Tripura
Becoming Part of the AID Family
How it all started for me..
My association with AID started in 2011 when a few graduate students at the University of Colorado met to discuss the popular anti-corruption movement in India. Little did I know, the conversations that evening would lead to the formation of an AID chapter in Colorado. As a nascent chapter, we collaborated with other AID chapters to learn more about the organization and these interactions led a few of our volunteers to attend the AID conference in Charlotte last year. The energy and enthusiasm with which they shared their experiences made us realize what we had missed out on. On being presented with the opportunity to host the 2014 Annual AID conference, the chapter volunteers were more than thrilled and excited to take up this task. 

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The perils of ‘development’

by Basabdatta Chatterjee 

A journalist, a human rights advocate and an environmental activist, Jiten Yumnam was the keynote speaker at this year’s annual conference in Boulder, Colorado. Though I could not make it to the conference in person, I was able to hear him speak via the live video stream. This provided me with the opportunity to learn about the impact of reckless industrialization and urbanization on the climate, and livelihood and rights of the indigenous people residing in North East India. 

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The Cup and the Conference

While some of us were chatting after the panel discussion on women’s empowerment, Kamayani asked me, “Why don’t we have a small group talk with women to tell them about the menstrual cup?  I wouldn’t have known if you had not told me about it.”

 

I remembered the day in 2005 when Kamayani Swami spoke in College Park about her plans to work in Bihar and the brief moment I
caught to tell her about the cup. I had since written,  Greeting Aunt Flo” but clearly it was time to bring the cup to the notice of a new set of AID women. And so though volunteers were busy in jam packed sessions that ran late and had a bus to catch back to the hostel for the night, we found ten minutes after dinner to gather in a circle and share our experiences with the cup.  Most had never heard of such an option before and none had ever seen one. It is difficult to find in stores, though now it has become easier to order online from large retailers and is also sold in India from a Bangalore-based company.  
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Kailashben and Bhikiben

 Bhikhi & Kailash from Agariya CommunityKailashben and Bhikiben are two friends from the Agariya community, the traditional saltmakers of India. After their 12th grade, Rs 2500 per semester stood between them and their desire to continue their education. Organizers from Janpath talked to the Principal to get 50% sponsorship while AID supported the rest.

Three years later both Kailashben and Bhikiben called and said now they want to pursue an MA and BEd.

Read more about how AID partners with the Agariya community in the Little Rann of Kutch

 
HESCO's Progress Report on Fruit Processing Plant

 Collected Fruits in Uttarakhand

As part of long term livelihood rehabilitation, AID is supporting the setting up of 2 Food Processing Units in Uttarkhand where women's groups will make jams, jellys, juices and fruit bars from locally available fruits and flowers.

Click here to read the July 2014 Progress Report from HESCO

 
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