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Met Babli, the Bindaas girl ? #atozchallenge

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.

At Project Why there are many stories, big and small, but today I bring you the story of Babli, a girl whose resilience has been an inspiration to many. The staff and supporters of Project Why can’t stop talking about her!

When Babli first came to Project Why she was a bright-eyed feisty girl, what some Indians would call Bindaas: confident, and carefree. She loved books and seemed to always have an open-mouthed smile. It took the staff at Project Why some time to realize that every breath she drew was an effort. She had a hole in her heart and needed corrective surgery. The family was unable to come up with the needed funds. They had simply accepted that she would die, because in India, little girls are sometimes dispensable, their hearts not worth mending.

Damyanti Biswas talks about Project Why and the wonderful work this small nonprofit with a large heart does in the slum communities of New Delhi

Project Why raised the funds thanks to wonderful friends and the operation was performed. Babli went through scary, painful operations, but her bindaas spirit saw her home. She was expected back in school, but to everyone’s utter shock, it emerged that Babli could not come back to school because the mother was now the family’s sole earning member, and didn’t have time to take Babli to school. The father was busy playing cards, and it fell to Babli to manage the father’s cart that sold tobacco and biscuits.

Damyanti Biswas talks about Project Why and the wonderful work this small nonprofit with a large heart does in the slum communities of New Delhi

Babli at Tobacco shop

A chance at life wasted away. But Babli’s words, spoken when she had trouble breathing, still resonated:  “I want to be a police,” she had said, without hesitation, when someone asked her.

Project Why found the situation unacceptable, and took steps to change it.

Today Babli studies in grade IX in an English Medium boarding school in New Delhi, where she often tops her class. True, she won’t become a ‘police’ as the aftermath of her surgery resulted in scoliosis, but she will shine. Her education, which had fallen into peril this year because of a major donor backing out, will continue thanks to another kindhearted donor who has stepped in to fill the gap. This is Project Why’s attempt to prove that given equal opportunities, children from the slum can do as well as those from the privileged classes.

Damyanti Biswas talks about Project Why and the wonderful work this small nonprofit with a large heart does in the slum communities of New Delhi

Babli, a schoolgirl now

Babli’s equally brave and deserving friends, Yash, Manisha and Aditya are not so fortunate. Their education costs about 3,300 USD a year (about 2.2 lakh rupees). Their sponsor has backed out, and Project Why is now in search of donors who will take care of the boarding school fees of these kids for the coming 6-8 years.

While these donors are found, Project Why needs to ensure that the fees till July this year are paid up, and to that end, they’re trying to raise stop-gap funds.

It will take 700 USD each, for Yash, Manisha and Aditya to remain in boarding school till this July.

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

 Will you support Project Why in its drive to help kids like Babli? Would you donate a small sum to the Project Why Boarding school fund? Have you ever been to India? Have you tried to find a way to help those in need? What was the experience like?

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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  • A beautiful story. I’m so happy for Babli and her family. You should be so proud to be a part of this project. @sheilamgood at Cow Pasture Chronicles

  • Damyanti, your efforts are so worthwhile and you have persuaded me to donate a little, so sleep well!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Hilary, every little bit counts for so much. I’m grateful

  • tvonzalez says:

    It is hard for me to imagine life in India for some, esp. women. Thankfully, Project Why provides a small measure of hope.

  • Aneesh says:

    I reply appreciate the story , Babli and your efforts on sharing this to the world..

  • Parul Thakur says:

    What an incredible story of hope and pursuing a better life. This tells me there is compassion in the world. Thanks for sharing!

  • Rajlakshmi says:

    she is so little yet so brave … I love her attitude towards life… Kudos to Project Why for providing a chance to Babli to change her life.

  • Rhonda says:

    Bless you for bringing this to light and providing knowledge to the community. I have three sponsor children from Africa and they bless me daily!

  • Jo Wake says:

    A wonderful story. What a pity that donors back out of their donations. I do hope more donors can be found.

  • It’s a powerful initiative to empower young dreams and we cannot afford to lose them on lame excuses such as poverty and lack of funds.

  • whitec1971 says:

    I have been following your blog for a few months now and the articles here are impeccable. I admire the light you are shining on the young ladies in India. We in America take our affluence for granted. It is easy to find high quality health care in America. Going to school is a privaledge that ever child regardless of sex or race has in this country, I have a son that was born with a major heart defect which lead to a transplant. We were able to find a doctor and have his operation performed. We complain about the most mundane things but when I read stories like this it reminds me how small my problem really is. This little girl deserves the best and I will donate to her cause. It may not be much but I believe every little bit helps. Thanks for writing this and exposing the poverty that continues to plague a world that is far to rich for these things to occur.

    AtoZ Challenge

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thankyou so much for your kind comment. We volunteers have managed to find a donor for Babli, but her friends with equally heartbreaking stories may be out of school if we don’t manage stop gap funds till July. any donation is deeply, deeply appreciated. Thankyou so much!

    • Thank you so much for your support and donation. Every little bit does help and we, at Project Why, feel blessed to have any contributions no matter how small. Babli deserves her education.

      Thank you.

  • “…in India, little girls are sometimes dispensable, their hearts not worth mending.” This just broke my heart.
    Babli is special. What an amazing spirit.

  • cynthiamvoss says:

    What an inspirational story, thanks for sharing Damyanti!

  • You have done such a commendable job by taking up the cause of Project Why. A to Z is an excellent forum to spread the word about it. I love Babli’s smile!

  • Vidya Sury says:

    I am so thrilled with your theme, Damyanti. Babli is such an amazing child. I pray that Project Why finds the resources to raise their wards to the status they deserve. Thank you for sharing Babli’s story. Hugs.

    • projectwhy says:

      You are so right Vidya. Every child deserves the best and at Project Why we believe in fulfilling their potential. We pray we find compassionate souls to help the ones that are waiting

  • Debbie D. says:

    This is such a sad statement: “in India, little girls are sometimes dispensable, their hearts not worth mending.” I’m so glad her story has a happy ending! My husband and I make a practice of donating to good causes whenever possible, so I’ll be happy to contribute.

  • heatherjacksonwrites says:

    Wow, amazing work by Project Why! Thank you so much for blogging about this and spreading awareness.

    @HeatherJacksonW from
    WriteOnSisters – Masterplots from A to Z

  • This is amazing.

    Great theme Damyanti!

    ATSP @ Deeply Shallow

  • Miss Andi says:

    Congratulations to Babli for her strength and to project why for keeping it shining!

  • Peter Nena says:

    Babli is all bubbly. All the best for her!

  • Lots of love to Babli and may she always be bubbly in her life, God Bless her.
    I thought about writing in the same theme however time did not permit me.

  • I am so glad that you are bringing this organization well deserved recognition and attention. I will be donating what I can come payday and I pray that your posts encourage others to do the same.

  • How inspiring. I love books and I have mild scoliosis. To think what my fate may have been in a world where I had no value if my condition had been worse. Heartwarming that this nonprofit exists. So many people in need here in our world.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Alana thanks for your kind words for Project Why. They’re indeed a brilliant org.

  • aj vosse says:

    Gosh… this is so sad and yet heart-warming! It is a reminder of just how fortunate we are. Even though we are going through tough times here due to unemployment we are still way better off than the folk who will live their whole life in the slums! Another reason to say thank you again, and again! 😉

  • Kaddu says:

    Loved the resilient spirit of Babli. Would love to read about more such kids. Hope that Yash, Manisha and Aditya find new sponsors soon.
    – Chicky @

  • One of the great things about AtoZ is the reminders of what’s happening in ordinary peoples lives all around the world. What a wonderful difference Project Why has made to Babli’s life.

  • There are so many like her in India. I remember Indian friends of mine in India back in the 1960’s told of a baby girl they found on a village ant heap. Just another one to feed in the family of her natural parents I suppose. Anyway, my friends took the little baby home still alive and nurtured her. She was a vibrant, happy and smart youngster by the time we arrived on the scene and heard the story. No baby is worthless.

  • WriterlySam says:

    Babli’s worthy heart will make an indelible mark upon her world. The spirits that shine the brightest always do:) Truly touching feature, Damyanti.

    The AtoZ of EOS

  • Hi there!

    I’m stopping by from the #AtoZChallenge. What a touching, heartwarming story!

    I have two blogs in this challenge…my author blog at THE STORY CATCHER ( and my KICKS Kids Club blog ( . If you get a chance, check them out and good luck with the challenge!

  • What a beautiful spirit.

  • So wonderful to meet Babli, and to know she is blooming beautifully! These are amazing stories, I am even more impressed with the founder!
    Thank you for posting for the A to Z! Ninga Minion @YolandaRenee from
    Defending The Pen
    Murderous Imaginings

  • This little girl is inspiring. I pray for God’s blessing to be upon her for good health and continued education. Hopefully from a trouble beginning she’ll shine like a bright star in the future. Thanks for caring and sharing!
    Curious as a Cathy
    All Things Vintage: Bomber Girls #AprilA2Z

  • Joy says:

    What a great story! Thanks for raising awareness and bravo to Babli on being such a strong young lady!
    – joy The Joyous Living

  • Birgit says:

    Her father should be ashamed of himself. She has a generous soul and a strong one. I am glad she is able to go to school. It makes me think of the kids who take it for granted here and just blow off school for fun. This place does such amazing work

    • Emily Fox says:

      I’m an American and volunteer at Project Why and I am always surprised to see how dedicated the Project Why students are to their education. American kids are incredibly apathetic when it comes to school- I know I was! After seeing the children in India make sacrifices for their education I began to take my own much more seriously.

  • Damyanti, what a great idea to raise awareness. I’m Tweeing this now.

    I’m exploring different types of dreams and their meanings during the #AtoZChallenge at Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Blogs

  • Jemima Pett says:

    This is a brilliant idea, Damyanti. I hope Project Why does well out of your AtoZ this year.
    Jemima Pett

  • Babli’s story is so touching. It’s so sad that girls are often left without an education.

  • I am so moved by this article. It angers me to read how girls/females are considered dispensable, and what they have to do from such early ages to survive. Babli has a strong spirit and is still one of the lucky ones because there are kind caring persons out there who are helping them to get a better life. You are to be commended for your efforts to help Project Why through your blog posts.

  • jazzfeathers says:

    Beautiful story. Thanks so much for sharing. It’s inspiring.

  • Inspiring, D… Thanks for sharing Babli’s story. Helping those in need is uphill work—Sisyphus-uphill, sometimes—and happy endings are few and far between. But, when they do come, all the frustration and disappointment fades by comparison. I’m so glad you’re involved with this project, and using your substantial social media presence to help them.

    Thanks for the visit over at Life In Dogs , and for your encouragement. It’s a pleasure and a treat to be part of D’s Company this April!

  • A heartwarming story and wonderful to see Babli’s smile. There is goodness in the world it we care enough to make it happen 🙂

  • durbadhyani says:

    Thank you for introducing us to Babli. A compelling example of how Project Why can make a difference.

  • What a wonderful spirit! She is one who will not take her education and good fortune for granted. It is heart-breaking that there are so many others who do not have access to education.

  • slfinnell says:

    So many sad stories and triumphant endings across the world. Glad to hear of another good one!

  • Shilpa Garg says:

    Babli has come a long way since that surgery. More power to her to fulfill her dreams and kudos to Project Why for making a difference in lives of so many people!

  • yvonne2807 says:

    Thank you for sharing. I’ll have a look at the project – education is a necessity, never a luxury!

    Visiting from A-Z Challenge

  • A touching tale. Glad to know that angels exist in the form of Project Why.

  • fabulus1710 says:

    I’m sharing this post.
    Wishing all the luck and blessings to Babli, Yash, Manisha and Aditya 🙂

  • kalaravi16 says:

    A moving tale Damyanti. These are sadly stories happening all across our country. I am currently financing the education of 2 girls of the garbage collector in my residential complex. There are so many deserving kids out there that need such help. Your post inspires.

  • dweezer19 says:

    Shared on my media avenues Damyanti. Hugs.

  • dweezer19 says:

    A beautiful success story. I pray there will be many more.

  • cleemckenzie says:

    This was a from the “heart” story. I’ll go to the fb page and also sign up for your biweekly post. I’m interested in your project. Very.

  • What a wonderful story. My heart goes out to her spirit.

  • It took a lot of good souls to get her that far.
    Her father was a piece of work, wasn’t he?

  • Wow, what an awesome story about Babli! I hope these children receive the funding they need and deserve!

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti .. what an amazing story about Babli and then the two girls who need new donors … I sure hope people will come forward … I’ll be thinking of everyone – with thoughts – Hilary

  • BellyBytes says:

    People in the world still have a heart. I am associated with a charity that provides free accommodation and holisitic care to poor and needy children suffering from Cancer and am amazed at how willing people are to help those less fortunate. Glad you are spreading the good word of the work your charity is doing. May be next year I will blog about the children who have benefited from St.Jude ChildCare Centres ( we have two centres at NOIDA too – Eagle Peak

  • What a beautiful girl. Her pure, happy soul shines through her eyes. I do wish her a joyous life, despite her illness. Thank you for the post. Touched my heart.

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