KIDS OF PLANET WHY
Project Why child learns, to express his opinions and defend them with confidence... to stand without fear for what is just and to ask with conviction for it's rights... he discovers his country with pride and learns above all to be a true and honest Indian. We invite you to meet the planetWHYKids!
As students and teachers were settling down for a secondary class in the park, a little fellow came by and started pulling at the saree of one of teachers to get her attention. when she looked down she saw a smiling face looking at her and wanting to say something. that is how sanju entered planetWHY. as he kept on tugging at her saree, she realised he wanted to take her somewhere. she followed him and he guided her to his home where he picked up a copy book and indicated he also wanted to *sit* in the class. never mind if he was 3 and the rest of the students in their teens. Sanju is 3, he is speech impaired and is now in our early education programme. but his desire to learn is such that he often sneaks into bigger classes and sits down to listen and imbibe almost intuitively the knowledge that is being shared. his dad is a bus driver and his mother a simple housewife and sanju has 3 siblings. sanju understands everything though he cannot speak. he is bright, aware and loves the company of people. sanju has a long way to go, but we know he will go far in life, for sanju is fired by the desire to learn.
She is a bright, beautiful, vivacious young girl of 16. She is intelligent and good in her studies. She is in class X. A happy young girl one would think. Well far from that. Anita is the eldest of 5 children. Her father is an abusive alcoholic who fritters away the little he earns as a junk dealer. Mine, her mom now works for projectWHY, but spent long years being abused by her husband. And those were anita's growing years. Every evening, she dreaded her father's homecoming, praying silently that he would just not come, as it happened some days. But when he came home, it was always a horror tale. He used to beat them all, and most of all her mother as she ran helter skelter trying to shield her children. Often he would throw the cooked food into the drain and those nights everyone slept hungry. There were even days when Anita had to call in the neighbours and take a bleeding mother to the hospital. There was no money for books or any thing else. She thoughts things could not get worse, but they did. As she grew into her tens there were nights when her father tried to assault her, those were the worse nights as her mother fought him hard and often got badly hurt. One night he even attacked her with a knife. That is the time when we started our centre and Anita was one of our first students. very soon, we sensed that something was amiss. Anita was a good and attentive student but somehow we could sense a sadness in her. One day her mother came in tears, asking for help and the whole story unfolded. Today Mina works for us and is the one who looks after all hospital cases. She is slowly getting empowered. She does not have to depend on her erratic husband for food or school fees and books. Anita has started to smile, and trusts life again. she is determined to complete her studies, then wants to do a computer course and study to be a Chartered Accountant. She wants to make up for lost years and we are determined to see that she does. And believe it or not, this spirited young woman loves to play football and learn karate.
Rajani---- her grandfather is head of a clan
She is 10 and is a gadiya lohar. her grandfather is even the head of his clan! Rajani is a lovely child but she is also a different one. No one in her clan really understood why she did not walk till she was three or never really learnt to talk like others at her age. Her mother left her with her grandparents, and there she grew amidst abundant love. There was no one to tell her grandparents that she needed special care and intervention. he grew terribly spoilt , everyone ready to give in to her whims and fancies. And Rajani grew cared for by her loving grandparents. When we first met her, she was a smiling child, but terribly shy and scared of strangers. Rajani did not know how to look after herself, was not toilet trained and had no social or life skills. It took us a long time and lot of patient counselling to convince her grandparents to send Rajani to projectWHY. We had to explain to them that rajani would have to live independently one day and that she had to learn basic skills. Rajani now comes to the centre, and though it took her a long time to adapt to the new environment, but she did slowly and now enjoys coming to school. She likes to listen to song and love to dance. She has now learnt to play with toys, and is learning colour and number concepts. Rajani has a long way to go, but we hope to help her learn what is needed to get by in life! but that was not destiny had in store for her, Rajani passed away gently in November 2006
She is four, has delayed milestones, as she cannot walk or talk.
She came to us about two months ago.
Listening to her story left us all stunned beyond words. Sapna's father does not work. He is supposedly unwell, but spends his time gambling and abusing his wife. Sapna's grandmother has a small tea stall, and Sapna's mom, Bimla, spends her day washing the dirty utensils. At the end of the day, she gets some food, not always enough to feed Sapna and her small brother, let alone herself! We soon discovered that much of Sapna's delayed milestones were due to malnutrition and neglect. Sapna joined the early education programme, and with the help of Gaelle, our physio-therapist volunteer, she has slowly started catching up. It would have been nice if the story ended here but it was not to be so.
The horror story was yet to unfold... Hesitantly, one day Bimla told us that she had a prolapsed uterus following the loss of her third child and we were stunned to discover that she had been *living* like this for many months, and carrying on all activities, however strenuous. All of us were too shocked in the face of such callous behavior from her family. We immediately took her to a hospital, and were hoping that all would be settled but more awaited. She had a bad heart condition and could not be operated upon. One could have just given up, but for us at projectWHY, her life meant the life of her two children who had no one else to love them. Bimla has been admitted to hospital and will undergo heart surgery in the next few days. She will also have her gynaecological problem attended to and we hope come out of the ordeal for the sake of her two beautiful and innocent babies. Miracles do happen on planetWHY. Is one in the making? ..