The magic of four bamboo sticks and a blue plastic sheet #ProjectWhy

The magic of four bamboo sticks and a blue plastic sheet #ProjectWhy

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As a parent I often worry that I’m raising a generation of entitled children who assume the best things are all theirs by right. That’s rather strange for a country like India, considering almost every day we see children who don’t get even a single square meal.

And yet we don’t really ‘see’ them, do we?

To be fair, we do empathise and most of us are lending a hand in various ways. Often, however, one has the will to help yet is at a loss to figure out how. How do we identify a genuine charity? How do we ensure we are supporting the right people? How do we know the aid we’re giving is going to the right people?

Pressures of the daily grind coupled with those doubts push away thoughts of helping out. We go about our daily chores with mental masks blocking out those innocent, dirt-streaked faces craving the basic necessities of life. Unknowingly, we pass on the same indifference to our children.

Then, every once in a while we stumble upon a piece, a conversation, a story that brings it all into focus. Reading Damyanti’s piece here did just that.

This is the story of how a miracle was wrought by four bamboo sticks, a blue plastic sheet and a bagful of good intentions. A garbage dump was converted into a school for children living in slums around the Okhla Industrial Area. Two women Sophiya and Pushpa took up the task of educating them.

This was 2004.

More children came in every day and now the school has 12 teachers, catering to 300 children in classes up to XII. The school also boasts a computer centre.

If that isn’t a miracle what is?

The centre is full of stories of courage where people have gone beyond themselves to help usher in this  change. For instance there’s Mithu who lost both his legs to Polio but hasn’t let that get in his way. Do spare a minute to watch this video.

You can read more about the project here. 

In March 2019, the centre’s funding comes to an end and it is in danger of closing down. If you, like me, are moved by this story, if you feel strongly that each child deserves education, if you want to do your bit to keep this miracle alive, do lend a hand. Drop by the Project Why page on Facebook and consider making a donation.

Also, talk to your children. Tell them about Project Why, about children who’d give the world to be in their shoes. If possible identify a similar school in your vicinity and plan a visit. Help them look beyond themselves. They will benefit almost as much as the children they’re trying to help, perhaps more.

20 Replies to “The magic of four bamboo sticks and a blue plastic sheet #ProjectWhy”

  1. I agree with the point of raising children who feel entitled to have anything and everything. It is all the more necessary for us to talk to them about the deprived and how there are children who strive to keep going with minimal things which our children take for granted. This morning I was happy to know Project Why receiving a decent amount in the donation. I hope all of their efforts coupled with that of the bloggers result in more goodness for the school children.
    Anamika Agnihotri recently put up this amazing post…Dr Seuss Books #PictureBookReview 27My Profile

  2. This is a beautiful post, Tulika. I have contributed to Project Why earlier fundraiser and intend to do the same for this one as well. So many wonderful people making a difference to the lives of the underprivileged. I thank Damyanti for letting me know about this initiative.
    Rachna Parmar recently put up this amazing post…Why I Stopped Using Fitness TrackerMy Profile

  3. What a beautiful post, Tulika. It is a heartwarming story of how the school came to be and how much it needs our help and support to continue touching so many precious lives make sense of their own. I’m wishing and praying #ProjectWhy gets the fund it needs to continue the school and Mithu can continue the good work he is doing, well into the future.
    Esha M Dutta recently put up this amazing post…The Good Doctor of Dasmantpur| #WATWBMy Profile

  4. Tulika, this post touched me. You have never been to Project WHY, and yet you have captured it so well in this post.

    I hope we get to welcome you at the Project some day.

    Lots of love and a huge thank you for your support.

    1. I look forward to being there one day. I was touched by the enthusiasm of the women. Watching Mithu tell his story, the way he says this is my ‘Junoon’ – that was so heartening. The story touched me, made me want to contribute and that’s what was reflected in the post.

  5. What a beautiful post. Thank you so much. The Okhla centre is truly one of the happiest and most uplifting place you can find. I pray we find a way to save it.

  6. Dear Tulika,

    Intuiting each other again. As I write this comment and visit your blog, you visited mine. 🙂

    This is a precious piece, spoken with so much empathy and truth. I totally love the way you express your thoughts- seamlessly and to the point.

    A beautiful cause spoken about with so much depth. Thank you.

    Please write more often, or maybe I should also visit your blog more often. 🙂
    Natasha recently put up this amazing post…A Foodie’s Plate: #WordlessWednesdayMy Profile

    1. Ha ha .. this is happening too many times.
      Thank you for dropping by and for the sweet words. I’ve not been in too much of a ‘writing’ mode of late so this means a lot.

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