As I downloaded the day’s pictures I came across this one. It is our own little Kiran having lunch at pwhy on one of her rare days off from school. Kiran is special to us as she was born just when pwhy began. She grew with us and became an integral part of our lives.
Kiran spent the first years of her life either being carried around practically where ever I went, or as she grew older in the special section which she somehow preferred to the creche! Slowly but surely an incredible bond was created between this little girl and the kids in the special section notwithstanding their age. Kiran is now in school but her ties with her pals have gone stronger. She spends all her off days and holidays with them and often turns teacher for the day!
Kiran goes to an upmarket school now as her humble family feels that it will open new doors for her. She is slowly learning about the unfortunate divides that exist in our society and expresses them in her own candid ways, and deals with them with a little help from us. But Kiran has never felt the need to alienate one life for the other. She is equally at easy with the kids in her street as she is with her school pals and finds time for her buddies too. She flits comfortably from loud Hindi slang, to barely audible English to sign language when communicating with her hearing impaired friends.
The above post is my answer to a doubt recently voiced about the wisdom of a new project we have launched at the behest of a well wisher. Sadly these apprehensions stem out from the attitude of potential donors, something I had foreseen and expressed at a time when things were still being debated. Helping children break social barriers is anathema to many. What is pitiful is that no one will accept this reality. The blame will be squarely put on the tiny shoulders of the potential beneficiary with supercilious ease.
I am not endowed with the gift of divination and cannot see into the future. Yet I am reasonably certain that Kiran and any other child who is given a chance, will be an asset and not a liability to society. It is also true that all children given the same chance may not turn out to be exceptional. Unless we give a reasonable chance to this project, we will never know what truly happens.
New ideas, specially those that rock the boat never find takers. Yet they are the ones that bring about the change we all want to see and somehow once again in the life of pwhy we find ourselves faced with a new challenge we know we have to take on with courage and determination.