Friday, April 01, 2005

Association for India's Development

I receive frequent newsletter from a NGO doing exemplary work in the Indian villages called Association for India’s Development (AID). These guys do exemplary work for the betterment of the villages and were at the forefront of the Tsunami disaster relief efforts. Some of the best Tsunami descriptions have been recorded by Amit Varma and Dilip D’souza in their travels through the affected areas. Both these gentlemen have cited the yeomen’s work done by the AID volunteers as a part of the relief operations. Check out their website here for what they really stand for. If at all, and that’s a big if, I was ever to go back to India, this is one organization that would be worth being associated with.

A bit of digression there. So having expressed interest in membership with AID, I receive their weekly newsletter which appraisers the members about the different social work that is being done all across India. The newsletter that I received today, had some rib-ticklers, maybe because of the April 1st Fools day jovial demeanor all around the world. Given below are excerpts from the ‘News Items from all over’ section of the newsletter which I thought was hilarious. Enjoy.

News items from all over

Emotional family refuses to incinerate relative's dead body Serry Tiavo died after a massive stroke to every part of her body - she was hit by a truck. Her family, however, is refusing to give the body a burial, claiming that "we will not bury Serry until every cell in her body dies."Doctors say that all cells in the body die after about four months. In the meantime, the family's neighbors are preparing to sue the Tiavos in advance for oppressive unhygeinic odors in the neighborhood.

The real reason behind Marendra Nodi's visa denial.

AID News has learnt the real story from confidential sources. Coming to you live for the first time, the remarkable story behind why Marendra Nodi's visa to the US was denied. As most of us who are in the US or have been to the US every visa applicatant has to go through an interview. Some examples of questions that are asked "Have you ever taken part in communal or other harmful activities?", "Do you carry explosives in your backpocket, or your shoes?" "Are
you planning to engage in terrorist activities?" The interviewers don't exactly expect truthful answers to such questions.... but guess what happened? :-)

MIT donates PCs to indian villages

MIT has announced that it will donate all it's twenty five Pentium 20 MHz computers to villages in the Chittoor district of AP as part of it's information technology transfer to third world countries. An MIT spokesperson spoke to AID News: "It's like shooting two birds with one stone - we get to upgrade our systems, and they get internet access for free. At least for now their computers will be faster than their dial-up internet access. We will also throw in a few free computer games such as pacman and bricks for the village kids, so that they can at least be entertained while they are waiting for the rains. Villagers will also be able to email their complaints about agriculture mismanagement and drought to the authorities, instead of having to go all the way to Hyderabad to register complaints. We are sending our example to the UN so that we can institutionalize the idea of universities donating their old computers to drought-prone areas in India, Africa and other countries. This is a textbook example of how information technology can help the poor and underprivileged." AID volunteer HighEnergy Sivaraman, has volunteered to personally carry all the 25 computers back to India to the AID Chennai folks en route to his site visits to NGOs in all 28 states (how many are there anyway?)
of India.

Q. How many activists does it take to fix a light bulb?

A. Countably Infinite. A few hundred people, emails, petitions, protests and demonstrations to negotiate with the evil electric company monopoly, a few hundred to send emails, petitions, protests and conduct demonstrations against the capitalistic glass company that makes environmentally un-friendly light bulbs, a few hundred to fix the packaging company........

Corollary: How many people's movements does it take to fix a light bulb?
Answer: If the activists can only work together instead of starting off their own movements and NGOs, it would be one people's movement, instead of a new one each day.


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