Thursday, November 5, 2009

SIEMENS Volunteers speak - Paper Craft Module at Disha

SIEMENS Volunteers speak - Paper Craft Module at Disha

How will we start the class? Will the children understand what we teach? How will they behave/react? And most importantly how will we handle the situation if anything goes out of control? An array of infinite questions was orbiting our minds for the last 3 days. But all of us had one thing very clear in our mind "We are going there for something good and there's no looking back."


Circumspect, Excited, Nervous and with plenty of butterflies in the stomach, the team (ADS, Ashu, Nikhil, Gunjan, Jatin and Nidhi) entered the class. As we entered, we saw 15-20 kids, with an average age not exceeding 5 years, sitting quietly on their plastic benches with their pencils / pads. Some of them even had proper school bags and pencil boxes. The children came up in unison "Good Morning Sir", "Good Morning Ma'am". This warm reception eased out all our tensions and raised our confidence. One of the children quickly arranged 4-5 plastic chairs for us and wiped them for us. We looked around and could see their glowing eyes housing a million dreams giving us the impression that YES, we want to learn, grow and rise.


SESSION 1: (9:30 – 11:00)

We kick started the class with an introduction session and basic interaction. It was difficult for us to memorize all the names, so all of them were assigned paper name plates for easy reference. We went from seat to seat distributed them sheets of paper and asking them what all they knew to make with paper. Some of them knew how to make Aero planes , Boats, caps etc and there were some who didn't know even how to fold the paper properly and there were some who were left blank and were not responding to our call. A certain level of mischief and naughty behavior was natural to this group owing to their age which was in the range of 4-8 years.


The following topics were covered for the session 1 students:

  1. Basic paper folding along the edges.
  2. Making Boat / Aero planes with better / straighter folds.
  3. Basic shapes – Circle , Square ,Triangle and Star
  4. Drawing these basic shapes in various sizes.
  5. The session was ended with a review of all the topics covered.

Some of the children from the second batch came to the school a little early with increased curiosity about what was being taught in the first batch. This resulted in a bit of chaos which was handled smartly by the entire team.


SESSION 2: (11:00 – 13:00)

This batch primarily comprised of students aging between 8 and 11. They showed high resilience, better conduct and discipline. We introduced ourselves to the entire batch. One of the volunteer Ms. Gunjan took the responsibility of explaining the basics to the batch and material distribution. Their teacher Ms. Poonam arranged them in groups of 5 each and the other volunteers (ADS, Nikhil, Jatin, Ashu and Nidhi) took charge one group each to ensure that each group can get personal attention. The volunteers sat along with their groups to connect to the students in a better way and also enable the students to address their doubts directly to the volunteer in-charge of their group.

The following topics were covered for the session 2 students:

  1. How to use scissors.
  2. Cutting out basic shapes – triangle, square, star, plus, heart and crescent.
  3. How to use Glue
  4. Pasting of these cut shapes on glaze paper.
  5. Cutting out the colored shapes from the glaze paper.
  6. Pasting the colored shapes on black cartridge chart paper.
  7. How to minimize wastage of paper

The kids even cleaned up the small bits of paper which were scattered on the floor after session completion.

For both the sessions the bright kids who showed greater skill and enthusiasm were identified. Roop Kishore, Myna, Papya, Afroza, Sandeep, Kareena and Shakeel are few of the many kids who fall in that category.

The following activities have been planned by the team for the upcoming sessions.

For Batch 1: Basic of craft work: Cutting and Pasting – Making envelopes and bags.

For Batch 2: Making Decorative stuff using paints/ glitter and paper streamers. Making Paper bags / envelopes and masks.

The above mentioned plan is completely flexible and can be modified / altered based on the progress / interest shown by the children.


The session really drained us out both physically and mentally, but the entire team was satisfied with the overwhelming response shown by the children and the eventual outcome. The volunteers were refreshed by two mesmerizing numbers played by Nikhil on guitar. Another thing which requires a special mention was the support accorded by Bani, Anshul and Munish. They helped us to establish a stronger bond with the kids. We also got a chance to meet some new volunteers from Aricent, IBM and Jamia.

The Day 1 of volunteering at DISHA by SIEMENS employees was indeed a success and if we continue the way it has flagged-off it will definitely help these children make a career out of it and become self sufficient and have a future which they actually deserve. The association between AID and SIEMENS will actually help these children develop a solid foundation upon which they can build their own castle of dreams and reach the echelons of success.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Seminar on 'RTI: New Dimensions in Effective Implementation and Reach' on 4th Nov 09 at Scope Complex

Dear all,

We would like to invite you to a half day seminar on ‘RTI: New Dimensions in Effective Implementation and Reach’ to be held on 04.11.09 between 2:00-5:00 pm at Scope Complex, Lodhi Road.

The seminar is been organized by Rakshak Foundation, a group of young people, based in California and JOSH, working with young people across different colleges and Universities on issues of transparency and accountability using the Right to Information.

Mr. Shailesh Gandhi (Central Information Commissioner) and Ms. Aruna Roy (RTI activist) have already confirmed their participation in the panel of this seminar.

The seminar will provide a platform to discuss the Right to Information Act, how it could be better implemented so most of the mandatory disclosers are put in the public domain i.e. proper implementation of the Section 4 of the RTI Act and how fee structure could be changed so that it can be properly used by the NRIs. Seminar sets up a stage for the public views, questions and answer and interactions with RTI activists, Central Information Commission and academicians.


Section 4 of the Right to Information Act, which lists 17 sub clauses obligates all public authorities to proactively disclose information about its functioning. According to the RTI Act all public authorities were supposed to have implemented Section 4 within 120 days from the enactment of the Act (which is by 12th of October 2005). Section 4 is an important provision of the RTI Act, as it requires categorization and cataloging of information, presenting information in a form such that it can be accessed easily by citizens, update the information provided at regular intervals and publish all information such that it is widely disseminated.

A one day seminar was organized to discuss and understand the different requirements under the Section 4 of the RTI Act by University of Delhi along with the Central Information Commission and JOSH on the 7th June 2009. The seminar was attended by the Vice Chancellor, Pro Vice Chancellor and Registrar of University of Delhi along with Mr. Shailesh Gandhi (Central Information Commissioner), Ms. Aruna Roy (Social Activist) and Principals and Public Information Officers of 83 colleges/institutions under University of Delhi.

After this seminar, several follow-up letters have gone out to the different colleges/institutions under University of Delhi from the Central Information Commission, JOSH and University of Delhi. As a result of which some colleges have implemented Section 4 partly while the others still needs to comply with this provision of the RTI Act.

This seminar hopes to bring together people from different fields, committed to the issue of transparency and government officials to interact and understand the importance of effective implementation of all the transparency measure as per the RTI Act.

Hope you will accept our invitation and confirm your participation in the seminar so that we can make arrangements accordingly.

Date: 4th November, 2009

Venue: Tagore Hall, Scope Complex, near CGO Complex, 7 Lodhi Road, New Delhi

Timing: 2.00pm – 5.00pm

Thank you,


Saurabh Sharma/Aheli Chowdhury


Joint Operation for Social Help (JOSH)
C-7/E, DDA Flats, Munirka,
New Delhi. Pin Code: 110067
Phone: +91 11 26181427,

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