Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Volunteer need for Community Connect visit near Sec-45, Kanhai Village, Gurgaon

Project : Shiksharth
Number of Volunteer Required : 20-30

1. Volunteers are required to make an effort to beautify the school with plantation and levelling. We would like to have activity day once a week, preferably saturday or sunday for this. Starting at 11 and could last for 2-3 hours.
2. Water tank to be installed as it is required for water usage in toilet. Funds required for the first 2 activities.
3. Monitoring the kids enrolled in the school.
4. Mentoring them and connect to their parents.
5. Curriculum development.


Shiksharth is running properly from the last 2 weeks. Developments in the last 2 weeks are as follow:

A permanent teacher has been appointed and to assist her ‘Mathangi’ and ‘Mrs Grover’ (retired principal) provide their service daily.

Following items are arranged for the school.

1 Black Board
2 chairs
Bamboo Chik to cover the gallery where school is running (see attached pics)
20 Slates for Kids
Carpets, etc.

Some tracking of children is already done by Mrs. Grover and Mathangi..
Some land leveling work has already been started on Sarpanch's orders.
Talked to Gardener of the adjacent park and he would help us in grass and tree plantation in school. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Project Prerna


*Certainly, Slumdog Millionaire is one more example of India’s undeniable brilliance and extraordinary talent that the world is increasingly saying 'Jai Ho'. One can rightly appreciate the wonderfully inspiring story of a poor boy who overcomes all odds to make a million.*

But It’s a pity that even today we are struggling to ensure basic rights to the children who are living in slums.Their right to education, nutrition, health, shelter and protection — stands threatened and undermined.

And the desired changes in the lives of such children will come only when more and more privileged people with a desire to bring changes start participating proactively in finding solutions for these children.

With this conviction, we have started project PRERNA to help the kids in the slums. Project PRERNA is an inspiration to make a difference in their lives.

Prerna was started started on 14th Nov,2009,(Children Day) for Saturday and Sunday Classes only.

*Project faced continuous problems and threats to keep the school running, but the team always loved the challenges coming their way and eventually Brigadier Saab A S Yadav (Retd.) living near by came to the rescue and provided his vacant land to start up the school.*
*Today, we are running this school on regular basis with full time teacher hired. We are teaching around 40+ students in two groups of around 20 each.*

*Remember:* **"No child is born imperfect. Every life is a blessing and a hope for
mankind". *And* "Education is the primary catalyst which transforms ignorance to hope."

Near Presidency Building
Sector 14

Shiksharth- A means to bright future !

On Sunday, Nov 6, 2009, Zariya and AID- Gurgaon chapter launched their project Shiksharth to educate the underprivileged children residing in the slums of Kanhai village in Gurgaon. Association for India's Development (AID) is a volunteer movement promoting sustainable, equitable and just development. AID supports grassroots organizations in India and initiates efforts in various interconnected spheres such as education, livelihoods, natural resources including land, water and energy, agriculture, health, women's empowerment and social justice. Zariya is a group of young Indians who have come together to become a means to providing a solution to various causes. The group intends to work as a bridge between large social organizations and the lower sect of the society. Zariya is working consistently towards achieving their milestones to contribute to the society. In the pursuit to achieve that, the group is working with many organizations on various projects. However, Shiksharth is the first big step, of team Zariya, in their endeavor to community service. Shiksharth is a community school based out of Kanhai village. The volunteers from AID Gurgaon and Zariya walked around the slums in Kanhai village to spread the word of importance of education for all. The team registered the students into the school and on its first day on Sunday saw an overwhelming response from the residents. The school on its inaugural day marked the attendance for 40 children from the village. Sarpanch Satish Yadav ji inaugurated the school in the presence of the volunteers and a few guests that included Colonel Rajinder Singh. The average age of the children who attended the first day was 8 years. The students were made to learn a few lessons on moral values through cartoon movies and were thereafter provided refreshments. Shiksharth has taken its first flight with one teacher and forty students, and aims at achieving a headcount of 125-150 students to be managed by four teachers. The school will operate, from 9 am to 1:30pm from Monday thru Friday and 9am to 12 pm on Saturdays, in the premises adjoining the temple in Kanhai village. The purpose would be to provide the remedial classes for weak and underprivileged kids and prepare them for admission to the public schools. The project Shiksharth owes sincere thanks to the Sarpanch Satish Yadav ji of Kanhai village for providing the land and all the support and the residents of Kanhai village in showing their faith in us.

Friday, November 27, 2009

2010 Sapney - Dreams for a brighter tomorrow!!

SAPNEY portrays the dreams held by many underprivileged children. These children who come from families that have more than 5 members to feed each meal work as rag pickers in the early hours of the day. Later, they get dressed and head towards school. Through the little that they learn each day they weave anther part of their dream and we at AID GGN through our projects Unnati and Disha are guiding these children to realise these dreams. Based in the interiors of Jharsa Village Gurgaon, at Unnati and Disha non- formal education is provided to children who come from nearby slums. Once these children progress, they are put into formal schools. Maths, English, Hindi, EVS are taught everyday and special modules like paper crafts, health and hygiene, environment studies, manners and etiquettes are taken up by various corporate companies under their CSR programme or individual volunteers on weekends. With all the support we get through volunteers we have been able to raise the bar both at Disha and Unnati which have crossed 50 students each this winter.The discussions that happen during volunteer meets between volunteers and children have revealed that these children have built dreams of their own where they see happy homes and steady money. SAPNEY expresses this very emotion of these young children who once didn’t even know what school was meant for. SAPNEY captures the true essence of hope and belief these children have grown to hold through the lines...

Aaakhon mein hain sapne hazaar,
Anek rango se hain meri duniya sarobar,
Aasha ke pahiyon pe main hoon savaar,
Kya honge mere sapne sakaar ?
Ban sakti hoon main Miss India…pilot…teacher…
Lagan ki kami nahi,
Hunar mujhme bhi hai,
Apni kabiliyat pe hai bharosa,
Kehna hai mujhe bahut kuchh,
Kya tum sunoge meri baat?

Contributions collected through the distribution of these calendars will be directed towards the development of these projects. Come and support the cause and help nourish a dream...

To book your "Sapney" calendar, drop Anshul a mail at or call him at 9873469546.

You may also place your order by filling the form below :

Friday, November 13, 2009

Green gurgaon Campaign

Let me introduce you with G2 initiative. G2 is basically Green Gurgaon Campaign. It’s a dream to make it true, a drive to give back green cover to concrete jungle named Gurgaon. This is an AID- Gurgaon initiative lead by Col (retd.) Rajinder Singh and the action plan was laid with the joint efforts from Forest department (Gurgaon) and the G2 force team.
Forest department gave us plants and know how and allowed us to run this campaign on a land near Rajiv Chownk on Sohna Road meant for Plantation purpose.
On 10:00 Saturday morning, we all meet at the spot and found the marked land to be filled with shrubs, wild grass, thorns, bushy plants and uneven surface. Yes! We all took a deep breath …Wow! Yes, it’s a challenging day today.
Pit work was already done at equal distances with the help of a drilling tractor. We inspected the area. And the thorny plants gave us a challenge. Then a truck arrived with full of plants. “Come On Guys – Move”, Munish shouted. We went to unload plants from the truck. Each plant was 20-25 kgs weight. 4 PWD workers too joined us to help us in planting plants. Plants were unloaded into a rickshaw and were shifted to pits area. Plant bags were also passed from shoulder to shoulder and were kept besides pits.
“Hello Guys! Please welcome few more girl volunteers from Evalueserve who have come over here to help us”, Munish said. Nilopher, Sita, Ritika and Rashmi…..were the names if I remember correctly.
A tough task, a big challenge for them – it was a surprise for them as they they didn’t expected thorny, bushy land. Some of us were in sleepers, half pants. So, it was also a test of their will power. Nothing could stop us – Move, Move, Ok, Very Good…Come on Guys…Help him or her OK Get another, take care of plant…Smile please…take a snap….these words were easily heard slogans. Joining hands to pull and push rickshaw to move it to plantation area had its own charm. It required all your muscle power.
Wow! Lovely was the sight of a good team work with a challenging task with scorching sun overhead. Nothing could stop us and our spirits and enthusiasm was on a high. We planted each plant carefully into the pit ensuring good hold of soil. Without taking rest, we planted 120 saplings in 3 hours of activity. When it was done, we also checked each plant to make sure whether it was properly planted or not. Then we sat under a shade of a lone small tree and had some snacks and chatted about our feelings for this noble cause. We tested our physical efficiency without AC under scorching sun. Everybody laughed.
Now, we all have a vision – one day we will have fruits, flowers, shade and can listen birds chirping and singing a song of thanks for us.
A vote of thanks to Forest department, Evalueserve, AID, Volunteers, PWD workers and above all Col (Retd.) Rajinder Singh for making this dream into reality. A foundation of green castle with 250 plants was laid down today with the writings of my pen here for you. Green Gurgaon Dream a Greener Earth Dream ..
Thank you all! Join Us and be the change you always wanted to see around you.

Jai Hind !


Rajesh' volunteer experience

Rajesh's experience
I have been working with AID for almost 4 years now. It has been a great learning experience – got an opportunity to interact and learn from hundreds of volunteers, and most importantly, got a sense of REAL India. We all get to realize how much we have and how comfortably we are living the moment we get to meet people who are struggling to make a living. All of us who cribbed about our schools never thought that even attending a government school can be a luxury.  
When we started Gurgaon Chapter of AID four years back, we never thought we will make thus far. But we did. For which I would like to thank everyone for relentless effort and undying motivation.  
Initially, as is the case with most of the non-profits, we were struggling to keep up the momentum. Volunteer attrition was high and funds were limiting our ambition. Despite persistent blogging, Orkuting, etc. coupled with exploitation of personal contacts, things were not improving. I wanted to find a permanent solution to both volunteer attrition and intermittent flow of funds problems. And hence, I started to purse Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Evalueserve, a company I am employed with.

Initial days were full of uncertainties. I was pushing hard to make an impression within the organization. There were lot many things that we were doing to get the visibility. A few of them are as follows:
  • Doing volunteer work within the organization – Doing volunteer work within Evalueserve proved to be instrumental in establishing CSR group in Evalueserve. Under this initiative, we imparted basic education to house-keeping staffs in Evalueserve. Beside education, the objective of the project was to facilitate awareness of health, hygiene among house-keeping personnel. Also, under this initiative training for transport and security personnel was conducted. The objective of the training was to facilitate organizational awareness and general precautions while performing their duty.
  • Publicizing our work with AID
  • Initiating environment awareness and resource saving campaigns
  • Organizing blood donation camps
  • Organizing exhibition in collaboration with NGOs

Gradually, we started to get traction from employees as well as management. Not only more people joined the initiative but also funds started to pour in. To start with, we were getting funds generated through internal activities. But as we grew in size, bigger ideas started to shape up. In February’08, we ran company-wide fund raiser campaign. The result – we collected Rs. 200,000 spread over 12 months and added more than 100 volunteers to the initiative. The response was not up to our expectation but we were not ready to give up.  
We rethought our strategies of reaching out to people to seek support for projects we were running with AID and other NGOs. We formed a core team of 10 dedicated volunteers to drive the initiative in a more focused way. The step helped a great deal in not only spreading greater awareness but also in identifying a lot of passionate individuals. Also, while interacting with individuals across the company, core team found out that people have myriad of notions of what CommuniServe does. And a lot of what people had perceived was not the right picture of what we were doing and where we want to reach.

To convey the message right and clear, we decided to reach out to all 20 groups and 2,000 employees in the company. And CommuniServe Road-show began. Over a period of one month, we sensitized everyone in the company about impact we have had and our focus for the future. This activity provided enormous push to CommuniServe, for we identified 3-4 champions in each group and generated handsome funds to support our initiatives – monthly contribution increased from a mere Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 60,000.

Today, I can confidently say that CommuniServe has established itself firmly. What started with a few people has now become a company-wide initiative. AID volunteers come from companies of various industries. And every company wants to do something for the society. In fact, if you read the policy guidelines, I guarantee you mention of the word society and community several times. What I am trying to bring forth is that if they do not a formal CSR team yet, you can drive the cause. You are equipped with experience and association of AID. And above all, you are sitting on place which is full of possibilities, all you need is belief in the cause and rest would follow.    
I would like to end this note with a famous quote from Napolean Hill – “What ever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. 

AID Gurgaon - SPEL collaboration launched at Disha

Monday, November 9, 2009

AID Delhi magazine November 2009


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SIEMENS Volunteers speak - Paper Craft Module at Disha

How will we start the class? Will the children understand what we teach? How will they behave/react? And most importantly how will we handle the situation if anything goes out of control? An array of infinite questions was orbiting our minds for the last 3 days. But all of us had one thing very clear in our mind “We are going there for something good and there’s no looking back.”

Circumspect, Excited, Nervous and with plenty of butterflies in the stomach, the team (ADS, Ashu, Nikhil, Gunjan, Jatin and Nidhi) entered the class. As we entered, we saw 15-20 kids, with an average age not exceeding 5 years, sitting quietly on their plastic benches with their pencils / pads. Some of them even had proper school bags and pencil boxes. The children came up in unison “Good Morning Sir”, “Good Morning Ma’am”. This warm reception eased out all our tensions and raised our confidence. One of the children quickly arranged 4-5 plastic chairs for us and wiped them for us. We looked around and could see their glowing eyes housing a million dreams giving us the impression that YES, we want to learn, grow and rise.

SESSION 1: (9:30 – 11:00)

We kick started the class with an introduction session and basic interaction. It was difficult for us to memorize all the names, so all of them were assigned paper name plates for easy reference. We went from seat to seat distributed them sheets of paper and asking them what all they knew to make with paper. Some of them knew how to make Aero planes , Boats, caps etc and there were some who didn’t know even how to fold the paper properly and there were some who were left blank and were not responding to our call. A certain level of mischief and naughty behavior was natural to this group owing to their age which was in the range of 4-8 years.

The following topics were covered for the session 1 students:

  1. Basic paper folding along the edges.
  2. Making Boat / Aero planes with better / straighter folds.
  3. Basic shapes – Circle , Square ,Triangle and Star
  4. Drawing these basic shapes in various sizes.
  5. The session was ended with a review of all the topics covered.

Some of the children from the second batch came to the school a little early with increased curiosity about what was being taught in the first batch. This resulted in a bit of chaos which was handled smartly by the entire team.

SESSION 2: (11:00 – 13:00)

This batch primarily comprised of students aging between 8 and 11. They showed high resilience, better conduct and discipline. We introduced ourselves to the entire batch. One of the volunteer Ms. Gunjan took the responsibility of explaining the basics to the batch and material distribution. Their teacher Ms. Poonam arranged them in groups of 5 each and the other volunteers (ADS, Nikhil, Jatin, Ashu and Nidhi) took charge one group each to ensure that each group can get personal attention. The volunteers sat along with their groups to connect to the students in a better way and also enable the students to address their doubts directly to the volunteer in-charge of their group.

The following topics were covered for the session 2 students:

  1. How to use scissors.
  2. Cutting out basic shapes – triangle, square, star, plus, heart and crescent.
  3. How to use Glue
  4. Pasting of these cut shapes on glaze paper.
  5. Cutting out the colored shapes from the glaze paper.
  6. Pasting the colored shapes on black cartridge chart paper.
  7. How to minimize wastage of paper

The kids even cleaned up the small bits of paper which were scattered on the floor after session completion.

For both the sessions the bright kids who showed greater skill and enthusiasm were identified. Roop Kishore, Myna, Papya, Afroza, Sandeep, Kareena and Shakeel are few of the many kids who fall in that category.

The following activities have been planned by the team for the upcoming sessions.

For Batch 1: Basic of craft work: Cutting and Pasting – Making envelopes and bags.

For Batch 2: Making Decorative stuff using paints/ glitter and paper streamers. Making Paper bags / envelopes and masks.

The above mentioned plan is completely flexible and can be modified / altered based on the progress / interest shown by the children.

The session really drained us out both physically and mentally, but the entire team was satisfied with the overwhelming response shown by the children and the eventual outcome. The volunteers were refreshed by two mesmerizing numbers played by Nikhil on guitar. Another thing which requires a special mention was the support accorded by Bani, Anshul and Munish. They helped us to establish a stronger bond with the kids. We also got a chance to meet some new volunteers from Aricent, IBM and Jamia.

The Day 1 of volunteering at DISHA by SIEMENS employees was indeed a success and if we continue the way it has flagged-off it will definitely help these children make a career out of it and become self sufficient and have a future which they actually deserve. The association between AID and SIEMENS will actually help these children develop a solid foundation upon which they can build their own castle of dreams and reach the echelons of success.

There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow men. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Siemens team visits Disha

Today, the 15th of October 2009, just two days before the festival of lights, a ray of light penetrated the rusted window panes of Disha, a school for under privileged children in Jharsa village of Gurgaon, run by AID Gurgaon, in the form of Siemens’ Caring Hands. The school which has only one class room with about 50 children who are taught in two slots by Ms. Poonam is grand in its dream and vision. The children have begun to dream after 8 months of receiving education. The star kid, Papiya, wishes to become a teacher some day. Papiya is instantly noticed because of her brimming confidence and an uncontrollable mouth. Siemens came with almost a 50 plus team to tour the school and at the end of the day, all of them knew the star kid.

The Siemens team brought in food packs from Haldiram’s and provided the children with necessary stationary items. The children were immensely excited in front of the camera and smiled wide for the flash. The children performed a number of songs and received loud accolades. The best moment of the day was when Ms. Menu of Siemens asked the children to participate in a role play. She asked them to become her teacher and make her learn the English alphabets. Our little children proved to be good teachers and MS. Menu had a great learning session.

Siemens’ Caring hands will provide Disha with volunteers for the coming one year. These volunteers will be involved in a number of modules that have been designed to provide the children knowledge beyond the classroom subjects. Their one year commitment with Disha will help the school grow and prosper. This ray of light will surely brighten many more minds and give our students ek nayi disha. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

G-square kicked off on sunday (27th september 2009)

Place :Near to Rajiv Chownk on NH-8
Timing from 9 AM -11 AM
27 September, SUNDAY

Green Gurgaon Campaign

Be the Change .....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

AID Gurgaon Community Connect 20th Sept. 2009

On his first AID Gurgaon Community Visit Harsimran says: Today was my first interaction with the families of the kids who come to Unnati and Disha to study. We went to the homes of these children, met them and their parents, listened to their problems and requested all the basti residents to continue sending their kids to school. We were welcomed with bright eyes and smiling faces. Children dragged chairs for us to show their hospitality towards us. We told them that we did not need any chairs and that all we needed was their faith in us. It was a wonderful feeling to get love in return for the love we shower upon them. What more we could have asked for? The parents were equally supportive. After the constant efforts of volunteers and regular teachers, they have realized how important it is in today’s world to educate their kids. We went to three bastis and the response was enthusiastic everywhere. I look forward to more of such visits!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Volunteer Speak - Robyn

I'm new to this group, this city and India but thought I'd join in and share the progress I've seen with the kids at Disha since I started visiting there a couple of months ago.
I wasn't sure if I'd really have anything to offer given my Hindi is still pretty basic/terrible and I have no teaching skills, but it turns out I didn't need them anyway. I really enjoy painting and so with some encouragement from Sukriti and Anshul I started visiting once a week with some art supplies and a vague idea of a project and off we go. The kids are fabulous as you all know and I swear I am getting more out of this experience than they are. I always come away hot, sweaty and covered in paint and glue but I LOVE IT!!! The teacher is lovely and all of us are benefiting from sharing our English and Hindi language.
All of the kids started off wanting a lot of direction and were practically waiting for me to hold the brush for them but week after week they've become more confident and the natural talent in that school blows me away. A couple of the older girls are producing things that I am positive my friends and family back in Australia would buy in a shop.
We always end the sessions with a photo session. It's always crazy and I think I probably spend about 10 mins of the teacher's lesson time showing them the photos on the screen, plus then we have the farewell parade after our car all the way out of the village. They're so full of energy and I'm really looking forward to getting to know them better and seeing what else they can create as the weeks pass.
I'll attach a few snaps below to give you an idea of what they're producing. Today they decorated some cardboard with some of the photos I've taken of them. We did it out in the yard as the school wasn't open and I have a feeling a few extra kids were in the mix by the end of that too. They've also been decorating some white school shirts with fabric paint. Some of them today were writing Disha on the pockets so they've almost got a bit of a team look about them now.
That's all for now. I'll write some more after a few more weeks and attach some more photos too.
Thanks for letting me share in your group and especially to Sukriti and Anshul for introducing me to the project, the school and the kids.
Have a great day

Volunteer Speak - Rohit

16th May 2009, 10am. The sun was just beginning to cast its spell of indolence on the world,trying to push everyone in the cozy canopies. Thermometers aiming for a halfcentury, combined with a weekend, there couldn't have been a better excuse foranyone to stay inside the house and sip a cold drink. The team at At Kearney,had different plans. The whether was just too incompetent to deflate theirenthusiasm, as they visited the Unnati center of AID Gurgaon to spend some timewith the kids, and offer them a day to remember.
It was the day the kids wereeagerly waiting for. They had all gathered in the school well before 10,knowing that a little delay on their part would mean missing a lot of fun,soeager were the kids that they quickly finished there daily prayer and PTexercise which was lead by Mamta and Atikool. They were definitely right, andsome volunteers will by all odds learn a lesson or two from them, or even aplethora more!!
The interaction started witha basic introduction. The children greeted all the volunteers with a very warmgood morning, with each child trying to ensure that his/her sound is distinctlyheard by the volunteers, and little kids eagerly waiting for the elder ones tostop, so that they can make their presence felt. Clearly a feeling ofcompetition marked by the presence of respect for seniors! The volunteers hadalready divided the kids into four teams , with around 8 children ineach team. To distinguish between the members of the team, and to induce asense of belongingness in the team, each of the four teams were givenbands of different colors by each AT Karney volunteers who was owning theteam (just like IPL :), which they had to be tied around their wrists. Theywere quickly through with the task, with each child raising his/her hand assoon as he/she had finished. The battle, had begun!!
The fun started with 'tyingthe rubber band game'. A team member from each team were selected, on whosehead other team members had to tie the rubber bands. The team which had tiedmaximum rubber bands, was adjudged the winner. The children were quick torealize the advantage of the person on whose head rubber band were to be tiedto have a long hair. While the member of one team sat down to facilitate easytying of rubber band, the little ones of other team were seen pulling theirteam member to sit down. Not willing to give up at any stage, they decided tojump and just place the rubber band on the head of their partner. A few of themwere actually successful in doing that. A few other children were just toohappy to play with rubber bands among themselves, instead of loosing them to analien head! And there was another set, who after finishing the game simplyremoved and pocketed their rubber band. These were the ones who enjoyed theflavors of both the possession and the competition.
The next game was to writethe maximum possible numbers on the white board in a given amount of time. Thewhite board was divided into two parts, and one member from each team wascalled to write the numbers. Each of the team members were shouting hard tohelp their team member, not realizing that the number they are shouting can beheard by both the team members! The writers relentlessly scribbled among thechaos, inadvertently ending up drawing some random figures instead of writing anumber! Nevertheless little mistakes under pressure do come with their share oflessons. This game was followed by throwing the ball in the bucket, the similarkind of game that we used to play in annual fair of our town. The hit and themiss, the zeros and the ones were all the part of the game. No body worriedabout the score, unless they got a chance to throw a ball in the bucket. Theyreally enjoyed their version of bowling!! The team at Kearney were willing to help at every step,but the children wanted only the resources. Everyone was willing to steerhis/her own ship.Finally the kids gave a chance to the volunteeers of Karney totry there skills in bowling ...but the kids proved themselves better in it ..asnone of them was able to put the ball in the bucket ..
The next game was differentfrom the first two. Unlike other two games which were played in a team, hereeach member had to show his/her individual talent. It was the moment ofrealization for me, as I understood the obvious reality of dearth ofopportunities in a pool of natural talent. It was really amazing to see, howmeticulously the sabeena and tara hadpicked up the dance steps and the lyrics for the songs. More important thanthat was their enthusiasm to show this talent to all those who were there.Thankfully the meaning of shyness and hesitation was missing from theirvocabulary!! There were children who recited some really beautiful poems, and remindedus of our childhood days. This nostalgic intoxication was the defining momentof the day. Some evergreen poems like “Titli udi chat par chadi...and Machalijal ki raani hai ”, can never loose their sheen in our life. They just get lostin our sole, and the children at Unnati helped us find that. In our quest ofdefining their future, they gifted us the memories of our past.
Similar was the case withthe next event. Each of the children were given a sheet of paper for drawing.The flowers, the mountains, the fruits and the stick cartoons, the slanting andsliding lines that were beginning to take a form like their life, and thecolors were beginning to spread both on the papers and their lives.
The events were followed bya nutrition break and the prize distribution ceremony. The ones getting theprize were definitely happy, and there were others who silently watched theprizes being distributed with a glimpse of hope. But the man of the moment wasa kid, who was forthright in expressing his annoyance on a girl being givenprize twice, as Atikool shouted “Isko pehle de diya tha” (Sabeenahas already got the prize) !!. The kid was definitely rewarded with achocolate for his honesty. Those who didn't get the prize also had something tocheer about. Each of the kids were given a bunch of toffees, followed by thepackets of delicious sweets and sandwiches. It was a poignant moment to see thespirit of caring and sharing nature among the kids, as most of them resistedthe temptation of eating the whole packet and instead took it to their homes toshare it with their siblings. Their voice and intentions were loud and clear asone of the kids shouted “Mummy ke saath knaoonga” (I will share it with mymother). I seriously hope we do love our mothers and not just wait for mother'sday!!
The kids had their share offun and we had our share of both fun and morals. At times I am just amazed tosee these little moments offer us some valuable lessons. Like any other day atUnnati I had taken my share of knowledge. I learned that a right blend orresources and guidance can take these children to new heights. I learned thatits important to be in the right place at the right time. If we can ensure thissynchronization for these kids, they will fly on their own. They gave memoments to cherish of my own past, a food for thought to reorganize myrelationships and the motivation to come again.I offered them a bird and theyfetched for me two from the bush !!

Volunteer Speak - Smita

Volunteer experience by Smita Singla

My first visit to Unnati and Disha…my first visit to the children who study in these education centres and the first one to the parents of these children.

I along with a group of volunteers went to run-down areas in village Jharsa, areas marked by poverty and substandard living conditions. First we met migrant labourers who stay in make-shift tents near the upcoming buildings where they work for a livelihood. We then went to meet rag-picking slum dwellers. For once, I was appalled to see their living conditions. Closed my eyes and thanked God for having provided me with what all I have today.
We all know that for these communities, children are a potential source of income to the family. So it is very hard to convince them to send their children to school. But I was amazed to see the effort put in by AID volunteers to make things work. From my interaction, I learned that Unnati and Disha are preparatory education centres, each with a regular salaried teacher from 9 to 1 on all the weekdays. Here, the children are taught the basics of English, Maths and Hindi. At Unnati, teenage girls are given sewing classes for an hour after the study hours to enable them to become self-reliant. What’s more! Children who perform well at Unnati and Disha are sent to regular private schools such as Vivek Public School, DPS and Literacy India Kristina Makara Vidyapeeth for free. I could see passion in the eyes of fellow volunteers, people who have been volunteering for over a year with AID Gurgaon. Couldn’t stop admiring the patience and consideration with which they listened to the problems of these people. A community of migrant construction workers told that their children had been missing school for over a week, for they had contracted typhoid due to contaminated water supply, thanks to the recent rains! It got us concerned and we made it a point to arrange free medical check-ups and medicines for their children as soon as possible. Another woman shared how after her husband had deserted her, she cleaned utensils and did the sweeping in nearby households to make ends meet for herself and her 12 year old son. Because that was not enough to fetch them the basic essentials, her son had to work as a rag-picker only to earn a meagre 50-100 rupee a day. In such a scenario, it would’ve been irrational of us to expect her to send her son to school during the day. So we suggested that she send him to the evening classes, another arrangement in place for the boys who work through the day.
These are just few of the examples. I can go on and on. Every single moment I spent with those children and their parents was an experience for me. I could see a twinkle, a joy in their eyes. They felt wanted and cared for. I thanked God for providing me with an opportunity to do my bit for these disadvantaged angel-like souls.
“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own surroundings, our own cities to remedy this kind of poverty….The combined efforts of millions of concerned citizens could do wonders to help the impoverished.”

Volunteer Speak - Ruhi

On my trip to India this year I decided that I would like to make a difference, albeit a small one, in my local community by helping those not as fortunate as myself. I love working with children and for this reason was keen on volunteering with a village school of some sort, so I was excited to be accepted as a volunteer during my short stay with the AID Gurgaon chapter. Before arriving I went through all the information on AID Gurgaon that I was provided with, and learned that there were two projects which had been started in Gurgaon, both schools within the village of Jharsa.
On my first visit I was introduced to both schools, and began my work with the Disha School, teaching English to the kids. I was slightly apprehensive as to how my first day would go, but starting from the moment I walked into the classroom, greeted by around twenty grinning faces shouting ‘Goodmorning Didi!’ and ‘Namaste!’ I thoroughly enjoyed myself. As I got to know each child, their distinct personalities set them apart, and a few stood out the first day as being especially bold. When I arrived they were learnin
g how to spell vegetable names in English that day, and I started by helping two cute little girls memorize their vegetable spellings from potato to radish. I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly they picked up the information and was even more impressed when the teacher shared one of her student’s notebooks with me. Simple words written again and again both in Hindi and English, then sentences, days of the week, seasons, months of the year, colors, shapes, vegetables, fruits, body parts, counting, mathematics – the children were all familiar with these subjects in English.
In the following days I looked forward to my daily visits, and taught the children simple English phrases like “What is your name?” “My name is _____” and “How are you?” along with body parts, shapes, clothing items and songs and games. As I continued to come, the kids became less shy with me. Soon I had learned most of their names, although some kids would disappear and new ones would show up on a day to day basis. Out of the regular students, several always showed a desire to learn more, to go the extra mile and copy what I had written on the board, though it was not mandatory. They displayed a will to learn, asking me to teach more, and always practicing new material on their own without my prompting. The students were all very bright and I hoped that someone would recognize their potential soon and put them in the public school system, as the other volunteers had told me was possible.
For all their work I wanted to bring them a treat, so one day I brought them all packets of biscuits, along with other more academic materials like flashcards. The packets of biscuits made them very happy, and it really struck me how little it took to put a smile on their faces. Most children I meet seem to need the latest toys, gadgets, movies and music at their fingertips, but in the village I visited I met a set of students who come to school by choice and make an effort to learn, using education as an escape to a brighter future

Volunteer Speak - Aastha

As they say, life is too short to do all, but there are certain things which should not be overlooked. Like working towards welfare of the society, spreading happiness around and lightening as many lives as possible.

In order to explore these areas I decided to join hands with AID Gurgaon in the noble cause. Previously I was just working off-bench through my Corporate Social Responsility Group of my company (Evalueserve). The idea of getting involved in the AID team was to interact with the target population (young kids) which are directly benefited through it.

I always used to think that not much people are bothered about what is happening around them and no one has enough time to even think about that. But my views were totally changed after I met this team, who if not more is as enthusiastic as I am. I was more than surprised to see the spirit of the members and their way to interpret things. I came to believe that there is no dearth of good people around us, the art to have an eye to see them, spot them. As every one of us is either studying or works to earn our own living, but after joining the team I realized something very special. It is that we have not come to this mother earth just to do any job, but we have come here to provide our services to the society. Everyone in the team contributes to the maximum of his/her capacity. The level of cooperation is very mature among the mates.

We all celebrated Independence Day together with the kids of Unnati and Disha. I think this day is my most memorable independence day till date. I along with the kids understood the real meaning of the day, the future of India has to be as energetic as the kids were on that day. The hope that they have in the eyes generate lots of happiness and content. I look forward to more endeavours with this team.

I just hope that we all keep ourselves involved in the team to the max we can, so that our efforts can in any way benefit the society. Amen!

Buy Children's Paintings to Support their Education

On the eve of Independence Day, 2009, AID Delhi and AID Gurgaon in association with MyWebEra had organized a painting competition under the name “Udaan”. The competition, in its most healthy form among kids produced some creative and colourful results.

We are glad to share these priceless possessions with you- it is priceless because it is crafted out of the most purest abilities and enthusiasm by our children. 
AID Delhi and AID Gurgaon under its different projects named as Aashayein and Jaagriti in Delhi and Unnati and Disha in Gurgaon are initiatives to provide primary education to the underprivileged children and enhance their living by educating them on right nutrition and through various skill building exercises.
 “Udaan” meaning Flight (of Freedom) symbolizes the spirit of independence in the heart of every child. The ‘Udaan’ purpose was to make sure that the kids paint their imagination and dream.
The entire amount generated through the sale of the paintings will go towards the education and development of these children and to organize such events at a larger scale in future.
On behalf of the children, AID Delhi and AID Gurgaon, I present to you this opportunity to support and recognize the value and the talent of our budding generation and buy their paintings.
Looking forward to hearing back from you soon.
For further details, please contact me.

Warm regards
Anchit Goel (
Founder and Coordinator
Project Jaagriti

Click on the poster to go to the paintings gallery.
Udaan (Sit N Draw Contest)

Photos of the painting competitions held on 15th August 2009 at our project locations

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) - Give back to the Community

Does your company need help in drafting your (Corporate Social ResponsibilityCSR policy ?
Does your company need help in identifying NGOs which are doing some genuine work at the grassroots ?
Are you looking for a collaboration with an NGO in Gurgaon ?

If yes, you have reached the right place on the web !
Over the years, AID Gurgaon (a volunteer driven organization) has been providing valuable inputs to companies in adopting CSR best practices free of cost.
What can you do ?
1. Support an underprivileged community e.g. support our community learning centres in different parts of Gurgaon. Join our Adopt a Community Program.
2. Engage your employees in giving back to the society through AID Gurgaon's Corporate Volunteers Program.
3. Signup for AID Gurgaon's Payroll Giving Program and make a BIG DIFFERENCE.

OUR USP : Low admin costs & low eco-footprint as we are a volunteer driven organization
Please note that AID Gurgaon works closely with AID Delhi and AID Noida chapters and are collectively known as AID National Capital Region (NCR). You may visit to know more about our NCR wide activities.
Contact us to know more.

You may refer to
for guidelines on making CSR reports.

Check out an overview of AID NCR activities.

About Aid Ncr

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rendezvous in Metropolitan Gurgaon

AID Gurgaon had their first monthly Volunteer Meet on Sunday, September 13, 2009 in Metropolitan Gurgaon. This meet was held to introduce new volunteers to the group, impart the grassroot-level knowledge of the ongoing projects to the new diverse and motivated pool of talent to help them identify the causes and channelize their approaches to combat the challenges.

The team began with small games to ensure that a good level of familiarity is established amongst the volunteers followed by lunch and the discussions over the proposed G2 campaign, development of the students in the educational centers Disha and Unnati, need for special attention to the RSEP students, ways of improvement in the quality of education and to explore the scope of more interaction with the parents to gather in-depth knowledge of their community and expectations, which could facilitate AIDers not just to provide a tailored solution for each kid but also help them find ways to improve the adult literacy and professional expertise. Besides work, the session was enriched with moments of leg-pulling and laughter. In a nutshell, the meeting was a blend of work and masti.

- Neindeep

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Volunteers required for UNNATI Regular Education Programme

During our Community connect programme, it has been observed that the students under Regular School Education Program (RSEP) are not able to match the pace with the regular school. Although their parents best efforts to support their kids but they are not literate to guide them properly. Our checks over the weekends are not sufficient to bring these kids to the desired level; therefore; we require 6-8 volunteers for the regular follow up of these kids.
We would suggest, if 2 volunteers can take responsibility for some kids on alternate days to ensure that these children get regular guidance.

We need people who are willing to take up the above mentioned task. These volunteers could be people who are ready to spend one hour in the evening, such as:
  • Housewives
  • Professionals who generally leave office by 5-6 P.M
  • College going students
  • Retired teachers
  • People on vacation, etc.
An early response would be appreciated.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What can you do? How can you volunteer ? How can you help ?

What can you do? How can you volunteer ? How can you help ?

At AID we believe that everyone counts. We believe that everyone of us has something to offer to the society and also the capability to be an agent of long-lasting positive change.

As Gandhiji said "What you do may seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it". So, even while we may think that we have just about 10 minutes a day,you can make a difference to lives of many people with what you do in those fewminutes.

Based on your skills, interest and time available to you, you may decide to volunteer in one or more of the following ongoing activities. This list is just a sample and definitely non-comprehensive. Please contact us at to know more about these volunteer opportunities and also to know about what other volunteer opportunities exist within AID Gurgaon and also with AID Worldwide.


Teach Underpriviliged Children - AID Gurgaon and its partners hold teaching classes in different parts of NCR. So, if you think that you love children and want to work in non-formal teaching environment with them, we invite you to join us there.
Translate - If you know more than one Indian language, then you can translate short children stories, health pamphlets, concept cards etc. from one language to another. This will help create awareness amongst people who we at AID Gurgaon are unable to reach because of language barriers.
Digital Unify Programme - Since you are reading this on a website, you are already computer literate. Digital Divide bodes huge inequities in the future. Through digital unify programme we reach out to communities and train members of the community on how to use computers and then internet. If you think that you can share your skills - jump in :)
Initiate an education project in a nearby slum

Networking and Marketing

* Help us in putting up AID stalls in your college, company, society, factory, function.
* Help us in fund raising activities
* Networking with various like-minded organizations.

Spread Awareness

* Spreading awareness about women rights
* About issues of national interest like ILR, energy and water conservation
Social Justice Campaigns - Being the capital city of the country, Delhi offers the wonderful opportunity of participatory governance. If you are interested in fighting against social injustice that is prevalent in almost all spheres of life, then we have lots of opportunities for you.

Presentations/IT Support/outreach

Website Updates - If you have been surfing long enough, you already know that updated websites are a pleasure to visit. So, help us in the challenge of keeping this website interesting and exciting to visit over and over again.
* Make teaser campaigns, posters, presentations for AID Gurgaon.

Buy or donate

Tshirts, diaries, calendars - Buy them and support our work.
Books - After academic year is over please collect books from your friends or relatives.These will be distributed to poor children.
* Clothes - Give your old clothes (in good condition). This is on a need-cum basis.
* Buy handicraft items, spices made by our partner NGO - Parichay (check projects section).
* Join our meal a month program.
* Donate your PC/Laptop and other computer accessories in working condition.
* Donate digicams so that our volunteers can take pictures of our work on a regular basis.


Write - Pen is mightier than a sword. AID works at the grassroots in different parts of India. We partner with hundreds of initiatives doing great work. They were almost always started by someone like you and me. Write about them and spread the word so that we spark off many more minds and similar initiatives.
Read Newspaper - We know that you must be reading it already. Just keep a pencil and paper handy and also record the coverage given to different topics in your daily newspaper.
* Spread the word about AID - There might be some of your friends waiting for an opportunity. Why not you show them a way. Spread the word about the activities of AID.
* Join and invite your friends to join AID Delhi fan page on facebook.
* Join and invite your friends to join AID Delhi/Gurgaon/Noida communities on orkut
* If possible please share AID related events posted on AID Delhi fan page @ facebook onto your personal profile and request your friends to do so from time to time.
* Set your gtalk/yahoo/facebook/orkut status messages to socially relevant news links or AID Gurgaon website link
* Use orkut promote feature to spread the word about AID. Look for AID videos and click 'spread'.
* Share AID Gurgaon news items, pictures, videos etc. on your facebook/orkut profiles.
* Use AID Gurgaon website URL or AID video/article URLs as your email footer/signature.
* Email our newsletters/website articles to your friends.
* Publicize our work through your blogs/websites.
* A picture is worth a thousand words. Click photos and share with people far and wide.
Travel - Travel to different AID projects. Meet like-minded people. Critically evaluate projects. Give suggestions for future growth and feedback for improvement.
Talk - Have you ever felt strongly about an issue. Don't you want to talk about it? Talk about it to us. Your views will enrich ours and our inputs may add perspective to yours - a win-win relationship :)

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