‘Slum Dog Millionaire’ has won. Mix in an Indian cast and Indian musician with a British Director and what you get is the Oscars. The recognition will definitely upscale the Indian cinema to new heights.

Rajasthan has been awarded Tourism excellence award from the Union Government. Good for us and you, as this is the State in which you will be volunteering in.

I went to the Himalayas for about ten days. Soul stirring is the only word I have for it.

Enjoy your March as the festival of colours is back in India. It falls on the 10-11 March. So let’s get coloured on the colours of Incredible India (Oops! Sounds like the Indian government’s slogan. Never mind.)

Until next time

Take Care,

Vinod Meena

International Women’s Day- 2009: Women and men united to end violence against women and girls.

Each year around the world, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Hundreds of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

Organisations, governments and women's groups around the world choose different themes each year that reflect global and local gender issues.
Some years have seen global IWD themes honoured around the world, while in other years groups have preferred to 'localise' their own themes to make them more specific and relevant.


Tourism Excellence for the State of Rajasthan

The Union Ministry of Tourism has awarded the Tourism Excellence Award to Rajasthan for being the best state in the tourism sector. State Tourism Minister Bina Kak received the award from Union Minister for Home P Chidambaram at New Delhi.
Bina Kak said that the state government was focusing on development in tourism sector as there are a lot of possibilities in the related sector. The Minister also said that special efforts are being made to develop desert circuit and religious tourism destinations in the state. Rajasthan was declared the best state for taking initiatives to boost tourism and upgrade of infrastructure, fairs and festivals in this direction.

Revamped and better International Airport at Jaipur

Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel inaugurated the newly-constructed international terminal equipped with the latest facilities at Sanganer airport. The new move has made the flights to international destinations a smooth affair for passengers.

The new terminal building spread over 23,000 square metres, has the capacity to handle 500 passengers at a time during the peak hours. It has 14 check-in counters, a new in-line baggage screening system, new conveyer belts and an echo-free sound system.

My Himalayas Trip

Last week I went to Himalayas for a little bit of soul searching. Nothing beats the sight of the mountains. I look at desert all the time so I appreciate the cold and soul stirring sight of the Himalayas. I must say that sand dunes can be equally beautiful, vast, hot and hearty sight to behold. The Mountains make you feel small and insignificant in their own way.

Slum Dog Millionaire- Do I need to add another tag line to this?

In the words of Danny Boyle, “It's called 'Slum Dog Millionaire', it's based on a true story, and it's about a kid from the slums of Mumbai, who has nothing – he's ill educated, he's illiterate – and he goes on the local Hindi version of 'Who wants to be a Millionaire' and wins it. And they can't believe that he's done it. They think he's cheated as usual an underdog can never win right! They think he's getting signals from embedded chips in his body, or that there are people coughing in the audience, but he won it.”

“What's clever about the film is that the structure shows you how he knows the answers. Things have happened to him in his life and they happen to ask questions about those things. But the real reason he's on the show is to get in touch with the girl he loves but has lost in the chaos of Mumbai, and all he knows is that she watches the show religiously. So he's not even there to win the money, but that's when you win I suppose, when you're not even trying.”

Eleven nominations and eight have been won by the movie say it all for the story, direction, music and the movie as a whole.


10-11 March and a week before that, we all will get immersed in colours dry or wet. The girls will walk sheepishly and coy at the slightest instance as balloons and water jets can fall from anywhere and everywhere. The children will have so much fun that they will forget that this is the time for the exams.

Happy Holi


Vinod Meena



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 Volunteer Stories

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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