It all began with Manu, a physically challenged boy, and the want to provide a dignified way of living. To give Manu a home, Project WHY program had to be accepted by the community and the only way to do so was accede to the demands of the community – which was to teach English to their children. The English classes began in Giri Nagar in 2000 with only a hand full of children. Manu was taken care alongside. Giri Nagar became Project WHY’s testing ground for most of our after school education programs: the primary after school classes and the secondary after school classes. Today the centre has a total 41 girls and 56 boys.
PROJECT COST: Rs. 22 000 – 330 US$; 230 £
PROJECT COST: Rs. 32,000; US$ 480; 330 £
Writing about this class is akin to writing the project why story. Our Senior Secondary Project began on the roadside in the dead of winter 2001 to answer yet another deafening why. A bunch of class X students from our Spoken English class has been beaten in school. This was inadmissible to us and a visit to the school brought to light the contempt with which children from poorer homes were treated. The Principal sneered at them, calling them gutter snipes that would never be able to pass their Boards. The body language of the children compelled us to throw a challenge stating that they would ALL pass!
As everything at Project Why, the computer centre started because children wanted it. When we opened our office in 2001, we installed a computer for our office work. As we follow an open door policy, children use to walk in and out and we soon realised that it was because of the computer. We would allow some of the children to sit at it and would show them how it worked. We knew that the next item on our list had to be a computer centre.
In no time, we managed to get a few old computers and our computer project saw the light of day.