“Gubbara is too expensive,” I was told today (again). “You’re providing five-star care to a small minority of children while the vast majority remain in slums.”
We hear this a lot. Our “model” costs too much. India is a poor country. We can’t afford this standard of care. Especially for children with disability. (Of course, no one says this part out loud. But we hear it anyway.)
His solution was also predictable: If everyone can’t have it, no one should. Water it down until it’s no longer effective and then offer that to the masses.
The man speaking was a powerful person and how he thinks is important. He controls our budget and he thinks it’s too high. He will be the one to sign our MOU, but he doesn’t approve of what we have in mind. We need to help him see things differently.
Because what India needs isn’t a half-assed, neither-here-nor-there program which no parent anywhere would choose for their child.
What India needs is a loving, common-sense, creative approach to disability which works. An approach which empowers families to help their children. Which acknowledges the reality of challenging behaviours, limited time, few resources, small mothers and big kids.
I’m actually a little tired of hearing what a poor country India is. With a population of 1.3 billion, it has one of the world’s richest supplies of human intelligence, talent and creativity. It is blessed with mineral wealth, natural beauty and thousands of years of wisdom and genius.
So please. Rather than lower our standards to the point where nothing can be accomplished for anyone, let’s raise them up for all.
We’ve simply got to stop thinking that there is only so big a pie to go around.
What’s the answer? Make more pies.
It’s so easy. MAKE MORE PIES!