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Association for India’s Development August 2007

Delhi Chapter Newsletter

Table of Contents From the Editor’s Desk

From the editors desk 1 August first week of AID Delhi had its
Operational Review meet and a day prior to that there
Project Updates was a great and memorable Mirzafar Award ceremony
Aashayen 2 happened which was organized by Students for Bhopal
AID Gurgaon 2 along with the support from other NGO’s like AID. It
AID Prayas 3 is an alarm to the government saying that the people in
Parichay 4 India are no more a mere watchers of what ever they are
Youth Task Force 4 doing. I saw the event happened was more meaningful
Khoj 4 on the ways of satya aaur ahimsa. To say it in a local
Tara 5 lingo it was “Gandhigiri” there. We were appreciating
Nai Disha 5 our ministers and the government officers for the
activities they’ve did for the country. It was very well
Volunteer Speak – Roshan Jha 5 covered in the media too. We will be sending them
Volunteer Speak – Siddharh Goyal 6 more alarms by doing more such events.

Extraas 6 An Independence Day celebration at various


projects is the event which should be mentioned and
Articles thanks to all the special efforts taken by the volunteers
Coexisting with Nature - Haripriya 7 to organize the events at all our projects. The children’s
Environment around Us – Dolly 8 zeal and enthusiasm sends across a message that
Economic Boom – Difference on the life of tomorrow’s India would be better one where these
a common man – Vikas Happa 8 children will be making changes. “A change making
India – Shilpa Singla 10 change”.
The Pretender – Tamseel Hussain 11
Why are we all here together doing something
Toon of the Month 12 for the nation? We all are here to create a difference.
How are we going to create a difference? Well there are
Children’s Corner 13 a lot many answers to this question which is debatable
but I personally mean a difference is what you feel in
Photo of the Month - Rupali 14 yourself. Difference is there when you start to feel the
ownership. Difference comes when you take up a
Behind the Scene responsibility. We all face problems in our day to day
Publications Team 15 life. Right from the morning one boards a bus, or sits in
his car till the night he comes back to bed. None can say
Information Corner – Selva 15 that he was happy to see whatever was happening
around him/her. A few come forward saying that I can
Contact us 15 make some change, the rest of them debate and the
remaining adjust themselves after blaming others.
Difference comes here when we take up the issue to
find an alternate solution rather than blaming the faults.
So I welcome everyone here who has come forward to
take responsibility and ownership.

1
Project Updates: Aashayen
Most of us think that teaching a child in a
project is all volunteering is. I don’t mean that its not The project is certainly going great guns after a lot of
volunteering but it’s a part of volunteering. streamlining and arrangements that have been made in
Volunteering is more than that. AID is a great the organisation itself, to bring a certain order and
platform to pool in all your wonderful ideas, creations coordination and a lot of stress was given to intra-team
and views on finding an alternate solution to a communication this time so that all the volunteers can
problem. We encourage volunteer in working with the work in an amiable environment. The classes that were
projects which is of their interests. taking place only twice a week have been extended to
three days and four classes i.e. single class on Friday and
Right to Information is one more wonderful Saturday and two classes on Sunday that would be
tool which we have in our hands and we have to use it taking place in the afternoon followed by an evening
to the optimum to have better governance and also to class.
increase the transparency of it. I request volunteers The whole group has been broken into teams for
and reader whoever facing problem in getting their job efficient functioning into Vocational Training,
done at government / public offices to come forward Personality Development, Basic Education, Health Care
and file RTI. It does wonders. I personally have a lot etc
of success stories of RTI to write. I made a professor A community survey was also kick-started a couple of
take his lab class for the entire three hours by filing weeks back and is being pursued by all the volunteers
RTI. I got my job done in two days after filing RTI on a regular basis with enthusiasm so that by the end of
and initially the application was pending for several this quarter we are ready with a statistical profile of the
months. In case of you having any doubts on how to whole community to be able to start long term benefit
file RTI you are welcome to approach us and we can programs.
help you out. Corruption is at all levels and we all The Independence Day was also celebrated with great
know where it’s happening and why? This is an appeal fervour with the kids, which was an attempt to make the
for everyone to come forward and question it and stop kids aware of the Freedom Struggle of the country and
it. on friendship day we screened the movie "Finding
Nemo" for the children which they thoroughly enjoyed.
I also thank all our donors, supporters, - Sona,
volunteers and other readers for giving a constant - Coordinator, AID Aashayen
support towards the activities whatever we’ve been - sona4poochie@gmail.com
doing.
Project Updates: AID Gurgaon
-Selva
- Publications Coordinator, The month of August for AID Gurgaon was
- AID Delhi, again filled with a lot of activities. India is celebrating
- aid.selva@gmail.com her 60th year of Independence and most of us thought
- 9891358457 that this independent day should be really special.
We continue to run project Unnati successfully
since the last few months and we continue to identify
new areas/bastis, from where the children can come and
start their elementary education. Although there are a
few drop-outs (which we had expected, as some of the
population we are addressing is mobile and nomadic in
nature) we have children which are quite regular and are
making good progress. On Saturdays, volunteers too
join in to update themselves with the progress of the
kids and participate in the fun activities with children,
which could be either reciting poems or conducting
drawing session or extempore sessions..

2
One volunteer Eisha, is a student of Medicine
Project Updates: AID Prayas
and is currently on a break, have been visiting the
school on a regular basis and has been personally
monitoring the progress of the children. This month was quite challenging for Prayas,
The highlight for the month of August was the We did a lot of brainstorming and we spent good
Independence Day celebrations. The day was celebrated amount of time to make things brighter but we could
with a lot of enthusiasm both by the volunteers and the not get the expected amount of success.
children. The volunteers got together on the day and AID- Prayas Volunteers celebrated
arranged for a Flag-Hoisting ceremony, followed by the Independence Day at Nayi Disha Free education
National Anthem. The event was a huge success; we feel Society, Sector 29, Noida. It was wonderful to see the
that it gave the children taste of what independence is success of Nayi Disha. And it inspired us too. We are
all about. Moreover, the event also helped us create an facing lot of challenges in conducting regular classes at
awareness of our school in the village. government school. The local Village PRADHAN and
The clothes collection drive that was initiated school Principal is creating problem to provide a room
last month is on and we are working with Goonj, an in school though we have written permission from
NGO involved in collection of old clothes from various BSA(Basic Siksha Adhikaari.). We have come back from
places and their distribution in remote parts of the Govt. School to our old destination i.e. Moonlight
country. Public School for weekend classes.
For the next month we are looking at admitting Moreover those kids from Naya Bans area who
3-4 kids to the government school in the vicinity. were coming for regular classes as tuition, we refused
However, the month of August also saw a discussion on them to come for classes as we were losing our focus on
sending all or some of the children from Unnati to the the neediest kids of the community.
Literacy India School, which is located in a different Last weekend the classes were held at moonlight
part of the city, and has a better facility with a public school and we are planning to talk to Govt.
playground and has an excellent standard of education, officials again for regular classes.
compared to the standards of the government school It is still tough for our kids to compete with the
we had witnessed. The idea is that a bus from LI other kids in govt. school, so we have to work on it very
collects the children every day and drops them back dedicatedly. We are planning to have a parents meet
around their bastis. While the pros and cons of this specially with those parents whose kids have been
decision are still being debated, most of us feel that it admitted in school by us. Parents are not willing to take
would be an excellent idea if we can make this happen. responsibility for their own kid's education, and I think
We are going to meet the parents to discuss the matter this is our responsibility now to motivate them for their
and seek their go ahead. kid’s education.
This month, we also paid a visit to Mobile I personally feel, this is the period of transition
Crèches, and it was heartening to note that the children in Prayas and we are facing lot of challenges but if we
who were admitted to the nearby government school, will approach in an organized manner we will definitely
last year are continuing with the support of their parents succeed soon.
and the MC facility has also seen some improvement in
its infrastructure.
The challenges in front of us remain – the need - Dharshan
for more committed volunteers – and implementation Coordinator, AID Prayas
of a formal structure – which we feel will help us in - darshanmehra@gmail.com
having more accountability from the volunteers. - 9818361122

- Manish Sharma
- AID Gurgaon,
- manish.ms@gmail.com

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Our Volunteers by now might have collected
Project Updates: Parichay samples for test and it will be analyzed soon with the
help of experts. More sample collection will be done
• Rakhi stall at STM and TCS: Parichay registered in the upcoming inspections. YTF t-shirts designs are
a sale of Rs. 9482/- at STM and Rs. 2402/- at given for printing and soon they will be available..
TCS, NSPZ.
We celebrated Independence Day along with - Selva
visitors from Tribal Fusion. A team from Tribal - Youth Task Force, AID Delhi
Fusion distributed bags to all kids at Parichay. - aid.selva@gmail.com
They also donated an electronic weighing - 9211467341
machine.
• To accommodate the growing activities at
Parichay, we have taken up a new room on rent.
Electric fittings are yet to be done. We would
need a fan and a tube light for the room. Project Updates: Khoj
• Another thoughtful gesture by Naval. Rakhis
and other products worth Rs. 1000/- were sold Regular Classes at all of our 5 centers going as
because of his initiative at Conexant. usual and apart from the regular classes this month saw
• Raminder has made an excellent effort at some unique events with Khoj. We all celebrated our
templatizing kids profile in the form of an Excel Independence Day along with the children by flying
sheet. We hope this would help us capture kites with them. Our long search for an office came to
kids profile in greater detail an end and we have got our office at Munirka. Mrs.
Sangeeta gave a donation of Rs.20000/- to get us a
computer and we’ve now got a computer at our office.
New volunteers: Two new volunteers from Miranda Documentation work has started with the pace. We are
House visited Parichay recently. We hope to have a also planning to start craft activity soon at Bhikhaji
long association with them in our activities. Center.
Dormant Volunteers: Puneeta, Pow, Navneet Shanti didi have conducted two workshops for
Active Volunteers: Omnipresent Selva, Naval, children on adolescent issue and the beneficiaries now
Raminder (IIT), Shashank. are Ber Sarai Children. We will be conducting the
workshop soon for our other center children also. We
- Puneeta have a problem of teaching the children at the park in
- Coordinator, Parichay our Ber Sarai Center but now talks with IIT Delhi have
- chughpuneeta@yahoo.com given us hope that we will soon get a place inside the
IIT hostel premises to teach the children.
A volunteer have agreed to take Taikwando
Project Updates: Youth Task Force classes with the children as a part of developing self
defence for them. We also have started to take a survey
In the month of August no more new RTI’s on all the Delhi roads to find out how many such
have been filed. It has been decided that the follow up children exist in Delhi and to soon start some program
of the earlier RTI’s with the road would be done. for them. Our volunteers are all geared up for that.
Documentation work done. Also an RTI on finding out
the rules and regulations of filing TSR complaints has -Selva
been done. - Khoj, AID Delhi,
Few people have done research on the - aid.selva@gmail.com
conditions of MCD schools at various places of Delhi. - 9211467341
Initially 6 of the MCD schools have been chosen and
RTI’s have been filed. We are planning to file more
RTI’s after getting report from the initial ones.

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Project Update : Tara Volunteer Speak : Roshan Jha

TARA: In the month of August, TARA


celebrated Independence Day. The celebration began In India kites can be seen maneuvering in the
with a tribute to the martyrs of the nation, followed by sky every year on 15th August celebrating our
flag hoisting. Children from two different slum Independence Day. The very same day someone asked
communities took part in the various events such as me why I fly kites? What I get flying a kite? Does flying
music, singing, story telling and poem recitation. Later a kite in anyway symbolize freedom?
that week, TARA participated in the annual function of
jamia’s engineering department to raise funds, visited I replied - "Flying a kite on Independence Day
GOONJ and collected clothes, toys and satchels. On certainly have some great causes behind it! On
25th eleven of our children were honored by the Rotary Independence Day sky becomes the battlefield
club of Delhi Capitol with a scholarship of 1000 rupees simulator. When I fly kite I look myself as a freedom
each after which they were taken on a short excursion fighter. When I fly kite I see all other kites confined
to the India Gate. On Sunday morning the children with strings as 'prisoners'. I struggle hard to emancipate
played a cricket match with a high level of zeal. On 27th them and when I cut other kites apart from their
three more children got admittance in the MCD School, attached strings I feel like I am on cloud number nine.
Sarai Jullena. The next day we celebrated Raksha Infact, I don't even care about my pain when I shed
Bandhan beginning with a tulsi pooja and Arti followed blood flying my kite. I feel it is the negligible amount of
by distribution of Prasad and tying of a variety of sacrifice I have made.
colorful rakhis. The day ended with distribution of
laddoos. When other kites get cut and loop freely
On the last day of the month Sonu, Halli, Archana and wobbling in air I honorably run after to touch and
Noni who had undergone our training for just one collect them since they have also played a part in this
month but were doing well also got admitted to freedom struggle.
standard II and standard I respectively. At the end of
eleven months TARA has been successful in opening All these leaves me with feelings that resembles
the portals of formal school for eighteen of its children. the very same that of chacha Nehru, Gandhiji, Subhas
Many more are heading towards the same direction and Chandra Bose and like many other freedom fighters
are extremely enthusiastic about it. who felt the enthusiasm on 15th August 1947.
- Pavneet Kohli
- Tara. But when my own kite cuts down I suddenly
feel a bit gloomy thinking I could have helped few more
Project Update : Nai Disha to get freedom.

Independence Day was celebrated with “Kites really invoke my patriotism”


full zeal at Nai Disha. Children had put in tremendous - Roshan Jha,
effort to prepare for the event. Volunteers had helped - YTF, AID Delhi
these kids to prepare the dance program. A snacks party - roshan_nerd@yahoo.co.in
was also organized for these kids.
Currently Grammar and computer classes are Roshan Jha is an active volunteer with AID Delhi’s
going on. Since the computers are not functional, hence and Josh initiative Youth Task Force. He has been
computer theory classes are being conducted. These filing RTI’s on various PWD roads and is also eagerly
computers need to be repaired as practical classes will anticipating his reports. He also writes a lot of
lead to better understanding. And Nai Disha also needs articles. He is a computer science engineering
more volunteers to carry out their job in a better way. student.
-Rajat Maheshwari,
Coordinator, Nai Disha..
- rajat.maheshwari@st.com
- 9810994596

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Volunteer Speak : Siddharth Goyal In situations like these, one cannot help but
wonder if big industrial houses too are a part of this
This is India arrangement as Chhatisgarh is a state rich in minerals
such as gold and diamond, which are buried in the land
Does the title of the article remind you of owned by the tribals. The tribals are now dispossessed
something familiar? Well it would not if you have not from their lands by the state and are made to live like
seen the latest Leo Di Caprio starrer ‘BLOOD animals in camps. I do not oppose the entry of the
DIAMOND’. As the lady at the AID Operations industrial houses in the state. However, every human
Review Meet at IIT Delhi said” I couldn’t help drawing life is more precious than any rock. If the industrial
parallels between the situation in parts of our very own houses are involved in this set up, I hope that they
‘Democratic’ country and the state of affairs in some adopt a little sensitive attitude towards the tribal people
African country ruled by warlords with the blessings of and place man over material for a change!
the West”. We like to call ourselves civilised and
cultured, the situation in the state of Chhatisgarh, - Siddharth Goyal
however, tells a different story altogether. - AID Delhi
Chhatisgarh is a victim of the naxalite - sidgoyal1@gmail.com
movement, a movement which aims to surround New
Delhi one day with the red army. In the name of Siddharth Goyal is a third year computer science
protecting the rights of the adivasis, the naxalite outfits student at NSIT, Dwaraka. He writes a lot of article
recruit and train them to carry out militant operations in apart from volunteering with Khoj.
various parts of the state and kill the very people, whose
right they claim to protect. To counter this menace, an Extraas
initiative was taken up under the leadership of Mr.
Mahendra Karma, the member of the legislative
assemble and leader of opposition in the state’s
legislative assembly, in the year 2005. - AID Delhi Calendars 2008 design and price
This was christened “Salwa Judum” and later it have been finalized and it would be circulated
got the blessings of the state (a rare example of the BJP soon. We need volunteers to circulate it widely
and the Congress co-operating with each other). Alas, to their respective HR’s and take the order as
the modus operandi of Salwa Judum was so flawed that soon as possible.
the adivasis now faced the dilemma of choosing either - AID India conference would be held in Orissa
the state sponsored organisation, which aimed to wipe this year during December. Keep yourself
out the naxalite terrorism or the naxalites which claim to available for the same.
fight for the cause of the adivasis. - AID Delhi street play team to perform its first
The Salwa Judum recruited people play at Tara in the coming weeks.
including children and called them Special Police - AID Delhi’s CSR team is looking for a
Officers. Instead of imparting basic education to them, coordinator to spearhead its initiative.
they were trained for combat, so that they could protect - AID Delhi is looking for a fulltime who can
themselves against the naxalites. The situation grew manage administration of projects, over all
from bad to worse, when the state started recruiting administration, volunteer coordination,
people forcibly, something which the naxalites had following of meal a month, coordinating fund
already been doing. The adivasis, who were earlier raising, conducting regular meetings and also
victims of the naxalites now also became the victims of documenting the activities going on at Delhi.
the state sponsored Salwa Judum. There are reports that - AID Delhi T-shirts are available at the price of
the Salwa Judum activists have raped and murdered Rs.150/-. For getting one please write to
their own people. What is worse is the fact that a victim aid.selva@gmail.com .
of the naxalites receives compensation from the state
but the victim of Salwa Judum receives zilch from the
state.

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Each of the 7 salai (clan) that make up the Meitei
Article : Coexisting with Nature
race are governed by a set of rules that bans consumption
Haripriya or use of specific plant and animal species. All clans are
banned from felling trees on Friday as it is believed that
Gods take rest on them on that day. Similarly in the
Lai Haraoba or “merry making of the Gods” is a month of Mera (September/October) eating of fish is
post harvest summer festival celebrated with fervor taboo for vaishnav meitei’s as Krishna is supposed to take
throughout the Manipur valley. The most integral part is the very form. Eating of snails (Brotia costula) is govern
the Maiba/ Maibis’ (priests and priestesses) rituals to with various taboos the story of which dates back to chahi
honour the deity of the forest known as Umang taret khundakpa (seven years of displacement/devastation)
Lai/Lairenbi. Patches of forests known as ‘Umang Lai when aftermath of war with Burma there was an exodus
Khubams’ - sacred groves of Manipur dotes the various to neighbouring kingdoms and hills had the people
localities in the valley. In traditional Meitei belief systems, carrying sack loads of snails for sustenance. Prudent
sacred groves are cultural cornerstones and every village harvesting practices are observed to promote its
needs to include an ‘Umang Lai Khubam’ which ideally conservation. Snails are collected before thunder and
should be bordering the village, becoming abodes of lightning, and the collection always proceeds from
deities who then exerts their divine powers and protects downstream towards upstream, as such practices are
resident villagers from evil. believed to prevent collection of gravid females.
Maibi Jagoi –dance of the priestess is a part of Numerous practices such as these are excellent examples
indispensable rituals of Lai Haraoba. The Maibis dress of humanity’s co existence with nature.Such practice not
in austere white possibly to signify the ritual purity of only fosters a reciprocal man – nature relationship, but
the occasion. The dance depicts the beginning of also extends to clans and races. A rich history of cultural
creation by supreme God Atiya Shidaba. The narration events showcases the brotherhood that existed between
initially traverses the cosmos and ends up spanning the the valley and hill people, unlike today. Popular folktale
chronological history of man, re-living the ways of life narrates a story of two brothers who parted in search of
of the past. A Pre-Hindu dance form untouched by livelihoods, elder went to the hills and younger, the valley.
Vaishnavism unlike most other Manipuri dance forms, it Both discovered what they were looking for and stayed
retains an animistic spirit that’s rooted to this earth. back. The cultural festival of Mera (September/October)
Such animistic belief systems were spread out all across Wayungba is an observance of that very relationship.
North Eastern states at one point of time. Historical Meiteis in the valley erects a bamboo pole in the courtyard
research points towards erosion of such systems with with a lamp at the top and keeps it there for a month. The
entry of colonialism and Christianity. Rapid shrinkage of belief goes that, the lamp is an indication to the elder
sacred groves especially in Meghalaya and Nagaland are brother in the hills that all is well and that the younger
well known examples. However, Manipur remained an sibling is safe and alive.
abode of pantheism. Even conversion of the Manipuri Things fall apart. The meitei world is no longer
king in the 17th Century to Vaishanivism (an issue that an island of autochthonous eco-centric culture. Many
remains contentious even today), didn’t radically alter feel that the knowledge behind cultural practices is
the cultural milieu though the idea of purity and dying out. In this part of the world, as in so many other
impurity did creep in, questioning existent food habits places, culture is intrinsically linked to biodiversity.
and practices. However the largely eco centric When one goes, so will the other. Many think that a
vaishnavite belief system overlapped with that of the monochromatic amorphous North East may help foster
extant animistic one. This resulted in retention of many unity. But it’s this cultural polychrome that makes the
local customs and practices that forge the Meitei seven sisters so enchanting. And it seems that respect
identity. for one’s own culture as well as others may be a way out
Close to 364 sacred groves exist in Manipur of conflict.
today. Apart from being treasure troves of local - Haripriya
biodiversity they are also an integral part of the cultural - priya.soibam@gmail.com
and ecological landscape of Manipur. The totems and
taboos that administer the worship of sacred groves Soibam Haripriya works with Public Health Resource
also ensure protection of species within.. Network in New Delhi. She is a member of the
Control Arms Foundation of India. The views and
opinions expressed in this article are hers and not
7 necessarily those of the organisations.
Article : Environment around Us Questions are endless so are answers, so
Dolly find out where your life lies?

'Yesterday' decides our 'Today'. 'Today' decides our


Environment refers to the conditions in a place 'Tomorrow'. There is no ideal environment or place, we
that influence the behaviour and development of people need to understand our needs & create one for
& things. As per the popular belief Environment is ourselves & once we've created it we should keep on
synonymous with nature, whereas a matter of fact there making some amendments. After all monotony is such a
are zillions of environments that play fairly enigmatic dull word!
roles like our working environment, home environment,
learning environment & so forth. Let's give them a once
Our environment is a reflection of ours. What do you
over.
reflect?
Natural environment - Dolly Sharma
- AID Aashayen, AID Delhi
Today, cry of Nature can easily be heard. All - dollysharma99@gmail.com
forms of nature (water, land, air) emanate our barbarity
towards them. For long Nature has been a victim of our Dolly is a volunteer with AID Aashayen. She is
ignorance but not any more, because now it's our turn teaching children there for a couple of months by now
to pay for our deeds, if we don't put a full stop to our
and she is working as a consultant. She also pens
uncivilized practices in the form of deforestation,
nuclear tests, pollution, wars etc then nature is also down a few things at her free time.
prepared to avenge its harm by hazards like global Article : Economic Boom – Difference on
warming, floods, droughts etc. Everybody knows what the life of a common man
should be done but forgets that it should be done.
Before it's too late to do anything about it at all, let's Vikas Happa
make some small changes by saving water (not wasting
something is a saving itself), not using plastic bags,
preferring public transport as much as possible, keeping In economics, the term boom and bust refers to
our surroundings clean & creating awareness about the the movement of an economy through economic
same so we can be proud of our existence as most cycles due to the changes in aggregate demand.
rational & civilized species on earth. During booms, there is a high level of aggregate
demand, the inflation increases, unemployment falls,
Other Environments [Working/ Home/ Learning] and growth in national income accelerates. This may
be too technical for the common man. So here a nexus
Contrary to Natural environment which after an extent has to be evolved between economics and the so to
is beyond the confines of human control these say humanomics. A sober analysis indicates that India
environments are the sheer reflection of our personality is continuing to do well. After growing at about 3.5
& life. How many times you've felt that you are a percent a year, between 1991 and 2005, it expanded at
complete different person at work, home or any other an average rate of about 6 percent. For the past three
place? A simple idea of going to a place, meeting a years it has been growing at about 8 percent. There is
person makes us down or elated & that's what shows no question about it - the Indian economy is in the
the environment of that place. If you find it difficult to midst of a boom. According to the Central Statistical
draw maximum level of contentment from your Organization’s (CSO) national accounts statistics,
surroundings then you need to make some changes in between 1999-2000 and 2006-07, the gross domestic
that as soon as possible. As far as working environment product (GDP) in constant prices increased at an
is concerned, first you need to ask yourself if what you average annual rate of nearly 7 percent.
are doing is what you want. Do you enjoy your work? When India awoke from its slumber in 1991 it
How do you feel when you are at your work place? undertook some major economic reforms and started
What do think about your boss, colleagues, clients, etc., growing strongly. It went straight to developing a big,
same with home, learning & others. export-oriented services sector.

8
The New Economic Policy consisted of all those policy 3-Despite the trappings of Westernization in major
measures and steps adopted and implemented by the cities, a literacy rate of just 61 percent and high infant
Govt. of India which were aimed at:- mortality rates betray the reality of India's status as an
emerging nation
1-increasing efficiency of various economic sectors.
4-Though overall poverty levels are falling at the rate of
2-introducing competitive spirit in the economy around one percent per year, that figure is hardly
keeping pace with the high levels of economic growth
3-removing bureaucratic control and procedural reported in the business pages of India's newspapers
impediments.
5-The category of Mixed Income shows a declining
All the above aimed steps subsequently targeted trend in income share and over the period in question
reducing fiscal deficit, ushering liberalization and (1999-2000& 2006-2007), the share fell by around 8%.
encouraging inflow of foreign capital. But what had the This is significant because this includes all the self
common man, a PhD of humanomics in store for himself employed, who have been growing as a proportion of
excepting this jargon, was the priceless question. India the employed and who now account for half the
Shining was a political slogan referring to the overall workforce in India, according to NSS.
feeling of economic optimism in India.The BJP led
govt. spent an estimated $20 million of govt. funds on We can say that this is a profit led boom driven by
national television advertisements and newspaper ads increasing inequality not only between different
featuring India shining slogan. This slogan drew categories of producers. The private corporate sector is
criticism from various columnists and political critics of the greatest beneficiary and now also the greatest
the ruling National Democratic Alliance government for contributor to the boom. But the non corporate
glossing over a variety of social problems, including producers and petty self employed producers of goods
poverty and social inequality. The question was that for and services are clearly not gaining in relative terms and
who was India-SHINING and from who was India in some cases may be worse off absolutely. This allows
SHY-ING. Were not the more than 20 million neurons us to relate the macroeconomic and national accounts
of the Indian MP’S sufficient to prioritize and channels data to the evidence from the employment surveys of
$20 million for a mere slogan?. falling shares and worsening conditions of wage
employment over this period. It also allows us to
"But it is almost as if the light is shining so brightly that you do understand why the theme of “two India’s ” is so
not notice the darkness," said Arundhati Roy. persistent and plausible.

The robustness in India’s economy combined with the For India to be politically able, to keep making the
advantage of its size , means that it is a country that now reforms necessary to sustain its rate of growth, it must
the global players cannot ignore. The driving factor of produce tangible economic benefits to every social
the economic boom in words of Mr. Kamal Narang is strata. It has to figure out objectively that who all
the result of corporate sector’s increasing savings and belong to the bracketed category of the common man
investments. But where is the common man featuring in because it is not possible to define it in precise terms.
this profit led boom? The following points may compel The age-old convention of the rich becoming richer and the
us to rethink. poor becoming poorer should be faded . The knowledge
intensive sector should strive to be the mass employer
1-In 1999 under-5 child mortality (that is, the number of of the low skilled labor class. The phenomenon of dual
deaths before age 5 per 1000 children) was 144 in economy in our country (modern and the traditional
Bangladesh, 128 in Pakistan and 123 in India. In 2001 economy) will always pose a challenge before the policy
the numbers were Bangladesh 77, India 93, and Pakistan makers. Which policy will benefit which economy
109. without disturbing the booming trend in the other?

2-As far as school enrolment of girls as a percentage of


boys go, the figure for Bangladesh is an exemplary
103%, whereas for India it is 78 and for Pakistan 61.

9
On one hand, we have the IT industries booming with Today after completing sixty years of independence,
great international deal being signed and on the other Indians have brought fame and glory to their country in
we have Nandigram and farmer suicides in Maharashtra various fields. They are excelling in sports, writing,
and many other agricultural states in India. As of the studies, science, business, information technology,
impact of economic boom on the consumer is medicine, space technology, engineering, nuclear energy,
concerned it is very subjective in a country like INDIA, industries, entertainment etc. These are enough reasons
where so much inequality persists. For the Indian to celebrate all achievements and accomplishments of
government to spend as much as it does - on subsidies the country. But since her Independence, India has seen
and the bureaucracy - and then to wonder why the certain failures as well, which need urgent attention.
economy is not growing faster is like my father's There is still widespread undernourishment and
youngest sister who in her old age lamented to me, "I child malnutrition at a large scale. There has been
don't know why I keep such poor health - I eat only shocking neglecting of elementary education in India. A
sweets." quarter of the population and almost half the women
are still illiterate. The average life expectancy in India is
Passing the 60 years of independence, someone on the below 64, which is extremely low and infant mortality
TV said “ The Horoscope of India reads that India is a rate is 58 per 1,000 live births. Banned but rampant
potential global economic power ” but till the potential practices such as dowry still exist on a large scale. Evil
is not fully realized and the benefits don’t percolate to discrimination on basis of gender continues in many
the grassroots, what we would have would be the parts of our society leading to infanticide. Over ten
horrorscope of India million girls have been killed by their parents in the past
20 years, either before they were born or immediately
- Vikas Happa after. We must step up and take the burden of all
- AID Prayas, AID Delhi social evils on our shoulders. We need to understand
- vikasravihappa@yahoo.co.in the problems prevailing in our country and contribute
our time and energy to solve them. We need to motivate
Vikas is a new volunteer with AID and he is right our family, friends, neighbors and colleagues to join us
now volunteering at Prayas. Vikas has done his and make a difference in the society. Many NGOs and
graduation and is now an aspirant of GMAT. He also social workers are helping to the best level of their
have lots of interest towards Bhopal issues and have ability to improve the needy and weaker sections of our
society. We can join them to bring a difference in lives
written so many articles on it.
of the less fortunate. Despite of all the current
problems, India has seen major development in
Article : India : Shilpa Singla different sectors in the past sixty years. Indians are
considered successful in various fields and set a tough
"If there is one place on the face of the earth where competition for the rest of the world. Only we, as
all the dreams of living men have found a home citizens of the nation can make a difference and bring
from the earliest days when man began the dream more glory to our country. Let’s be proud of being
of existence, it is INDIA." -Romain Rolland, part of the richest cultural nation, let’s be proud of
French Scholar being called an Indian..
She is known for her rich culture and traditions
all over the world. Her nature is astonishing. Her - Shilpa Singla
mountains provide us minerals and various resources, - shilpa.singla@gmail.com
her rivers provide us with food, energy, transportation
routes, and her jungles provide us with medicines, fruits, Shilpa is an AID volunteer who has passion towards
nuts and habitat to her wildlife. She is the largest
writing. She is also a part of AID Delhi Calendar
producer of milk, cashew nuts, coconuts, tea, ginger,
2008 team and have helped a lot with her inputs in
turmeric and black pepper and also has the largest cattle
population in the world. She is the biggest secular and selecting the photos for the calendar et al., She is
the largest democratic country. She looks confidently currently working with IBM.
towards the future and enjoys the deserved importance
and influence in the world. She is INDIA.
- . 10
India – the preserver, the pretender, the dominated. It’s
Article: The Pretender
still a colony being blackmailed and threatened by the
Tamseel new laws of interaction. Trying to cope up with the
changing trends and lifestyles it has made its mark.
If we take a walk back to our so called path of
‘development’. It would all seem so prominent and Although our co partners corruption and treachery
definite; like a metaphorical journey through time where haven’t left us , because if they leave us we would come
we forget everything that used to exist and force our to a standstill. Our goals will be subdued by a slow
ships to sail through destiny for our new found aim – motion system where all are treated equal and not
growth. Isn’t this cause for our recent product called according to their pockets or welfares.
‘India Shining’? Am I still being too much of an optimist?

Well I do admit my pride for my country’s worldly In the midst of our colossal trip to marginal success
success. The class struggle has rejuvenated in a silent tone of
It’s a success story worth mentioning. peace.
Some believe there is certainty that defines our
A sudden hike in the share market. A sudden intrusion country’s success, for some its uncertain if they will
of giant mergers. Economically our heroes, our brands survive till India deeply shines.
have been successful. Employment opportunities are on For instance traditional Indian retailership (banyagiri) has
a rise (Finally all the workers / employees get a chance gone for a six and is personified by ‘open economy’,
to choose and decide). BPO invasion changed although candid yet resourceful.
everything, our culture, our society, our health, our cost,
our knowledge and our kids. The past 5 years have been debauched and speedy, it’s
incorrect if we call ourselves tamed and prepared for the
Isn’t it true, this new plight called neo – colonialism has forthcoming pit stop. But its correct if we wish to
a profound effect on our land? experience the hardships to cross that pit stop.

Isn’t it true, the inevitable conflict between neo- The reason this article is titled ‘the Pretender’ is because
colonialism and neo – modernism is just not seamless of the country’s hidden loop holes. Where and what
enough? does it stand for? Who is benefiting out of its stand?
Are we pretending to be developing rapidly or have we
Yes we have progressed, reached new boundaries. forgotten our roots.
Although our land is loosing its fertility both
agriculturally and humanly but we still are progressing. These questions will always remain where they are right
The thin line on the Sensex chart has proved us right, now. This article will get transferred to the archives. But
but what has it done to the good old Indans? Are we all what will remain fresh and mutable will be our success.
benefiting equally? Is the price hike justified? Our self explainable class contends and our newly
constructed mono marvels.
These questions are unanswerable and unattended. - Tamseel Hussain
- AID Delhi,
Many have realized the importance of the word - tamseel.hussain@gmail.com
‘knowledge’ and how much of an effect it has on the
word ‘success’. The beggars look cheerful now, at least Tamseel Hussain is a volunteer who is doing his
some of them. Technologically we have moved ahead political science from Bhagat Singh. He is extremely
into space. All this and more defines our trip to present interested in writing articles. He is also involved in
success. re-writing the website content of AID Delhi along
Am I being too much of an optimist? with his friend Joe Sebastian.

11
Toon of the Month

News: AID Delhi celebrates Independence day at all of its projects along
with the children.

- Toon : Kalindi Sharma,


- Coordinator, AID Aashayen,
- sona4poochie@gmail.com

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Children’s Corner

From this time we have decided to incorporate some of the work done by our children of
various projects which we do. We have a lot of things to display and they will flow in from
the next newsletter. Here is a trailor for it.

Vocational training classes have been started back at AID Aashayen by Kalindi and she is
right now involved in teaching embroidery with the children. Here is just a sample piece
made by the children Pinky, Pooja, Yogesh and Kranti. They are very keen in learning such
activities and they are quick to grab whatever we say and perform it. Hope to have more
such work for display latter. You can also put in your ideas and write to us what are all the
other activities we can do with the children.

- Kalindi, Selva
- AID Aashayen, AID Delih
- aid.selva@gmail.com

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Photo of the Month: Rupali Dhaundiyal

Project: Unnati
Photographer: Rupali Dhaundiyal
Description: These are children of construction workers at the basti that AID Gurgaon chapter has been
working with.We went to talk to the parents of these children to ask them to send their kids to school as part of
our Unnati Project and found them smiling for us.

14
Behind the Scene Information Corner: Selva

We have been introducing new volunteers and active


volunteers in the volunteer profile section. But we never We all travel by air frequently these days after getting
thought of introducing the people who are really putting cheaper tickets. Initially when Air Deccan came to the
in their efforts to bring such a wonderful newsletter on market they released tickets for just Rs.500/- and taxes
time. We take this opportunity to introduce the they charged for the ticket was Rs.221/-.But within a
publication team which strives in making a better span of two years we find the Fuel Surcharges coming
up more than a flight ticket. Have we ever thought of
version every time.
what is a fuel surcharge? How is this calculated? Is it a
tax? Why it is not added to the ticket price? What are
Garui Mittal: the tax implications? Is someone evading tax? Is there a
Gauri Mittal is editing for AID Delhi’s scope of rigging this? What are the international
newsletter for more than a year by now. She is working practices?
with ST microelectronics and does major part of the
editing of the newsletter. She is one person we can To know more on it please visit
always rely on. http://elcric.blogspot.com/2007/08/fuel-
surcharge.html#links
Puneeta Chugh:
Puneeta needs no introduction. Her work talks a AID Delhi is also planning to file RTI’s on asking about
lot than her. She is the chief editor of our team. Her it. Interested volunteers may please write back to me at
micromanagement of the articles and editing has helped aid.selva@gmail.com .
us to get some quality newsletters in the past and we will
be getting more in the future too.
There is an opportunity for any volunteers interested in
Kunal Mahajan:
Environment cell to attend the course on Urban Water
This IIT Delhi Chemical Engineer is now Management conducted by Center for Science and
working with E-Value Serve, and has been with us for Environment. The course is on 24th to 27th September
about one year by now. He is one who always delivers and the last date for sending application is on 12th
on time. September. So rush and file your application. More
details available at CSE website.
Pallavi Tyagi:
The newest of all our editors but smart too. http://www.cseindia.org/misc/rwh_coursesept07.htm
After her entry we’ve got a new look to team and
workload is shared. Her tips to editing article have
helped me a lot while writing the editorial. She is also
managing AID Gurgaon’s work and she works for E-
Value Serve.

Feedback: aid.delhi@gmail.com Web: http://delhi.aidindia.org Phone: +91-9213797167


Send your Cheques drawn in favour of “AID-India” Publications Team
to Coordinator: Selva
Selva Ganapathy.R Editors: Selva, Puneeta, Gauri, Pallavi, Charu, Kunal
Department of Chemical Engineering, Designers: Selva, Arvinder, Saurabh
Indian Institute of Technology, Website/Email version of the newsletter: Anirban
Delhi - 110016
Hauz Khas

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