AID Delhi newsletter February2009

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E - News February 2009

SEVA SANGHARSH NIRMAAN

Table of Contents
EDITORIAL PROJECT UPDATES I. AASHAYEIN II. AID PRAYAS, NOIDA III. AID GURGAON IV. PARICHAY V. JAMGHAT VI. KHOJ VII. TARA VIII. AID DWARKA- JAAGRITI- NEW ADDITION ….MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE…. VOLUNTEER SPEAK      MY EXPERIENCE WITH RTI- CHIRAG KAPOOR ‘DHANYAVAAD’- SHUBHAM ‘ABCD..’- RAJAT MAHESWARI ‘WHY DO I GIVE?’– MEERA VASWANI ‘PASSIVITY’- MUNISH DUVEDI 3 4 4 5 7 10 12 13 14 15 15 17 17 19 20 20 21 23 25 26 27 28

‘ I AM NO LAB RAT ’ - AN UPDATE PHOTO OF THE MONTH- AAMIR KHAN- PROJECT AASHAYEEN ROTI 2009 ROTI 2009 CONTACT US

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EDITORIAL
Its good to get back in touch with all of you after a long time with yet another newsletter which presents the splendid work done by AID Delhi volunteers. With two new educational projects on our bag, we are exploring more and more areas by reaching out more people and making more beneficiaries out of it. As you all know the theme of AID calendars this year was ROTI and we've been working constantly on the issue of Agriculture and Food Crisis, this March we'll be hosting a Delhi Brinjal Food Festival which is to raise awareness among people about brinjal and its traditional values. We would be presenting the variety of brinjal diversity available in India and how it can be cultivated without pesticides et al., With elections approaching and the government on the phase to approve Genetically Modified bt-brinjal into the indian consumer market, this would be the right phase / stage for us to know more about it and tell Government about the health hazards which might be caused due to the consumption of these GM foods. Lets say I am No Lab Rat to conduct a test on me. With a warm welcome to our new volunteers, I expect everyone of you to attend the unique brinjal festival scheduled for 21st and 22nd march at Dilli Haat, the details of the program would be mailed soon. Happy Reading!

-Selva Ganapathy

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PROJECT UPDATES

I. AASHAYEIN
Activity Updates
The classes were held on Sundays, but Saturday classes are discontinued at present due to a lack of volunteers. The location of the classes has become a further source of problem because of construction work going in and around the area.

Project Location
Timarpur (10 minute walk from the Delhi University Metro Station

Regular Classes
Saturday: 4:00pm- 6:00 pm Sunday: 11:00am- 1:00 pm

Regular Volunteers
Rupin, Sonam, Neeru

New Volunteer
Sheetal

Contact:
Neeru Malhota- 099716-61422

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II. AID Prayas, Noida
Activity Updates
If last month seemed eventful, for those who follow Prayas, this week was equally eventful.Here go this month’s happenings: Full timer takes Control of the new batch of children: As a key enabler for the long term objectives of Prayas, we recruited our full timer teacher & a future coordinator for our activities, if all goes by plan. Abhinash started his efforts beginning this month with training the new batch (Batch of 2010) of children. This batch of children was listed out of the group of children that registered with us during the survey efforts of last month’s Republic Day Celebration. As a follow up to this event, we met the children’s parents and counseled them about the objectives of education and the need to balance the child’s educational needs. Abhinash belongs to Orissa but is well-versed with Hindi. He has a good background of leadership backing him; some valuable fund-raising experience for the Orissa flood victims. He was also part of the NCC during his education. He has a strong conscience and we see him as a potential candidate to manage Prayas in the coming times.

Picnic @ Prayas The best part about picnic’s that we have seen at Prayas are the People or Volunteers. Each time, we have at least 7-8 new volunteers who are enthusiastic, and we have fortunately had a few hold on for the long run. We took the children to the Qutab Minar and then a trip to India Gate’s children’s park. Our regulars - the veterans as you may also refer to as - Rajat, Anand , Darshan, Selva & myself (Arun Raj) were on the floor to see that the execution of the picnic went well. But, the better part was we saw new volunteers like Anant, Akanksha & Sonia involved to make this a wonderful event.

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Regular Classes:
Pioneer – Tuesday, Thrusday 20.30 hours – 22.30 hours Eureka – Tuesday, Thrusday and Saturday 18.00 hours to 20.00 hours. Class – II – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – 20.30 hours to 22.30 hours and Saturday and Sunday 16.00 hours – 18.00 hours.

Regular Volunteers
Darshan, Kannan, Rajat, Anand, Rajiv, Sugandha, Charu, Nikunj, Arun, Raj, Tarun, Priyanka, Vikas, Selva, Poonam, Akanksha, Sonia, Sonika

Special mention
Abhinash (Full timer) Thanking God for all our successful efforts and the learnings we have had at Prayas as individuals and a team :)

Contact:
Arun: 099109-08774 Rajiv: 098119-81809

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III. AID Gurgaon

Activity Updates
Inauguration of a new education centre "Disha" in Jharsa on January 26 Children of a ragpickers community which could not attend Unnati (also in Jharsa), because of the distance and because they engaged in a an earning profession got an opportunity to access Education right next to their homes. 30-odd such children came in the first day. The school got its name "Disha" from Bittu, a local, who showed exemplary motivation. He was here, there, everywhere - from contacting parents to procuring the school premises, from cleaning the classroom to whitewashing the school premises. (A long journey awaits us before this school stabilizes. Its going to be a rough ride in the next few weeks. But the journey will be worth it!!) Republic Day celebrations in Unnati and Disha From dance to patriotic songs, from the loud roar of "Bharat Mata ki Jai" and "Jai Hind" to the respect of the national flag (we did not notice a single flag thrown on the ground), ball n bucket games to drawing competitions, from the sweets distribution to prize distributions, it displayed great organization effort by all the volunteers. 2 kids join Pallavanjali Sanayak Das and Amanraj joined Pallavanjali school on Sohna Road. While pallanvanjali is a regular private school, it uses some innovative teaching methods and has great infrastructure to support it. The sponsorship for Pallavanjali was arranged by the school itself. We facilitated identification of students, getting the parents and school authorities to meet each other and helping parents go through the procedures Evaluation of kids for RSEP We evaluated the kids shortlisted for admission to regular private school to finalize who is ready for which standard. The same was discussed with the parents of the kids. The concern of stability of parents was

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SEVA SANGHARSH NIRMAAN shared and they were quite positive on the fact that they will be around Jharsa village for at least the next year. Funding from AID Atlanta for Disha and some other heads Sanchit presented a proposal to AID Atlanta members and we are awaiting the final outcome New volunteer A new volunteer Jai joined the group. Jai brings with him the expertise of web designing. We discussed the concern of evolving the website to a more interactive form and in Jai's words "good in feel and looks ". Apart from volunteering in terms of site update and designing he has also volunteered to train Puneet and Anshul for the same, so that they can be a backup support in case he is not present. Jai will soon have a session with group in the following week. Till then all members are requested to pour in their suggestions regarding the ideas for enhancing the website. A few that we discussed are as follows; a) Success stories b) Open issues, where people can add their comments. E.g. we are looking for good schools in Gurgaon which offer discounted education for the needy c) Embedding images in the content d) Enhancing the content so that page rank increases e) A event log to be created. This will be a detailed info not only dry data

Events planned in the next month
Disha  Electricity: Work is on progress to get the place a proper electricity connection via a sub-meter from the house in the back. Bittu is working on that and will provide an update later in the week  Garnering local support for Disha: Regarding the development work in DISHA, Jai has suggested to take help of the local political head Mr. Gopi Chand Gehlot(Ex Dy Speaker Haryana Assembly), in the Jharsa Village. As per him he would be very supportive for this cause. The DISHA room is on Panchayat land and the now with the notification under Municipal Corp, the panchayat have no control over it now .So the local political help is required in case some work could be initiated. Also that would help us to involve the local people into the cause. Unnati  Fast track learning through software: Following week would also see the installation of a laptop/PC in UNNATI, with the interactive software for the effective learning of the kids, specifically for those students who have gaps to be covered for the regular school admission test. RSEP  Financing for RSEP: Generate support for financing for the identified kids for the regular schooling. The deadline of 10th March was decided to finalize the sponsorship list.  Using the funds raised to initiate admission procedures to Vivek High School  Make arrangements to rationalize school transportation cost of students

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SEVA SANGHARSH NIRMAAN  Focus on the students selected for RSEP to fill the gaps they

Project Location
Gurgaon Sector 31

Contact Information:
Puneet: 098116-21209 Anshul: 098734-69546

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IV. Parichay

Activity Updates
We had a great month, filled with fun, frolic and loads of activities. Some highlights for your information:  With the support of a few Parichay kids and their family members residing there, Parichay has introduced a new project, Gyanodaya, in an isolated area (4 k.m. away from its main center). One of the Parichay kid named Hasin is conducting non formal classes for 16 kids. We hope that soon enough other kids and community people from main centre will start contributing to the maintenance and development of the centre. This time Parichay has introduced Holi colours prepared from natural ingredients like turmeric, henna, chukandar, chuna, katha, and tesu flowers. As always, STM is the first one to give us a stall.  Three interns from Mumbai, Nandini, Bindu, and Sakshi (MBA-Ist year), spent their valuable time with us. They helped us organize the library and marketing of Parichay products. We are thankful to AIDDelhi for recommending them to Parichay. The project for the mentally challenged has been initiated. A booklet has been compiled on the subject, which would be distributed free of cost to raise awareness on the issue. Special Vedic Mathematics and English were organized this month. Parichay hosted the lunch on the AID-annual event. It was an event where close to 300 people have gathered to interact and know more about AID's initiatives. The contract for hosting the lunch went to Parichay and the entire community came forward to help prepare the dishes. Kids, youth, old aunts, and almost everyone was there to lend a hand. It was a great experience for the kids. They met children from other projects & interacted with them, and many won prizes at the event. Selva and others have been thinking of organizing this event for a very long time, and I felt it was a great experience being at the

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SEVA SANGHARSH NIRMAAN event. Special thanks to Shruti and all others who stressed themselves to make it a huge success. :) Two new kids, Aarti and Swarti have started attending regular school. We are thankful to Peeyush Kulshreshtha (STM) and Smita Dayal for sponsoring these kids. The monthly masala sales at STM amounted to Rs. 9,200 in the month of January and approximately Rs. 9000 in February. STM also initiated a collection drive for woolen clothes. In an event organized at IIT-Delhi, where RBS came to support AID and its projects, the sales amounted to Rs. 2200. A new volunteer, Rai Chand, is lending a good support in composing and typesetting the documents.

Events planned in the next month
A few things which we would like to focus in the coming months: 1. Helping the kids with preparation for their Annual exams 2. Teaching of Vedic Mathematics 3. Computer classes 4. Exposure to Dramatics: Will start looking for people who could organize workshops for the kids on performing arts such as dramatics. This could be done after they are free from their annual exams but we'll need to start looking out for volunteers or groups who could help in this regard. 5. Visits to National School of Drama: We can form 3-4 groups of kids so we can take them to NSD. A lot of good plays are being performed at the school and I think, this would both be a good entertainment and a learning experience for them. We can plan as soon as the kids are free from their annual exams. Volunteers, who are interested in accompanying the kids, can get in touch with Vijay Bhaiya. 6. Screening of Hindi movies at Parichay. Would be nice if volunteers can suggest the names of the movies. 7. Exposure classes to other cultures

Requirements
A dedicated team is required to work on the project for Mentally challenged - Volunteers who would like to coordinate the drive and establish a strong network with the school authorities in the area can contact Vijay Bhaiya. Some key activities for this phase are preparation of PPTs, pamphlets, brochures, initiating the talk with school authorities, and preparing several other documents for presentation.

Regular Volunteers
Vikas, Rai Chand, Selva, Puneeta, Deeps, Naval

Contact:
Puneeta: 098912-17839 Vijay Bhaiya: 098107-53425

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V. Jamghat

Activity Updates
1. Boys from Jamghat along took part in Yamuna clean up along with Swechcha as a part of Greenathon . Apart from that boys also enjoyed the boat rides and the live music at the yamuna ghat. 2. Aanchal. Jamghat is starting up a home for girls similar to jamghat ghar called Aanchal. A fulltimer Shalu Gosain has been hired to look after the administration issues. 3. Three boys from Jamghat, Roushan Anwar and Ali have got jobs in a Restaurant at Noida, "Habit". All three have moved out of Lado Sarai centre. 4. This month two interns Ankit and Naveen, students of HR from IMI spent time in Jamghat and helped in management and teaching maths and english to the kids. 5. Aman, Prasanjeet, Arbaaz, Shawaaz studying in life center academy were taken to a school trip to Taj mahal. 6. Jamghat is on the web now. Check out www.jamghat.in 7. Ravi and Feroz , are acting in a movie being made by girls from IP college on the life of Kids.

Contact:
Abhinav Kumar Gupta: 098683-71533

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VI. Khoj

Activity Updates
1. New Education project has started for around 20-25 kids near IIT Delhi flyover. Classes are held near Padmini enclave from 11:00 AM. Those who wish to volunteer for the same can contact Zubair @ 9868486272 . 2. KHOJ is collaborating with AID Gurgaon on Anti Begging Campaign, Srijan, which aims to spread awareness
amongst people that how by a simple act of not giving alms to beggars we can make a difference to the problem. To know more and to pledge :

http://gurgaon.aidindia.org/Srijan 3. Prabaht tara Activities are regularly conducted every Saturday . A new format has been introduced where three activities are held simultaneously for three groups of kids. After completing one activity the kids are shuffled and they can join another group activity. 4. Shashank is initiating a new teaching project along with students from IIT delhi, for street kids of a Rajasthani Community just opposite to the IIT Hostel gate.

Project Coordinators
Zubair- 9868486272 Pawan- 9810406998

Contact:
Abhinav Kumar Gupta: 098683-71533

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VII. Tara

Activity Updates
In the month of Febrauary at TARA kids and the volunteers went to Humayun ka Makbara , Nizamuddin. Promod , Vinod, Mamta and Kumod from the TARA community have gone back to their village with the hope to complete their education there. Members hope to see them after three years when Promod will come back to Delhi for his operation.

Events planned in next month
March will be a new beginning for TARA as the families will all move out, hunt for more project and more volunteers will start in the month of March.

Project Location:
Academy of Third World Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia.

Regular Class timings
1pm to 5pm

Regular Volunteers:
Kulsoom Rashid, Mithun Gomes, Ameen, Avneet Arora, Gyan Gautam, Hamaad, Pavneet Kohli, Tonmoy Thakur, Manvi Singh, Arjun

Special Needs/ Issues:
Mobilization of new volunteers at TARA. A set of eureka kit.

Contact:
Kulsoom Rashid 9871551545 Contact us at: [email protected]

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VIII. AID Dwarka- Jaagriti- NEW ADDITION

….making dreams come true….

Goal of the Project:
To impart basic elementary education to the underprivileged children of construction workers at different construction sites in Dwarka, New Delhi and make them rise and become successful citizens of this country.

Objectives of the Project:
At PROJECT JAAGRITI we believe that a child should not only be provided with the right education but should also be taught about good health, hygiene, cleanliness, and values of life which are as essential as the basic textbook knowledge. Efforts should also be made to enhance and hone each child’s individual skills and talents. With this in mind PROJECT JAAGRITI has been started with the following objectives. 1. To provide elementary pre-school education to the underprivileged children of all age groups. 2. To instill a passion for education and learning in the children. 3. To provide skill based training to children through regular drawing, writing, singing, dancing etc. classes. 4. To establish a bond of love, affection and trust between the children, their parents and the volunteers. 5. To get best performing children admitted in good schools and also sponsor the education of these children. 6. To conduct regular health check ups, nutrition classes, picnics and movie screenings for the children leading to the overall enhancement of their skills and talents.

Activities for the month of Feb:
1. Project Jaagriti has children from 3 different levels which include children who have never been to

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SEVA SANGHARSH NIRMAAN school, children who have been to school earlier but are not going currently and children who used to be taught by someone earlier but currently receive no education. We have started regular classes on weekends which are held at 4 PM for 2-3 hours. 2. Currently we are trying to give as much attention as possible to all the children and have started with teaching of counting, alphabets and with some drawing classes. 3. 4 Volunteers from NSIT have also joined us who will be teaching music to the children and taking up classes on Wednesday and Thursday in month of March and April. 4. Nutritious food items like fruits and biscuits are regularly given to the children and we interact and teach them about health and hygiene also. 5. Every week chocolates are given to the cleanest and the most attentive child in the class.

Volunteers: Anchit, Abhishek and Kunal.
This is just the beginning and in the coming days we plan to move to more such locations within Dwarka where such efforts are required and create a meaningful impact in lives of many such children. All those interested in Volunteering and donating please contact at [email protected]

PROJECT BLOG: http://jaagriti-india.blogspot.com PROJECT LOCATION:

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VOLUNTEER SPEAK

My Experience with RTI- Chirag Kapoor
In the month of February 2007 , AID Delhi in collaboration with JOSH had organized a youth task force to work for the cause of transparency in government departments . Our first project was to work on Delhi roads for which we had filed more than 100 RTI's on different PWD road projects within the city. Being an active part of the same group ,I had filed two RTI's ; one related to MB road and the other related to Press Enclave road near my house. I had filed these RTI's in March 2007 . However, I did not get a single reply from PWD for a period of two months . Taking cognizance of this fact, I filed a complaint straight to the Central Information Commission on 7th March, 2007. From the period of June 2007 till November 2008, I was forwarded various letters originally sent to PWD department asking them to offer their comments on denial of information. However , not a single official letter came about from the side of PWD department . On 25th November 2008, the appeal was finally listed for hearing. I had gone there to take my case. Mr. ML Sharma , information commissioner CIC was to hear this complaint . In the hearing again no one was present from the side of PWD .It was apparent that all letters were going unheeded by them. However, Mr. ML Sharma assured me that documents would be made available to me under the RTI act. On 30th January, 2009 I got the letter apprising me of the decision taken by CIC .One Superintended Engineer of the PWD was directed to present the information without further delay. However no punishment was made. Finally on 19th February, 2009 I got a phone call from Mr Vivek Kumar Gupta , Assistant Engineer ,PWD who works on MB road .He called me up to set a date for inspection .Also he offered many apologies for the lack of information made available to me for all these years. Finally on this Saturday (21st February 2009), I went for inspection to the PWD office in Ishwar Nagar . Two friends of mine , Faizi a civil engineer from Aligarh University and Mohtashim Hashmi , a college friend accompanied me in the inspection . We reached the PWD office around 12 P.M .An executive engineer of PWD as well as various other staff of PWD were present in the office .All in all, six engineers of the PWD were present in the inspection .We complained about the sorry state of affairs of the MB road since a very long time now . Various complaints were passed from our side. We could find the rules and specifications being compromised by them in the construction of roads like there was no soil testing which otherwise has to precede any construction activity on the road. Also various other technicalities were seriously compromised by them and they were pointed out by my friend Faizi .I ,being a computer engineer , could not really understand the technical terms being used by Faizi . However , the exec engineer and the assistant engineer were red faced on more than several occasions within the inspection . They offered various original as well as other general excuses for their

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SEVA SANGHARSH NIRMAAN laxity in work .These included hindering work by various other departments of the government like DJB , Delhi Traffic police , RWA associations , stay orders by courts , Electricity Board etc. While we did understand some of these excuses which clearly do take place in city roads. But we were clear in the sense that these conditions are prevalent everywhere in Delhi and these do not warrant the road being cut on all seasons of the year .We also pointed out that the designs of U-turns on MB road were unsatisfactory and a layman could do a better job than that .The exec engineer being red faced offered countless excuses and blamed the Traffic Police for the same. However they agreed to correct the same within a few days .At last, we were presented with the full set of documents .My fiend Faizi while observing the documents pointed out that some pages in the original document relating to Morth specifications were missing. Thereafter they did present the same and various inconsistencies could be seen. We did take a photocopy of the same. Finally we took their leave .The assistant engineer told me to come to his office regularly and study the various issues, which he faces in the construction activities. I accepted the offer for the same. Finally I would like to say that RTI is a great weapon, which has been given by the govt. to the people to check corruption. Using RTI, we can increase participation of the common man ( aam admi) in the development project being doled out for him. RTI can be used in all departments of the government and it can bring about a tremendous change in the society .It has not only the potential to change the 'chalta hai' attitude of public servants but also to change the 'kuch nahi ho sakta'attitude of ordinary citizens of this country .It's an act through which common people like you and me can hold the govt officers by their collars for their indolence in work. But the only request I would have for people is that to not this tool for personal vendettas or for fun .This is a very serious act and if its used inappropriately it can negate the aim which its sets to target . We did burn a lot of time of all these govt employees .And so we realized that anyone who is not serious can kill a lot of precious time uselessly for these public servants. Recent Update- This is in reference to the article I posted on Feb 23rd titled " My experience with RTI" . I would like to apprise everyone that in response to our inspection ,the PWD has acted swiftly to repair the MB road . I traveled on MB road today after a long time .And I could notice the "CHANGE" on the road .There was a new lane which has been constructed on the left side of the road . I could not find any major potholes or ditches on the road except for just one .Apart from that the U-turns have also been reconstructed or shifted to other places within the road. The road seems to have undergone a huge transformation from the last time I traveled on it .And it comes as a great surprise. Kudos to the power of RTI !! Chirag Kapoor- [email protected]

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‘Dhanyavaad’- Shubham

-Shubham Jain [email protected]

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‘ABCD..’- Rajat Maheswari
I am very poor in writing...but Darshan is asking from long time to write something...so please tolerate.... Darshan already mentioned, it was like one family on picnic :)....Children's enjoyed and all of us also....and frankly speaking was trying to extend the picnic time also :D.....thanks a lot to everybody for making the event a BIG SUCCESS.... And let me phrase a small incident...may be around 3 weeks ago, was sitting in one of the night class and Darshan wrote some sentence in Hindi on board and asked the children's for English translation....I was not focusing on what he wrote actually...suddenly I heard Sona speaking something in English....in fact that was the exact translation of what Darshan wrote in Hindi with all tense and grammar correct.....was shocked...I kept smiling all the time in the class without any reason ( for me the reason was there )....Sona was the same student we use to teach "ABCD" when we started Prayas...not only Sona, mostly all the children's in the class were able to translate....it's a very small thing which gave me the feeling what really we have achieved...."HATS OFF TO ALL OF YOU"....... I am sometimes coming to evening classes and can see "Prayas family" putting heart to teach children's....everybody is contributing in someway.... Let’s continue our efforts and hope we can get many of our children's admitted in Nai Disha.... Thanks once again to all of you.... - Rajat Maheshwari [email protected]

‘Why Do I Give?’– Meera Vaswani
Why do I give....It is simply because one of the AID's strengths(the words) " donate meal a month" touched my heart & I instantly felt an urge to act upon Another reason being..... AID India is doing little bit towards the upliftment of poor kids...be it from streets or from slums...it is indeed a great beginning & hope it zooms to greater heights. AID India is fighting for the women's rights & being a women , I would do whatever I can(with in my capabilities keeping in mind my age & professional activity) to uplift female child...impart education to them & try to overcome the partial attitude of parents towards male child over female. - Meera Vaswani [email protected]

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‘Passivity’- Munish Duvedi
This is to share my experience today apart from many others at the Unnnati. Today was a special one, actually it kindled the child in me so thought to write it .It just happened after i took a test of children,(thanks to absence of Anshul today, he and Puneet generally do it ). Drawings and paintings have always been my craze, i used to do a lot in school days .So I thought let me, start it again with these kids and I got an overwhelming response to the call for it from kids . I dont know how it came, I asked all of kids to draw a line between two dots with a free hand first ........to my amusement lots of them made a pretty straight one ..then again with the help of the dots i came to square, rectangle, triangle, and then came the most good one the Circle ...now no dots to tell then how to draw ...so i reminded them all the round things and then asked them to imagine how it looks like and draw in air the circle with pencil in clockwise direction..then put the impressions on the paper ..they drew well ..seeing them drawing in air was an sight very nice ..the child in me came alive…Now finally the stage was set for the drawing there favourite "Hut" ..so combining all the basic geometrical figures and with help I dots i got it made easily from the kids ..When the basic structure of hut was made, it was time to draw the doors ,windows ,chimney ,smoke ,and a tree …so while drawing they even became familiar with these few words ,they well wrote in Buddy English and choti English …instead of writing them I tried to make them to construct the words, they picked it fast ,but how much they would retain ..lets hope for it .. But It was tough time when I asked the children what is darwaza in English ..and they all said GATE. I got confused how to answer now ….Ideally to have gate to ones own house is a thing which is too difficult for even the privileged one in this city, and then these children don’t even have a door to their house leave apart the gate or the window … so to make them understand or even explain them the difference between door and gate was tough but then I tried to make them learn door anyway. But this again made me think, was it difficult for us to learn these things which were around us in the home, and mum often asked to close the window when the winds blow and door when we came back any time from school or playground and left it wide open to mosquitoes or the Gate, when she was always worried of the cows ruining her flowers in the garden, all these things came very natural to us … Another tough time, it was when I asked what is this drawing (hut) called..One of the bright kid Sanayak, promptly said HOUSE ..i was to tell them HOME ..again it was quite difficult to tell them the difference between a HOME and HOUSE ..Majority of them, I guess don’t have one .. But in the end what, I thought of the things we have never thought off how these passive learning’s in our life takes place and thanked God for my small town upbringing, among people quite content ,disciplined and righteous .We enjoyed all the four seasons to the fullest ,and in a city how this difference of the season “pinches us actually “. Learning was that to make them identify the words it was important they visualize with respect to their surroundings. I hope to continue next time with mountains, river, sun moon, day and nite, rains and clouds …all these beautiful sights were around my school there was mountain in front of us an river flowing in back of school and a beautiful valley along the river where we use to bunk classes (only when we became rouge in class

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SEVA SANGHARSH NIRMAAN tenth ..Hey Puneet hope u remember! ), so I never felt difficult to imagine the mountains and different seasons as all the seasons were in abundance. Along with other children in big cities these kids are also unfortunate in this regard..But if not passive learning let them introduce the beauty of these thing actively... So let’s keep Discovering ourselves! - Munish Duvedi [email protected]

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‘ I AM NO LAB RAT ’ - AN UPDATE
For the past month, AID has been working in association with Greenpeace to spread the word about the harmful affects of BT Brinjal and also to help raise 50,000 petitions against the approval of the mass production of the same. Activities Undertaken: 1. Film screening of Poison on the Platter – a film by Mahesh Bhat, at my Local Community Center (D2 Vasant Kunj) on 15th February. 2. Raising awareness amongst the students of Delhi University. A two day process, which started with hanging 'dead' brinjals attached to suicide notes all over DU, north campus. Followed by a 'funeral procession' of the dead brinjal the next day. (A petition signing drive) 3. Contacting various corporations to schedule a screening. 4. Spreading the word about BT Brinjal, through an emailing request in the law firm- "Fox, Mandal and Little" 5. Screening at Airports Authority of India (AAI) 6. Screening at IIT Delhi.

Future Activities Planned:  Brinjal Festival at Dilli Haat on 21st and 22nd March 2009  Delhi screening at IHC

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What YOU can do: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Sign the Petition: http://iamnolabrat.com/labrat.php Get your family and friends to sign the petition Organize a screening at your locally community centers Organize a screening at your company Spread the word in your office/ social circle through emails

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PHOTO OF THE MONTH- Aamir Khan- Project Aashayeen

Comment by Neeru- This is Amir Khan (yes, that's his name too :) And this was his 'madumakhi' as he calls it, and he looked so adorable holding it in his hands that I had to click him and thus started the 'photo session' on a Sunday :)

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ROTI 2009

Lord! Give enough that the needs of this family are met, So that I don't go hungry, and neither does the mendicant.
~ Kabir, 15th century mystic and poet parabrahma svarupam.

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ROTI 2009

India is famous for its amazing variety of food, range of crops and myriad preparations. Perhaps more precious is the Indian cultural perspective of food not as a commodity but as a life-giver for all, indeed as a form of the divine: annam parabrahma svarupam. To feed an unexpected guest is an honour. The farmer, regarded as annadata or giver of food, is not simply someone who makes a living out of cultivation; just as a scientist is a symbol of learning, of technical advancement, not just someone who works for pay in a laboratory. To raise awareness about the struggling farmers, AID volunteers around the world held candlelight vigils on October 2, 2007 the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi which brought together over 3000 people across the world. AID volunteers pledged to support possible solutions with grassroots partners, through changes in public policy and in our own lives. And then there are choices that are personal but could be just as significant. Do we know who grows, harvests, packs, transports and markets the food we eat daily? What do they earn? What do they eat? Do they have homes? How far does our food travel? How much fuel is used in transport and cooling? Are we fooled by the cosmetics that give it a "fresh" look at journey's end? These questions highlight our power as consumers to tilt the market away from vegetables steeped in pesticides, waxed fruits, and legumes coated with metanil yellow, towards organically grown vegetables, low-input grains, fairly traded to give the farmer a take home wage rather than mounting debt. Can we exercise this power? What if our common humanity depends on it?. Wishing you peace and joy in 2009. Selva Ganapathy. R AID Calendar Team [email protected] +91-9891358457

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CONTACT US
Feedback: [email protected] Web: http://delhi.aidindia.org Phone: +91-9818248459 Send your Cheques to Selva Ganapathy.R Department of Chemical Engineering, Publications Team Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi - 110016 Hauz Khas Phone: +91-9891358457, +91-9818248459

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