I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night and could not sleep, so got an opportunity to read the miscellaneous office papers and ‘success stories’ my wife Mrinal had collected for the Annual Report. I was in for a very pleasant surprise, because the stories connected me to the inner core of what we had set out to do 14 years ago and which unavoidably got covered with layers of goals, processes and action plans until the reason for our inner motivation became the outline. It is there, you feel it, but don’t see it! As clearly as you did before.
These were the stories of a couple of dropouts from poverty stricken villages of Beed, Latur and Jalna who did the Mobile Repairing Course and instead of becoming parasites, were now earning Rs.10,000/- per month, with their own Mobile Repairing Kiosks.Boys & girls across geographies who walk 8 to 10 kms. Daily to attend Yuva Parivartan’s (YP) DTP Class and are now earning Rs.6,000/- to Rs.8,000/- p.m. Village girl from the back of beyond, against tremendous odds and opposition attended the Nursing Assistant or Tailoring Course and are now earning Rs.4,000/- to Rs.5,000/- p.m., but, more importantly, will lead a life of dignity and self-respect.
A heart-rendering story of a girl from a remote village who describes in detail her story similar to ‘Sindhutai Sapkal’ a hit film where our girls are pulled out of school at the age of 10 to work as farm labourers with the family, married underage to wastrels who drives her out when pregnant since she cannot finance his vices and returns to live as a burden in the family hut. She finds YP and is now earning for herself and infant daughter, lives in a separate room and dreams of making enough as a tailor to give her infant the life and opportunity she never had.
This then was the secret of our YP colleagues, staff and Social Workers across India who work on moderate salaries, who trained 100,000 students last year probably because they thought of their work as a Mission. There were dozens of stories but I could not go on, there were tears in my eyes and in that moment it made all the efforts of 14 years worthwhile.
I said a silent prayer and slept soundly.