Date: 27 July 2011 22:43
Subject: Dreaming Big with a little help
Do you remember how you helped me when I wanted to set up a
library for my kids? Do you remember how you emptied your shelves and gave me
all your books? And how you arranged workshops for my kids and offered some of them
scholarships? And how you came to see them and made partnerships available,
spoke to them and conducted workshops for them?
I hope you do.
I hope you remember seeing my face how it radiated with
happiness when I received the books. I hope you remember how I told you that
one of the reasons why I feel like going on is because you make it possible for
me with your encouragement. And how I was filled with so much pride when I told
my kids that we have 3000 books in the library and that they will never fall
short of books and I actually doubted that when the kids read an average of 171
books in one year.
I hope I thanked you enough. I hope I did justice to your
generosity. I hope I lived up to your expectations and fulfilled the promise I
made to my kids.
I want to now tell you about Aditya.
Aditya Prasad Sadangi is a friend and was a Fellow with Teach
For India (2009) and taught in a school in Pune. He not only taught his kids
the curriculum, he trained them in drama. His kids put up a show at the end of
2 years, which was considered excellent. Everyone who watched the musical
concurred that he and his team had raised the bar for every fellow, every
teacher and every student. Throughout the year he documented how drama aided
some of his most struggling kids. How some of his most difficult kids began to
blossom, even academically because of the drama sessions. He conducted a drama
class for my kids- praised them generously and bolstered their self confidence.
I witnessed his magic.
At the end of the fellowship, he had to decide what to do next.
80 fellows chose 80 different things. Some went on to study further, some went
back to the corporate, and some worked in public schools. But one decided to
stay back with the kids in Wadgaon Sheri. He declined not one but two job
offers- one of which was not only lucrative but also prestigious. I was filled
with goose bumps when he told me that he planned to stay back because the
parents of his kids want him to continue imparting excellent education to their
kids. He decided to give his kids an excellent education- UtkarShiksha is what
he calls it.
He charges them a fee, 200 a month and runs the class from his
home. He had space for only 100 kids but did not know how to refuse the
additional 100, and so he welcomed them all. He wants to rent a place but says
he has no money. He cannot hire teachers and hence teaches 12 hours a day. It
is tough he says, but he is convinced that this is what he wants to do.
I spoke to him today. I have a dream too and have no courage and
no clarity. I spoke to him to see if he could help me. He is down with viral
fever but didn’t ask me to call him back some other day. He spoke amidst the
cough and sniffles.
I know this appeal is getting long, and I don’t know if you are
still reading. And so I will just say it.
I need you to help Aditya out. In whatever way you can.
You know it is difficult. It is difficult to keep asking, and
because I see myself doing almost the same thing that he is doing from next year
on I find it hard to ask you to help him- what if I need your help next year?
What if you write me off as someone who is always asking?
But after speaking to someone who decided to change his life’s
decisions out of compassion for 200 parents and children, someone who did not
shut the door on 100 additional faces and someone who chose not to hang up
despite the clouds in his head- I realized I could not be so selfish.
You could send him books (but he won’t be able to pay for
transport nor will he be able to come to pick them up), anything that he might
need or just some money. He plans to have an end of year musical for his kids which will cost him about 1 lakh (No we are not afraid to dream big- our kids see what is possible for them through our eyes.) I want you to know that it is not an organization that
does charity but it is a business venture. I also assure you that the education
he is imparting is worth more than the 200 rupees that the kids are paying him.
Please speak to him or write to him to know how you can help him or just to say
that you are proud of him.
And if you are still reading, let me just thank you for putting
your faith in me. For giving me and my appeal your time. I also want to tell
you that I am not entirely capable of helping Aditya on my own and it will mean
a lot to me if you help me help him. And because I believe that Aditya, you and
I want only the best for our children, we are in this together.
And I find strength in our togetherness.
Aditya’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
You could call him on 9096554057
And to know more about his musical you could check this http://www.ncamusical.wedsite.com/
Please circulate this appeal widely. Post it on your blogs, your
social network pages or internet groups that you are part of. Do what you did
to help me. My inbox was flooded when I wanted to help 50 children and because
of you we reached 6 schools! Let’s recreate the magic.
Love, Gratitude and immense Hope,