March ’09 @ Prayas

This March was the final lap of the year long sprint to get 20 plus children whom we have been preparing for the Nai Disha entrance tests. As I am writing this on the 31st of March 2009, a jittery and anxious set of volunteer-teachers go to sleep. Now as they sleep, the last thought that runs through their minds is - what would be the result of the next two days of entrance sessions the children are to attend.

The preparation towards the vision of building on last year’s success of Sona, Suby, Sabreen, Zulekha & Sajjad successfully getting into Nai Disha, wraps in two days time. The 1st and 2nd of April will see the 25 odd children appearing for the tests. This time with a difference though. Most of the children’s parents will also be joining them along with the volunteer-teachers to the session.

The resilience of Darshan, Kannan & Vikas towards ensuring the admissions of the first batch of 5 children cannot be overlooked as we approach this milestone. If it was not for their perseverance and astute work with the children then this day would still have been a distant dream. I salute them, along with many others who would concur with me today, for their unselfish and full-hearted efforts.

And now, we stand at another pinnacle of achievements at Prayas. We can now boast of proud new set of inspiring, motivated and affirmative individuals – Charu, Sugandha, Nikunj, Rajiv, Tarun; who have made this day a reality. Charu, Nikunj & Tarun have successfully managed a bunch of 4-7 year olds that spread mayhem in the class as they entered. Rajiv & Sugandha then had to use their diligence and a sustained attack on their patience to manage the next set of 7+ year olds. Hats of to them!

With the help of veteran volunteers at AID NOIDA like Darshan, Kannan & Vikas’s directions and support these volunteers, today there is hope of brighter days at Prayas. A few other valuable volunteers of mention, who are also to be noted for their long standing efforts in this endeavor are – Anuradha, Raj, Anand, Prasad & Rajat.

To sign off I would like to keep my fingers crossed and hope by the time you are reading this we already have some good news to party about.

Also, kudos to Anand as he signs off the accounts for the first Financial Year at AID NOIDA. He has diligently & meticulously managed the accounts and his efforts require a candid applause.

- Arun Raj


The Krish Team

This was my team for the picnic : Sarfaraz, Ajay, Shahid, Aditya & Govind. We called ourselves the Krish team. Why Krish? 'Coz Ajay & Shahid call me Krish as my new hairstyle resembles Krish's hairstyle.

February ’09 @ AID Prayas

If last month seemed eventful, for those who follow Prayas, this week was equally eventful. Here goes this month’s happenings:

Full timer takes Control of the new batch of children

As a key enabler for the long term objectives of Prayas, we recruited our full timer teacher & a future coordinator for our activities, if all goes by plan. Abhinash started his efforts beginning this month with training the new batch (Batch of 2010) of children. This batch of children was listed out of the group of children that registered with us during the survey efforts of last month’s Republic Day Celebration. As a follow up to this event, we met the children’s parents and counseled them about the objectives of education and the need to balance the child’s educational needs.

Abhinash belongs to Orissa but is well-versed with Hindi. He has a good background of leadership backing him; some valuable fund-raising experience for the Orissa flood victims. He was also part of the NCC during his education. He has a strong conscience and we see him as a potential candidate to manage Prayas in the coming times.

Picnic @ Prayas

The best part about picnic’s that we have seen at Prayas are the People or Volunteers. Each time, we have at least 7-8 new volunteers who are enthusiastic, and we have fortunately had a few hold on for the long run. We took the children to the Qutab Minar and then a trip to India Gate’s children’s park. Our regulars - the veterans as you may also refer to as - Rajat, Anand , Darshan, Selva & myself (Arun Raj) were on the floor to see that the execution of the picnic went well. But, the better part was we saw new volunteers like Anant, Akanksha & Sonia involved to make this a wonderful event.

Other Pictures of the event: Set 1, Set 2

Rajat – Veteran Volunteer; expresses his awe at Prayas' position today :)

Rajat Maheshwari is one of the key patron's of AID's Prayas initiative @ NOIDA. He works with ST Microelectronics currently and due to his tough work schedule has not been able to make it to Prayas regularly nowadays. To his surprise, things in the course of past two years have changed a lot. Here are his comments:

“I am very poor in writing. But Darshan has been requesting me for a long time to write something. As part of the mails exchanged on the group about the whole picnic experience, it was agreed to by all that it was like one big family on a picnic. The children's enjoyed and all of us also and frankly speaking we even tried to extend the picnic time also :D Thanks a lot to everybody for making the event a BIG SUCCESS.

Let me phrase a small incident that happened around 3 weeks ago. I was sitting in one of the night classes and Darshan wrote some sentence in Hindi on board and asked the children's for English translation. I was not focusing on what he wrote actually, but then suddenly I heard Sona speaking something in English. Surprisingly, it was the exact translation of what Darshan wrote in Hindi with all tense and grammar correct. I was shocked. I kept smiling all the time in the class. Sona was the same student we use to teach "ABCD" when we started Prayas. This was not especially about Sona, but mostly all the children in the class were able to translate. It's a very small thing, but it gave me the feeling what we have really achieved. "HATS OFF TO THE TEAM." I give a visit sometimes to the evening classes and can see "Prayas family" putting heart to teach children's with everybody contributing in someway.

Anyways today the efforts continue in the hopes to get as many of our children's admitted in Nai Disha & other good schools nearby.”- Rajat Maheshwari

Thanking God for all our successful efforts and the learnings we have had at Prayas as individuals and a team :) - Arun Raj