Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Letter to My Friends-7 " Don't be a leader, be a ladder"

Hello Friends,

How are you all? It’s long since I have written my last letter. There were two reasons for the delay, firstly I pretended to be very busy to myself and hence follows the second that I did so because currently  I am working on a project.

You all will feel very happy as you go down the page. To start with I would like to tell about the project I am working on (I am very eager to share with all my friends). Together with two TFI fellows, I am working on to establish a model school for low- income community. It would be a family school and will address all the problems of low income community. In the morning it would be a learning centre for kids and later in the afternoon it would be a Community Learning Centre where we would conduct various workshops and training such as Nutrition, health, sanitation, child abuse, alcoholism, ways to augment their income and literacy training for elders. During our recent exposure to slums we figured out few reasons of why kids lack behind despite of our tremendous efforts in the classroom. One of them is that they are with us for 6 hrs. and for remaining 18 hrs. they are either with their family or community which completes their whole world. So, we felt important to change their world outside the classroom and hence came up with the idea of model school. Our future plan is to replicate the model in other cities of country, if it is successful.
So, regarding our project we were meeting many educators, social workers and visiting best schools throughout the country to get an insight of what is learning. As a part of this process we reached Ahemdabad- The City of Gandhi. We met Kiran Sethi of Riverside School, Sunil Handa of Eklavya, Amitabh of Yuva, Madhusudan of Mammovies etc. and the most inspiring one Jayesh Bhai of Manav Sadhna & Anar Behen of Gramshree.

For me Jayesh Bhai is today’s Gandhi, he operates his NGO from Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati, keeping alive the principles of Truth and Ahimsa. It was Christmas Day and the best Christmas of my life. We worked with 70 leprosy patients.  We accompanied them to Akshardham in the morning and there took place an incredible incident which moved me from head to toe, the patients who were mostly beggars took out 10 -15 Rs. from their pocket and gave them as offering in the temple. I was startled seeing this and their belief in God, inspite of their sufferings. Then we served lunch to the patients, after the lunch we sat down to have a discussion. They were so happy and all were saying that it is their happiest moment of life. After that we went to Science City in Ahemdabad, saw a 3-D movie at IMAX with them, it was a great exp.  for me also . In a scene stone was falling down and it felt that it will fall on us, at that moment I have also closed my eyes. After movie we ate ice-cream, shared some happy and sad moments with them. They were so relieved and happiness was visible in their eyes.

Jayesh Bhai says, “Don’t be a leader, be a ladder”, which speaks a lot of his personality. His humility and passion to help poor’s works as an inspiration not only to me but to many. He works with more than 6000 kids and women and the best thing is that he knows most of them by name.

Once again I would urge all my friends to come forward and share their part of responsibilities. At the end I would leave a question, which I have read somewhere, “Why to wait for a Sunami or earthquake or flood to happen, when half the nation lives in disaster every day ???”

Will soon get my next letter... about “What inspired me to became a part of CHANGE?”