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". :)
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…


Saturday, June 14, 2008

VOLindia-NAZ volunteer speaks...


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


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 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' 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......