Document Sample

              ANNUAL REPORT

                  2004 - 2005

    Sri   Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust   1
           Annual Report 2004 - 2005
                                  Director’s Message

For the past 5 years, every Annual Report was written with a sense of optimism,
determination and even buoyancy.

Every year we reported growth, success and were filled with new plans.
This year, it is with a certain amount of sadness, that I set out to report to all those who
have reposed your faith in me, the events and happenings of a year that will be
remembered in the history of project why as one of deceit, and interference and
The only beacon were the children who refused to be drawn into the ugly world of adults,
and who continued delighting us and making it possible for us to carry on.

The year began under a cloud that we were not able to comprehend; little did we know
that a plan of disruption was being instigated from the outside. We were soon to be
faced with dissent bordering indiscipline from a group of teachers that were handling one
of the extension programmes.

Matters came to a head in late August when we were faced with a notice from the
Labour Court. It took almost four months of patience and extreme caution to work out a
suitable solution, which left project why, truncated and necessitated our dismissing 8
staff members.

In the ultimate analysis it was all a matter of trying to extort money. Maybe slum 'lords'
think all ngos are loaded with money, leaving small efforts like ours out in the cold.

Project WHY’s staying power prevailed, more so because of a almost Gandhian attitude
of finding alternate solutions whenever problems arise and of trying to seek long term

As I write this, message, we have reinvented ourselves and are set to continue the work
we began.

Anuradha Goburdhun Bakhshi
New Delhi, June 2005

                   Sri    Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust                                  2
                           Annual Report 2004 - 2005
                            RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES

The year saw our education programme continue in what has by now become a well-set
model. Our children once again performed extremely well, and our programme remained
dynamic and flexible, something that we feel is in great part the reason of the success of
our work. In spite of the many disruptions the children showed extreme patience and
adaptability. We were unfortunate to lose one outreach programme to our detractors. It
is sad that it had to be the Janta Jeevan camp, which we feel needed us most as it has
severe developmental challenges.
In spite of limited funds, extreme paucity of space and often time, we were aware of the
necessity of going beyond curriculum study, and incorporated in every manner possible
life skills into our day to day activities.
However it is our sustainability effort that had to come and to a standstill: what started as
a year full of promises where we launched a hand made organic soap and state-of-the-
art chocolates, we were compelled to stop these activities as they were misrepresented
by our detractors and used as the main stay of our being dragged to the labour court.

                                     THE APPROACH

For all our education programme our approach remained the same: a judicious
combination of education and life skill activities. Somewhat we also rediscovered the
sagacity of a gandhian view of life, where obstacles are circumvented, and alternate
small solutions found. This was important in a year where we saw ourselves shunted
from one place to the other. Had we not maintained a singleness of purpose we would
have been lost.

 We held on to one goal: continue our classes no matter how or where. This is what
remained our basic approach and stood us well in our efforts. The ultimate vindication
came when we were able to find a flat for rent, something that would have been
impossible but a few months back.

                                 DETAILED ACTIVITIES

                   Sri    Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust                                   3
                           Annual Report 2004 - 2005
Educational Activities

Overall Situation - infrastructure

Project why’s spirit prevailed in our dealing with infrastructural problems. It was a year of
great movement. We had to move from our location in Giri Nagar as the presence of
another organisation in a building supposedly built for us after we were asked to move
out of the park we had been, started creating terrible problems within the community. We
also our Janta Jeevan camp and tucked ourselves in the Shiv Mandir slum and in a park
we cleaned up. But here again our detractors did not leave us in peace so we found an
alternate solution in a flat, which was rented to us. This in itself was a great achievement
as earlier no flat dweller would accept us.
We also opened a small outreach programme in Okhla, once again in a garbage dump
inhabited by our now long time porcine friends.
All these upheavals vindicated our stand that space has to be viewed as not of prime
importance in any education or community empowerment programme.

Overall situation -staff

This is the area where we got our biggest blow. We did not see the signs of the trouble
that was brewing, instigated by one of our staff members ably supported by some local
politicos and their acolytes. We lost around 11 of our staff members who instigated a
rebellion and landed us in Labour Court. We did manage to settle out of court but lost
one of our programmes.
This brought to light the vulnerability of programmes like ours, which are based on
goodwill. We often forget the ability of detractors to misinterpret law and use it against
such efforts.
We learnt our lessons and sought legal help and drew short-term renewable contracts
with all our staff members.
These incidents also showed us how vulnerable simple uneducated people are and how
easily they can be swayed by the lure of a few elusive rupees.
It also brought to light the importance of education as a tool of change and not simply as
a means of acquiring knowledge.

Overall situation - content

As usual most of the time was spent on finishing curriculum and preparing for the far too
numerous examinations that exist in the present education system. We however tried to
include civic responsibility and problem solving into our programme of study. This is
something that will have to be further strengthened.
Ww are more and more convinced of the fact that change will have to emanate from
below, from an attitude change and not from laws emanating from the top. We also
realised the importance of awareness be it of rights or duties!

Curriculum Support

Driven by the dual objective of containing and arresting school drop out rates and
enhancing performance, our main stress was on our curriculum support programme. As

                    Sri    Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust                                  4
                            Annual Report 2004 - 2005
in the past, the programme was flexible and adapted to the specific needs of the

primary school intervention

It was unfortunate that the children had to bear the brunt of the upheaval that marred this
year. For a couple of months even classes were not regular, then of course we lost the
Janta Jeevan camp children.
At one time our primary children numbers fell from 260 to barely 90. Much of it was
because parents saw that classes were irregular. But slowly kids came back and we also
launched a new outreach unit in a place where there is not even a primary municipal
school. Today we have 290 children in all our primary sections.
And with the staying power that only children have, the March 2005 results was again

secondary school intervention

Fortunately the secondary children were away from the problems that plagues project
WHY and continued their studies. As usual maths the dreaded subject was given
maximum space, but other subjects were also taught and time was spent on learning to
Once again the results were excellent!

lohar intervention programme

The lohar intervention programme saw a great change as two sections were
incorporated in the main pwhy stream. The early intervention children now come to our
regular crèche and so do the secondary students. We continue a primary section in the
camp itself. This is a conscious decision as it entails our presence and allows
intervening in life situations when needed.

early intervention programme

our early intervention programme has been a great success. this is shown by the
number of children on our waiting lists. This year the programme has been structured
and the children divided into 3 groups.
The small section accepted infants, and a case of force majeure even say a one month
old as part of the group. we were amazed to see how well they integrated and how early
the learning process began.
This is particularly important as early education is not included in the free education that
begins at age 6. many slum toddlers are left to their own devices and often have very
poor social skills. We were amazed to see how rapidly these children learnt.
Some Japanese ladies taught children origami and the recent acquisition of a CD player
has enabled us to begin dance classes.
Structured pre school skills have been introduced as well as a variety of play techniques
and creative pursuits. The children have shown enormous progress.

                   Sri    Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust                                  5
                           Annual Report 2004 - 2005
intervention for children with special needs.

Here again we have achieved great success. Our programme aimed at making these
children as independent as possible is showing promising results. Moreover the children
and young adults have synergised into a positive energetic group where each one has
bonded with the other despite varying disabilities. They are taught day-to-day living skills
as well as basic non-formal education.
This year also saw a more organized approach to our vocational activities. We laid
emphasis on cooking and have specialized instructors for the tailoring and beautician
In January we were able to get a coach and are children are now being trained for the
special Olympic meets.
We were fortunate to have with us Carine Isler a special educator from Switzerland who
spent three months at pwhy.

Other activities

Life skills and problem solving

Like skills is according to us an intrinsic part of any self respecting education intervention
The events that prevailed this year showed us how important it is to stress on such
activities. Often short sightedness and lack of the ability to weigh a situation can land
one in trouble.
We also began civics as a subject, where the emphasis was on defining duties and the
role of the citizen.
Issues like water, environment and habitat were touched upon.


We were fortunate to be able to upgrade our computer centre thanks to the generosity of
Talents & Partage, the social arm of Societe Generale. Thus we got t 2 state-of-the-art
Pentium computers and on eMac, all brand new.

Anything Mac also gave us 3 used apple computers enabling us to teach Mac as well as

We also hope to start specialised course like video editing and also Internet.


The leap in the number of students and the extreme paucity of funds once again did not
permit the resumption of our nutrition programmes.
However we did provide nutrition in cases where we felt it was required: under nourished
children, pregnant women etc...

                   Sri     Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust                                   6
                            Annual Report 2004 - 2005
Recreational activities

Once again it was not possible to do as much as we would have liked. Outings were
limited to the early education programme children and the special children. The smaller
ones were taken to the children’s park and the special kids spent a day at Dilli Haath.
But thanks to the generosity of D V Sridharan, the primary school kids were
to Rajghat and to the Zoo in November 2004.
Unfortunately this year our sports activities were extremely limited and we were not able
to have our yearly sports day.

Crisis Intervention

This past year a few the emergency situations were dealt with.

Asha and Preeti
Asha a young pregnant mother, wife of a construction worker sustained a broken arm
after being beaten by her husband. We were shocked to see that the arm had not been
attended to. She was under nourished and in pain. Asha was tended to and a few weeks
later, Preeti a lovely child was born and is now in our crèche.

Little Yash came to us as a one-month baby. His story is what movies are made of. A
Muslim mother and Christian married father who cannot and will not accept him. We
hope to find a solution for him.

When Monty came to us he seemed to be having severe health problems. The child’s
head was twice the size of his body and he had a constant ear infection. Moreover the
chid had a dangerously low haemoglobin. He was admitted to hospital and transfused
and treated. Xavier and Dominique were the generous blood donors. Today Monty is a
big boy of 4 but still cannot speak. We have to investigate this problem.

Neetu and Nimmi
Both these young ladies had severely retarded milestones, one suffering from nainism
and the other from Down’s syndrome. Unfortunately we lost touch as they were from
Janta Jeevan Camp. This once again made us wonder why children are always innocent
victims of the stupidity of adults.

These human experiences showed us that to make a real difference, we had to
understand the social environment people lived in and above all incorporate these in our
This also vindicated our view that funds for social causes should be flexible, as such
interventions go a long in way in helping us become agents of social transformation.

                   Sri    Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust                               7
                           Annual Report 2004 - 2005

This year again it was our endeavour to try and extend our interaction with other
Youthreach and Pravah sent us volunteers.
With the help of Youthreach and the Venu eye hospital an eye camp was held and was
appreciated by the community.
But the year was one that saw positive interaction with children from other lands.
In May 2004, in spite of the heat, a group of 12 Swiss children and 4 teachers from the
Steiner School Geneva spent 3 weeks at project why.
They not only interacted with the students but also took 10 of our students with them on
a visit to Agra and Jaipur. It was a rewarding experience for all.

This year saw a very meaningful interaction with children from the Japanese and
American school who visited us. They ran funding campaigns for us and collected toys
and clothes.
The Japanese ladies group have become regulars at project why where they teach
origami and craft and even Japanese songs!


The biggest victim of 2004 was our sustainability effort. The year started with a bang:
soap, paper bags, recycled copybooks and a little later chocolates! We almost thought
we had finally got an answer to our problems.

But all these efforts had to come to a standstill as they were used by our detractors and
misrepresented as large business efforts. Our lawyers advised us to put an end to them

We however launched our ‘just one rupee’ campaign and it is on it that we have set our
hopes as we feel that this is the only way in which the donor base can be transferred to
within the community itself.

You can read about it at

Parents are also part of this effort as each gives rs 30/month with regularity.


2004 will also be remembred as the year we came of age on the net.
Our website
and our weblog,
are extremely popular
We even have French pages on our site and a French weblog

                   Sri    Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust                               8
                           Annual Report 2004 - 2005
 Our website is updated almost every day and has somewhat become our brand


This year saw us losing many friends who had been our staunch supporters. Ana
Grenfell left us and with her the last person who could conjure fund raising events like a
We also realised that we could not depend on large individual donors but had to find a
larger donor base and here again the Internet brought friends who came forward and
helped us with great generosity. It also helped the launch of the just one rupee activity
as we added a paypal on our site
Enfances Indiennes of course was ever present and held our hand each time we were in
Asha for Education’s Dallas Chapter also ran a child sponsorship programme for us.
Our die-hard supporters like Mylene Chossat never failed us and in a moment of crisis
Carine and her sister Sarah and their friends and colleagues in Geneva saved the day!

One rupee a day

The following friends participated in our rupee a day programme

rajesh, radha natarajan, amita naulakha, shaileja, renu rao, radhey shyam
chaudhury, rajesh kumar, ekta kohli, robin, manoj vijayan manorajan
bharati, akbar wajahat, chandan choudhary, manvi sinha, pankaj pachauri,
mohit charnalia, shobhana krishnan, manju devi, shipra chakravarthy, swati
thyagarajan, ankita mukherjee, shamika, shobha singh, rani, natasha jog,
bhupendra chaubhey, nidhi kulstai, sunetra choudhury,divya lahiri, sonia
singh, vishnumohan nair, devi, ramesh, adi, indu lakhani, deepak nihalani,
chitij   nihalani,   harold      danner,     prakash    chellam,    ajith   frick,, asha garg, akie hasagami, dinesh bahadur, chander
mohan singh, arti, dileep, gaitry, gaurav nath, gopal I, gopal II, heather
dawson, jayalakshmi, jyoti, indra narayanan, koti kalapudi, lakshmi
bharadwaj, mylene, madhu nath, pausali, n.gautam, priyanka, p.k. banerjee,
piyush, raj lakhsmi, rashna naira, r.k. bhaskar, ravi, rajeev, vinay jha, rati
jha, rohila gray, joyve rosque, ms straburk, ms green, sunny, s.k. banerjee,
s.n. banerjee, shakuntala, rashesh, indu, swetha, shila amma, sita ram
paswan, sutapa, vishal, vicky, amit gupta, girish purushottaman, ashwini
dhume, shaikh mohammed, brannon weeks, jonas swarttouw anil kumar,
nishi singh, ajit kumar Sitaram Chaudhary, Nirmala Devi, k.r sunil,rekha das,
bhavin purohit, alka, anantha and ramya nageswaran, rita chand, preeti,
chetna khanna, Prasanna Singh, madhulika Singh, sourav de, rashish bagchi,
anurag dixit, shashi dixit, rasika bamba,?anu, raju, mary webster, sonia and
anurabh, cecile, sarah, mari-lou, lolita, aldo, fred, irene, herbert, christophe,
yves, sabine, dieter, lilliane, claude, carole,jean-claude, dany, jacques, lucien
,jean-pierre, cristina, giorgio, veronique.. francois and jean louis sunier,
vikrant, rekha, bea, sanjay, amar, amrit, amit,vijay, anita, siddharth, lalit,
natty, sairee,mamta , padmaja, lydia, cheelu, muthu, rajaraman, pranav,

                   Sri   Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust                                 9
                          Annual Report 2004 - 2005
anurag, arjun, indu, sabiha, max, ananth, hemant,prerna, nina, shetha,
indira...sunaina, biaggi, preeti, rita, rasika, bhavin, sreekant, anurag, sashi,
ramya, sameer, rahul, savitri, shakti, sabiha, narayani..


At a time when things were bleak, Anu joined the Ryze network on the net
The experience was rewarding and brought a whole new dimension to the project why

Project why and the Tsunami

The tsunami that ravaged many lands saw project why in a new role. We decided that, at
a time when others suffered it was imperative that we rise to the occasion and do
something by turning ‘donors’.
We were a little weary of the normal channels and chose to participate in the efforts of
ECCO an organisation spearheaded by our friend D.V. Sridharan. We decided to raise
the 70 000 Rs needed for one boat and we did it.
The boat, proudly bearing the words project why now brings hope to the village Kari Kutti
Kuppam. In Tamil Nadu.

Guest and visitors

We had a number of visitors this year and many became friends of project WHY and
great supporters:

Christian Bonrepaux of le Monde de l’Education
The Steiner School Kids
Japanese ladies Group
Japanese School
Lola and class VIII of the American School
D.V. Sridharan and young Ajith Frick
Claude de Scoraille and Gregoire Vitry
Peter and Olof Salmon and their Icelandic Group
Xavier Ray
Annie Cartier
Anthoula and Jean Marie
Neha Seth of Today newspaper
and many others


Many volunteers came to help project WHY this year:
Carine Isler
Mylene Chossat
Nauko and her friends
Chloe and Aida

                  Sri    Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust                               10
                          Annual Report 2004 - 2005
This year Project WHY was featured in:
Le Monde de l’Education
Today Newspaper
Navbharat Times

              To all who helped, and stood by us we would like to say:
                                    Thank You

If you want to know more about project why visit

                  Sri    Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust                  11
                          Annual Report 2004 - 2005

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