Dear Consructivists ! (Thinking of coining that word… to differentiate the nature of baalm from ‘activists’/ ‘reformers’/ etc……)
1) The arrival of the four children with their local guardians for admission in the Baalm School at Sabkaghar on 14.11.2013 was a quite affair – as if nothing has happened. There was no media, no stage, no dignitaries or celebrities, no speeches, no lights, no crackers, no decoration. The children just came and started living. From one perspective- yes,nothing had happened. From another perspective, some 250 people from across the globe working in tandem and receiving four children after 4 ½ months was at best a disappointing underachievement – no big deal. The sceptics were still frowning, the fence sitters were still tentative… From yet another perspective there was a cause for celebration – for staying committed, even for being complacent and yet having moved forward… In fact, only one limb of the possibility was accomplished then. The second part of the bridge was yet to be built – Assumption of the Guardianship of these children by those who are capable.
2. More than 3 months later, on 23 Feb, in the first GAP meeting in the Civil Services Officers Club in Delhi the members of Baalm Guardianship Assigning Panel (Hon’ble Justice Mudgal (EX Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court; Prof Surendra Prasad, Ex- Director, IIT Delhi, and Himanshu Vaish, Chairman PAN IIT Alumni) assigned Guardianships of the Baalm children to 11 Aspirant Guardians….
Again, from one perspective, nothing had changed…There was no media, no stage, no dignitaries or celebrities, no speeches, no lights, no crackers, no decoration….
From another perspective, quality, meaning and purpose of life got transformed for 11 children and 11 Guardians.
Sceptics will still say – so what?… whats the big deal….!.. its just that they can not frown with the same conviction any longer!
May be 200 years in the future, nobody will know that Baalm ever existed. May be no one will ever know the efforts made and the support extended by these 250 people. Yes, it may be so…. and it will be OK…!
3. There is yet another perspective – It may also be so that 200 years into the future there is no one called an orphan. It may be that the generation then believes that it is the collective responsibility of the generation that next generation is educated. May be in that generation it is a simple practice that if a child losses his parents, someone just raises his hand and assumes the guardianship of the child. After all, the underlying values and beliefs ofcivilization take generations to alter.
4. Several ‘may be’s in the above paragraph are indicative of the uncertainty of the future – the possibility may appear bleak. Yet, the seeds of that possibility got sowd in November, 2014 – and on Feb 23, the contours of an ‘Orphanless World’ are more clearly visible even to the blind -The outcome of the belief, committment, efforts and support by 300 people and the courage and responsibilty demonstrated by the 11 guardians. Please accept my gratitude for standing for that possibility and facilitating it….Each one of you played a significant role in altering a fundamental value prevailing in the civilization. Thank you for playing your role.
5. From yet another perspective — A large part of the insatiable urge to accumulate in today’s civilization originates from the twin insecurities of health related unforeseen expenditure and anxiety about children’s education (Both the costs are becoming increasing unaffordable). Maybe, if our collective consciousness is reasonably assured that our children will be taken care of (not in an orphanage or asylum, not at the mercy of some wealthy philanthropist, but in the natural flow of the civilisation) and will have the opportunity to express themselves in the world – should something unfortunate happen to us, the related insecurities and the corresponding urge to accumulate may dilute –reducing the need for today’s cut throat competition proportionately . That certainly would be a better world to live – even if that world happens 3-5 century later. An Orphanless world is clearly the foundation of a Boundaryless World.
6. The BIAC (Beneficiary Identification and Admissions Committee) and GCC (Guardianship Coordination Committee) have taken on increasing the number of children to 50 by May 1, 2014. – Whatever will happen will happen by the efforts of us all. Of course, there is an opportunity for everyone in the world to be associated with Baalm. I quite imagine that henceforth the Baalm process team members will no longer think- ‘Should I go for Tuesday Activity/ Baalm All Hands Meeting?’… Each one will instead think… “whom should i take with me to this Tuesday Activity/ Baalm All Hands Meeting?”
7. I just want to add a bit of my personal experience of this process (in the context of finding a purpose to exist) –
On Nov. 14, when the children arrived at Sabka Ghar, they were kind of hesitant and tentative at a new place particulary because the horrifying scare of the tragedy in their mind as well as its impact on their life and the perception of their loss was too deep to be overcome. Yet, by the day 3, I experienced that they were fully self-expressed at Sabkaghar. They were playing, jumping,reading, relating to each other, and watching new things in amusement. Each one of them smiled – at a different time – during those 4 days (who knows after how long!) and that moment of their first smile (my all tiredness etc. of 4 and half months vanished) was enough for anyone to find a purpose for one’s own life. To me each of those moments was a life-lived, each of those moments was a journey-completed and each of those moments was a sufficient purpose to exist.
Lets together move forward…