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Kanchanpur beginnings

We have coined a wonderful term to encourage new entrepreneurship. We call them ‘Start-ups’. As most ‘Startups’ begin from the top and gradually slide down to disaster, the word is quite fitting. It is very easy to start something new. Yet, all that everyone wants to help, is to begin something new.  My phone is full of applications to start something - start a new diet; start a new reading plan; start a new time planner; start a new hobby and start a new project. Everyone wants to start something. Then everyone wants us to start everything! I am yet to find someone helping us to end well! My cup is already full.  Will somebody help me to end it all beautifully? Then there’s the other problem: we don’t really deliberately end anything; in fact, we don’t want to; all that we have is to be continued … forever! Stephen R Covey has a wonderful principle: ‘Start with the end in the beginning!’ I thought that is a bit of great advice for a generation who has umpteen opportunities to start but quit along the way. This generation has numerous other opportunities to start again. So we start again, only to be disillusioned half-way and quit the next step.I have seen a contrary nature in God. It looks like God often gives a horrific start, but ends fantastically. Good things don’t usually begin well; they just end well.  Do you want an example? Just take a look at yourself! That is Philippians 1: 6 says “he who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it”. Once it is begun; God looks for a faithful one to play along the way. It’s God who ends it. We might mess up a bit or more; but believe me, we often make it beautiful. If God did not trust you; he wouldn’t have entrusted you. The age-old God’s question to us is “What do you have in your hand?” That’s enough for God to trust you.So then God has entrusted us with a wonderful project. This is what I will call the Kanchanpur beginnings. For some time we have been asking God for a new initiative. Vinay was hunting for slums to begin a new work. But Vinay was hunted down by Kanchanpur slum dwellers.  Vinay had his eyes on a huge slum area where there were few children going to school. He discussed with the contractor of the possibility of starting a new school at his slum (A contractor is the king of a slum; rag-pickers form a slum community under the headship of this middle man who resells the recyclable wastes).  Though he looked interested, he kept prolonging the decision. Once when the discussion was going on, a young man from Kanchanpur approached Vinay. He asked Vinay if we would consider starting a school at a smaller slum. Vinay did not hesitate. The small Kanchanpur Slum was close to this slum. Vinay went ahead and met the contractor of Kanchanpur. He was only happy to see Vinay, and immediately made arrangements to begin the school.  The Madrassa of the slum was chosen for the school. Morning time is devoted to education through JanPragati and the afternoon is devoted to the learning of Koran and Arabic. After the baseline survey, around thirty children were gathered and an Evaluation test was conducted. Some of the children had dropped from school a few years back and they wanted to continue classes. Some of them had never been to school. Since there was a great difference in the level of learning, we had to divide the classes into three sections.The Kanchanpur Beginnings was inaugurated on the 24th of January. We gathered the people and the children. We spoke to them. We told them who we are and why we are there. As I saw them, I was filled with joy. Well, children normally call me ‘Mota Sir’ (the Fat Teacher). I love that tag, and I did introduce myself as ‘Mota Sir’.

There were giggles and smiles, and for me, those were delightful ones. In those smiles, I already envisioned their future.   Kanchanpur opportunity came after us. we just grabbed this opportunity. I wouldn’t say that it was a fantastic beginning. But I know that the end is good. While we play God’s instruments along the way, we are going to make Himalayan blunders. Who is worthy for this herculean task anyway. But I think we will make some good, do some good, and gain some good.Now my question is how do I end it? We have to see the end of the project. If you would like to see a beautiful ending, what would be that? How would you want us to end the project? You might get almost seven years with a slum. In the meanwhile, what will be your vision for them?



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