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#atozchallenge : Kiran, the ray of sunshine

For the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I’m blogging 26 days in April based on the alphabet and bringing you stories from the nonprofit Project Why.

Born on October 15, 2000, Kiran is as old as Project Why, and her name means ‘a ray of sunshine.’ From the day after her birth, Kiran became a part of the Project Why Family, because her aunt worked there. She also became Anouradha Bakshi‘s (the founder of Project Why) favorite, sharing her birthday with Anouradha’s mother.

As the years passed, it was time to go to pre-school, where Kiran was a stellar student. Her early education days were also an eye opener for Project Why as it was able to assess first-hand the quality of commercial pre-schools.

When Kiran grew old enough for regular school, her family faced a mind-boggling number of criteria, innumerable forms, and finally, rejections from the English Medium Public School. This is the reality for all parents who want their child admitted to a good public school in New Delhi.

One day, a man came to see her family and said that he could get Kiran an admission, provided the family paid him a ‘commission’ of 20 thousand rupees. The amount was to be paid after admission. With the help of friends in the media, Project Why engineered a sting operation. The media house got Kiran admitted in another school. The man was arrested on charges of accepting bribery. A drop in the ocean but a step in the right direction!

Kiran is now 15 and is a regular rebellious teenager who is not shy of speaking up and defending herself. She has her likes and dislikes, her opinions and beliefs just like any other girl her age. But she lives in a slum, where patriarchy rules, so she has to battle for her rights, make compromises and sometimes even give in.

Kiran loves her family as well as her freedom, and Project Why eagerly waits for her to find the career and future of her dreams.

 Is corruption a fact of life in school admissions where you live?  Would you donate to ensure that Project Why can take education to more children? What would you say to Kiran?

To Donate to the boarding school fund FOR Project Why, Click Here.
To Contact Project Why, Click Here

Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page if you’d like to be heard by this community. If you liked this post, you can have biweekly posts delivered to your inbox: click the SUBSCRIBE button in the sidebar. The daily posts are only for April: I’m doing 26 posts on the fab nonprofit Project Why for my A to Z Challenge.


Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Devender says:

    Another inspiring post. A wonderful story.

  • macjam47 says:

    A wonderful story. Kiran is beautiful.

  • richajindal says:

    Always love the way you write your stories. Amazing.


  • jazzfeathers says:

    Great story as always.
    I know, it may be a drop in the ocean, but many drops form the oceans. If everyone thought, “It’s a small thing, it won’t make any difference” nothing big would ever happen.

  • XmasDolly says:

    The lil’ girl is absolutely lovely and very smart. She knows what she wants for sure and wants to follow her dreams.

  • Kalpanaa says:

    What a lovely girl Kiran is and thank goodness that sting operation exposed that tout. Sad state of affairs.

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – thank goodness she wasn’t taken … and that man has been caught. It’s great to know she is so lively and will fulfil her potential to help so many others through the upbringing she’s experienced with Project Why … wonderful … cheers Hilary

  • Peter Nena says:

    A strong kid. All the best for her.

  • Birgit says:

    She issue is a sweetheart and I hope she realizes all her dreams

  • franklparker says:

    Another inspiring post. I’m looking forward too the next 15!

  • Lori Carlson says:

    Kiran is such a beautiful young woman. I hope she goes on to do great things! Glad they got one scum-bag off of the streets!
    Many Blessings,

    My A2Zs @ As the Fates Would Have It & Promptly Written
    Follow Me (Ravyne) Twitter|Facebook

  • Poui Season says:

    She is so adorable!

    Corruption is a way of life all the way down here in the Caribbean. The school systems are highly governed by favourism, religious factors continue to work in the backgrounds, class systems and situations much like this one where money can make things happen. But it is a culture that permeates government, private sector, everything! So many children are deprived good educations and futures because of these issues.

    • projectwhy says:

      It is so true that too many children are deprived of quality education. At Project Why we try and help as many children as we can and will continue doing so.

  • Sha'Tara says:

    Hi Damyanti,
    I have read every one of your posts on Project Why. Though in some ways truly heartbreaking, I appreciate the effort you have put in promoting the work of Project Why. Until now I haven’t commented because, well, it’s one of those things of which I could say to myself, “what’s to add?” If I lived there, I know I’d find my way into this project and I could easily dedicate the rest of my life to it, and never look back. But I’m on the other side of the world! If I had money, Project Why could certainly have it, and based on your writing, I would not worry for a moment whether it would be well spent. Well, I suppose there are different kinds of “Project Why” and I have my own of sorts, here. And what money I squeeze from various paying jobs goes into other jobs where there is no money. So in a way I feel as if I’m participating in “your” project. I understand the need, and I’m glad there are people who do the things you describe so well. It is my hope that through your writings, more of the locals will become aware of this project and help out as best they can. Your own great spirit of kindness and goodwill shines in your writing.

    • projectwhy says:

      Thank you so much for your words of support and trust in Project Why. They mean the world to us. We are grateful to Damyanti for having given us this wonderful opportunity. You are so right when you say you are ‘participating’ in Project Why’s work. We hope to see you one day at Project Why!

      • Sha'Tara says:

        I am taking that as an open invitation. Should “something” happen to make that possible I will jump at the chance. Thanks for your kind reply.

  • At least they got one criminal off the street in the process. I hope Kiran goes on to great things.

  • cleemckenzie says:

    What a lovely little girl and a lovely story. Project Why is amazing.

  • Abu Amirah says:

    A ray of sunshine indeed. Kiran is on a path to becoming an incredible woman of substance.

  • projectwhy says:

    I love this girl. I held her when she was one day old. She is a real ray of sunshine