Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Meeting with Parivartan staff and AID Mumbai

June 13, 2009

Meeting with AID Mumbai and Parivartan staff (aka gangadhar (administrator) and shikihil (founder of Parivartan))

Picture on the left: Individuals present at this meeting including all the Brandeis volunteers for this project, Parivartan staff and AID Mumbai volunteers.

Juhi thinks that people should get off of their lazy butts and do something instead of always talking.

From my perspective AID Mumbai has lost a lot of hope. Basically one of the AID volunteers, the guy I had originally spoke to on the phone, was at the meeting with his wife. They make up this branch of AID along with one other woman.

They started off talking about how they need to do fundraising. Juhi clarified that we are not here for fundraising.

I tried to get across the point that I think that they shouldn’t give up on volunteers wanting to come. And that maybe some things can be accommodated to be more volunteer friendly, but maybe they can’t. but I am willing to make the sacrifice of my comforts to do this work because organizations like Akanksah already get so many volunteers.

Juhi reinforced that there are many people that want to help and volunteer but don’t know where to channel their energy and time because organanizations like parivartan are not on their radar.

So it’s hard to look at the AID volunteers and not shake them up and say “why don’t you have hope?’ but on the other hand I haven’t been through what they have been through. So I don’t completely understand…

But juhi said that AID Mumbai needs to take advantage of it's international partnerships for fundraising.

Shkil, the founder didn’t speak that much. I didn’t understand anything he said because when he did speak it was all in Hindi.

Gangadhar said he appreciates my spirit while working in Wadala. Ria said that I am an exception from the usual batch of volunteers... that I am sticking it out.

Juhi asked me if I think someone, who has never traveled outside of America but had the energy and enthusiasm to do this type of program should do it. I don’t know. I think everyone should be exposed to this reality, but I don’t know---it might be a lot to take in if you don’t process it correctly.

Had long conversation with a woman today on how we can’t have goals for ourselves because we will only let ourselves down…that we need to do what we can and are here to do now and then move on.

I was a little taken back by what I heard. I kept defending myself saying that I have a goal in mind: to have the children want to attend school and the parents as well. But she kept on reinforcing that this is for our learning, and that we aren’t really going to be helping the children, at least in the short term, that we should save our ego for that.

It was hard, hard to listen to.

1 comment:

  1. check out AID Delhi http://delhi.aidindia.org/bethechange/

    It's disappointing that we haven't managed to get AID Mumbai going. I would suggest everyone to keep the faith and keep trying.

    - anirban