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.