As many of you know that my husband, Tauqeer Jamadar, and I are going to Bangladesh to teach two 8DAs (8-Day Academy). We’ll be then heading to Rajasthan, India to organise two TEDx event in ONE day! That is, TEDxShekhavati and TEDxYouth@Shekhavati on February 5, 2011.
The event is not of appeal to many companies, so nobody has come forward to sponsor the event. This left me with the option of fundraising between family and friends–just like last year. Only this year, because I have moved to London where I have no social circle yet, I have to remote-manage organising 8DA and TEDxShekhavati alongwith coordinating fundraisers in UAE.
I am deeply touched by many people who contributed through online payment system to help me reach out to these thousands of people through 8DA and TEDx. When the donations were pouring in, a part of me melted in humility because I wondered how would I ever repay back all these contributors? I realized that the only thing I could do was to make sure this money went to the best use possible. That this money touched and changed lives.
I am very sad as I write this blog post. Many of you must have read the trials of organising TEDx Shekhavati 2010. Somehow, I felt that this year wouldn’t be that tough but it has come as a sad surprise that this year is worse than the last. So far, the four venue choices I had for TEDx Shekhavati have been rejected by the owners. The place where I had held the event last year have also said they are ‘not interested’ in hosting TEDx Shekhavati this year. This only compounded my sadness because already, the work I had done through my 8-Day Academy (teaching Computers and starting a library) have met a brick wall too. My students are not allowed to use those facilities because I went against many people to organise TEDx Shekhavati.
I feel like I am pushed out of my own village. I had made-up my mind to move my work to another district in Rajasthan until my own people realize the value of progress. I was almost convinced that this was the best idea, until I received a message from a reporter who had visited children and teachers taught by me through 8DA. When she told me about my students, I wondered if I was abandoning them. The students never opposed me; they saw me as hope. I can’t back off, can I?
And so today, when I got the phone call saying we have no venue and two weeks left for the event, I felt sad but decided that I cannot let this take over me.
Thank you for all your contributions. It makes one part of my struggle easier. I was wondering what does one say when a ‘thank you’ isn’t enough. I tweeted my questions and some replies said ‘Prayers’. I pray for all of you who help me and I promise to give it the best I can. I return your kindness with this.