It's ridiculous how time flies. Seems like just the other day we invited all of you to Equation 2010. And now, here we are, at Equation 2012. (No, there wasn’t one in 2011, we’re human.) This year’s pieces are so exceptional I guarantee there won’t be a normal heartbeat in the house. Milkha Singh has donated his 1960 Rome Olympic 400m finals spikes. Yes. Those Spikes.
Lionel Messi handed over a signed football. Bedi, Pras, Chandra and Venkat have gifted their Test blazers as one piece! And Sebastian Vettel’s 2011 World Championship signed F1 vest is up for auction. Collecting pieces for Equation is the biggest ideological and logistical challenge.
Which pieces are truly historic? Which sportspersons truly iconic? Should the auction be solely driven by commercial considerations or should the historiography and soul of sport be equally celebrated? If anyone knows us at all, the answers should be pretty obvious. Equation will forever be a celebration of all that is pure, heartbreaking, life-affirming and joyous about sport. Here Rafa Nadal will meet Milkha Singh. Magic Johnson, M.S. Dhoni. Michael Schumacher, Mary Kom. Thank you, world champions, for giving a piece of your heart to The Foundation. At Equation 2010 we detailed where and how the money we raised was going to be spent over the next 12 months.
We said we would start REACH –II (Restoring Equality through Education and Advancement of Children) in the Kashmir Valley. We said we would offer scholarships to six children in Kashmir to study in a boarding school that would be egalitarian in its ethos but very special in its teaching standards. We’ve kept our promise. In the last fifteen months we have done in the Valley what no non-profit organization has ever achieved in Kashmir. Through four rounds of testing - quantitative, qualitative, group games, discussions and interviews, we have narrowed the total pool of candidates from 200,000 to 6.
In June, these six children start Grade 6 in the Sahyadri School, near Pune, and will be fully funded till the end of Grade 12. We thank the Directorate of Education, Jammu and Kashmir, for extending their knowledge, resources and personnel in helping to shape our fierce desire into reality.
In the meanwhile our Andamans kids will finish their I.C.S.E. from the Rishi Valley School in march (giving new grey hairs to all at The Foundation) and our pioneering work in Child Sexual Abuse Prevention (HEAL – Help Eradicate Abuse through Learning) continues as it should – quietly and solidly. All of this is worthwhile when we see children grow into fearless, confident, funny, loving human beings. All of this is worthwhile because if not this, then what?
Lots of love,
- Rahul Bose