It was way back in 90's, I was 6 or 7. I used to stay in a 3 bedroom furnished flat and my childhood friend, Palash used to stay in a slum opposite to that. Our kitchen was bigger than his whole hut where 5 of them used to stay. I didnt realize any difference of rich n poor as the whole evening we all used to play hide n seek, cricket, football, all together, out of 25 kids Palash was also one of them. But one day when I was going to school, Palash was collecting waste bottles and newspaper in a gali near tollygunge, he said "Hey Abhishek, Byeeee". I asked my mom "He doesn't go to School"? there was no reply, she just said "run, run, the school bus is standing. May be My Abhilasha is the answer to my question that I asked 20 years back.
Story Behind Abhilasha
There was a time when I saw a dream of helping the street children. There was a time when I walked a lonely road with not a single person beside me. Carrying a dream of bringing smiles on the face of some poor children. I have shared their pain, I have shared their food, I spent sleepless night at railway stations eating the same food, lying on the pavement, sharing their stories. In the beginning with whomever I shared the idea of Abhilasha Trust I could not get a single person to stand beside me.
Of course, many thought that it was only to make money, many believed it to be a scam, many laughed behind my back and said its not possible by an Indian. But I have stuck to my dream and my passion, standing and delivering my dream for those who don’t have a dream, who don’t have a place to stay, who don’t have book to read or food to eat. Slowly and gradually Abhilasha Trust began to grow with the help of MANY PEOPLE.
The uprooted victims of the Ayla Cyclone that hit Eastern India and Southern India that ravaged and destroyed lives along the coastal belt and along. As the cyclone brought in untold difficulties for these economically challenged people, what added to their burgeoning woes was that none of them could admit their children to any schools in their new settlement along the canal as they had lost their birth certificates to the storm.
And soon they got resigned to their fates and had almost closed the doors of education for their wards. Around this time aided by the help of a friend called Amit, I found this settlement along the canal after being moved by the plight of the people I read about who had been badly hit by the Ayla Storm. Thus I had found my first challenge and my dream to do something for the people whose lives I wanted to affect, to change, to improve.
One day a grandmother of a child came to me and asked if we could put the kids in school, when asked for their identity proofs or birth certificates, then I came to know that everything was ruined and washed off due to Ayela which is the reason the kids were denied admission that year. Due to which all the parents were very upset. They tried to knock few doors but alas no doors were opened for them.
I went to the local government school and had a word with the head master. He said If we are registered, when the answer was yes, he told us to do Affidavit for the children whom we want to put in school.
I called up my lawyer and started the proceedings. After one week I got the Affidavit which played the part of Birth Certificate. I went to the school and showed the copy to the head master, he then asked us to come before 01Jan2013 and also asked us to prepare the kids ready for admission.
The next day onwards we all started working hard together. I opted for night shift so that I can work at night and teach the kids during the day. Friends started coming forward for help and with their help we prepared the kids for admission.
Slowly and gradually people came to know about the initiative, hence they came in groups, individuals came and joined us and started teaching the kids.
We launched My Abhilasha T-Shirts and sold them to our Friends, Colleagues, Relatives etc.