a a teacher but soon emerged as social activist at heart, someone who strangely echoed my way of thinking: almost a kindred spirit. He soon graduated from his role as a humanities teacher to being the one I turned to in moment of crises. When we decided to set up the women centre as a case of force majeure, it was he I turned to. The result is there for all to see: a vibrant centre catering to more than 300 souls. And here again there is a superb team that runs the show. Well done Dharmendra.
The true measure of the success of team project why is my redundancy. Quite frankly project why does not need me to run. And though my team will vouch for the contrary, I can recognise the writing on the wall: I am really de trop! My only utility is as a fund raiser. That is the only thing my team has not mastered in spite of my best efforts. In hindsight I should be happy as otherwise I would have been completely superfluous. That is not quite the truth as I am aware of my shortcomings and of the fact that I am not eternal and for project why to run beyond me, my team will have to master the art of fund gathering. Maybe that is what needs to be done.
If planet why does see the light of day, and that would be my fund raising master stroke, my real swansong. I know my team will be able to run the show and carry on the work. If that does not happen then they will have to explore new ways. Deep in my heart, I know that many of them will not let project die wither and die.