Today we’re launching our child survival campaign, EVERY ONE, in Delhi, India. We’re still holding our breath to see if Shiela Dixit, our Chief Minister will show up for the event. There are a lot of “biggies” showing up, actually. We’ve just found out that the police are cordoning off a portion of the city for some official visits, and guess what, our venue’s slap-bang in the middle of it! You got it: it’s tense around here.
A lot of effort has gone into planning this event. Okay, that’s a bit of an understatement! Ben and Pragya, in our India office, have been working like dogs to get things sorted for it. In fact, there’s been a dead rat, or something, in the office for three days. It really stinks. Every time I mention it, they go, “Oh yeah, can’t find it. We’ll look after the launch.” That’s how busy they are.
One of the highlights of the event is that Kunal Kapoor, an actor, is coming to endorse our cause. Pragya’s going to pick him up at the airport, in a few hours. She got Fariha, our colleague in Bangladesh, a signed autograph that reads, “Keep up the good work!” from Kunal. Fariha is working on launching the campaign in Bangladesh and she’s maaaaad about him. When we sent her the autograph, Fariha wrote back to us to say, “I love you both, BUT I LOVE KUNAL MORE.” Evidently, he’s going to be a big draw.
We’re leaving at 3 pm for the venue. I’m a little nervous about the photo-exhibition, which has got some really shocking photos of malnourished children (see my next blog on this).
We’re hoping the photos will highlight the shocking child mortality statistics in India. Nearly 2 million children under the age of five will die every year here. It has the largest number of children dying anywhere in the world – 20% of the global total.
With those kinds of odds, we need all the help we can get. I’ve got catch hold of Kunal and tell him all this, so that he can talk about it to everyone he meets.