Association for India’s Development

Delhi Chapter Newsletter

June 2007

Table of Contents
From the editors desk Project Updates Aashayen AID Gurgaon AID Prayas Khoj Parichay Youth Task Force Volunteer Speak - Deepika Pant Article - Roshan Jha Meal a Month - Sahil Sethi Testimony - Nishank Sha Intern’s Corner Craft Workshop at Dilli Haat -Priyanka Pande Eureka Kits - Arpana Prajapati Nutritious Research - Shweta and Taruna Funds - Ways of Contribution to AID Toon of the month First Impression on AID Surya (Wife of Anuj) Volunteer Profile Darshan Mehra - AID Prayas Contact us 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 6 6 7

From the Editor’s Desk
Hello everyone, yet another month in AID and for a change this month has gone so quickly at least for me. Yes there was so many activities happening around in our family and when doing all those I couldn’t even realize that its time for me to send the newsletter. End of a month. Well before going in to the show let me take the pleasure of welcoming our new volunteers who’ve joined us at June. Hope you’ll enjoy your volunteering with us. The month of June started with a memorable event of get together of our old AIDers, and out of those old volunteers 6 of them are leaving abroad for their higher studies. It was just an event to wish them all the success from all our volunteers. The interesting part was it was supposed to be a farewell that day and after the event we realized that it wasn’t a farewell. We will not physically have them with us at Delhi but still somewhere they will be talking about and thinking about AID Delhi. This is our strength☺. Debamitro and Satadbi from AID Delhi and AID Kolkata attended a 2 day long convention for Nandigram people in which people talked about Nandgram during the first week of June along with Students for Bhopal people and finally the state oppression ended with a huge rally. We celebrated World Environment Day on 5th June by circulating posters which created awareness on Global Warming and how we can try to reduce it. As the year 2007 is AID Delhi’s year of education, people are seriously working on taking our Eureka kits to the schools of Delhi. We are also taking for collaboration with Sparsh-ek prayatna, two more self initiatives by some individuals at Vasant Kunj. All the meets have been fruitful and by the first week of July we may have a few more projects with us to support☺. There is also a plan of visiting the community market at Defense Colony where lot of children beg and start a new project there. This is the very first time AID Delhi has started to take Internship requests and we currently have five interns with us. Kalindi is working on arts and crafts education at Aashayen, while Priyanka Pande is working on setting up a curriculum for arts and crafts education which can be implemented in all of our AID projects.

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She already took a workshop for our Parichay children recently on Paper Mache. Arpana Prajapati is working with Eureka Network of AID Delhi. As I wrote in the last newsletter we have got the Eureka kit from Tamil Nadu and almost the translation is over by now. So now we have both English and Hindi version of it and that too online. Now Arpana will be approaching the schools with the kits and before approaching schools she’ll take classes at AID Prayas with our kits. Last but not least, we have two students Shweta and Taruna from S.N.D.T University, Mumbai doing their M.Sc, food Science and Nutrition. They are right now working with Parichay on analyzing the nutrition value of the food which is given in our nutrition program and also they will be designing a 5 color meal at an economical prize which will have appropriate nutrition in it. AID Delhi T-shirts designs is finalized and it’s under printing. We will have it with us by the end of first week of July. We also have started to plan for AID Delhi Calendars 2008 and Arvinder is actively working on it. We request some seriously good photos taken by our volunteers at our various projects for the same. We’ve also talked to a person Mr. Aditya Ghari who is a film maker and wanted to make professional films for each of our AID project as a volunteer. We will soon start to shoot☺. Swati Maliwal will be working on the project ‘Ensuring transparency in PWD and research on SEZ' which has got funds approved from AID US - Anti Corruption team. One more big achievement is that the book sponsored by UNICEF and published by Dorling Kindersley, London titled “A School like mine” is released and it features AID Prayas as one of the 100 schools around the globe which they choose. They’ve also contributed 100 pounds as a donation to AID Prayas and a copy of book to us. Thanks to one and all who made all this happen within a short span of time. Hope we will be rocking more in the next month. - Selva Ganapathy.R AID Delhi

Project Updates: Aashayen
o Full time classes on Sunday have been started. Three girls from Delhi University are teaching children the art of painting & craft making. o Plan to put posters in different colleges of DU giving a highlight about our chapter & AID is already underway. - Nitin Gupta AID Delhi

Project Updates: AID Gurgaon
The preceding month for AID Gurgaon was one with lot of activities. There were lots of apprehensions, anxiety and enthusiasm when we initiated a regular school for children at Unnati. Sumanji, who teaches children, is really working hard since May 2007. Progress of few children is really commendable. Apart from regular classes, we also organized some fun activities for the children during our weekend visits. These fun activities inculcate playing indoor games with children, drawing, animation movies on laptop, arranging collage. These activities infuse interest among the children and also motivate them to attend classes regularly. Moreover, such a non-academic excursion helps the children to grow in skills other than formal education. There was cloth drive and the collected cloths were given to Goonj . Also, we raised sponsorship for education of two children for a year from Literacy India under their Vidyapeeth project. For next month, we intend to admit a few children of Unnati in a local Govt. school. In future we plan to put more children in formal schools. The major task in front of AID Gurgaon is to rope in more volunteers. The lack of active volunteers has been hampering the normal activities. With Nishank and Deepak, two most active volunteers of the group leaving, the project stands on shaky grounds. We need to start regular visits to Mobile Crèches, implement a proper team based structure for AID Gurgaon to increase the accountability among volunteers and need to streamline the meal a month program to ensure efficient functioning of AID Gurgaon. - Sachin Tiwale AID Gurgaon

Project Updates: AID Prayas
Neha Sinha (new volunteer) and Pavitra (intern student) joined us at Prayas While Pavitra will be there for 2 months; Neha Sinha has committed to take at least 1 day class in a week. Both were good at handling students and now small kids feel comfortable with them. Since number of students coming for the classes was too less in the beginning of the month, so we had decided to visit the community and interact with the students and their parents and we did that on 17/06/2007. Our efforts bore fruit as in the next class we found students in great strength and nowadays they are highly motivated. We also talked to Vipin who wants to work as a regular teacher at Prayas. We explained him everything about Prayas kids and what all is expected from him. He has agreed for a salary of Rs.3000/- a month to work with us.He may be reporting with us from 1st of July. Arpana will be teaching children of Prayas with our Eureka Materials from the last week of June along with Umesh. - Anuradha AID Delhi I would like to share my personal experience with Prayas. When I started working with Prayas I thought it was very challenging to teach these children because they are not as obedient and disciplined and some time I got frustrated. But slowly with time I found these children won’t bind with you without love and affection and they won't like to be taught by you. And today I am proud that at least few children have learnt very well. During my initial days “Gudiya” and “Reena” used to come regularly but they just used to come and go back with doing "Thoda sa kaam " given by any Sirji or Didi. But now they are sincerely trying to learn as much as possible. Both of them were not able to recognize 1 2 3 4 5 earlier but now they are capable of doing addition and subtraction very well .Besides them Suby, Saabreen ,Kavita , Ishrat,Afsana are doing good job too . This is a great reward for any volunteer which also motivates them to work harder. - Darshan Mehra AID Delhi. •

Project Updates: Khoj
The new curriculum has been introduced at the two respective centres. The curriculum has been divided into different levels. These include recognizing alphabets, writing and joining letters etc. To make the process more effective worksheets were prepared for each level. We recently organized a workshop for our teaching volunteers to acquaint them to the new teaching strategies and methodologies and the manner in which the implementation process would accommodate these techniques so as to fulfill the objectives of the curriculum and achieve our outlined targets. Following an assessment of the progress made at the two centres after the implementation of the curriculum the varying capacities of the children in terms of grasping the details was identified. While a few have shown tremendous progress such as Rekha from Jor Bagh and Asha, Radhesham and Maya from Bikaji, the others seem to require more time. It was therefore decided to divide the kids into two groups accordingly so as to ensure that each group got maximum attention and the requirements of the two groups as far as the learning process was concerned was adequately and effectively met. Blackboards have been used at the Hyatt centre. It was observed that using blackboards augmented the teaching process. The kids have responded to this new teaching positively. They concentrate better during classes and grasp facts faster. The visit to Mrs. Sangeeta’s residence by the kids from the Jor Bagh centre turned out to be a fun learning experience. Music, food, a bathing and an art and craft session was arranged for the kids. They were also gifted a special health kit which included a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, nail cutter etc. She plans to continue organizing such visits to her residence for the children every month. We have been joined by a new Volunteer from Philippines. Joan is pursuing her Masters in Engineering. She volunteers at Jor Bagh and Bikaji. - Ritesh Kumar, AID Delhi

Project Updates: Parichay
Activity highlights: 1. Sale at Microelectronics: 8,100 (approx) 2. Priyanka Pandey conducted a workshop on Paper Mache for the kids at Parichay. Several other session of this workshop are yet to be conducted. We will post a detailed report on the completion of the workshop. 3. Priyanka has also taken up the responsibility of illustrations of stories and books. 4. Selva is all geared up to take up the responsibility of HELP classes. 5. For the very first time, Taruna and Swetha are helping us compare and analyze the nutritional value of the food, served under the Nutrition program. We hope that, in future, this would help us choose food with better nutritional value. Moreover, we will soon arrange a series of cooking competition among the women to promote the best practices in cooking. 6. Nitin is working on the aesthetic part of the website. Current Volunteers: Naval, Pow, Priyanka, Shashank, Krishna, Navneet Somani, Nitin, Selva and Puneeta Inactive Volunteers: Yogesh, Neeraj, and Jwala Puneeta Chugh, Parichay. AID Delhi.

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To mobilize the masses to use the RTI to fight corruption. To establish a transparent and accountable system, one in which we can trust.

Activity highlights The month of June has been one of the most successful months for YTF. We have got the maximum number of committed volunteers. Also we have been able to structurize our team AND make a website specifically for YTF. The following teams were formed 1. Networking Team 2. Website Team 3. Fund Raising Team 4. Research Team 5. Issues Issues: These include issues like Roads , Hospitals ,Govt. Schools,,Buidings ,Traffic , street lights, horticulture,drainage,solid waste management, stray animals,etc on which we can file RTI's • The website team consists of Sidharth Goyal , Abhimanyu Sanghi, Roshan Kumar Jha ,and Anand.They have made the website in a record period of time. Check out : www.ytfindia.org. We have filed 10 more RTI's on roads this month. Soon we will be going for printing of 100 Tshirts for YTF as a fund raiser. The design of the T-shirt has to be finalized. We are having regular weekly meetings at IIT Delhi every Saturday evening. Youth Task Force has decided to collaborate with AID US anti corruption team in their common effort to reduce corrruption.The members of YTF have agreed to do physical inspections for RTI's of AID US volunteers on a case by case basis. - Chirag Kapoor, Volunteer Coordinator, AID Delhi.

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Project Updates: Youth Task Force
Introduction Youth Task Force is a youth group committed to fight against corruption and to ensure transparency and accountability in the Government. This group has been brought together by JOSH in collaboration with AID Delhi. Youth Task Force mainly comprises of students from various colleges in and around the capital. Students from several prestigious institutions including IIT Delhi are joining this movement. Slowly but surely, we are inching towards our goal. Objectives • • To expose the corruption which has plagued the system. Spread awareness about the Information Act, 2005 (RTI) . Right to

Volunteer Speak: Deepika Pant
I am Deepika Pant, pursuing masters in Applied Psychology from Delhi University. I have been associated with AID Delhi since past 10 months as a volunteer for the ‘Khoj’ I describe my experiences with ‘Khoj’ as that of learning, self realization & growth. While teaching street children I learned the very fact that children who appear different in appearances and habits from us are not so different in their feelings, emotions & aspirations. I realized the importance of all my trivial and ostensibly non trivial acts in making a significant difference in the lives of these kids. Becoming sensitive about the feelings & needs of children belonging to a totally different section of society has been an awakening experience for me. Even after possessing a masters degree in Education I wasn’t much familiar with the Non Formal aspect of education. Khoj helped me to gain first hand experience in the same. At present I am doing my internship with an organization which works with school children with the aim of making them self reliant. This organization is endeavoring to fill in the gaps in the development of an integrated personality, by focusing on - Self Sufficiency, understanding Communication and Bridging the same, strengthening healthy Family functioning and Relationships. The efforts include inculcation of Morals, Values, Ethics & Discipline in the upcoming generation. As a part of my internship, I am involved in a theatre workshop organized by this organization for the students of Salwan Junior Public School in the school premises. The workshop stipulated for a period of 28 days is based on the following theme: ‘Achieving Happiness I Can Do It’.Though conducted by NSD trained professional, this workshop is not all about teaching acting skills or giving exposure to the concept of professional theatre activities to students. Rather it aimed at overall personality development of the children by providing them with means for creative expression, a setting to foster their imagination and an environment full of pleasure and joy. The major purpose of the workshop is to offer all children the opportunities & channels of emotional expression, facilitating acceptance of their own & other’s emotions and strengthening their emotional, social & cognitive development.

Thus, the workshop focuses on inculcation of various important life skills in children, which includes – enhancing confidence & self esteem, fostering love, cooperation, empathy, trust, faith among students, developing a sense of discipline, time management, responsibility, team spirit and leadership abilities. To achieve the abovementioned aim, different kinds of interesting, enjoyable, well planned and logically sequenced activities and games are used. Efforts are made towards character building through the play way method. Wide variety of activities like paper pencil exercises, ball games, improvisation, ad making etc. are the medium of instruction and expression. Most of these activities encourage children to use their imagination, creativity, communication skills and various other psychosocial competencies. Hitherto, the workshop has been quite successful in providing an established platform for the outlet of suppressed emotions to all the students, and is helping them to come over their inhibitions and incompetencies in a non challenging & non threatening environment. My one month of internship has made me ponder over the significant aspect of education that has been either lacking completely in our school curriculum or is in its nascent stages. With major emphasis on academics, inculcation of skills in students to grapple with the struggles and challenges of life has been totally ignored. It’s essential to teach life skills for the promotion of healthy child and adolescent development. Life Skills facilitate in the development of healthy patterns of behavior and also help prevent some key causes of child and adolescent death, disease and disability. It’s necessary to start imparting life skills at an early age so that these young children grow into mature, healthy, contributing and responsible members of the society. It also contributes significantly to the socialization process. It can be said that, life skill education assists in the development of psychosocial skills that are required to deal with demands and challenges of everyday life. Thus, with life skill education the quality of life increases- as it aims towards bringing out positive changes in each individual- by making him aware about issues like HIV/AIDS, violence, child abuse, suicide, substance use disorder, racism, conflicts, environmental issues, world peace etc. at a very broader level.

Keeping this in mind, I am developing a module on Life Skills Education for adolescents, which includes various intervention strategies and other exercises that can prove effective in inculcating various important skills such as decision making, creative thinking, problem solving, self awareness, empathy etc. I am keenly interested in conducting life skills and counseling sessions for the different student groups involved in various projects of AID as in my view development of better individuals is an essential prerequisite for the development of a better society. -Deepika Pant Khoj, AID Delhi

Article: Lower is Higher ! (Hot n Happening) Roshan Jha
Police Posts , vehicles werel sat on fire, railway tracks were damaged, roads blocked, “bandhs” and protests all over the state, many killed and many injured; all these only to achieve 'degradation'. Yes it's true and its happening in India. Currently the Gujjars community fall under OBC (Other Backward Caste) but to gain the quota benefits of the ST (Scheduled Tribes) they are demanding to get included in ST list.In Rajasthan the Meena ST community (comprising 10% of the total population) overwhelms the civic services quota. Opposing the Gujjars’ protest Meenas are also taking their agitation to the streets afraid to accept the Gujjars as a Scheduled Tribe. There was severe clash between the two. 11 lives were lost in the whole affair. But there are many innocent lives also which they are taking indirectly.Is this not selfishness ? Though miscreants do understand the consequence of blocking Traffic and Bandh they do not stop. A critical patient or an accident victim might be deprived of timely medical help which could lead to death. The victim may be a friend or a close relative of their community. More to say,setting on fire public transport !! They must be taught after all loss to public property is in nobody's interest and it is a national loss. The Gujjars are notified as ST in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. They fall in the OBC category in Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

These caste tags are solely on the basis of statistics. According to a survey the average Gujjar's household income is 1.5 lacs per annum. Many of them are prosperous, owning properties and doing business People must learn that Quotas are declared not on the basis of protests but after a detailed study of the community’s background and the other data available. There are guidelines in the constitution which define the conditions of reservation. In the early 20th century Gujjars with some other OBCs attempted upward mobility since at that time it was higher Hindu status that was the Good, today some of them are claiming ST status, today it is education and jobs even if it means downward caste mobility. Because today ..... The Lower is Higher !!! - Roshan Jha YTF, AID Delhi.

Meal a Month: Sahil Sethi
When I joined AID as a volunteer in August 2006, I wasn’t too enthused by the concept of Meal a Month (MaM) . It was something I had never heard of before. It seemed like just another way to ask for donations from volunteers. But after having volunteered with AID for a year now, I have come to realize the power and the importance of Meal-a-Month. What is this MaM ? MaM is a form of monetary donation to AID activities. The cost of one Meal is different for all of us. To some, it is a Rs. 15 thali at the local cafeteria while to some it may be the Rs. 300 Pizza at the nearby joint. At AID, we ask you to contribute what YOU believe is the cost of YOUR single meal, every month. A volunteer who wants to donate money for a social cause can do it under any pretext – be it buying books, bags or clothes or even for administrative expenses. The essence of Meal-a-Month is that it not a donation compaign. It is not a ‘Caption’ under which money is collected. Meal a month is a form of expression of the sentiments of the donor. We at AID believe in the philosophy of “Sangharsh, Seva, Nirmaan”. All three require commitment, hard work and some amount of care on our behalf. When we talk about the upliftment of the poor, we must realize that we are talking about providing them basic amenities. Food is the basic necessity of man. Lack of food is the first sign of Poverty. We at AID, in our struggle to fight poverty and to work for the underprivileged, believe that food is an amenity that we can all work for and provide to the needy.

Meal a month, and some other forms of Directed donations, is the only way AID raises money. We do not go to charities or funding agencies for money. We do not go to Corporate and beg them for a slice of their ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’. At AID, we believe in “Individual Social Responsibility”. More than 60% of funds raised by AID Delhi come from Meal-a-Month. Besides, there is no vested money laundering in MaM. AID Delhi is as transparent as an organization can be. MaM is not merely about raising money. It is about showing that you care. Some volunteers try to quantify their volunteering skills by claiming that they should not pay MaM when they are already engaged in volunteering in the form of teaching, writing, designing etc. In my opinion, there is no limit to volunteering. One should do as much as one can do. MaM does not ask for much, merely the cost for one meal a month. None of our volunteers live in a hand-to-mouth situation that prevents them from making such a contribution, over and above the other forms of volunteering which they do. I proudly donate Rs. 100 as my Meal-a-Month contribution to AID. It does not mean that I have hundred rupee meals all the time. Nor does it mean that it’s the maximum amount I spend for meals. But it is certainly a reasonable figure. It is not used to feed anyone but the contribution I give is used in some projects / activities which makes a person, or his family to learn to earn his food.. Or the money can go for administrative expenses, for the fellowships of our fulltime volunteers, for buying books or clothes when we need them. When I contribute my MaM , it is not a directed donation. Nor am I thinking about AID’s overdependence on MaM for its expenses. I would have given the same amount even if AID had gotten enough money from a single individual to take care of its expenses. This donation to me is a way to show to myself (and to AID) that I care. No matter how much I volunteer for AID, I will never say that the volunteering can make up for my MaM contribution. I know there are many who read this want to actively do social work. Many of them are registered volunteers of AID. But personal or professional constraints or mere lethargy of action hasn’t let you do anything so far. I implore you all to come forward and contribute to Meal-a-Month. The gesture itself is enough to remove your lethargy. It will not only symbolize that you care, but will make you come forward and show an active interest in AID Delhi’s activities. - Sahil Sethi AID Delhi

Testimony: Nishank Sha
I have been asked to write my experience with AID Delhi/Gurgaon since I have been associated with it for more than a year. But sadly I have moved out from there after my wonderful association for more than a year. Prior to coming here, I had some experience in volunteering during my sojourn in Mysore and Pune and I wanted to carry it forward in Gurgaon. I have been mainly associated with Mobile Crèches, an NGO working for children of construction site workers, Unnati, an independent project of AID Gurgaon for the education of children living in slums and Literacy India, an NGO working for the education of underprivileged children and women. I started as a volunteer here, visiting to Mobile Crèches on weekends but slowly I also got involved with managing other affairs related to AID Gurgaon like interacting with new volunteers, raising funds, helping with publicity part, overseeing the overall functioning, etc. I never thought I would get so much chance of active involvement. The best part of AID is that it provides a totally free platform where anyone can contribute in the way one likes to do. From my college days I had thought of doing something for the underprivileged, but never got the right direction and opportunity. That time I used to think that just helping in a good cause at personal level is enough. But after being a part of AID, I realized that volunteering is much more than that. It also requires involving other people in the process. AID helped me broaden my perspective on various social issues and how the various problems of society are interconnected, especially through the fruitful discussions during CSH and ORs and the informative mails from time to time. At AID it is really heartening to see so many young people involved in one way or another, joining hands together to bring the desired change in the society. Being involved in volunteer visits, spreading awareness among people, discussing on relevant issues, raising funds for supporting causes, helping other NGOs, involving more and more people, these are just few of the ways in which one gets to work with AID. And the learning is tremendous especially in dealing with real-life problems and working out solutions for them. It gives me the feeling of being a responsible citizen of my country and doing something for it, and not just cribbing about the system around us. AID has reinforced my belief that every individual has the capacity to bring the change in society. All one needs is a vision to foresee that change and the passion to work upon it.

As the AID's slogan goes, "BE THE CHANGE", so I am trying to live by it. It is just the beginning of my association with AID and I am sure that it is a long way to go. I would also like to say my thanks to all the people whom I have come to know through AID and who have provided me support and guidance in carrying forward the activities. - Nishank Sha AID Delhi / AID Gurgaon

Interns Corner
Craft Workshop at Dilli Haat The craft workshops at Dilli Haat are aimed at spreading local crafts from different states of the country and keeping their tradition alive and also giving them a contemporary edge. There was neither age limit nor was it required for the participants to have any previous knowledge of the crafts. As a result the students that attended these workshops were women and children all trying to utilize their summer vacations in a better way. The various workshops offered in the ten day program were: • Pottery • Paper Mache • Madhubani Paintings • Miniature paintings • Glass Paintings • Soft toys • Paper crafts Keeping in mind my objectives for designing a curriculum for the “AID” children, I concentrated on the activities that: • Are exciting and fun for the students • The end – product is both aesthetic and useful • Requires low cost raw materials and low or no maintainace costs • Are easy to catch up and build on creatively So I began my lesson with pottery and Paper Mache.

Pottery: Within the first class itself I realized that I had wrongly judged the difficulty level of this particular craft. Great skill is involved in making the most basic pots. It is an art that doesn’t come without a lot of practice and devotion. The materials required for pottery are - An electric wheel, Clay that has been kneaded well, water, small piece of sponge and a piece of thread. During the workshop I realized that potters should have a very steady hand and lots of patience. This being said the result, after ten days of toil, is more than gratifying; to see a lump of clay turn into a creation is most astonishing. Once you learn the technique, it is up to the individual’s imagination to shape their ideas. Paper Mache This is a simpler and quicker craft. I learnt to make a preparation of primarily newspapers that starts to behave exactly like clay, only it is less liable to breakage, its lighter and doesn’t require a baking kiln! It is also very inexpensive. The raw materials required for Paper Mache are: Newspapers (3 parts), Edible gum (1part), Chalk plaster (2 parts), Fevicol and water for sticking, Plywood for relief work, small mirrors for decoration. In this workshop I learnt to make toys and relief work on plywood (called Doriwork and its originated in Haryana). Both the workshops that I attended were very informative and at the same time I had a lot of fun. I am now looking to forward my learning to students interested in crafts.

- Priyanka Pande Intern, Final Year Architech Student, SPA, Delhi

Eureka Educational Kit This is my first testimonial for AID – an organization, which is a great platform for those seeking to satisfy their penchant for ‘Development of India’. I use the cliché ‘Development of India’ because no other phrase can convey the vigor reflected in it. Though I have been indirectly associated with AID as a donor toward ‘Meal-amonth’ program, it was only in May-end that I decided to intern with AID. I wanted to work toward my objective of seeing a progressive society and my beliefs suggest that education is the best tool to achieve this objective. Keeping in view this aim, I decided to take up a project in Child Education and was therefore, assigned ‘Eureka’. The success of this project in Tamil Nadu and the great response it has received from the schools in the area is a pre-cursor to its initiation at AID-Delhi. The project aims to develop the reading skills of children and is equally effective for those who missed the opportunity of formal schooling. It comprises of sets of intelligently designed charts, crosswords, and games at different levels, which allows kids to exercise their cerebrum actively. As an intern, I designed these charts and crosswords, i.e. hand-wrote them. Though small, it was a great activity for me because while penning down each word, I kept imagining how it would be conveyed to the children. Our first focal point in the roadmap for Eureka is to use these sets with the children of Prayas and inspect the results. The feedback will have to be thoughtfully incorporated in the current kit, before we take the same to the MCD schools in Delhi. The development of guidelines for teachers and feedback forms is in process. Another significant achievement was to get another student of my college as a volunteer for this project. Umesh is currently working with IndusLogic and will be available part-time for Eureka. I faced many challenges while working on the project. The words of appreciation from Selva and Anirban, for every small task work the same wonders as motivation pills. There are several cons to being a volunteer – investing time and money. But the deliverable is fabulous. You can stand tall and talk of deficiencies in a system without a pang of guilt.

Education is one sector that forms the backbone of a developed society. As a volunteer, it gives me immense satisfaction to be given an opportunity to make a difference to the most important segment of society children. I am looking forward to July as a month full of achievements for Eureka. We should be seeing at least 10-15 schools using this kit. Treat this as a call to cheerleaders of Developed India! Let’s share and contribute our knowledge. - Arpana Prajapati Intern Member Technical Staff Prepaid Team GENBAND Technologies Noida.

PARICHAY se PARICHAY

Nutritious Research A search that began in an attempt to fulfill the requirements of an academic course resulted in enlightenment- enlightenment about the fact that true philanthropists still exist, sincere efforts are still rewarded and qualities of innocence, genuinity, and concern have not faded away from the face of the Earth. The above lines refer to our interaction with Parichay, an organization working for the upliftment of children surviving under difficult conditions. We were asked to evaluate the ongoing nutrition program of Parichay as part of our Masters internship. Out of our experience of visits to other NGOs or organizations running nutrition programs for children, we expected that Parichay too must be serving staple dishes like khichdi or dal-chapati to the children as in a mid-day meal program type of set-up. We had not expected anything served to children that was nutritious, included variety in dishes or was even eaten by the children happily. However, we are glad to say that we have been proved wrong. Our interaction with Parichay has made us realize that the food served here to the children as part of Nutrition Program has all the properties which we had expected to be missing. The food served includes variety and is relished by the children. Care is taken to consider the children’s preferences for food while preparing and preparations are such which are liked by the majority. It is ensured that each child eats the food provided completely before leaving the premises. All this truly reflects the sincere efforts of the organization to ensure the availability of good quality food to these children.

However, it was realized that the food given to the children is not based on any principles of nutrition science but planned according to the suggestions given by the medical officer of the organization. As a result of this, the dishes prepared are such that they provide energy and protein but are deficient in micronutrients. Moreover, since food is prepared and served in bulk hence the needs of the children are not being met in accordance with their age as indicated by their anthropometric measurements. Most of the children were found to be malnourished, especially in the age group of 5-11 years. The above data indicated that further attention needs to be paid to the quality and quantity of food being served to these children to help them meet their potential for growth where they are lacking. The idea of serving each child the quantity of food as per their age requirements is not very feasible as it would increase the burden of cooking the food. It thus seems worthwhile to work on the quality of the food for the children so that it becomes more wholesome in terms of its nutrient content. Certain simple modifications in the recipes being made presently and addition of some new ones which are nutrient dense will be beneficial for the children. These recipes can then be served as the food supplement to the children at the centre. Also, certain sessions are being conducted with the adolescent group so that they understand the importance of nutrition and can accept the new ingredients and recipes planned to be implemented in the near future. These sessions are aimed at introducing nutrition related aspects of health and quality of life to the children. The women of the spice unit at the centre and some of the adolescent girls are being made to make use of ingredients like bajra, jowar, ragi for planning and preparing recipes which are nutritious and can be served to the children at the centre. The cooking competition is planned to be conducted in the coming week. Working at Parichay has been an enriching experience so far and is bringing more challenges for us as nutritionists. We hope to be contributing more towards the effort in the coming future. - Taruna Sanghi - Shweta Sharma Interns, M.Sc, food Science and Nutrition, S. N.D.T Women’s University,Mumbai.

Funds: Ways to Contribute for AID Delhi
How to donate in India. If you have a bank account with internet banking facility, ELECTRONIC you can make an electronic TRANSFERS transfer via internet banking to AID-India's ICICI Bank Account No 602201200299. Draw a cheque in favor of "AID-India" (ICICI Bank Account No 602201200299) and mail to: Selva, Delhi (see CHEQUES full address below). You may also deposit this cheque at any ICICI bank branch and send us the accepted (stamped) counterfoil of the deposit slip. Cash may be deposited in any branch of ICICI Bank to the credit of "AID-India ICICI Bank Account No Cash 602201200299". To obtain the reciept, please mail us the accepted (stamped) counterfoil of deposit slip. following information may be useful for the benefit of different bank (non-icici) account holders who wish to make etransfer, AID-India ICICI Bank Branch: Royapettah High Road (RHR) Branch location: Chennai Branch MICR code: 600229007 Account No.: 602201200299 Account type: Savings Beneficiary address: New No 34, Rathenam Street Gopalapuram, Chennai - 600 086 Phone: +91-44-42106493, 28350403 Email: aidindia.news@gmail.com * IMPORTANT To receive a receipt for your donation, you must send the following details to aid.delhi@gmail.com 1. Your name 2. Address 3. Date of donation 4. Amount of donation 5. Mode of donation (e-transfer, cheque, online) 6. Your details for identification - Name of your bank and branch together with Cheque number or Bank account number or e-transaction ID

Toon of the Month

- Picture - Kalindi, Intern, Aashayen - Thoughts - Selva / Chirag AID Delhi

First Impression on AID - Surya (Wife of Anuj)

It was a blazing Sunday evening. Air conditioners had lost hands down to the ever rising mercury. It was then that Anuj asked me if I would like to attend the AID eeting. Ever since my marriage to him in February this year, I had been dying to meet Anuj’s AID family. I was delighted with the invitation and got ready in a jiffy. On my way to Dilli Haat, I wondered what lay before me. Whether I would be meeting a gang of fiery revolutionaries, a set of boring philosophers or maybe a mixture of both. On reaching the meeting spot, I was a greeted by hellos and quick introductions. Before I knew it, I was part of the group and by the time we walked up to the Delhi stall, light humor was in the air. Obviously, the picture I had painted about the AID volunteers had been completely washed out. What stood before me was a group of friends in their 20s with career, family, relationships and lot of cool fun on their minds. I was still unable to understand the world of AID. Once settled around a table, it was time for some serious business. The senior guys i.e. those with a relatively long experience with the organization kicked off the discussion and gradually others joined in. Initially, relatively new volunteers were reluctant to speak but eventually, they too got involved. Everyone had a story to tell, an experience to share, a typical problem to boggle the minds and practical and not so workable solutions to their problems. In fact, I was very surprised when a volunteer said that they needed a person who would be regularly teaching the kids.

I thought, that was because the new teachers were unaware of the extent of syllabus that had been covered by the predecessor. Instead, I was explained that the real problem was that the children did not learn unless they could relate to their teacher and for that, they needed regular interaction with him or her. Of course, as it happens in all meetings, there were deviations but that was when Anuj did the tough job of steering the discussion in the right direction with a hardhitting statement. All in all, the session was proving to be an eye-opener for me. Apart from the weekly meeting, this was also meant to be a farewell party for six volunteers; Riputapan, Gunjan, Ritika, Nishank, Somen and Priyanka who were soon to move to the USA for pursuing their higher studies. Somen somehow couldn’t make it there. Of course, AID Delhi might loose the physical presence of its precious members. But according to most, it is just a temporary loss. These members were given the onerous task of extending support to AID from their respective universities and bring many more with the tide. On a lighter note, each volunteer was asked to find a replacement, so that the projects he or she was involved with, would not suffer. Jokes apart, all knew that each individual member of the AID family, with his energy, strength and involvement was a unique and irreplacable asset. Finally, over samosas, chaat and lots of chilled water, future plans of AID were discussed.

The meeting was concluded with a special mention for Selva. He had achieved the feat of writing an article in “Shuddha Hindi” for the Parichay periodical. Of course, the query of one and all was, if the same had been actually written by him. He answered with a proud smile, “ Arrey yaar, you can call up Vijay Bhaiyya if you don’t believe me.” I think, none would disagree that his writing truly symbolizes the magic of simple words expressing deepest emotions. It was good-bye time. Of course, two hours with the AID volunteers were an extremely short time to interact but the hot weather did not allow us more time. It struck me that sadly, a metropolis like Delhi did not offer a single roof for its young activists to sit under. On my way back, I realized, my perception of AID had changed. “AID members are not less ambitious or career-minded than other youngsters of their age, but they want to spread knowledge to as many as they can.” “They do not have extra hours on hand but the shear will to take out time to give a hand to those who need it.” “They are not satisfied laughing and partying amongst themselves but want to bring a smile on every person’s face.” “They know that they might be able to make only a scratch of a difference but it still makes all the difference to them.” “They are not a group of ordinary youngsters but extraordinary human beings with a vision.” - Surya Malik, Wife of Anuj Grover.

Volunteer Profile
Darshan Mehra Volunteer Coordinator - Noida Coordinator - AID Prayas Darshan as the name describes, has got a philosophical touch and a very kind heart...Darshan is one of the regular volunteer at Prayas..he is very practical and a little emotional when dealing with kids...he is very popular among kids for telling them stories and making paper boat after the class.....He had recently visited Parichay and shared his experience with us so that we can learn something from it and can apply in Prayas too....he is very energetic and we can find maximum number of post in Prayas group from his side...a good coordinator always tries to motivate other volunteers also...Nowadays he is busy in finding a regular teacher for Prayas kids.....We will all like to thank him for being with prayas - Anuradha, AID Delhi. “It takes one Rambo to save the world, It takes one Hitler to bring down the RAF, It takes one Krishna to change Arjuna's mind, It takes one Indus valley civilization to change mankind, It takes one wooden horse to bring down Troy, and It takes one Darhsan Mehra to keep us going at Prayas.” -Arun Raj AID Delhi

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