Association for India’s Development

Delhi Chapter Newsletter

October 2007

Table of Contents
From the editors desk Project Updates Aashayen AID Gurgaon AID Prayas Parichay Nai Disha Khoj Youth Task Force TARA Articles How to make a difference to the society Ankit Khanna India Agriculture Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow - Vikas Happa and Venu Kapoor Volunteering – Selva Treasury Organizational Shuffle Photo of the Month – TARA Photo of the Month – Prayas Contact us 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 4

From the Editor’s Desk
Yet another “hi” to all the readers. This time while drafting the editorial I’ve been thinking to share a few thoughts with you people and would like to put it in a crispier manner. This month got a sign of relief for me after sharing a lot of responsibility with the people around me and the interesting part is they have come forward to share the load. I’d say that the candles which we lit on 2nd of October to show our solidarity towards Indian farmers have brought the signs of light among lot of our people. That day is still in front of my eyes where the entire family of AID Delhi gathered together to say a word to our farmers. It was an event which took place across the globe. We might have not had the greatest event with only 200 odd people turning out but the fire the candles have lit in a few people’s heart is still glowing. The candles which we lit in the heart of hundreds of people while we collected signature might be still glowing. That’s the change we could make. A few people still ask me “What’s up with Agrarian Crisis after your vigil? Please keep me updated”. That is the difference we’ve made. They now feel for it. If they read an article related to it, now they will pay attention to it. Well before loosing the track of what I was trying to conclude, let me come back to it. The candles we lit brought the potential of lot of other people among us. It has brought our prospective leaders and visionary in the limelight. 2nd October from this year has been announced as Global Non-Violence day. There are also a few more issues I’d like to share with you people. We at AID Delhi level have lots of meeting. I have observed that apart from a very few the rest always come late or prefer to come late. We at this level as professionals should strict to timings. We all know the value of ‘x’ minutes of ours and we also should respect the ‘x’ minutes of our counterpart. I agree that there might have been traffic and some important work on the way etc., but I question “Do we do the same thing if we are going to catch a train or a flight?” We never do it. Infact we reach at least 20 minutes earlier to catch a train before its scheduled departure although we know that it never departs on its time. I take this as an opportunity to request people to be on time from here on. It will be really useful for everyone at any point of your life. 1

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Education, the focus area of AID Delhi this year is going fantastic among all the projects despite Ashayen where there is a huge volunteer crunch. I’m still not able to sort out the problems over there but I feel that a workshop for volunteers would do the magic. Let’s hope that things become better at Ashayen soon. AID Prayas have just started to implement Eureka kit and it might bring some change in the structure. We will soon start to implement it on our other projects once we replicate them Delhi is getting chiller and we are experiencing pleasant weather these days. I’ve also been planning for a winter cloths distribution drive later this November. I’d request volunteers to collect cloths and blankets for the same. There is a bit of organizational shuffle too within AID Delhi. I also wish all our well wishers a very special Diwali. Will reach you people again after a month break. Till then. Happy Reading! -Selva, Editor, AID Delhi e-newsletter, aid.selva@gmail.com +91-9891358457

Aashayen desperately needs a coordinator as of now and more volunteers. Approaching students of DU might be handy. Tanya, Akshta and Rahul have joined our team. Selva aid.selva@gmail.com +91-9891358457

Project Updates: AID Gurgaon
As always, the month of October was also filled with lots of activities for AID Gurgaon. During this month, we achieved a milestone of 50 children in our project Unnati. Earlier, Unnati School had only one batch of 30-35 children however, this month we started a second batch at the school. Currently, project Unnati has two batches, Batch A and Batch B with a total of 50 children. In October, we also started the Right to Information (RTI) Cell in AID Gurgaon. We conducted an RTI awareness session for volunteers. Moreover, we have filed an RTI application related to the public transport system in Gurgaon city. Also, we are in the process of filing an RTI application regarding the condition of government schools in Jharsa. On the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) front we are doing well. As a CSR activity, we had organized an exhibition of handicraft articles made by Literacy India in Hero Honda on October 24th. Also, we are organizing the same exhibition in Evalueserve in the first week of November. In the coming months, we will work towards replicating Unnati Project in other bastis in Gurgaon. Further, we will organize RTI awareness campaigns and will file RTI applications related to various other issues faced by the common man in Gurgaon. - Pallavi Tyagi pallavi.tyagi@evalueserve.com

Project Updates: Aashayen
AID Aasheyen is in a biggest trouble these days. We are undergoing severe volunteer crunch and the coordination between the volunteers class timings is getting worse than ever. Despite all these facts regular classes were held. Kalindi's vocational training class has been a huge hit among the children where everyone finds things interesting. Dussara festival did damaged the class during that weekend. Kalindi's absence is also a big loss. Dolly and Nitin have been sticking to their timings and taking classes regularly. Atul started with profiling the families. We are still suffering with the space problem and we need to find an alternate as soon as possible.

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Project Updates: AID Prayas
Now I can say that Prayas is on right track! Last 3-4 months were very challenging for us, we hired full time teachers, we approached Govt. School to provide room for our classes, we talked to Moonlight School owner, but nothing has worked out for us. Finally we had to take decision to go back in the community, at mufti sahib’s room for our evening classes too (Night classes are already going on there from the beginning of Prayas).Now we have started maintaining attendance, we bought one trunk for stationary storage, we have announced that we will give prizes to those kids who will be the most regular and good performer in class. Apart from this we have noticed one thing, even Vijay Bhaiyya has also mentioned this earlier that first of all anybody needs a language to express, language is the first step towards education .It is applicable for our kids also .So we have decided to give more emphasis on Hindi .Teaching kids to read and write Hindi is the topmost priority for us now. We are trying to implement Eureka Kits for improving Hindi. We focus to teach ] and ी for elder kids. All these efforts are working out good for us till today. One more and important thing I want to mention is that in Prayas we have a good team of committed volunteers that includes Ruchi, Raj, Nikhil , Kanan, Neha, Rajat, Anand, Anuradha, Arun, Atul & Darshan (Me ) and now we have our vision for Prayas . Because of this team, now the dependency on any single volunteer is very less which is a good thing. Watching our kids in school uniform and watching their enthusiasm is motivating for us. I can say on the basis of my personal experience that our volunteers have become the change in the life of Prayas Kids though very small but the change is there. Kudos for our team of volunteers!!!!! -Darshan Mehra, AID Prayas - darshanmehra@gmail.com

Project Updates: Parichay
Project Highlights 1. Production: The kids worked real hard this time to innovate and have come up with new products for Deepawali stalls. We hope our supporters would like the new products on offer. 2. Spices stall at STM crossed Rs. 10,000. 3. A team from BITS Pilani visited Parichay this month and purchased products worth Rs. 6,000. Volunteers: Active Volunteers: Akanksha, Shelly, Naval, and Puneeta Inactive Volunteers: Shashank, Pow, and Navneet Parichay team wishes everyone a happy and glittery Deepawali." - Puneeta - Coordinator, Parichay - puneetac@gmail.com - 9818361122

Project Update : Nai Disha

1. Curriculum planned 4th and 5th class. 2. Picnic planning going on (mostly on 3rd november) 3. Computers problem still there, 4 out of 6 computers are not working. 4. Volunteers crunch.

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-Rajat Maheshwari, Coordinator, Nai Disha.. rajat.maheshwari@st.com - 9810994596

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Project Update : Khoj
1) Classes at all centers are going well despite of volunteer crunch 2) Hats off to Pawan, Zubair, Aproop, Mrs. Sangeeta & Annie for their immense efforts 3) After a long waiting KHOJ managed to published its first eNewsletter, Credit goes to Shikha Chunkee 4) An initiative of Mrs. Sangeeta named Saksham started at Prabhat Tara, every Saturday for Kids workshops 5) “Corporate Executive Board” organized a health camp for KHOJ kids on 06th Oct 07 6) On 16th Oct 07 Mrs. Sangeeta organized a trip for KHOJ kids to American School 7) Mrs. Sangeeta organized vaccination of hepatitis B for KHOJ Kids at PRABHAT TARA on 27th Oct 07 8) Zubair has taken initiative and started “Zubi Kids Bank”, Kids from Bikaji and Jor Bagh centers are saving there money on daily basis. Till now around 5000 have been deposited from all of them Ritesh Kumar ritesh.kumar@newgen.co.in

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Aheli is working with MCD schools near Pandav Nagar. We plan to replicate entire process in MCD schools in South Delhi.

2. Siddarth, the newest member of our Group, has taken up MCD roads and Garbage dumps in Qutub institutional Area near his hostel campus. 3. We will be organizing RTI workshop by Arvind Kejriwal in IIT very soon. - Abhinav Kumar Gupta kumarabhinavgupta@gmail.com

Project Update : Tara
October is the birth month of TARA. In the month of October TARA celebrated two much anticipated festivals EID and DUSSEHRA.On the 14th of the month Kulsum didi got laddoos for the entire team and celebrated Eid with the children. Then came the festival of Ravan, much hated and loved, the man was not burnt in the community because the members didn’t want the children to learn the meaning of violence at any cost. A lot of guests had come to enjoy this day and the day began with Ram Lila performed by Ravi and Roocheca (friends). The team had called a sev puri wala who made amazing sev puri for the children as well as the members who relished every bite of it. We had juice and samosas too. Well no occasion at TARA is summoned without laddoos so we had loads of it too. After spending hours on eating, laughing, learning and singing we called the day off but before the children left they were gifted a ‘gada’ each. Towards the end of the month the children received a sum of 200 rupees from their school for winter uniform and the parents bought them the very next day.On the last day of the month the children were taken to attend a fair organized by Jamia Millia Islamia. At the fair, children bought little trinkets and had their favorite chowmein and juice. Well the month ended with a hope for a better future for the children and the members. -Kulsum Rasheed.

Project Update : Youth Task Force
4. YTF has revived with new energy, vigor and josh. Now we have better technical knowledge to deal with corruption in PWD roads. Many new and active volunteers are joining the RTI movement with YTF. 5. We have identified 5 new PWD road projects and re framed our road RTI. Fresh application will be filed this week

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Article: How to make a difference in the society - Ankit Khanna
Society is a system where each one of us as an individual, interact with other individuals, and different constituents of the system to ensure social, physical and mental well being of everyone involved. Whenever something goes wrong with any interaction within the system, it disturbs the overall equilibrium. This disturbance impacts each one of us directly or indirectly, either in short-term or in long-term. Thus every individual is responsible to maintain the balance. A better society is one where every participant works for the overall development and well being of all participants. But it’s unfortunate, that we don’t realize this, till the time something goes wrong or someone makes us realize. It is sad, when someone thinks of serving the society; he looks for pastures such as joining a NGO, helping poor with food, clothes etc., donations and related social activities. These are definitely the avenues, but they aren’t sustainable. They only rectify the damage work. This is the least one can do and one should do with genuine heart and holistic approach. The most genuine way of serving the society is by fulfilling your responsibilities towards your family, friends, colleagues and society as a system. Some of them could be: 1. Perform acts as a responsible citizen: obey civil rules and encourage other to follow same 2. Accept social and cultural values as a part of your demeanor 3. Take good care of your family and elders 4. Take steps to bring equality in society: Upper class can’t grow beyond a limit unless lower class progresses with them 5. Vote as a responsible citizen 6. Encourage peace, harmony, unity and discourage violence and hatred 7. Generate avenues of livelihood which are sustainable. I know it’s easier said than done. But at least we can aspire and try harder. Nothing comes easy. It’s not someone else; it is required for us, our families and our future generations. - Ankit Khanna Ankit.khanna@yahoo.co.in

Article: India Agriculture – yesterday, today and tomorrow – Vikas Happa and Venu Kapoor
Agriculture in India is one of the most prominent sectors in the economy. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry, logging and fishing accounted for 18.6% of the GDP in 2005 and employed 60% of the country's population. It accounts for 8.56 % of India’s exports. About 43 % of India's geographical area is used for agricultural activity. Despite a steady decline of its share in the GDP, agriculture is still the largest economic sector and plays a significant role in the overall socio-economic development of India. The monsoons play a critical role in the Indian sub-continent's agriculture in determining whether the harvest will be bountiful, average, or poor in any given year. The entire rainfall in the sub-continent is concentrated in the few monsoon months. This is evident from the fact that Irrigation facilities are inadequate, as revealed by the fact that only 53.6% of the land was irrigated in 2000–01, which result in farmers still being dependent on rainfall, specifically the Monsoon season. A good monsoon results in a robust growth for the economy as a whole, while a poor monsoon leads to a sluggish growth. Farm credit is regulated by NABARD, which is the statutory apex agent for rural development in the subcontinent. Adoption of modern agricultural practices and use of technology is inadequate, hampered by ignorance of such practices, high costs and impracticality in the case of small land holdings. AGRICULTURAL is an age old source of livelihood for a large portion of population in INDIA. It started with the use of primary tools and self sufficiency motives where market for agricultural produce was not there and people cultivated for selfconsumption. But with the coming up of unorganized markets initially, slowly and steadily agriculture became a source of income and is still serving around 65 to 70% of Indian population.

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Boon in agriculture came with the introduction of policy reforms like GREEN REVOLUTION AND WHITE REVOLUTION OPERATION FLOOD 1and 2 etc. After independence, considering India's growing population, the government took steps to increase the food production. Yields per unit area of all crops have grown since 1950. The 1970s saw a huge increase in India's wheat production. This is known as the Green Revolution. Reasons for the growth are the special emphasis placed on agriculture and steady improvements in irrigation, technology, application of modern agricultural practices and provision of agricultural credit and subsidies. Green revolution started with rich states like Punjab and Haryana. there is no doubt that these policies did help in bringing up the agricultural status in India and as a result today India is the largest producer in the world of milk, cashew nuts, coconuts, tea, ginger, turmeric and black pepper. It also has the world's largest cattle population (193 million). India ranks second worldwide in farm output. It is the second largest producer of wheat, rice, sugar, groundnut and inland fish. It is the third largest producer of tobacco. India accounts for 10 per cent of the world fruit production with first rank in the production of banana and sapota. There are several other examples also. Agriculture is a collective word used to describe various other related activities like horticulture, sericulture, harvesting, forestry, animal husbandry etc. But what is suffering today is the food grain production. The investment in this sector has gone down remarkably; to serve 75% of population there is only 5% investment (how unfair). The ramification is nothing but 10lac suicides by Indian farmers. This rampant practice is found not only in paucity driven places like vidarbha but also in rich states like Punjab where the green revolution had said to have gained momentum from. These suicides are as a result of corruption at state and at every level which has left these poor farmers under heavy debt. The govt. has waived these issues completely and claims other reason for these practices. We know, India started globalizing with 1991 reforms. This trend and MNC’ coming in, has changed the shape of Indian agriculture.

Due to opening up of the economy, agreements and treaties have allowed international organization interference; as a result of policies of the World Bank the cost of production for Indian agriculture has increased tremendously which has without doubt hampered the production and the farmers. India today is said be the fastest the most potential economy in the world; the formula is just to follow the foot prints of the developed countries; to paraphrase, use the development model of the developed countries when they were in the state where India is today. The govt. says NO TO FARMERS. They claim farmers as additional burden on the country because now they want high tech. and high breed variety of food grains which is only possible by private sector interference. This is also a development model of developed countries where the private sector is into agriculture and has done no good anywhere. In USA, the farmers used to get 20% income but with the advent of chain like WAL-MART this percentage has gone down to 4%. So one can imagine what would happen in India. To recapitulate, Indian agriculture was the BACKBONE of the economy, which has become the BLACKBONE and which will be seen in well manicured hands in the future. Vikas kaul happa Venu kapoor - venu_i_kapoor@yahoo.co.in

Article: Volunteering - Selva
“Any activity which involves spending time, unpaid, doing something which aims to benefit someone (individuals or groups) other than or in addition to close relatives, or to benefit the environment.” This is how most people define volunteering. I would first like to appreciate my fellows to take over this responsibility of volunteering. While thinking one should ask a question - why should that responsibility come to an individual? The answer to it is simple -responsibility comes with ownership. When one owns a thing, they begin to attach some responsibility towards it. All of us have taken this responsibility because we took ownership of it.

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Now, one should look at the next step after taking the ownership. For example, a person takes a responsibility to keep the road in front of his house clean because he owns that house. This person would be a keen onlooker. He would take care that no one throws any waste over there or spits in front of the house etc., because he knows that if he fails to do so, he is the ultimate loser as it would cost him the cleanliness of his own home. Likewise, we come to volunteer with an ownership towards our society, which draws in some responsibility from us. After committing to fulfill our responsibility, if we fail to give it our due efforts, we will be the ultimate losers by losing on our ownership of the society. Committing might be a relatively easier decision; the real element is sticking to the commitment. I mean, I may chose to call myself a Volunteer, but if I fail to take up the ownership of the community/society I live in, I fail in my commitment. If we must commit, we must also try to accomplish our commitment at any cost. I hope that all of remain committed for ourselves and let us aim to do something to have a better society. - Selva - aid.selva@gmail.com

AID Delhi Meal a Month Generation

-Anuj Grover anuj.grover@gmail.com

Organizational Shuffle
The following are the organizational shuffle during the last month of AID Delhi’s activities. Overall Volunteer Coordinator – Arun Raj Overall Project Coordinator – Darshan Mehra Khoj Coordinator – Ritesh Kumar TARA Coordinator – Sanjeev Kumar Sharma YTF Coordinator – Abhinav Kumar Gupta Aashayen will be coordinated by Nitin at the absence of Kalindi. The AID Delhi volunteer coordinator’s mobile (9213797167) will remain with Arun and Darshan will be having the other AID Delhi’s number (9211467341). Anuj have donated his mobile to AID and his old number will be used by AID Delhi part-timer. ( 9818248459).

Treasury - Anuj
AID Delhi funds Usage

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Photo of the Month

Photographer – Ravi Rao Project - Tara Description - Anil, age 7 years, it was clicked during the dussehra celebrations..as you can see in picture no. 1 all our kids have small gadas..we distributed them when Anil had gone to attend nature's call so he missed out on his gada.. out of anger and without complaining he just walked out of the vicinity. wen one of our guests Roocheca asked him wat had happened he told her he didnt want to be a part of the celebration because he didnt get his gada.. so Roocheca drew a smiling face on the floor to make him laugh and Ravi captured this moment with his camera..

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Photo of the Month

Photographer - Anand K Gupta Project – Prayas Description - Prayas, started as night class around two years back. No particular goal was defined but yes we were and still are; clear that a sustained effort towards education in this 'out of development radar' community will definitely bring some perceivable change in future. Though, we are unable to gauge the success of our effort in this community (Muslim dominated population of around three thousand consisting of migrants from UP, Bihar and WB) at this juncture but these pictures 'a glimpse' are enough to motivate 'can do' spirited volunteers. Sabreen, Asmeena & Ishrat are the children in the picure You can easily estimate their palpable enthusiasm by the fact they were all returning from their School at 4:00PM in evening after putting up six hours and directly came to Prayas class. Subsequently, they were coerced to go home to change dresses and take a break.

Feedback: aid.delhi@gmail.com Web: http://delhi.aidindia.org Phone: +91-9213797167 Send your Cheques to Publications Team Selva Ganapathy.R Coordinator: Selva Department of Chemical Engineering, Editors: Selva, Puneeta, Gauri, Pallavi, Charu, Kunal Indian Institute of Technology, Designers: Selva, Arvinder, Saurabh Delhi - 110016 Web Designer: Anirban Hauz Khas Phone: +91-9891358457, +91-9211467341 9

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