--------------by Michelle Dixon, Oxfam International For All campaigner. Credit: Umang & Umed / Oxfam
The day of the For All Campaign launch finally arrived! I had scripts and schedules all planned out to the minute. At 8 am our car pulled in with 4 children who had traveled by overnight train from Lucknow to be here with us today. As we arrived, we saw a gigantic elephant at the venue – this was not in the plan! I suddenly got the feeling that things might not go exactly according to schedule… But then again, what better way to capture the spirit of the moment than bringing together hundreds of children, a Bollywood actor, a Doctor, a Teacher and one of the earth’s largest species, truly illustrating the diversity of support for our message – that health and education should be a right reserved not only of the privileged few, but - For All.
After putting the final touches on the banners for the press conference, I walked outside of the press room to find 200 children, dressed in their doctors, nurses and teachers outfits singing “We Shall Overcome” in Hindi. Suddenly the stresses of the day melted away and I just stopped to soak it all in. Here I am, an American campaigner in Delhi, surrounded by Government School Children from some of the poorest parts of India who have been inspired as I have to act on the belief that equality of access to health and education For All, is our generations civil rights movement. It was a truly humbling moment that served as a reminder of how truly blessed I am to be a part of this important campaign.