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 (anchitgoel@gmail.com)
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 http://delhi.aidindia.org to know more about our NCR wide activities.
Contact us to know more.

You may refer to http://www.globalreporting.org/ReportingFramework/G3Guidelines/
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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