Association for India’s Development

Delhi Chapter Newsletter

February 2008

Table of Contents
From the editors desk Project Updates Aashayen AID Gurgaon AID Prayas Parichay Youth Task Force Khoj Tara Nai Disha Volunteer Speak – Roshan Jha Volunteer Speak – Siddharh Goayl Extraas Articles Coexisting with Nature - Haripriya Environment around Us – Dolly Economic Boom – Difference on the life of a common man – Vikas Happa India – Shilpa Singla The Pretender – Tamseel Hussain Toon of the Month Children’s Corner Photo of the Month - Rupali Behind the Scene Publications Team Information Corner – Selva Contact us 1 2 2 3 4 4 4 5 5 5 6 6 7 8 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 15 15

From the Editor’s Desk
This month February is the shortest of all and things have been progressing in the same pace and the highlight of the AID Delhi this month is clearly nothing other than the Children’s Event at the Aashayen. It was not the event which displayed the skills of the children at Aashayen but also an event which brought in the talent and coordination capabilities within the volunteers of the project. The way the children were prepared in a short notice and the amount of effort the volunteers brought in to pull out a stunning show on the stage is simply speechless and I have no words to express. This event also brought in the enthusiastic and energy up in the volunteers of other projects to think about conducting such an event in other projects as well as AID Delhi wide. I hope there will be another jawdropping show soon on the cards. We also had the budget this month and lot of announcements like Rs. 60000 crore loan waived off for the farmers and Income Tax limit has been increased from Rs.1 lack to 1.5 lack and when people are thinking on the budget as one of the best one, just we can try to look at the other side of the coin. I’m not an economist to analyze the budget and I’m no where near to an economist to see it in that point of view but just some shared thoughts with intellects and experts. Rs.60000 crore loan waive off can be simply stated as big hogwash. In simple terms these 60000 crore is just a virtual money which could be waived off. Its just an election plank which is used at the time before elections to get back the seat. If the issue has to be seen critically, most of the Indian farmers commit suicide in the Vidarbha region. If we closely read the budget, it says that the loans will be waived off for the farmers who hold a land of less than 2 hectare of land and most of the farmers in the region of the worst affected in the districts of Amravati, Washim, Wardha, Akola, Buldhana and Yavatmal will not be benefited as they hold a land of more than 2 hectares and more over the loans are waived off only for the farmers who had taken loan from the bank and in many case it has been the private money lenders who will be benefited.

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Kishore Tiwari an activist and leader of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti quoted that “beneficiaries from the Vidarbha region were 4.62 lakh, with a total loan of Rs 1,116 crore, while there were less than 3 lakh farmers in western Maharashtra, with a total loan of Rs 6,416 crore. If farmers holding land upto five hectares were given the benefit, then 68% of the farmers in Vidarbha will be covered”. Prasanna Saligram a Jeevan Saathi of AID told that the budget is simply mopping the floor instead of looking into the issue and closing the tap. Unless the tap is not closed the water will keep flowing and the government will keep mopping. Also he compared the loan waiving with the forward trading which just happens virtually and nothing is done at the ground. May be the election at the year end will have a final say on the entire budget. I also hope someone will write a detailed analysis of the budget in our next newsletter. With lots of thinking, I wish my readers a Happy Reading! -Selva - Publications Coordinator, - AID Delhi, - aid.selva@gmail.com - +91-9891358457 / +91-9818248459

Thereafter our skit team showcased a finely designed & directed play whose inspiration had been derived from a special child in community itself. Title of the play was "Ek Saadharan Sikke ki Asaadharan Kahaani (an extraordinary story of an ordinary coin)". Just as the title itself demystify, it was a story of a so called "disabled" girl who proved herself to be ablest of all at the end of the story. Main aim of the play was to create awareness among people & stress the need to be sensitive towards a person who possesses a distinct character & needs. Then came some beautiful young girls with a laudable performance on "Dil hai chota sa, choti si aasha". Everybody cheered them up with applaud & appreciation. Innocence of these lovely young girls was followed by a sheer different image of a woman & then stepped onto the stage with thunder in her voice- Jhasi ki rani Laxmi Bai, epitome of courage & strength. Later one by one all children from fancy dress team came, dressed as great Indian men & women like Subhash Chandra bose, Indira Gandhi, Sania mirza etc, they emanated immense confidence & hope. To add a pinch of pure entertainment came our dance team with a spell bound performance on "Mauza hi Mauza & Das bahaane". This team won the hearts of everyone with their impeccable moves & confidence. The best part was the surprise entry made by kavita, the inspiration of our skit team. From the initial stage of this event we wanted her to be a part of this event but we couldn't. But nobody would have ever thought the way she came onto stage amidst the dance team's performance & surprised everyone. It was an inexplicable movement for all of us who have seen her expressing herself in her very own ways. To conclude, without labeling individual efforts I would only say that behind a successful event there is a determine team. I hope we would continue to keep the spark on. As we all keep the best for last, so we chose to end this event by expressing our gratitude towards some people who has always been very supportive & concerned for us. & we ended this event till another beginning… (In choir) Jan gan man….. Jai hind! Thanks & Regards Dolly Sharma dollysharma99@gmail.com 2

Project Updates: AID Aashayen
This month has been a milestone for Aashayein. We celebrated our first event on 17th February after a month of preparations. We started our preparations with segregation of our volunteers into various sub teams for activities like Dance, Fancy dress & skit. All teams visualized their goals keeping in mind the interest & caliber of the children, & then followed them with equal efforts & commitment. Event started with an opening word by Vijay bhaiya, he shared his manifold experiences with kids. He emphasized the need of understanding children's mentality by their parents & not to bring them to do something with no will.

Project Updates: AID Gurgaon
The month of February, 2008 although the shortest of the year was never short of activities in AID Gurgaon. The Gurgaon Public Transport Campaign took a few positive steps as we held a couple of meaningful meetings with our volunteers, AID Delhi and Literacy India. This helped us to strategize about the future course of action. So we have decided to work in three phases for the campaign where the first phase would involve gathering public support, the second would involve media and the third would be approaching the government again. The first phase of the campaign has already started and as a first step, we went to the MG Road and tried to interact with the general public and got their signatures as well on the petition. We also went to a few training institutes in Sector 14, Gurgaon and did the same. We are also working hard to spread the word about the campaign online. March is a crucial month for the campaign as our planned deadline for Phase I is on March15. With a few new enthusiastic volunteers joining AID Gurgaon in the last month, we are confident that we’ll see some results in March. Unnati and Prayas have been going well, especially after the success of Republic Day celebrations. The attendance has gone up considerably and we are doing our best to ensure it stays on the higher-side. We have also started to create the profiles of each student in Unnati. This would help us to keep a track of their progress. More importantly, it would help us to identify which students will be marked for admission to regular schools in the coming academic season. All in all, it has been an absorbing but interesting month. And we are looking forward to keep the momentum going into March. Sanchit Sharma, AID Gurgaon Sharma.Sanchit@siemens.com

Project Updates: AID Noida
AID Aagaz 1. Joining of 3 bright volunteers from this wekendRicha, Sachin & (forgot name:) ) Arun pls make sure they're added to the group. 2. Infomal admission of the 3 sisters Pinky, Rinky & Sinky to the govt school (they will be admitted formally from next session starting May, but will be attending classes now onwards. (For future, Govt School admissions activity we will now resume from May, now exams are due) 3. Interaction with Govt school teachers regarding children of Aagaaz community admitted there (not a very good response, I'll be following up on that). 4. Darshan has brought a white board:) 5. I've put up requests for second hand books & sparingly used copies in Shatabdi Vihar E-3 & E-5 apartments, let's see what response we get. If it works, we could use it for resource mobilisation. 6. Willingness of Ryan and Cambridge schools for education of underpriviliged children. Shruti Tiwari AID Aagaz tewarishruti@gmail.com AID Prayas It could have not been one of the good months for Prayas. But we all are committed, no matter what the situation will be, weekend classes are taken on any cost. Although we had crunch of volunteers this month because of many reasons like - exams, vacations and work and other commitments, all classes went as we planned. Few points that I can say about month of Feb. are:1> In weekend classes we stressed on maths. We covered addition and subtraction. We encouraged them to relate maths problems with their life experiences. 2> Darshan, Vikas and kanan are taking night classes and covering English in those classes. Children attending those classes have really shown improvement in their understanding of English. Now they can understand many words and sentences much better and also why they are spoken. 3> we also inducted two new volunteers Garvita and Udita this month. I hope they remain regular with Prayas.

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We made few plans for future too:1> Kanan suggested that many new volunteers loose interest because they don't get chance to teach properly and regularly. This problem arose because we have no fix curriculum and therefore we preferred one volunteers taking one subject and keeping track of children in that. But now we are trying to finalize curriculum for children and now matter who teaches will teach according to that. We are still on working on this. 2> Another thing that I observed that some volunteers are more regular than others and taking this cause more seriously. And spending much more time than others. I fear that they would burn out and stop coming to classes. Therefore I am suggesting that a volunteer can't take more than 4 classes in a month. Yes I understand to implement this we’ll need to have solid regular volunteer base. 3> we also planned to take classes for average students at different time. So that more attention could be pay to their needs. But this plan has also gone in cold baggage because of lack of REGULAR & Committed volunteers. Nikhil Jha Nikhil.ninjha@gmail.com We have developed few nice photos of all previous events in Prayas and got a notice board too. Few kids have made drawings and we will stick them too. So the idea is to make that small class more like an interesting place for kids. About night classes, We were doing good and focusing on English a lot but suddenly found that kids have to work hard on Hindi as well, so now a days night classes are more like confidence buildup class, we are trying to develop a kid as a whole through story telling, through moral education, through drawing, story reading etc.This way classes are going good but the target is still far away to be achieved, and kids are working hard with the volunteers. Darshan Mehra darshanmehra@gmail.com

Khoj board meeting has decided to have weekly targets and follow up of it. Regular classes at all centers along with Tuesday visit to American School and Saturday visit to Prabhat Tara have been conducted regularly. Trip for the children to the Nehru Planetarium and children’s park has been good. The research team is heading well with a set of committed volunteers in the selected 25 signals on the ring road of South Delhi. A rescue operation is also being followed up along with CWC. Tie up with CEB has helped in making health report cards for the children and CEB is also actively helping us in the research related project. A fund of Rs,1.00000/- has been received from Monnet Foundation. We also have a plan of getting a vehicle as soon as possible which will be used for mobilizing the resources of Khoj across all the selected research centers. Once the research is over apart from approaching government about the rehabilitation plan we also have a plan of starting education for the children. We had a Big Volunteer meet on February 10th to display the results Khoj have got in the past two years with the contributions of all our volunteers. Khoj volunteers were also a part of the Streetplay held at I.P college by AID Delhi. We also will be soon starting our classes back in our Delhi Haat Center. A few more children have been put to schools along with their help of parents. They are performing well at the schools. -Selva - Khoj, AID Delhi, - aid.selva@gmail.com - 9211467341

Project : Parichay
1. Parichay has a masala stall at ST and the sales was more than Rs.9000/2. Selva has started his science class with the children and so far two classes have been held 3. Deepti a new volunteer is teaching drawing classes for the children 4. Deepti will also take charge of the website soon. 5. Children’s newsletter have been released 6. New Parichay’s Gyan Ganga project is rolling slowly with the survey part on. A project proposal has been sent to HCL for supporting. 7. Agra trip planned for the mid of march. -Selva - Khoj, AID Delhi, - aid.selva@gmail.com - 9211467341

Project Updates: Khoj

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Project Update : Tara
This month Tara performed well. Children are going to school regularly. We have arranged cycle rickshaw for all 15 children because children had started traveling in buses, which is not safe at all for these children. Children who are not going to school are taught by Volunteers. Classes are regularly going in the center and children are enjoying the games and study. We also arranged a polio van on Polio day. Polio van came to the community and polio drops were given to all children who were below 5 years. Now we are planning to admit some more children to nearby MCD School. Sanjeev Sharma - AID Delhi Love.sanjeev.sharma@gmail.com -

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Volunteer Speak : Shruti Panwar
When the world of writing opens to anything and everything one can fathom, the creativity and the pen stalls.( Or in today's world, the keyboard.). With an open invitation, to write about anything I pleased, I was stunned by the following fact: There were just too many things to write about. After much deliberation I have decided to write about something positive. About that spark of hope, however tiny, that glitters to signal the presence of some sign of consideration in the human kind.

Day after day after day, I have crossed a million read lights and a million jhugis, a million houses a million commercial buildings. I have experienced the brashness that has become the city of New Delhi: Bustling and shoving, millions of delhities move in a tandem every morning, afternoon and evening, towards a singular goal: a glorious career. School, colleges, universities and even the media, sells the idea of a beautiful life, full of gigantic amounts of money and how if one strives towards it all, somehow everyone will attain nirvana! So every morning, about 99.9999% of individuals wake up and do exactly the same. Far from nirvana, this seemingly charming process, breeds selfishness, dissatisfaction, intolerance and more importantly disdain for all the "lesser" mortals who do not and mostly cannot engage themselves in this gloriously ugly process of factory like behaviour. In enter the poor, the lesser privileged or how I see it, those who were just bestowed by bad luck to be born in such circumstances. Quick to judge, a majority of us, walk by thinking: if they wanted, they could change their fate, they could make a difference. After all I did. (I promised a positive article didn't I??????) YET there are others, who let open their hearts, ready to feel, they understand, realize and more importantly act. There is a fraction, probably a very small fraction of Indians, who wake up every morning, with a resolve to make a difference. A difference not only in their lives; though positive action; but in the lives of in numerous others, by spreading knowledge and awareness. Volunteers. With a full embodied life, filled with a family, responsibilities, studies and also a career, these extraordinary individuals inexplicably find time and more importantly that drive to instill that tiny seed of metamorphosis. Seemingly easy as it might seem, with a variety of alternatives to choose from on how to spend one's idle time, it is not always easy for everyone to choose this substitute. It requires great amount discipline to forge on ahead, day after day to continue and to try and make a difference. All stories are not sweet and neither is this one. With a heart willing, ready and charged with a strong resolve, disappointments can be hard to take. Teaching a group of students whose presence at the next class is uncertain can make you wonder, what sort of difference one is really making, a tiny inconspicuous scratch? Or a huge dent??!!!

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Yet, they plough on, slowly and steadily hoping to chip on those rusted fabrics of society. That dismal portion; which is subjected to the harsh and inconceivable realities of being a human being. Lost, forgotten and ill treated, they are subjected to the richer man's will and wrath. The rich man floats around in his existence, with a heart full of disappointment, anger and dissatisfaction, vending out his hateful feelings at the drop of a hat, on the first weaker person he encounters. Forever claiming himself to be more: knowledgeable. Daisaku Ikeda (protagonist of Nichiren's Buddhism) once said: "Modern society has lost sight of the human being and become deadlocked on many fronts. There is no denying that the inner spiritual realm has been neglected and all too many people are obsessed with seeking comfort, ease and pleasure in external things. Without surmounting the fundamental human delusions of greed, anger and foolishness, we will not be able to solve the many problems that the world faces today." Sometimes, it makes me wonder, should there be a social movement for the middle and upper class of the society more than anyone else? Is it not them who need the help the most? An education which teaches the worth of a man more than something created by the man: fame and fortune. A way to channelize all that is accomplished on an individual realm, towards the realm of society, towards the realm of living beings? But then, am content to know and see, those indomitable individuals who wake up every day and strengthen their day to make this a "BRAND NEW DAY." A new beginning, a new change, a new life Shruti Panwar shruti.panwar@gmail.com

Not clear about his future, Not clear about his goals. Till then his life had some purpose, he knew what exactly had to be done...He had to get a job. He had to get a job so that his family could be financially secure, so that his family could stay happy and thus he would be happy. For him, personally, he had never thought anything beyond that, that was it, the end, the end of his aspirations, his energy, his passion, his life. and from then, started the life of the machine, which i tried to capture in one of my previous posts. He was getting into the exact life which i was always afraid of. He had started to live the "The Life for a Resume." The Life of doing innovations for the sake of it, trying to compete with others, getting the work done before it was scheduled, covering more and more work portfolio, all this and more so that his resume looks good. He was trying to squeeze his life into that A4 size resume not knowing that he was strangling, suffocating himself, not knowing that, later, when he will look back, this resume will mean nothing more than a piece of paper for him. But it was going to change soon, and the change surprisingly did not come from the more happening malls, or the posh pubs of noida, rather, it came from a slum community in Noida. It was one of the friends from his college, who had introduced him to this NGO working in Noida. Well he dint have anything else to do on the weekends, and so he decided to do the so called "Social service". But before he started, he wanted to understand, why he was doing this. Was he doing this so that he could tell every one that he is doing social work. so that whenever some one called him, he could tell that, "yeah.. hi ,.. you know what, I go and do some NGO work nowadays. " .. hmm... May be , may be not.... But what priority did it have in his life ? well , a movie definitely had more priority. Isnt it..???? Was he doing this for his own satisfaction ? that whenever he gets some free time go spend some time with the children and get that feel good factor "of doing something good". Was it..??? Dont know... may be .. may be not... 6

Article : When I look back - Kannan
Its been six months now and surprisingly it had been satisfying. He was happy. A happiness which had no past or a future ,may be, just the present. A happiness which had no reason. But, he was happy.
His college days were over, and it was time for him to join one of those MNCs. And when he joined this company, he was a bit scared..., a bit confused....

Was he doing this coz he really cared for them and wanted to bring in some change there. Was it...? Dont know.... I really dont know... He started going there. Started spending some time with the kids there. It was good. He was happy. But then like all those gals who had rejected him, the kids were also not going to accept him initially. For the first few weeks no kid went to him to learn. He just went there every weekend, sat there amidst all those noise they made,... he was trying to find some silence in that noise. He was happy. One day one of their 'sir'jis asked them to do "chappan adhik paintalis" and one gal dint know how to do it. Trying to find the answer from somewhere she went to him and asked "Sirji, sirji. ye kaise karte hain..?" Well he dint know what chappan or paintalis meant. For that matter he dint know any number beyond pachis in Hindi. But he dint want to tell her that. It was for the first time some one was coming to him to learn something. Instead, he said, "acha... dheko beta, ye toh bahut hi aasan dediya woh sirji ne.. main aapko thoda jyaada tough deta hun. dus + pantrah. dhekte hai kar paogi ki nahi..? " "kar paoongi sirji, abhi karke laati hun". with one of the cutest and naughtiest smile she left for doing the problem. He was happy. some one had gone to him for learning something for the first time. From the next day it was learning more than teaching for him. kids teaching him daye, baye, and he teaching them left, right Though gradually more and more kids started going to him for learning, there was one kid who always sticked to him. Our "chappan adhik paintalis". He should be there, then only she would start studying. More than a student, she was a lil sister to him. Now he knew, why he was doing this. It brought some purpose into his life. It brought some passion, some passion to achieve something for some one other than himself. He knew that he could stay happy now only if his this new family is happy. Kids were happy to see him, they were happy to be with him, and he was too. Thus went one of the most satisfying six months of his life. 7

But things cannot move so smoothly right. It was on the day I came back from the vacation with my smaller family, I learnt that there was govt order to remove that slum from there. I learnt that although the NGO had fought a lot to oppose it, they could not. They had closed this center. and again I was left all alone in that road. I was again getting into the exact life which i was always afraid of. Once again I had started to live the "The Life for the Resume." The next weekend, in the evening..., I went for a long walk, I walked a long distance through those 4 lane roads in Noida thinking about the meaninglessness of this life and about my meaningless future, and one of the decision I took during those long walks was to move to bangalore, to share the happiness of my smaller family. It was after a long gap of 6 years I went back to Noida again. I went for that walk again, on those straight four lane roads of noida, thinking about the past. A traffic jam... I saw her, my lil sister.... My chappan adhik paintalis. She was begging for food...... ??????? A police man was walking towards her. He slapped her on her face. caught her by her hair and pushed her to the side of the road. I ran towards her, God, I did not have the courage to look at her face., She had... she looked at me, recognizing me, she asked,

"Why Sirji, why, why did you leave us alone...?" What should I say... Oh God, I could not save my lil brothers and sisters.

Kannan AID Noida. kannanbit@gmail.com

Article : Few ways in which you can help – Nishank Sha
Given below are few ways in which you can help the underprivileged and to bring a change in society ! Development of India to a great extent will depend on how we citizens of India contribute towards it. Everyone has the potential to play a major role when it comes to bringing a sustainable development, which caters not only to the rich but also takes care of the poorest among the poor. It doesn't remain a choice, but a moral responsibility for us, especially the educated lot to do something for the underprivileged. We need to look beyond our personal lives and see in what ways we can bring the change we want to see in our society. Simply waiting for things to change or blaming the government and the system won't help either. It is not a question of just bringing the change, but how quickly we can bring the change. There are still millions of children in need of education, lakhs of families devoid of a stable source of income for their livelihood, thousands of villages which lack even basic facilities, hundreds of cities which need much more development, dozens of states struggling to move ahead and one nation which still faces problems of varying magnitude where everyone's contribution is required. When it comes to managing a nation of 1100 million citizens, we need at least a million citizens who are willing to play an active role in the development of the country by looking beyond their day-to-day lives to extend their help in building an India, where everyone gets a chance to move ahead in life, irrespective of where or how s/he is born. Where the citizens come ahead to play an active role in public governance, tackling social issues, creating an economic system where everyone gets a chance to earn a living and helping the poorest among the poor so that no one is left behind.

To start with, one needs to see how and in what capacity one can contribute. It doesn't matter whether you are within India or outside India. We can start working from wherever we are, in whatever position we are. All it takes a will to do it and finding out the time for it. There are many possible ways to make a start. You can extend help in many ways such as: --> You can join a volunteer group in the city you live. Or you can volunteer for any of the NGOs in your city. It can give you a good hands-on experience plus getting a chance to connect with like-minded people. ( www.indianngos.com is a directory of all the listed NGOs in India) --> Teaching children who can't afford to go to school or who need help with their studies but can't afford tuition. You can start teach Computers and English to the children too, who want to learn but have no access to it. --> You can help a child going school by sponsoring his/her education and interacting with the parents to ensure that the child gets proper education --> You can visit any slum area in your city and can do a survey like the condition of people living there, facilities available to them like health, sanitation, water, electricity, etc., the state of education of the children living there, etc. Even you can start teaching a group of children there. --> You can raise funds to support a worthy initiative going around your place. There are many education projects which needs funds to buy stationeries and uniform for the children, to pay the salary to a hired teacher for the children, or any other similar project which needs money. Even if people donate as little as Rs 50 or Rs 100, it adds up to something. You just need to ensure that the money is being spent in a proper manner. --> You can form groups focused on Community Development to work in certain areas of your town, where you can go to a small basti/slum area and can interact with the people living there.

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You can talk on various issues to them like women rights, education of girl child, options of vocational training for the people to make their livelihood better, maintaining hygiene in their area, what Govt. should do in that area, making them aware of their rights etc. --> You can organize a health camp in a slum area where there are no health facilities provided by the Govt. Also, you can make aware the people living there to avail facilities and free medicines offered at Govt. Hospitals. If they say that they are facing any problem with that, you can visit the hospitals with them to talk with the doctors and staff there. --> You can help in mobilization of resources especially with items like old clothes, books, stationeries, toys, educational material etc. There are still many people who lack the proper clothing to wear and thousands of children who crave for books and toys but cannot afford to have it. You can organize an old clothes drive in your colony, company, among your friends etc. and can distribute it where it is needed, especially for the winter time. You can also ask people to donate old books and stationeries so that the other needy children can have them (www.goonj.info is an NGO which specializes in mobilization and distribution of old clothes) --> You can work on making Government more accessible to common man. The tasks can include filing RTI applications, especially on the behalf of those who don't know how to go about it, checking the working of Public Distribution System, checking with departments like PWD, meeting government officials in your district to bring some issue in forefront, etc. --> You can organize a visit in a small group to a nearby village over a weekend to see the real face of India. Still around 70% of the Indian population lives in the villages. You can do a "gram-survey" there and meet with the villagers to collect the basic info like the level of literacy, the facilities available in the village, what the Govt. is doing for the villages etc. You can bring to the notice of the district officials if you don't find something in order there. --> You can give presentations, talks; organize group discussions etc. among your peer groups to spread more awareness about the different social issues.

--> You can get the needy children enrolled in the nearby Govt. schools, who can't afford studying in private schools. The education standard of many of the Govt. schools have fallen to a great extent and it becomes our duty to interact with the staff in the Govt. schools to ensure that the children coming there are getting a proper level of education. If needed we can meet the district officials to escalate the issue if there is no proper day to day running in a Govt. school. --> You can visit any orphanage, old age homes, NGOs, any place taking special care for the needy etc. in your city and can devote your time there. --> You can help with the publicity of a particular initiative by writing about it, sharing photos related to it, through blogging etc. --> Many NGOs and social work groups need help with their IT needs, especially in developing their website. You can help with their website management. * Even if you are not able to find a volunteer group, you can collaborate with 3-4 people and start working in small groups. It can be as simple as teaching 3-4 children over the weekends who are not able to go to school. There would be many people to provide you guidance as how to go about it. Education plays the major role when it comes to building a better future. The more number of children we can educate, the more self reliant they would be in future. (http://h2oindia.blogspot.com -- insights from a project I was personally involved in) * You can become an informed citizen. Government is trying to create transparency at its own level. However, it will need an active involvement of the citizens to keep a check that everything is in order. Right to Information Act, Accessing Government reports and publications, filing PILs and petitions are few of the ways in which we can bring an issue at the forefront and can draw attention of Govt. towards it. We need not leave everything at the mercy of policy makers but should try to take an active part in it, especially when it pertains to the lower class of population, villages, agriculture etc. when the affected people are not in a position to raise voice on their own due to lack of information.

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* For people working in corporate sector, joining the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) teams in their respective companies can be a good idea. Generally the CSR teams sponsor various projects and have a team of volunteers from the company who do a site visit. If there is no CSR team in your company, then you can initiate to form one by talking to upper management and your peers. Most of the companies willing support CSR initiatives as it adds good PR to the company. Moreover, through the corporate sector you can reach many people who have the potential to donate for worthy causes and helping in create a healthy corporate citizenship for your company. * If you are currently outside India, then the contributions become limited as the scope of field work reduces a lot. However, there are several ways to extend the help. You can raise funds to support a particular initiative or NGO in India. You can read about various social issues and work on spreading social awareness among the fellow Indians living at your place. Also, you can do case studies, prepare presentations, scrutinize government documents, do website management, write articles or blogs, propose new solutions for a problem, finding out the best practices adopted by different NGOs while working for various issues, etc. Though the contributions can remain mostly intellectual but it will definitely count in the long run. (http://aidindia.org/ad/chapters/?seeChapters&USA There are around 35 chapters of AID India in US and also chapters in Canada and Australia) * Find a social issue which is very close to your heart, something on which you really want to work upon. It can be anything ranging from eliminating child labor, working on rural development, women rights, education for the poor, fighting corruption, environmental issues, etc. Find something where your passion lies, doing something which will give you the most satisfaction. A good way to go about it can be gathering various statistics about a particular social issue, knowing the government policies towards tackling that issue, what NGOs in that field have been doing so far, what are the bottlenecks associated with it etc. Once gaining a fair perspective and in-depth knowledge on the issue, you can start discussing with other people and can get in touch with people who have been already working towards that issue. (www.indiatogether.org, www.infochangeindia.org, www.aidindia.org are good places to start with) 10

* Talk among your friends about different social issues. Discussing these issues with the people whom you know creates the best impact. The more the number of people will know about a social issue in the right perspective, the more they would be concerned doing something about it. The more we spread the word among other people, who in turn talk to other people can end up in involving a lot more people in the process. At the end it will matter as how we come forward to bring the change. We all can really MAKE A DIFFERENCE if we start doing something, instead of waiting for the right moment and right opportunity to come. The time to act is NOW! If you need any kind of help to start volunteering or coming up with any initiative related to social work and need any kind of help, then please feel free to contact me. I would be really glad to help in whatever way I can. You can mail me at "onlynishank@gmail.com" ~~Nishank onlynishank@gmail.com

Children’s corner : Newsletter by Parichay Children

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

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- Toon : Kalindi Sharma, Coordinator, AID Aashayen, - sona4poochie@gmail.com

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Photo of the Month: Arvinder Singh Rooprai

Event: AID Aashayen Children’s Event Photographer: Arvinder Singh Rooprai Description: After the splendid celebrations at Aashayen were over, all the children were running after the roses and flowers ...... Darshan got hold of one of the bouquet, which was actually presented to Selva during the recognition ceremony at the end of the event. All the kids were running after Darshan for the roses and he held it high and denied to give away the roses ..... but who can stop the roaring tigers... Children jumped over chairs and over one another ... and finally bouquet was go went and gone ... into pieces.....

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 17