Volunteering India



It’s the time when we do something good for the society.
Its time for the nine nights of fun, fasting, dancing and meeting your long lost friends.

From September 30th starts the nine night’s festival in India. It culminates in burning of Ravana effigy or Durga Puja in the east. I love the festival as the sound of religious hymns pours from all over and the food this time is ultimate. It is also time for ramazan. So basically till Diwali that is officially on October 28th we all are into savoury food and lets not count the calories we intake. With or without keeping a fast, we are going to enjoy delicious food. So come and join us at this time of the year where the weather is the best and the people are at their best.

This Newsletter is the first one in its series that comes with some case studies of the children at Bal Ashram.

Happy Diwali to all of you!

Vinod Meena
www.volunteeringinindia.org

Case Studies at Bal Ashram

Kinshu Kumar at Laal Diggi, Puri Katra, Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh wrote this case history and is experienced with the Child Rights movement.
“I used to stay with my father and work on the vehicles in the garage. I worked for a year like this and hated my work. I wanted to study like a regular child. After a few days Mr.Rama Shankar Chaurasia came to my rescue and told my father to enroll me into a school through the Ashram. It was December 2003 when I was sent to Delhi with Mr. Chaurasia and I came to Virat Nagar Bal Ashram. This place is a rehabilitation center for children like me. In the beginning I felt overawed by the new place surrounded by hills. Slowly I got accustomed to this new life.
I was enrolled in the informal education programme of the Ashram and in July 2004 I was enrolled in the formal school. I also played football, table tennis and cricket. I participated in a lot of event at the Ashram. We basically opposed the violation of Child rights. In May 2005 I went to Delhi. After this I went home and got the news that I stood first in my class 4. I went for a holiday to my native place. In July that year I came back to the Ashram to continue my education. In September I was selected for World Congress in Delhi. The function was attended by Human resources minister Mr. Arjun Singh and many Judges of high Court. The same year I participated in a programme with an Engineering College where I met the Governor of Rajasthan. Since then I have frequented Delhi for a number of programmes.
I have met a number of celebrities like Pankaj Udhaas, Peenaz Massani,Amit Syal, Jaspal Singh,Gulshan Grover, Mahesh Bhatt etc. That year in Class 5 I topped again.
In the internal Bal Panchayat elections I became the Discipline Minister (three times), Cultural Minister (two times) and once I became the education Minister.
In April 2007 I went to USA and Belgium. In Washington and New York I gave a speech. This event was attended by Prime Minister of England Gordon Brown. There were a lot of dignitaries of EU Commission and World Bank. I have scored first rank again in Class 6 and 7.
I represented BBA in the movement against Child Rights in ACI Congress in Delhi. The Chief Minister of the State was her along with the Central Human Development Minister Mr. Arjun Singh were here.
I love BAL Ashram and my stay at this place. When I become older I want to be a Software engineer and make software which will make it possible for all children of the world to access to education.”

World Habitat day

The United Nations has designated the first Monday in October each year as World Habitat Day. The idea is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right to adequate shelter for all. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.
In an age where for the first time half of humanity is now living in towns and cities, the quest for adequate shelter for all along with basic services such as water, sanitation, electricity, decent health care, safe streets, etc., is more urgent than ever, especially in developing countries. There should also be no illusion that cities have the greatest impact on the environment and climate change. And where they are poorly managed, with weak governance structures, it is their citizens and their surrounds that suffer most.
Urgent action is thus needed to foster widespread use of new energy efficient and environmentally friendly technologies to reduce urban pollution.
Harmonious Cities are inclusive cities where everyone and every culture is at home.

International Day for Eradication of Poverty

The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17 October 1987. On that day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris, where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected. These convictions are inscribed in a commemorative stone unveiled on this day. Since then, people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins have gathered every year on October 17th to renew their commitment and show their solidarity with the poor. Replicas of the commemorative stone have been unveiled around the world and serve as a gathering place to celebrate the Day. One such replica is located in the garden of United Nations Headquarters and is the site of the annual commemoration organized by the United Nations Secretariat in New York.

You have a great Diwali, Ramazan or just have a good time.

Vinod Meena

 

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When I first arrived in India, it felt like every little thing was so different from back home- the sights, the sounds, the smells, the people, the animals; every moment was a new adventure, and I was always excited to see what would happen next! I volunteered teaching English to rescued child laborers in a rural village near Jaipur.

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