Monday, November 3, 2008

VOLindia's New Website


In partnership with Blue Lime Studios, volindia.org has been re-designed with an aim at better user experience and information management. Finding the information you wanted should now be a breeze.

The new website features a layout that is easier to navigate and the textual content on every page is gentler on the eye. A revamped colour scheme brings out the enthusiastic and proactive spirit of VOLindians while subtly reinforcing the brand colours of VOLindia Foundation - orange, blue and green.

If you haven’t already seen the new website, click here now and let us know what you think of the re-design. We will truly appreciate your honest feedback.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A poem by Pulkit Khanna

LEAD ME TO THE LIGHT

Do not wish to wet my eyes & blur my vision

I still have a long way to go, a will to get out

To understand all around me, to answer my doubts

Am only waiting for someone to whisper

Who will lead me to the light?

My thoughts need a road to follow

My path desires a purpose

My body wishes for a will

My heart needs passion

And my life needs a meaning

I walk now, moving ever so anxiously

A light is all I see, that is what pulls me

It answers my questions, fuels my curiosity

But, is there is an end to this at all, or is that a myth?

Or will it only take me into the depths of this labyrinth?

My thoughts question the road to follow

The purpose of my path still unknown

The will I have needs reassurance

The passion in my heart needs sustenance

And the life I lead waits for its uncertainties

Absorbing all that I see around me, I now run

I run toward the light that calls me, one who answers

Who gives me more questions to think about…speak about,

To make me a man, face this life & those around

Still, come back to guide others around

Pulkit Khanna


(The light symbolizes the Volindia experiences which have made me more aware about life...)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

HIV awareness campaign around Delhi.

Hello Friends,

Does HIV spread through mosquito bites or by sharing razors?

The answer is…no! You may think you have all the answers, but check your knowledge by joining us for an interactive street play on HIV/AIDS.

VOLindia Foundation invites you to join our volunteers as they perform an energizing street play on HIV/AIDS all over Delhi. After surveying about 500 Delhi-ites between the ages of 15-24, our young VOLunteers were enraged to find the extent of misinformation that people have about HIV/AIDS. Their next step was clear: to provide accurate information to the public on sex and HIV/AIDS in a fun, interactive, and engaging atmosphere.

All the volunteers performing are members of the VOLindia Foundation, an NGO that mobilizes a core of India’s urban, educated youth to volunteer their time on social projects in partnership with other Delhi NGOs. These volunteers are between the ages of 15-24, the same group that is also at highest risk for HIV/AIDS. (35% of HIV infected people in India are between this age group.)

The street play will be performed at five different locations to ensure the highest impact. There are two performances each day; one in the afternoon and one in the evening. The performance itself will last approximately fifteen minutes followed by a game that will challenge the public to answer basic questions on HIV/AIDS prevention. Our program schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 – Janakpuri District Center at 1:00 PM

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 – Netaji Subash Place at 4:30 PM

Thursday, July 10, 2008 – Lodi Garden at 2:00 PM

Thursday, July 10, 2008 – outside of Dilli Haat at 5:30 PM

Friday, July 11, 2008 – Opposite India Gate at 1:30 PM

With India having the third largest number of HIV infected people in the world; dissemination of accurate information on HIV is an urgent need. Our main objective is to demystify the many myths surrounding the disease and to remove stigma attached to the people suffering from it. If you can attend any of our performances, or would like to support us in any way please contact Rajika Seth at rajika.seth@volindia.org / 9899788330 or Muneer Panjwani at muneer.panjwani@volindia.org / 9711234585.

Thank you.

VOLindia Team

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Let's Spread Awareness" by Aakriti Malik

LET'S SPREAD AWARENESS

As the day starts,
With a start so bright,
It's us who all, can add to the light,
To people suffering from HIV and AIDS,
After all it's of us that the society is made,
Coz, like us they too are gifts of GOD,
They too need to live and not to be shot,
They too are beautiful from the heart,
Try and just be a part,
Of their lives so wonderful, filled with dreams,
It's only we who like a "team"
Can spread awareness about the present scene,
Coz you never know when you too may get,
And then curse yourself and regret,
Of what you don't even know,
So take your time nice and slow,
And when you are ready and know,
That you too can help and you too can care,
To everyone, with whom you can share,
About HIV and AIDS, you "CAN" make them aware.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another VOLindia Naz volunteer reflects on her experience

After the Survey

Initially I thought it would be damn easy to take the survey and people would treat us with high regards since we knew more than them..But then..zoom! I get my first shock at Mc Donalds where a couple just blatantly refused to take up the survey even though they were busy doing nothing. After that I had an amazing time with few school kids and illiterate guards who were more than ready in knowing stuff. Yet again, I found myself at my wit's end when I was literally snubbed by a group of friends.
Over the days I personally became more patient and tolerant to various type of people. I also developed this power of convincing people and making sure that they talk about such a sensitive and taboo topic.
After being snubbed , hit on by guys, pestered by people who questioned the authenticity of our knowledge,etc. I feel great that I could explore this part of the Indian Society and get rid of my own inhibitions of talking to a stranger about a topic like HIV and AIDS. I would love to term the people who took this survey as "Seasoned Soldiers". :)
Regards
Kriti Kakria

Friday, June 20, 2008

after today's session,i really felt like blogging...

Amidst the sounds of the world,
I hear a faint chant,
As it hits my conscience,
I look for its source.
I search around me,
and there is nothing
but sound of the sundry.
I close my eyes
& the chant resumes,
But the source never reveals.
Fidgeted,I hold mysef,
Drawing my senses closer,
Trying too hard to fit in…
The chant starts to fade.
Tired,I let go myself.
Breathing in an aura of requiescence
I return back,gathering insight.
The chant grows louder...
As the blood rushes in my body
I surge ahead,rejoiced,
As I realize the sound is
Nowhere but within.
The instrument is nothing,
But me…


KUSHA

Saturday, June 14, 2008

VOLindia-NAZ volunteer speaks...

MY EXPERIENCE WITH PRE- TESTING OF THE SURVEY..

I got really excited when I got to know about the questionnaire and pre-testing. I had some rough idea about how would it go, but when I actually landed at Janak Puri district centre, at least I got to know that I had no idea of the real scene. So here's how it went…I approached two young girls sitting on a bench, I asked them "Are you free right now?", they answered "Yes we are", great, 1st hurdle crossed, " Can you please give me ten minutes of yours?" "Alright". I
started feeling a little better. After giving information about where I am from and what I am up to, one of them asked "Can I have a look at the questionnaire?", "Sure". Then one of them said "Hum already office mein itna dimag lagakar aiye hain , ab isme dimag nahi lagaya jayage".
Well, I didn't have much to say on this comment, and they too seemed reluctant and said they might not be able to give that much time. So, I handed over the pamphlet on AIDS awareness to them and moved on. And the best part was yet to come, after I moved, I was standing at a
nearby place, from where I could see those girls chatting there for another 10- 12 minutes. I just thought "they could easily fill the questionnaire and gain some knowledge rather than chatting".

There were many instances; this one was just swallowed by me, actually kind of gulped! She actually made my temperature go up, but for a little while, as I quickly cooled down, don't know how? I went up to her, she was there at Craft Bazaar with her friends, I politely asked
the same question "Could you give me your ten minutes?", and she answered back rudely saying "We are not interested", since I couldn't take this, I just told her, trying to be very calm "I 'am not selling anything, I am just taking a survey on AIDS awareness." Phew! That was a bad one. But I guess, this is how we learn.
In another case, I went up to a girl sitting alone, after giving all the introduction and stuff, I gave her the questionnaire. She started of f by writing off her name and other details. As she
moved on to do the questions, while I quietly observed her answers, it was like this. First question wrong, then third then fourth and the list continued. She read some and just skipped answering them. Turned the page, she didn't knew even the "H" of HIV and "A" of "AIDS". I just thought I might have to spend some more time with this girl giving her all the information I could. But as I began, I don't know what happened to her, suddenly she felt so awkward and uncomfortable listening to words like" sex" and the like. I told her not to be afraid and shy away, but obviously I couldn't force her. The choice was hers after all. So, I finally had to leave
her, but not like that, I gave her the pamphlet and told her to at least go through it.
But there were other instances which actually made my day. As Rahul approached a group of guys, I too stood there, one of the friends joined a little later; I gave him information about Vol India, Naz, and told him about the survey. That boy seemed pretty decent. He took
the questionnaire from me and filled it. After that he very patiently listened to the answers which he had got right, and the ones which he had got wrong. He was very keen to know the "whys" of the question too. Though my voice was really bad, but his eagerness made me forget
that I had lost my voice just a day before and was still recovering. After informing him about everything I could, I thanked that group of friends for giving their time. Then I approached another group of guys, they too seemed willing and were very cooperative as far as
filling the questionnaire and listening to the information was concerned. Giving these two groups of guys all the information made me feel very satisfied, that at least I could impart awareness among some of them.

This was just the first day and I got to learn so much. I' am sure with each person I'll come across; I get to learn much more. I 'am ready for that too. And for all this I deeply thank Volindia

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

VOLindia - Prayas Volunteer shares her experience

The journey with VoIindia has been vibrant. The three-day orientation program (2nd-4th June) sensitized us with issues such as homosexuality, eve-teasing, terrorism and uneven distribution of resources in the society.It further facilitated the interaction of the volunteers with each other, helping them to know each one better.

On June5, five of the volunteers from the Volindia team began working on the child abuse issue. The team comprised of Babbal, Pranav, Shilpi, Shikha and myself. our coordinators were Rajika and Asif from Prayas. That day we visited the Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre located at 59 Tughlakabad Institutional Area. The children at Prayas are engaged with various activities such as stitching, painting, computer training, printing. There is an alternative education program to equip children with skills to enhance their admission into the mainstream educational centres. We also visited the Prayas centre at Dakshinpuri where we interacted with the school children there.
On June 6, the five of us under the guidance if Rajika and Asif went through the brain-storming session for the design of the toolkit on child abuse. We were successful in coming up with the 'target audience' for the dissemination of the tool-kit. Dr Noozat our adviser was perhaps impressed by our efforts of the first day!

- Bidisha

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The First Week

Hi

People I think this has been..for all of us one of the most unforgettable weeks after quite a long time !! During the 1st three days, I think I didn't only get to make new friends...bt also gt apprised 2 so many diverse thoughts and opinions!!!...which i blive..wud hv definitely missed hd i nt been a 'delhi pilot'!!! However i wud still weigh higher d last 2 des spent at d 'naz' office...it didnt only brk a lt of myths..i had..bout hiv/aids bt boosted my belief dat i can now educate other ppl bout it!!!....The best part of workin wid naz foundation is dat u even gt 2 meet those swt little children in its care home(all hiv affected)...and how easily mix up wid u...and how thyey seem 2 suck up all ur tensions and double up enthusiasm 2work fr such a cause!!!wishin all d pilots best of luck......

Rahul
Volunteer
Volindia

Monday, May 12, 2008

Volunteering for Volindia

The one thing I would be really proud to hear when I meet anyone at Volindia would be when Tushita says, "Oh! And she is our youngest volunteer".. EEEEE... I feel all so excited.

Whenever I move out of my home, there is one thing which disturbs me the most, Poverty. I feel sad and would really want to ask God, "Why did you do this?". Although now you would wonder that why don't I help them, in any way? I would simply say, the day I start earning, I will surely do my bit to help these people, because even they have the right to have a decent standard of living. So, it's a promise.

Thus, I see Volindia as the first step I am climbing th reach the stage I want to. :)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

On Volunteering!!

I am often asked on what really drives me to volunteer. For most people it is the desire to do something good, to give something back to the society. While I agree with all of these ideas in principle, my propensity to volunteer comes from a baser motive.
Hands on germination of ideas have always fascinated me. I am literally jumping out of my chair whenever I think about an Idea that I helped implement, or even my vision for a particular entity of which I was the founding member. And if I may be so brash and narcissistic, I do consider myself to be the founding member of VolIndia.
Two years ago, when I spent some time with the Make A Wish foundation, it was just starting in Delhi. I was fortunate enough to have been part of the core fundraising team. It was a lot of fun, but it also required us to be quick and efficient while dealing with people who did not have a lot of time, namely, the corporate. And I am not ashamed to say this, but we failed miserably in the latter bit. But the experiences we had along the way made the entire endeavor quite an enriching one.
VolIndia generates much more passion in me than MAW ever could. While it just started out as “something to pass my time”, in the post college – pre job phase of my life, I increasingly find myself thinking more and more about how the organization can grow and prosper. We haven’t had ONE great idea all of a sudden (what some people call the EUREKA!! Moment of their lives), but rather the growth has been more incremental. In that sense, I think the team complements itself very well. We will discuss one idea here, one idea there, and over a period of a few such discussions; a coherent picture of how to proceed will emerge.
Not to say that this is all we do!! Work is just what to do between fun!! What else do you get when you put a couple of completely crazy young people in a room together. What I will remember most about VolIndia is the meetings at Café Coffee Day, or the countless moments spent giggling with Sunanda over the poorest of jokes with Rajika staring at us with an expression of utter surprise. The few lunches I have had at office have also been a lot of fun I would remember the one with Viren, because that was the day of Interviews. .
Taking interviews was quite enriching in terms of the wide spectrum of people that we met , and it was fascinating to know about the varied varieties in which people have tried to make a change in and around them regarding issues they feel strongly about.

That is all I have to say for now, but this certainly is not the last you hear from me , dear Reader. Thank you for being so patient, and I hope you enjoyed your journey with me through what it is like Volunteering with VolIndia.
Now get off that comfortable chair, and go Volunteer!


Nikhil Thakkar
Volunteer
Volindia

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

THEY MAKE ME ANGRY WHEN....

THEY MAKE ME ANGRY WHEN………
They make me angry when………
They create a lot of noise over a cold that SRK got but whisper when Kashmir is bloody
They make me angry when………
They make who kissed whom and took whose clothes off more important than the millions of shelter less children running naked in the streets
They make me angry when………
They say how you look outside is more important than who you are inside
They make me angry when………They defend their means by their ends and slaughter ethics time and again
They make me angry when……….
They call themselves the fourth estate and fail to support, forget uplift.

Friday, February 1, 2008

So finally the Volindia blog is setup and I feel very good that there is now a space where I can voice my opinions about issues that our close to me. I would like to talk about volunteering..well what is volunteering? I don't want to get into technical definations but for me its the peace of mind that I've done or atleast am trying to do my bit for society..A couple of years back I began spending two hours thrice a week at the NAB hostel for visually impaired girls. I would spend time with them playing games, doing workshops on sex education, confidence building and many other activities. Over time I made really good friends who would confide in me, they looked up to me and shared their lives with me. After two months when I had to break my ties with hostel it seemed like the hardest thing to do. The girls and I shared such a close bond that it was beyond anything else I had felt. My two months with the girls had made such an impact on their lives that I didnt even realise. I can never forget the day when Neelam, one of my newfound friends gave me a card that said," Thanks for breaking me out of my shell, I will never forget you."This was the first time ever I had volunteered and as cliche as my story sounds its the truth...ever since then I very strongly believe in volunteering...I believe that everyone can take out some spare time and do something for someone else without expecting anything in return......I don't want to sound like i've made a big difference but yes it has been a great feeling that just a few hours of my time has had an impact such as this!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It is great

to be able to give voice to all our ideas