Friday, April 14, 2006

Interesting ways to help

A nice paper by Prof Krithi Ramamritham at IITB
(http://www.mlasia.iitb.ac.in/docs/help.htm )

Each of us has our own philosophy regarding how to help India.
Whether we live in India or abroad, we always have this nagging feeling that we can and should do more. Indeed we can. And why not now?

Here is a quick list of some simple ways:

1) We all wonder, especially during festive seasons, how to send
unique gifts to our near and dear ones. There's a really nice way to
do this, while helping Indian artisans. By shopping online for some
exquisite handmade goods, and have them delivered to friends and
family in India, you'll be able to send some truly exquisite and
quality Indian products.
Visit http://www.icicicommunities.org/communities/shoponline/home.htm.?

This site offers a wide range fantastic items, from all parts of the
country.? Help the Indian artisans -- who have rarely had direct
access to customers -- bring their creations to your homes. You can
help those who have been exploited over generations, keeping them in
poverty.

2) If you're interested in being more involved and doing something more
substantial, you can be a part of a novel venture to help promote the
largely ignored entrepreneurial potential that exists in rural
India. Join the Aavishkaar India Micro Venture Capital Fund
(Aavishkaar India or AIMVCF), a rurally oriented, for-profit social
venture capital fund. It aims to provide timely, appropriate venture
capital financing, management support and professional expertise to
promising micro ventures. It accords priority to projects with limited
or no access to established institutions.?

Visit http://www.aavishkaar.org/

As an investor and an advisor for Aavishkaar,
I can personally vouch for its value proposition.

3) Another exciting project is 'Fund a School' in Madhya Pradesh. The
Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Digvijay Singh, might not have
won international attention for his computer literacy and for his
wizardry with laptop computers. But his education guarantee scheme -
that built a school on demand from any village - has been hailed as a
worthwhile social initiative in many forums. All it takes is Rs.16000
annually to support a school.?

To read more about it, please do visit http://www.fundaschool.org/


4) So, that takes care of your inner needs. What about your kids? You
can sensitize your children and help them learn about the real
India. Encourage them to become Indicorps fellows and thereby obtain
invaluable hands-on experience by geting to work with NGOs and execute
projects that are created/defined by local developmental experts.
Check out http://www.indify.org/index_indicorp.htm


5) Fine, before you decide, you want to know what is being done
to help the usually forgotten lot?? Many sites consolidate such information:
http://www.infochangeindia.org/
http://www.goodnewsindia.com/
http://www.propoor.com/
http://www.indev.nic.in/
http://www.cseindia.org/

6) Finally, you feel that nothing in India will change unless better
governance prevails?? You can join forces with many who think this way.?
A visit to
http://www.adrindia.org%20/
http://www.loksatta.org/
http://india-watch.com/

will convince you that there is hope.

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my 2 cents - There is so much need for ppl like us to help .. there are women abondaned after their family members discover that she has Aids (even though its the husbands fault), disabled kids whos families cant afford to feed them, elderly ppl who just need somebody to talk to ..
there are so many opportunities to volunteer ... so many different ways to help ... if only we try a little harder

Vivek

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

kya popat ho gaya !

Today we all thought that one of our friends birthday is tomorrow .. so ordering the cake, shopping for a gift and notifying ppl for planning the evening started . The birthday boy has no idea that friends are home not just for dinner but for supposedly celebrating his birthday at 12 .. It was a suprise event, for all of us :), he was suprised at the unexpected cake and we were surprised to know that his birthday is not when we thought it was ... In the end all of us were laughing at each other.
kaash usne birthday alarm bhara time pe bhara hota .. itna bada popat to na hota ;) .. fortunately cake khane ke liye hum kidhar bhi jaa sakte hai .. specially if its an eggless one ;)