Following are the links to the event and the paintings: :llpicasaweb.google.com/aid.delhilUdaanPaintingComp .

/ Imywebera.com/painterseral eventinfo.aspx? even tid

daan in hindi means a flight, a flight of freedom. It symbolizes ~~~~:~~~~ irit of independence in the heart of every child. The aim of'U was to let the kids unfurl their imagination and paint their dreams on canvas. After all who doesn't like to paint? The paintings gave ~~~=~~~~~ children an opportunity to display their creativity and ingenuity. Every stroke of color was like a shooting star on the vast canvas of universe. The joy of painting was evident by the sparkle in their eyes. While one youngster drew a bright-multicolored dolphin, another came up with a beautiful garden decorated with vivid lifelike flowers. Some even drew the national flag without mistaking the order of colors or the position of the Ashoka chakra. The themes aint as you like", for 5 to 10 years old, and "I Love my India", for 1 to 14 years old, brought out their true feelings associated with the momentous day of India's independence. With a number of volunfrom all over Gurgaon and Delhi, this event was every bit a sue cess, and served its twin purpose of fundraising & providing the kids a healthy competition of their own. AID Delhi and AID work under different projects viz. ''Aashayein & [aagriti" . and "Unnati & Disha" in Gurgaon. These are initiatives to pro vide primary education to the underprivileged children and to en - """"''''J:,,;'~''''U~~ hance their standard of living by educating them through various building exercises. To facilitate the education of children and organize such events on a larger scale in future, we have put these priceless possessions on sale. They are priceless because they have been crafted out of the purest abilities and enthusiasm of our chilOn behalf of AID Delhi and AID Gurgaon, we present to you an opportunity to buy the paintings of our children and thus sup-

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port and recognize their talent.

SRIJAN : Towards a begger free society

(jive them a penry, 30U feel them {or a ia3;/each them a trade, 30U feel them for fife!!

Little fingers tapping your car Our ideology is to stir the mass to windows, impoverished mothers come up with ideas and solutions with crying babies in their arms, to tackle the issue. We say "Don't old and disabled figures pleading encourage begging, they need help - this is the reality that con-your support more than your fronts our conscience each day. sympathy. STOP and THINK Moral responsibility, pity, reli - before you give alms. Are you gious orientations - we have all really helping them or pushing the (valid) reasons to give money them further into this marsh to the beggars, not realizing that called BeggaryH"

we are becoming a partner in

promoting beggary!! llaf hanafe hain ink..o zarfJa furya

kf,mane kf"

jah aaf han saKfe hain zarfJa inkJ zinla}i mein sue/har fane kf,.

Ignoring this issue is not the solution, nor is giving alms to beggars. The poor do not need charity; they need inspiration. Charity only sends them a loaf of bread to keep them alive in their wretchedness, or gives them an entertainment to make them forget their miserable condition for an hour or two; but inspiration will cause them to rise out of their misery.

The government along with the civil society has to take comprehensive steps to provide them with the basic amenities and alternative life support systems so that they can be discouraged from begging and thereby have their share in the development of the country.

"Inhe upkaar ki nhi, uddhaar ki zaroorat hai"

Srijan has been proposed under AID NCR. We require a good number of volunteers from Delhi-NCR region for the next 6-12 months. In the initial phase of the campaign, we would approach the public through schools, colleges, corporate, emails, flyers, banners, and media. We plan to come with a report from the suggestions/ ideas we get from the people and from the survey we would conduct of the existing government facilities and programmes. With that report, we would approach the government along with a few multilateral organizations such as the World Bank, and the UN asking them to take concrete steps for these strata of the population. According to a 2004 report, there were around 60,000 beggars in Delhi itself. Five years down the line, if we are targeting Delhi-NCR, it certainly is a huge task. We have a long way to go and only your constant support can sail us through.

JJ1-famara sath cf}jiJe inhe aap /Jar nir6har se aalm-nirbhar 6nane mein, hamara sath cf}jiJe inhe eksammanifJeevan difane mein ((

On the eve of World Food Day on October 16 and a day after the apex regulatory body in India gave its clearance for Bt Brinjal as India's first GM food crop, Consumers' Forum President, Mr. Sunil Prakash and representatives of the Apex Body of Delhi Resident Welfare Associations-United RWA's Joint Action (URJA), Wing Co. (Retd.) Iasbir Chadda, Mr. Sanjay Kaul and Mr. V.N. Bali put out a strong message urging Delhi'ites to reject GM (Genetically Modified) foods, citing various health hazards from such foods.

"We urge all Indians and especially Delhi'ites to assert their right to safe food and write to the Prime Minister of India through the website www.iamnolabrat.com to ensure that the government takes a policy decision against such hazardous technologies in our food systems", said Radha Kapuria, coordinator of the consumer campaign in Delhi.

They reminded Delhi'ites that their right to safe food and a right to food of informed choice would be jeopardized with GM foods like Bt Brinjal and asked citizens to assert their rights by writing to the Prime Minister of India. They also asked Delhi'ites to boycott various foods being imported from a handful of GM-food-producing nations which are illegally sending in unlabelled GM foods in India. At the capital's Dilli Haat, volunteers of the consumer mobilization campaign "I AM NO LAB RAT" released a list of food products to be boycotted if consumers wanted to avoid GM foods as of that day.

Diwali Stalls by Aashayein and Jaagriti

To celebrate the spirit of Diwali and keep the fun to shop alive, Aashayein and Iaagriti put up their stalls at 5T Microelectronics and Evaluserve in the month of October. The stalls not only promoted awareness but also brought people closer to our cause. The event was a grand success and we were overwhelmed by the response. With a theme of Diwali essentials, the stalls were crowded with impressed buyers who bought things in bulk.

Our best seller at Evalueserve was a Pooja thali, with Ganesh ji and Lakshmi ji engraved on the top and small diyas all around. There was an atmosphere of a carnival with potpourries, home-made chocolates, gift packs, homemade candles and fancy shagun envelopes decorating the entire counter.

Diwali is one festival that almost every Indian celebrates with a lot of enthusiasm. Not so long ago, people celebrated Diwali by simply lighting oil lamps. I wonder how this custom got transformed to bursting fire crackers and thus blowing up money in smoke and creating ear splitting noises that most of us cannot stand. The festival is slowly becoming a nightmare for people suffering from Asthma and other such breathing ailments.

And one simple question is why can't we put this money to better use? Why not donate it to flood vic

Whereas at 5T Microelectronics, the main attraction were the colourful handmade diyas. Whilst the shapes of the diyas were an example of amplified creativity, the handmade candles carried with them an aura of their own. Potpourri was arranged in various forms; creatively designed envelopes took shapes of a scroll, a fan, a betel leaf etc. Gift packs with homemade chocolates and handmade cases were lavishly sold on the spot; a cute pram consisting of chocolates mellowed many. Aashayein, also arranged for T-shirts with the inspiring quote of Mahatma Gandhi, 'Be the change you wish to see in the world'.

The event brought joy to the volunteer teams who walked back with smiles and a sense of satisfaction for bringing the cause closer to its vision.

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tims? Or simply use it to distribute essentials to the underprivileged? What is the logic in spending thousands of rupees on bursting crackers that harm the environment, disturb people, and cause pollution and then criticize the government for not taking enough measures to curb pollution?

Each one of us needs to take some concrete steps to moderate the environmental hazard that this auspicious festival is turning into.

Iaagriti celebrates Joy of Giving week

In September end and first week of October, Project Jaagriti celebrated Joy of Giving week. It is a national movement, a platform which gives each one of us the opportunity to reach out and do something good- something that you have always wanted to do. More importantly, it offers us the chance to use the power of collective individual action to make a difference.

Volunteers at Iaagriti launched a campaign to collect various old reusable items such as old clothes, newspapers' stationary, study material etc. for the benefit of the children and their families under the project. The campaign, conducted with over 600 families, friends and relatives at various locations, was a great success.

Goonj collection centre

Collection

Segregation

Distribution

Various locations where the collection drive was held:

1. Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology (NSIT), Dwarka

2. An Amateur Theatre Group- Dramatech, lIT Delhi

3. Dakshinayan Society, Sector 4, Dwarka

4. Bengali Colony, Mahavir Enclave

5. Sara International, Noida

6. Mansarovar Apartments, Sector 5, Dwarka

Over 400 Kg of old clothes, 50 Kg of old newspapers, lots of stationary and reusable study material was collected and then segregated. After segregation, the clothes were partly given to GOONJ (An NGO) and the rest were distributed among the children and families under the project.

We, at Iaagriti, invite you to join the movement with us next year and be a part of this noble cause.

Since AID started in 1991, successive generations of volunteers have taken it to new frontiers. AID-Delhi has been one such front runner that opened new doors. In 1991, one of our goals in the US was to create an active channel by which we could connect meaningfully with rural India. Though most of us were students with humble stipends, we took seriously the idea of contributing small amounts, raising money and supporting meaningful projects in India. As AID grew, our support and volunteerism increased and we began to make an impact in different parts of India. However one of the problems we faced in the US was this - wt could support a group/NGO only if it was already well established with "FCRA" clearance to receive funds from abroad. As a result, several small groups in India that were very passionate, deserving and had just started out could not be supported from abroad as they did not have the necessary clearances ... The very groups where AID support was much needed and would make-lot of sense couldn't be supported! We were stuck!l

One such organization was Vijay Bajpai's Parichay that was doing wonderful work for few slums in Delhi, though on a very small scale. ~ravinda ana I came to know of this work through a mutual friend who worked with National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM. It was h this point in time that we introduced Vijay Bajpai to AID- Delhi volunteers, who had just started the chaR!er.

What AID- De1hi and Parichay have done together is

remarka le, much more than what was possible from the US! Not only did volunteers raise fuiidsby seeking support from friends and well wishers in Delhi and Gurgaon, but also engaged slum children with meaningful and fun-filled learning activities. Also, to help the community attain self-sufficiency, .voluriieers began marketing the products made by community

people. .

AID Delhi established similar collaborations with several other groups. The involvement was noj-limited to community kids' education. RecogIiizing that countering injustice was just as important as developmental initiatives, AID Delhi volunte'~r~ began expressing solidarity with the tribals'ofNarmada Valley, the survivors of Bhopal Gas Tragedy and the distressed cotton farmers in a genetically modified Vidarbha. They went on to address deterioratinghuman riglits conditions in Chattisgarh, among otlier issues,

To address the problems of the iharginaliz~a and exploited in India, one of the ?lost i1Pp@'r~tant things for AID is to have a progressivtvolunteer'-base that understands rights-based approaches in the capital city of New-Delhi, where most' struggles inevitably reach. Whether it is ensuring that a~enam~nts are not made to dilute the Right to Information Act wt~at the government doesn't push Brinjal farmers ~om all over India into distress and suicide ..likt-it did with the

/." '

cotton farmers of Vidarbha, AID needs more and

more committed volunteers, who can take AID closer

to its vision. ) ',.. (

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FfJ

"

It has been more than 4 years since I got introduced to AID. It all began at a walk on the shore between Callengute to Baga beach in Goa. Can't believe that the walk would be a life changing experience! That was where I got introduced to AID by one of the volunteers. I used to volunteer with an organization during my college days and had a pretty bad experience at that. Then on I decided not to get associated with any non-profit organization and I did Tsunami relief work on my own for 10 days. But after I came to know about AID, I decided to meet and interact with the people involved and know more about the organization. I attended a Community Service Hour meet at a volunteer's house in Delhi and got to know pretty much about AID. Thanks to Anirban and Somen who answered all my queries and helped me understand the organization better. It took me six months to know AID completely as an organization. After a year I got a chance to attend AID India conference in Chennai where I got to meet a lot of volunteers who were actively involved in Sangharsh and understood that Sewa and Nirmaan would not be possible without Sangharsh.

AID has not only shaped my views on life but has also helped me take many critical decisions in life. It has taught me an alternate way of approaching problems. I would say that AID has brought a vision to my life.

I have made some lifetime friends during myassociation with AID. It has been a pleasant journey so far. There are a lot of distractions for young people in the age of 16 to 30 but places like AID provide an opportunity to keep one self grounded and become a better human being. One thing I understood even before I started to volunteer was that volunteer with a sense of responsibility and not for the sake of it. Don't do something just to feel good about yourself. I fullyendorse AID's logo which says 'Be the change you wish to see in the world'. You along with a million others can make the world a better place to live!

-Selva Ganapathy

On the 5th of October, kids at Iaagriti were shown a hindi movie "Dil Bole Hadippa" at Wave cinemas (Rajouri Garden). The children enjoyed to their fullest. Their eyes with filled with awe and disbelief. Many of them had not even seen a movie hall before.

Special Thanks to NSIT Rotaract Club and Wave Cinemas for sponsoring the movie show, providing refreshment to the children and arranging for the transport.

"The coefficient of static friction is usually higher than the coefficient of dynamic friction." What this scientific principle states is that it is easier to maintain the motion of a body than starting it from rest. I often wonder whether this principle is applicable to real life too. At times it is easier to carry forward things that are already in place than to start doing something from the scratch. In life, it is reluctance and uncertainty that play the role of static friction, and it is confidence that makes life easier afterwards.

The tracking program in Disha, a non-formal education centre started by AID Gurgaon with major thrust on education for the underprivileged, followed the same principle. When I first visited the school, I was totally confused about where to start. All I knew was that I had to assess the academic performance of kids and compile the observations into periodic reports. It sounded very simple and straightforward, but proved to be a little more than that. There were some simple problems with obvious solutions and the only thing required to implement them was time and patience. What followed was a systematic approach that allowed us to put everything in place and unfold the "progress tracking model" we have today.

The first problem that I faced was deciding how to evaluate the educational performance of the kids. Each of them was at a different academic level and age, and had been coming to school for a different period of time. Therefore, to gauge each kid's academic performance, I took into account three parameters - age, current academic level and the duration for which the child had been coming to schooL I asked Disha's regular teacher to classify the kids on the basis of these three parameters. Next, with the help of Disha's teacher, I made a note of the syllabus that is taught to students at different levels and the time it takes for these students to learn it. It became relatively easier for me to take the tests after I had all this data with me.

Suddenly, I realized that what I have done is exactly the same as what is done in our formal education system. The age/level corresponds to the class; the set of topics they learn corresponds to the syllabus. So, in the end, we came up with a relative simple distribution of students. Each student belongs to one of

the classes viz. Nursery I, Nursery II, LKG and UKG, and each of the classes has a fixed syllabus.

This is how the tracking works:

The students have been broadly divided into 4 classes. Pre Nursery (Students learn A-Z, 1-10 and 3f ~ 3f here), Nursery (Students learn a-z, 1-50 and en ~ q3f here), LKG (Students start learning letters/words in both Hindi and English and simple addition and subtraction here) UKG (Students start learning simple sentence construction, reading, multiplication and tables here). Out of the 44 students in Disha approximately following number of students fall in each of the categories:

1. Pre Nursery 10

2. Nursery 8-10

3. LKG 15 - 18

4. UKG5

The teacher teaches the predefined syllabus to each category of students. This way, it's easy for the teacher to keep track of the students, manage their curriculum, and promote them. This also makes it easier for us to take tests for these students and rate them.

"It took us some time to reinvent the wheel. Making our way up from the root was nevertheless a learning process."

In addition to quantitatively analyzing students' performance, the tracking model proves to be of immense help in qualitative judgment of the students. It's easier to know the intelligence level and needs of the students. It was only after this distribution we realized that we needed to prepare UKG kids to attend class 1 in regular schools. We have arranged syllabus books (NCERT) for class 1 to prepare them to attend regular schools. We are trying to add some simple reading material in Hindi (like weekly magazine champak) that will make reading an interesting activity for the kids. We are also arranging some extracurricular activities for them on the weekends.

Our ultimate aim is holistic development of kids. We plan to implement a similar tracking model at Unnati as welL Your suggestions to make it more effective are welcome!

-Rohit

~ Siemens Caring Hands

~ For strong communities

We at AID have always endeavoured to provide a platform to all who wish to "be the change they want to see around". We feel glad to share that Siemens shares our vision and is now an official charity partner of AID Gurgaon. A number of employees from the organization visited one of AID Gurgaon's non-formal education centres, "Disha" on the 15th of October to mark this association with a short and sweet function at the school premises. Since the major thrust of AID Gurgaon is on education for underprivileged children, Siemens has assured us of maximum possible help in providing quality education to the kids of resident slum dwellers and construction workers in and around village Iharsa and other run -down areas in Gurgaon. We are confident that together we will realize the vision we share!

The University Awareness Drive was initiated in the month of August and September, with main focus on Kirori Mal College and Indraprastha College for Women. The Awareness Drive in Ki:ori~al College (North Campus) took place on 28th August. S~lsht.l, our fellow volunteer and president of Film Society in Kirorimal, helped us screen a movie, which gave a glimpse of what Aashayein is all about. After that, Dr. Prachi, Aashayein's project co-ordinator, gave a brief introduction of Aashayein and its future plans.

To spread awareness about AID and Aashayein and to raise funds for children, a stall was put up to sell hand painted T-shirts. We also distributed pamphlets of AID and Aashayein among interested students. On the whole, it was a successful attempt at attracting new volunteers and spreading awareness about the kind of work we are involved in. This was followed by an awareness drive in Indraprastha College for Women which took place on the 5th of September. A movie 'Poison on the Platter' based on Genetically Modified Foods was screened in the Seminar Room of the college by the Women's Development Centre and Aashayein's stall was put up in the nearby premises. Selva Ganapathy gave a talk on GM food, its potential threats to us and why it should be avoided. This was followed by the screening of Aashayein video after which Anandita and Deboshree gave a brief introduction of Aashayein, its present activities and its future plans to all the students present.

As part of fund raising, T-shirts with AID logo and the slogan "be the change you want to see in the world" were sold in various colours along with hand made bags. Fortunately, our initiative was met with a lot of enthusiasm by the college students.

After retiring from the army, I shifted my base to Gurgaon, the face of Modern India. From skyscrapers to farmhouses, from newly built roads to the eight-lane highway, from multi-nationals to Indian brands, Gurgaon has it alL The only thing it lacks is the green cover.

I had a long cherished desire to create positive impact on the environment. Gurgaon required a whopping seventeen percent cover while it had only two. Therefore, tree-plantation was an immediate avenue available for me to get involved in. It was a difficult job but having been involved in large-scale tree plantation while in army, I knew I was not getting into an unknown territory.

Planting a tree or two is fine, but if you have to carry out a large-scale plantation, you need expertise, which fortunately is readily available from the Forest Department. Planting trees involves two major activities - preparation and physical planting of trees, and nurturing them for at least a year to ensure that they survive. The second aspect is what is challenging. And as is said "Trees grow in the eyes of their owners", to take care of the second aspect I make it a point to have a good look at each tree everyday. There can be nothing more satisfying then seeing your efforts break forth with life. Observing those new shoots grow and new buds form can make your day.

Under the Green Gurgaon Campaign run by AID Gurgaon, we are presently involved in planting 6000

trees at Sohna Road, Gurgoan. In the first phase, we planted 250 trees but had to halt the plantation drive because of the presence of blue bulls (Nilgai) in the location. These animals cause great damage and the Forest Department asked us to get the area fenced before proceeding further. To this end, we have worked out fencing requirements for 62500 sq meters and it will cost us approximately Rs. 5 lakhs. We are currently in search of a sponsor who can help us fence this area. Protection is essential to ensure survival of plants. Efforts are on to see that the fence comes up as early as possible.

The volunteers involved in the project have made a fantastic contribution. And I am sure that as the project progresses more volunteers will join in. And this is not going to be a one time show wherein people come and plant trees and go home happy. We plan to meet atleast twice a month to monitor the growth of plants, water them and carry out required maintenance activity for the plants as well as the area. This is another reason that inspires me to work for tree plantation. I get to meet with new people and the interaction is simply amazing!

Approximately a lakh trees can be planted at the Sohna Road. In the long run, it will have a big positive impact on the environment. Will we succeed? Given the support we have received so far I am sure we wilL So, all I say is that "Plant as many trees as you

"

can.

-Col. Rajinder Singh (Retd.)

This magazine wouldn't have been possible without the committed efforts of Harsimran and Ankur, who with their creativity and imagination made the mag look so vibrant and lively. I would also like to thank Pratik Gandhi who helped me a lot with the editing work. Also, I wish to thank project coordinators and volunteers across all AID Delhi projects who helped facilitate the development of the mag by

providing timely inputs. Smita Singla

Publication Coordinator

Editing

Pratik & Smita

Web: http://delhi.aidindia.org

Design Harsimran & Ankur

Feedback: aid.delhi@gmail.com

If you wish to donate, send your cheques to:

Selva Ganapathy.R, Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi - 110016, Hauz Khas, Phone: +91-9891358457, +91-9818248459