“ You must be the change you wish to see in the world… “

by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

PRATIBIMB
Jan— Feb, 2010

PRATIBIMB
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. - Confucius
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Since its inception in 2005, fully reflected upon initiatives and opinions that are continuously trying to collectively embed a social change in our society. Acknowledging the efforts of our team members, namely Ankur Rohatgi, Nitisha Jain, Pratik Gandhi and Varun Verma, and our effort to continue with the trend, we proudly release our newsletter for the months of Jan and Feb, 2010. Our efforts would have been in vain, if it weren’t for our contributors. In this edition: Charu and Mathangi R, our AID volunteers, share their profoundly inspiring and encouraging experiences

E PRATIBIMB, has successA M

M E M B E R s

with AID Prayas and Shiksharth respectively. Kanika Kohli narrates an alarming incident she witnessed, and questions the confinement of existing youth campaigns to urban areas. Dr. Prachi Aggarwal, proudly pens down her Republic Day experience at project Pehal, based in Shalimar Bagh. Abhinav Gupta acknowledges the impact of the session by AID members on Individual Environmental Responsibility in IIT, Delhi. Selva Ganapathy puts forth his discomfort in current teaching norms and stresses on the ‘need’ to show love to impart effective education. In solidarity, a volunteer from www.weconcious.com, Pragnya Mohanty, tries to reiterate government initiatives towards water pollu-

tion and calls for implementation. Updates on our different projects viz. Jaagriti, Pehal, Shiksharth, and Prayas communicate efforts by our volunteers towards making a better world.

A R T I C

In addition, we have a speL cial section dedicated to demonstrate AID NCR’S six E year journey since its birth.
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We hope Pratibimb, as always, proves to be an interesting read and inspiring enough for you to reflect upon.

B Y

edItorial team

Zulaikha Urooj Rahman and Smita Singla

What's Inside...
AID NCR Time Line Page 3 Shiksharth Mathangi R from Shikshaarth says… Page 4 Show love when needed! PRAYAS Page 11 Page 12 Preclude Water Pollution; A necessity for life Page 6 My experience with AID Prayas… Watering down a titanic crisis Page 13 Page 14 Republic Day at Pehal Page 7 Pain On the Go Page 9

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PEHAL Page 8 Donate to AID Page 15

JAGRITI Page 10

AID NCR TIME LINE
SIX years of commitment, courage and compassion. Come; let’s have a look at AID NCR’S trip so far in its continuous Endeavour of Sangharsh, Seva and Nirmaan. Here we go….
AID Delhi’s first CSH on Republic Day, January 26, 2004 AID Delhi’s first collaboration with Parichay, Bhajanpura First CSH at IIT Delhi AID Noida’s first collaboration with Nai Disha, Noida

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Initiation of the "Meal a Month" program Regular CSH at AIIMS that played a crucial role in laying a strong foundation for AID Delhi AID Delhi’s first Relief and Rehabilitation Campaign: Fund-raiser and material collection drive for Tsunami relief AID Delhi gets a CMS based website AID Delhi Starts its first Project: Prayas, Noida AID Gurgaon chapter initiated First newsletter released. AID India conference held at AIIMS Indo- Pak peace march

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First AID Delhi Campaign: RIGHT TO INFORMATION Campaign Restructuring of AID NCR. Unnati project started by AID Gurgaon AID wide candle light vigil to support our farmers AID Delhi volunteers participated in global day of action to show solidarity to Bhopal gas tragedy survivors Bihar flood relief work. AID Delhi's 5th birthday celebrated with children from all AID NCR projects Project Jaagriti, Disha, Prerna, Pehal, Shiksharth and Learning Inq. initiated all over NCR. Solar lamps installed in the village of Munsiari. Green Gurgaon campaign I AM NO LAB RAT Campaign AID India conference hosted by AID NCR- Delhi chapter

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Reach us at: http://delhi.aidindia.org AID Delhi on Facebook: http:// www.facebook.com/delhi.aidindia AID Delhi on Twitter: http://twitter.com/aiddelhi AID Delhi on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/AID_Delhi

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Mathangi R from Shikshaarth says…
"I am only one, but still I am one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and just because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." -- Helen Keller

With this thought in my mind and a hope in my heart, I stepped out to do my little bit… a hope to be able to make a difference in someone else’s life, and now that hope has turned into a motto, one for a lifetime. For most part, the credit for this goes to the kids I interact with at Shiksharth. I have been a part of this project right from day one and it is a very good feeling when I see the school running successfully and flourishing day by day. For me, it all started on a calm Saturday morning. How an unplanned day’s impromptu activities by a bunch of volunteers paved the first steps to setting up this school, was indeed extraordinary. A casual visit to the place we had discovered for the school and a little bit of walking around the village spreading the word about the same, turned into a full-fledged episode by the sheer enthusiasm of the villagers. The turn-out of kids next day, when the school was officially flagged-off, was more than overwhelming. Spending the past two months day in day out with these kids, I realized that some of them are probably more diligent than the brightest of kids I’ve ever seen. Every morning, they get up-andready and come to study beating a number of odds. Every kid has a story to tell. I could go on writing pages relating such stories; I choose, instead, to share here a few profound ones. Deepika, a girl of 10 years, was one of the brightest as well as the most knowledgeable kids we identified on the first day of the school. She came up to the front of the class and said out poems to keep the kids engaged. Despite being a bright child and having the desire to study, she is quite irregular to school. Reason being she has a younger brother, Mohit, who is mentally not as sound as considered normal. She stays behind most often to tend to him, but at times she brings Mohit along to school so she can gather a day’s knowledge. Madhu has to cook meal every morning before she comes to school. She cooks, cleans and washes for her entire family but makes sure that she never gets late for school. Her youngest sibling is 2 years old and since no one is home during day time to take care of the toddler, she brings her along to the school. Madhu is another one of the brightest children of the school and studies hard every day, all the while taking care of her kid sister too. She is all but 8 years old.

I stepped out to do my little bit… a hope to be able to make a difference in someone else’s life, and now that hope has turned into a motto, one for a lifetime.

Hrithik is the most regular student at the school. He was awarded a prize during the Republic Day celebration for having 100% attendance. All through the end of December and the start of January when the winter winds and the dense fog were playing havoc, the daily turn-out at the school had dropped quite low. Hrithik, however, walked in every single day of the freezing winter, in his uncharacteristic shorts that he has to wear every day. These are just a few of the countless demons these children defeat, to get the least of what they deserve. They deserve to be educated, they deserve to be able to take care of themselves when they grow up, and they deserve, more than anything else, to shape their own destiny. All we need to do is hand them the tools and they will carve their way through the toughest of walls to reach out and grab what they most deserve.

PRATIBIMB

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Shiksharth ( http://gurgaon.aidindia.org/ )

Project Shiksharth is now 3 months old. We are going strong in our drive to do our bit towards the welfare of kids from the slums in Kahnai village, Gurgaon. With almost 40 kids coming to the school regularly, it is overwhelming to witness a drastic improvement in the academic performance of these kids. This has instilled confidence in us and has motivated us to plan ahead.

leagues from the home for orphans – ‘Sukarna Ka Aangan’. The experience was both heartening and joyful! The flag hoisting ceremony and the national anthem were followed by a patriotic song presented by students in tandem with a couple of volunteers. This was followed by a talent show wherein children presented poems and songs to laud adulation from their parents and volunteers. Post the talent show, it was time for some sports activities that were greatly enjoyed by both participants and the audience. Our humble event pulled a huge crowd from the adjoining Ram-Lila ground where the villagers were celebrating the Republic Day in their own 'a little too loud' spirit. :)

Jan— Feb, 2010

Events & Fun times On 26th January, Shiksharth celebrated its first Republic Day. This celebration was the first event ever hosted by Shiksharth since its inception. In addition to the guests, parents and volunteers, we welcomed few friends and col-

Currently individuals are the main donors but in future we plan to extend our reach to firms, housing societies and educational institutions.

First drive towards Self-sustainance Last month we started a ‘Donate your Newspaper’ campaign at Shiksharth for the purpose of fund raising and creating awareness for the cause. The main objective of this campaign is to raise funds for the other livelihood programs that we plan to start in the not-sodistant future and the other objective is to sensitize people towards making small donations and hence make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged. Currently individuals are the main donors but in future we plan to extend our reach

to firms, housing societies and educational institutions.

Looking to sell old newspapers to the local raddiwala ?? This time donate instead !! “Donate Your Newspaper” is a campaign being run to support a school for underprivileged children. The school, named Shiksharth is located in Kanhai Village (near Ardee City) is a collaborative effort of

Zariya and AID Gurgaon.
http://gurgaon.aidindia.org/shiksharth
You can contribute towards the education and welfare of these children by donating old newspapers, magazines, books and waste papers. Contact ------ at ------ to make a contribution!

Other Planned Initiatives The plan for the half year ending June’10 is to start a ‘vermi-compositing and gardening’ (nursery) option at the Shiksharth premises as part of our Livelihood programs. This will indirectly serve as an environmental project too! We have collaborated with ‘Advit Foundation’ for this initiative. Our volunteers visited the foundation and as an outcome, it will send us the cost estimates and the proposed effort involved in Vermi-composting.

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Preclude Water Pollution; A necessity for life
by: Pragnya Mohanty, www.weconscious.com “A very peculiar thing about human nature is we destroy what we are dependent upon.”

A press release on 20th July 2009 stated the setting up of ‘National Ganga River Basin Authority’ (NGRBA) by the Central government for prevention of pollution in the Ganges and its conservation. Crores of rupees are spent for the purpose every year. As per a PIB press release the total expenditure on phase I & II of the GAP (Ganga Action Plan) was Rs. 816.47 crores. The amount to be invested by NGRBA is yet to be decided. The press release is no doubt a good step forward by the government to protect Ganges, provided the decision is not made only in papers and the money is not transferred from the government’s account to the personal accounts. I assume some work must have started in the Of various pollutants that are discharged into the sanctimonious river, one of the most dangerous is the pollution created by the diesel motor boats plying on it. These boats give joy rides to hundreds of pilgrims that throng this holy place. I am sure the authorities are well aware of these boats as well as the harmful chemicals and toxins that these boats release into the river and damage the life therein. The damage is visually despairing as well. If one moves a few meters beyond Lakshman Jhula in Rishikesh, the colour of the water changes significantly which makes the damage quite evident. The pollution is not limited

said direction after the press release. However, the situation there in the month of December 2009 did not corroborate any of my assumptions. The sight was a disappointment to me. The view at different ghats of river Ganga in the stretch of Rishikesh and Haridwar is terrible. The pollutants that are discharged into the ghats on a daily basis leave fatal effect on the aquatic life. With high levels of water pollution, the water plants and animals in those areas have reduced significantly. Since there is a life cycle on which we and aquatic life are interdependent, it will be a foolishness to ignore the havoc and think that these changes in the aquatic life will not affect us.

to motor boats only; the sight is more disheartening at the Har-ki pauri ghat where one can see people cleaning clothes with detergents, bathing using soaps, throwing in all kind of dirt, sweeping in plastics, washing utensils, and what not.

The pollution of the water by these agents, both human & chemical, not only makes life miserable but also destroys all the natural elements of water, thereby making the water from such places unfit for human consumption. I believe we are not unaware of the water-borne diseases that we suffer from regularly. These days every house has a case of some form of allergy directly or indirectly related to water. Our non-chalant attitude causes so much of damage. Isn’t this worth thinking through? With the

constantly decreasing water level and the change in climate, the day is not far off when we will have to pay hugely for the damage we have caused. It is high time we realized that the natural resources are scarce and that there is an alarming need to protect them from extinction.

If you have any questions, please send them to pragnya@weconscious.com.

PRATIBIMB

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Republic Day At Pehal
by Dr. Prachi Aggarwal, PEHAL Usually a late riser, I got up at 7 am on 26th January’10 and was bubbling with excitement to celebrate Republic day at Pehal. After I had finished schooling, I never paid much heed to national holidays. Thus Republic Day and Independence Day were just like any other holiday for me. However, this year I went through a fantastic experience. We had spent almost 2 weeks preparing the children for different activities. As most of them are of Bengali origin, it had been a constant fight for last 3 months to make them learn Hindi. organized drill and March past which was the highlight of the day. Everyone was then seated and the cultural events began. The children sang the patriotic song “Saare jahan se accha, Hindustan hamara” to perfection. Next was role playing, where 6 children from basic elementary level enacted as freedom fighters. The last act in this segment was a dance performance on another patriotic song by the children and volunteers. It was a foggy morning and sun was nowhere to be seen. After idling around for some time, we decided to start the decorations at around 10am. More volunteers and children along with their parents poured in and within an hour, the stage was set. At 11:30 we started our program. Our teacher, at Pehal, was the chief guest. Sir addressed the parents and children and spoke to them about the importance of Republic day. This was followed by a prayer, flag hoisting and rendition of the Indian National Anthem. The children saluted the National Flag and then performed a well

Jan— Feb, 2010

..We had spent almost 2 weeks preparing the children for different activities

...As most of them are of Bengali origin, it had been a constant fight for last 3 months to make them learn Hindi….

Next in line were two plays performed by the children. The first was a funny act and the second was to communicate the message - ‘how to stay away from addiction’. There were poem and story recitations by the children from beginners level. The audience enthusiastically applauded each act. Then came the much awaited sports event! It started with the Frog race between children of

age group 4-7 years. Three legged race between boys of age group 8 and above was sheer fun. Some fell, some cheated, but Debashish and Ayub emerged as clear winners as they finished the race with no hassles. Book balancing race between girls was another hit. It was then time for the Prize Distribution ceremony. Two students were given the best

students award for their dedication, regularity and discipline. In the end, volunteers spoke to the parents about the importance of education. They urged everyone to send their children to school regularly. Also, they advised them not to carry out any activities that may negatively influence their children.

Pehal volunteers were happy with the positive response from the community. The families were really happy watching their children perform. The feeling to give to the society is always pleasant, however, the feeling is unmatched when the society gives back. We, at Pehal, today are proud that within a span of

3 months, we have been able to achieve much more than we expected. We all walked back beaming from ear to ear. May we always stand united for our cause.

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PEHAL (http://projectpehal.blogspot.com/ )
A vow to keep them warm @ Pehal In the months of December and January, with a cold wave hitting Delhi, our concerns about the wellness of the kids of Pehal rose. For the same, a drive was initiated, where warm clothes were collected for the children. After successfully collecting enough clothes for the children and their siblings, Pehal volunteers distributed the clothes to the children and also to the ones in need. These included sweaters, warm caps, gloves, socks and jackets. The children are now safely protected from the cold. We succeeded in giving them what we aim for- good health and a reason to smile.

Planning Parenthood @ Pehal
Pehal, on the 30th of January, 2010, witnessed an immensely successful family planning session held within the construction community. A positive feedback and non hesitant approach by the parents took the participating volunteers by surprise. On the basis of the community connect report, a datasheet consisting of number of children in each family was prepared. In our community the average number of children turned out to be three per family. We individually interacted with each parent. Men and women were briefed on the importance of having a small family. They were explained how having a small family could prove more financially viable and efficient.

We prioritized CuT, Male Vasectomy and Tubal Ligation over pills due to the long lasting side effects of pills. Women who had already used permanent methods of birth control interacted with other women encouraging them to go ahead with it. This resulted in a few women willing to get permanently operated though they asked for time to discuss the same with their husbands. It was observed that some women wanted to get themselves operated; however, they feared that their husbands would not agree. Volunteers interacted with them and were able to partially convince them.

We prioritized CuT, Male Vasectomy and Tubal Ligation over pills due to their long lasting side effects.

Updates on the Regular non formal education Program at Pehal
Pehal has been successfully implementing a regular non formal education program. Our morning school consists of regular four hour classes for the children. To segregate, the students have been divided into a beginners and an elementary group. Based on their performance, we have identified 7 children, who would be admitted to regular schools in April, 2010. The kids are continuously assessed, through

regular checks on their notebooks, monthly tests and quarterly exams. We have continuously been emphasizing on improving their reading skills, hence, special attention is given to that area. An after-school nutrition program has also been initiated wherein the children are given nutritious food items that cater to their nutritional deficiencies. Our journey with Pehal is reaching new milestones and we aim to continuously make it more enriching with our Pehal change makers.

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Pain On the Go
by kanika kohli We talk of lead India and India shining today but have we ever paid any heed to the ground realities of this country? Many would say yes! I have a story to narrate here and then could we all rethink if we see the root cause of issues such as rape, molestation and others? I witnessed something that provoked thoughts in my mind about the status of women and children in our country! I was amazed to see the levels at which child molestation works here! It was around 11 am on a Saturday and I was self -driving alone in my car heading towards my home town in Haryana. On the two way single road to home, I reached a small village which is about 15kms from Kurukshetra (off the GT road). A little girl who should be around 7 years was By this time the guys had seen me driving behind them in aggression against what I had just witnessed. Now, it was me that they had to race with or try to use as a mockery for their pleasure. I had to literally outsmart them in driving and get them to a point where they had no choice but to get off the road to save their lives. I had the fear- what if they followed me and tried to stop the car? The thoughts that they may have friends around this area gave me jitters. In my aggression and revenge towards their disgusting act I had taken that plunge without fearing the consequences! Thankfully I could reach home safe! When I reached home, I thought to self, will those riding on a bike on the backseat of a man (I guess should be her father). She was in her school uniform. As they rode, I saw another motor bike with three young boys who should be between 19-24 years, one of the guys was making obscene gestures to the girl and waving to catch her attention. The first thought that came to my mind was they could be related to her and may be playing cute stuff but then I realized “No”, that was not one of those gestures to the child; that guy could only acknowledge the gender that the child was born with! All the three were laughing and making gestures to the little girl! The agony was, I was driving right behind and was a spectator to this scene, helpless! Then this came to an end when the bike the girl was riding on, took a turn to a by-lane. The five minute drive was horrible for me!

guys ever realize what my aggression towards them meant? What was I trying to protest against? The glands in my eyes became active on thinking a painful “No”! I feel sorry for our campaigns like Lead India where we expect the youth of our country to act and decide for the country without realizing what the youth in the rural India stand for!, what psyche do they carry and operate on?! Is it really worth being an activist when we are not able to bring about that respect for each other? Is it not important that we respect ourselves and our fellows first and then look for support for our country? A “Jaago Re” campaign by Tata would just be a promotional stuff for many.

Is it not important for us to work towards this? Is it not important for every mother to teach their children what “respect” means? How many mothers spend time in actually educating their children and teaching them the real meaning of respect? We teach rules, manners, rituals but never such subtle things! I believe, the day we are sensitized to this need, everything else will follow the suit! Let us join hands to bring this difference today! Let us work towards building a home where each one respects the others’ presence and honors their existence!

PRATIBIMB

Page 10 JAAGRITI (http://jaagriti-india.blogspot.com/ )
New Year Celebrations New Year was celebrated at Jaagriti in an innovative manner as children learnt how to make paper bags. The children earnestly picked up the skill and made the bags. This was followed by an interactive story telling session by the volunteers. The children’s sincerity was rewarded by distributing old clothes, goodie bags and gifts. Republic Day Celebrations Republic day was celebrated at Jaagriti with great enthusiasm. Following the flag hosting ceremony, was an interactive session on the day’s importance. Both children and volunteers played many games. Snacks and fruits were distributed to children by our guests of honor Mr. Saharan and Dr. Goel, who have regularly donated to the project. Children received lots of prizes and the celebrations came to a close with the National Anthem. School Students Performance Tracking From our project in Sector-13, Dwarka, 14 children have started attending the nearby government school. Majority is in the first and second standards. Volunteers have taken the responsibility to regularly track the performance of the children, to guide the children in their school studies and to address any concerns that the children face. The volunteers interact with the children every week and the performance records are shared online with the entire team.

Jan— Feb, 2010

“….there is a need to hone the reading skills of the children and develop an interest for books in them…”

Launch of Mobile Library At Jaagriti, we understand that there is a need to hone the reading skills of the children and develop an interest for books in them. With this goal in mind, a Mobile Library concept has been introduced at Jaagriti that comprises 50 books containing short stories in Hindi and English for different age groups. Two volunteers are coordinating this initiative. They

visit the projects every week, issue books to the children and teach them how to read. Association with NSIT Rotaract Club Jaagriti has collaborated with the Rotaract Club of Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology, Dwarka. The Rotaract club members were impressed by Jaagriti’s activities and this led many students to join our pro-

jects as regular volunteers. As its first initiative with Jaagriti, the club collected old clothes and stationary from students and faculty and distributed those within the communities targeted by our projects. Many initiatives such as social entrepreneurship club, youth leadership workshop, and dance classes for children are also being planned in future.

Sadbhavna 2010 Sadbhavna-2010 was organized by NSIT Rotaract Club and Jaagriti at NSIT in Dwarka on 21st February 2010. It was a great day filled with lots of fun, frolic and learning for about 80 children and more than 20 volunteers at Jaagriti. In the first half, sports activities such as 3 leg race for boys and lemon spoon race for girls were organized where children received many prizes. After the sumptuous

lunch, a confidence building session was organized. Each child was asked to come in front and tell his/her name and cite one’s interests, something about their family, what they like and what they want to become in future. This was followed by a dance session for children and volunteers. Everyone enjoyed and children from both our projects gelled with each other.

PRATIBIMB

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Show love when needed!
Disclaimer: This article is not to hurt anyone who is a teacher or is associated with the teaching profession. The article purely quotes the author’s stance upon the subject and does not generalize any perception. The aforementioned disclaimer could alone trigger a controversy. Frankly, I would appreciate if that happens as confrontations are always a better and a healthier way of moving things forward. As we all know, a major chunk of the AID-NCR volunteers teaches children across various projects. Teaching to me is an
I, therefore, humbly request all the teaching volunteers to use the trump-card called love to deal with the kids. And just in case things go out of hand, just remember one thing you were once a child yourself…..

By selva ganpathy unparalleled profession and I firmly admire those who teach or are contributing to educating children through various means. These volunteers deserve a million pats on their backs for taking up this daunting task. However, my recent observations [specifically at Prayas, which I often visit] suggest a different picture altogether. Most of the volunteers, who teach at these venues, use a domineering tone to control the children in the class. They warn the children, scold them and for a matter of punishing them even make them sit outside the class. I agree that children are prone to committing mistakes but I regret to say that this attitude of volunteers is unethical and uncalled for. Children understand the language of love and affection more than they do of aggressiveness.

Jan— Feb, 2010

With teaching comes the noble responsibility of imparting moral and ethical values. And being an AID teaching volunteer is no exception. As a practice I always deal with children with a dose of care. After all, we all have experienced such situations in our schools and that’s why we all hate [if not all, most of us] our schooling system. Just imagine how drastic an impact a scolding will have on a child’s intellect when he/she is

reprimanded in the open. Some might ask as to what I should do if a child disturbs my class, should I appreciate that by showing more affection to him / her?! The answer would be plain “Yes”. Let me quote one of the instances that a volunteer wrote a long time back about a child who used to disturb the class at Aashayein and how he made him cooperate with the class. How

many of us who are teaching children try to learn about child psychology? Not essentially all and we don’t feel that we should know it all. It’s just that we want to teach the children to grow and get good marks in their schools.

Children are the future of tomorrow. Inculcating correct values in the correct manner will thus go a long way in helping them grow and succeed. I, therefore, humbly request all the teaching volunteers to use the trumpcard called love to deal with the kids. And just in case things go out of hand, just remember one thing - you were once a child yourself.

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PRAYAS

(http://aidnoida.blogspot.com/ ) was to reach out to more people in the community, and also to apprise the community members of how the children have faired post enrollment in Prayas. The show was hosted and presented by the children themselves. An encouraging achievement was that more children from the community enrolled for the next year’s batch after the celebrations got over. The AIDPrayas team is currently working on making I-cards for every child enrolled at the centre. Also, the team plans to perform a survey to collect socio-economic background-related information of all families within the community.

AID-Prayas is running regular classes for three batches (Senior, Eureka and Freshers batch) on both weekdays and weekends (evenings). 26th January celebrations within the community Continuing with its tradition, the AID-Prayas team celebrated Republic Day within the community with utmost zeal. The motive

Family Planning session The family planning awareness session witnessed an overwhelming participation from the community. We would only know whether the session was a success, if we execute the follow-up plans in the months to come. Nevertheless, 35+ women openly discussed their issues with the lady doctor (it was rather disappointing on the male side), and many even expressed keen interest in availing contraceptives and other birth control measures. This time, the doctors were arranged via an NGO “Noida Lok Manch”, but we

would strive hard to exploit the existing government channels, through which we earlier managed a clean-up drive.

Regular Baal Sabha/Activity classes Activity classes were started for the senior kids who were given a lot of lessons to tap their creativity quotient. Within a period of 8 months, after crossing a milestone for senior kids, this session is now being extended to Eureka and Freshers batch as well. We are also continuing with “Bal

Sabha”, which is a regular monthly meet that attracts volunteers and kids to perform some stage activity such as dancing, singing, poetryrecitation, speeches etc. Bal Sabha serves as a platform where kids get a chance to leave their academics and showcase their talent. It is the combined effort of both children and volunteers that we have been able to come up with a pool of students who are able to face the crowd and stage without fright and can converse in both Hindi and English.

New Centre within the community Due to certain unavoidable constraints we have decided to shift our centre within the community for better communication and outreach. It would allow us to support more kids with the money saved through cheaper rent, and also enable us to live closer to the community. The new centre would also grant us ample opportunities to interact with the community people and understand other pertinent issues than just education.

Admission of Freshers batch children The admissions drill for the Freshers batch of 31 kids has begun for the new session. It involves hunting for good, preferably free, schools that impart quality education. We have been preparing our students for the enrollment tests of these schools for several months, as we hope to sustain quality education for these children. At a school named, “Om Foundation”, in sector 51, Hoshiyarpur village, Noida, Nursery kids’ admission is al-

most complete; only formal document work is pending. K.G. children have been registered and on the basis of a screening test in the month of March, school authorities shall give admission to the eligible lot. The team is still looking for genuine and affordable schools to accommodate students of class 1 and 2 from the Freshers batch, for the new session. To sum up, all volunteers are working less as individuals and more as a team to achieve a common goal – to have a better tomorrow.

PRATIBIMB

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My experience with AID Prayas…
As part of PRAYAS, when I first entered one of our target communities, I was taken by surprise. I saw half-naked kids drenched in mud-water meandering amongst goats and breathing all but fresh air. I was accompanying Darshan and soon we entered a place where the children shouted “How are you Darshan Sir” – After all, their favourite sir had come to class. I was exhilarated to sense that Darshan was so dear to them by charu, volunteer, AID prayas to get them admitted to school. During my teaching, I observed that two kids- Seefat and Parveena neither uttered a word nor performed well in class. I strived hard to find a reason behind their demeanour but couldn’t. I was against promoting them to the 1st standard but eventually worked hard to help them realize their potential. One year hence, all the kids whom I taught passed and were admitted to good schools. The best part was that Seefat and Parveena were also part of this lot.

Jan— Feb, 2010

and that their eyes brightened when they saw him. I wished I could earn the same respect as that garnered by Darshan. While I was busy relishing the atmosphere, the students soon asked “What is your name”. I answered with a smile and their smiles got bigger-something that did wonders to my motivation to teach. To start with, I never knew why we were teaching these kids. Only when I started teaching them did I realize that we have

It has been 2 years to my affiliation with PRAYAS and the motivation refuses to die out.

Today, Seefat and Parveena are best friends. They are confident, optimistic and are doing well in academics. As their mentor, I feel proud and honoured to have made a difference to their lives. On my birthday when I visited the place again, the kids screamed my name and wished me- I waited for this day for long. It was eventually my hard work that

made me earn their respect. What I taught the kids was much less than what they taught me- to live life with utmost zeal and enthusiasm, whatever be the circumstances. It has been 2 years to my affiliation with PRAYAS and the motivation refuses to die out. First it were the kids and now it is the volunteer group that keeps me

take on new challenges and helps me contribute to the community in my own little way.

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Watering down a titanic crisis
It is very rare for a bunch of 90 odd IIT Delhi students to assemble and acquaint themselves with social change agents; but it is rarer for them to be able to relate to a speaker more than they did at a session organized by the team from the Delhi Chapter of AID. The AID team, with its youthful yet pragmatic attitude and arguments, drew a zealous response from the audience for its call to The highlight of the evening were the stirring 7-minute movie clip (http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=BBCL7RWrQT4 - The youtube video is being modified..it will be shared at a later date) and the enlightening slide show (http:// www.slideshare.net/ pulkitparikh/watering-down-atitanic-crisis) that opened the session absorbingly. I would strongly recommend one to watch the You-Tube clip and the Slide-Share presentation to further the understanding of the aforementioned concerns. Some of the most intriguing questions that came up were how vegetarian food is more resource-efficient than nonvegetarian food and why paper cups are not green. In an effort to find an answer to these questions, students realized that 51% of the world's emissions come from animal products. The AID team shared a paper by the NIH, Roorkee on the water foot-

by Abhinav Gupta, IIT D

uphold one's Individual Environmental Responsibility [IER], with special emphasis on saving water. The AID volunteers led by example and substantiated steps that every individual should incorporate to both nurture and respect the environment. The team shared issues ranging from the most celebrated act of cycling/ bussing to office to many non-glamorous (but equally important) activities such as economizing the use of prints of various food items, and we understood that by replacing chicken with vegetables, India can save about 20 litres of water per day per person! Another alarming fact was the mammoth amount of water consumed to make a small paper cup, which is usually not bio-degradable as it typically contains a plastic resin. The team also highlighted how recycling is a highly resource-intensive process, stressing on the need to re-use.

water during brushing or bathing, resisting disposables such as tissue paper, paper and plastic cups as well as curtailing meat intake.

While this issue is being forwarded to the college administration, a majority of students have signed up for carrying their own mugs to tea shops in the campus. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of the sustainability movement!

Apart from the general commitment to a greener and waterefficient routine, many students suggested prohibiting the use of disposable cups in the campus. While this issue is being forwarded to the college administration, a majority of students have signed up for carrying their own mugs to tea shops in the campus. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of the sustainability movement!

PRATIBIMB

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Donate to AID
All donations to AID Delhi are directed towards education, health & nutrition, skill- building/vocational training initiatives, campaigns and related activities. You can donate towards AID via the following routes:
> > > Meal a month: An initiative to donate an amount equivalent to one meal of yours to build future-India. Even a single penny counts! Rs 10, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 500...Whatever a meal costs you, we’d like to share your platter. Donate Books: Donate academic books of your children after they’ve completed studying from them. Formal education of a child at our partner NGOs: These contributions are entitled to a 50% tax exemption under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act. Donations to our partner NGOs may or may not get you 50% tax exemption and will be used by the partner NGO in its initiatives.

How to donate in India
Jan— Feb, 2010 ELECTRONIC TRANSFERS CHEQUES CASH Internet banking users can make electronic transfers to AID-India's ICICI Bank Account. Cheques can be drawn in favour of AID-India's ICICI Bank Account and can be either mailed to or deposited at any ICICI bank branch. Cash may be deposited at any ICICI bank branch quoting "AID-India" on the deposit slip.

AID-India - ICICI Bank Details Branch: Royapettah High Road (RHR) Location: Chennai MICR code: 600229007 Account No.: 602201200299 (Savings) Beneficiary address: New No 34, Rathenam Street Gopalapuram, Chennai - 600 086 Phone: +91-44-42106493, 28350403

To receive a receipt for your donation, please send the following details to aid.delhi@gmail.com Your name and permanent address Date , amount and mode (e-transfer, cheque, cash) of donation Bank details together with the Cheque/Receipt number or E-transaction ID

If you are outside India and want to contribute to AID India’s Delhi chapter, then do mail us your cheque (in any currency), drawn in favour of "AID-India", along with a cover letter stating the purpose of donation. AID-India – Mailing Address c/o R. Selva Ganapthy, Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi - 110016 Phone : 9891358457, 9213797167

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