Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Group Trip to Haridwar

Over last weekend, Meher, Utpal, Dharmender and some other Project Why staff went to Haridwar for an outing. They enjoyed the trip a lot as it was a break from the intense heat of Delhi. Meher and Utpal especially enjoyed the guesthouse and a trip to Fun Valli, a water and amusement park.

See the Women's Centre blog for more pictures and information.

Here are Meher and Utpal enjoying playing in the guesthouse!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Left Hand Update

This is a close up of Meher's left hand. She is still going for physical therapy twice a week, and wears a brace at night to keep her hand and fingers flat. She is using her hand and fingers a lot now and has no trouble opening or manipulating anything. We are encouraging her to play with blocks, legos, and other toys that require fine motor skills.

More Visitors and New Friends

Yesterday Cecilia and Kyle, volunteers at Project Why in Govindpuri, came to visit the Women's Centre. Everyone at the Centre enjoyed their visit and Meher was also excited to meet them! She spoke to them in English (How are you? I am fine? What is your name? Meher!).

The expansion is progressing well (as you can see, the expanders keep getting bigger!) and her second surgery is expected to take place at the beginning of July.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Yesterday, Anou (the founder and director of Project Why), Dharmender (the head of the Women Centre) and I took Meher, Utpal, and Kiran for a short outing to try and escape the heat for a little while. Utpal is currently attending the boarding school where we hope to send Meher in the future, and is spending his vacation at the Women Centre.

We went to a nearby mall and visited Baskin Robbins and enjoyed the air conditioning!

The children also enjoyed a ride up to the top floor in a big glass elevator. Meher especially enjoyed being with the older children.
Everyone at the Women Centre is taking special precautions to make sure she stays healthy, as her second surgery is expected to take place in a few weeks, and June is a bad month for infection (for everyone) as it is very warm and humid.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Meher's New Clothes

This is Maggie, a 5th grader from Barrington, IL and an enthusiastic chess player. She and Meher have never met, but she is responsible for much of Meher's new wardrobe! Most of the outfits Meher wears now are from donors in the US, and Maggie and her parents were especially generous. The summer clothes are light and very suitable for the intense Delhi heat (it is reaching 45c/110F more often than not nowadays!), and wearing a trendy outfit helps distract Meher from the dread of yet another trip to the hospital (she still dislikes going although she says herself the expansion is not actually painful).

Thank you Maggie for the lovely clothes!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Another Successful Chess Tournament Fund-Raiser!

On Saturday, May 30th, Hough Street School Chess Club held a very successful chess tournament at Hough Street School in Barrington, IL as a fund-raiser for Meher. Thank you to the many people who volunteered their time to make this possible, also to all of the families and children who participated and continue to support Meher. Special thanks to Hough Street School Chess Club for hosting the tournament, and Grandmaster Yury Shulman, Maggie Gruber (teacher at Hough Street School), Brian Gruber (our film-maker), Pradip Sethi, and Kiran Frey.

Also thank you to the following supporters for their generous donations:
Virginia Golembiewski
Sam Oliver
Debra Bakal
Ted Fountas and Andrea Olness
Jonathan Nyland and Kelly Logue
Janet Zullo
The Kolasinski Family
Gierlach Family
Regina and James Roland
Mona Juneja
Quest Academy, which raised funds through another Chess Tournament

Here are some images from the tournament at Hough Street School:

Some of our many volunteers sell food at the tournament.

Children concentrating on their next move.

GM Yury Shulman autographs a copy of his book.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Unsung Hero Award

Congratulations to Yury Shulman’s Chess Without Borders for winning the Unsung Hero Award from Radio Station Y103.9 FM and Good Shepherd Hospital for various community service efforts (including their support of Meher).

Here are some images from the Awards Ceremony:

GM Yury Shulman and Dr. Pradip Sethi

Receiving the Award

Read more about this and similar news at

Working Hard

I found Meher doing some class work today. She has grown jealous of the older children and their grown up work and wants to have her own "copy" (notebook) with assigned work. Archna, her teacher, often complies and prepares a page of numbers for her to trace or copy. Here she is working hard with Archna's guidance, and then happily showing off her work.