we are the world blogfestFor We are the World Blogfest I want to share the story of how Project Why came to be. I came to know of this Blogfest through my dearest friend Damyanti and warmed up to the idea immediately as we need stories to renew our faith in humanity. Project Why I think is such a story.

For the past weeks Project Why has been in the social media news courtesy the Mithu fundraiser and the Show the Love Save a School Valentine’s Blogathon.

Many teachers like Pushpa, Naresh, Sophiya and of course Mithu have shared their stories and their pleas to the save the Okhla Centre.

This seems to be the opportune time to share with you why Project Why came into being.

Manu: We are the world blogfest

Manu: one of the WHYs of Project WHY

Project Why is almost 20 years old.

But its genesis lies way before that in the almost irrational love for India nurtured in a child born in a faraway land by her profoundly Indian parents.

Yes, I fell in love with India when I was but a child listening to stories tenderly recounted by a freedom fighter’s daughter and an indentured labour’s grandchild! They were my parents.

True by the time I was born my father was a senior diplomat but somehow the stories they told me seared my heart never to leave me. The feeling of owing a debt for all that I had received was ingrained in me way before I set out to create Project Why.

It is difficult to write about one’s self but my dear friend and mentor D.V Sridharan caught the essence of WHY Project Why beautifully in a write up on his site GoodNewsIndia.

Yes, there were many whys to Project Why.

The disturbing sight of children begging, the anger of seeing children work and not be in school, the plight of Manu an abandoned beggar left to roam the street, a child crying for having been beaten in school, a child dropped in a boiling pan by an alcoholic mother, another barely breathing because of a hole in her heart and yet sharing her dream of wanting to be a ‘police’.

Each of these, a deafening why that needed to be answered and was in what is known today as Project Why. Yes, Project Why came into existence to answer all the disturbing whys that I encountered, and serendipitously gave me the way of paying back the burden of the debt I felt I owed.

We are the World Blogfest Blogathon Valentines DayBut along the way things changed as I felt the tables turning. Project Why was not about giving but about receiving, and receiving in ample measure. The idea of paying back the debt was replaced by an abundance of love given to me unabashedly, the kind of love I never knew existed and could not imagine how I would pay back. I simply feel overwhelmed and humbled and the fear of seeing Project Why come to an abrupt end for want of funds keeps me awake night after night.

I know that once again a miracle will have to be conjured to save Project Why and make it live beyond me. That would be the only honourable thing to do, the only way to honour my debt and be able to sing my swan song.

In order to give us some some breathing space to be able to come up with a long-lasting solution we have launched an online fundraiser campaign to save it and hope you will join it too.

Find Project WHY on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  We need your help to share the Project Why story with your friends and family on the hashtag #HelpMithuSaveSchool.

Each share can bring us three times the donation.

Add in a little to the fundraiser–with small contributions from a big crowd, we can get together to help keep this wonderful dream alive!


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