'Aham Bhumika' is an NGO, a group of like minded people based in Bhopal, a city in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India. The diverse group consists of artists, housewives, engineers, tourist guides, teachers and government employees. We are striving for the betterment of the underprivileged in rural areas of India.
Kunti and Laxmi both are sister. I met them last Saturday ( 02.05.12) sitting outside of our informal literacy centre in the village Mahabadia, Bhopal. I was told that they were left by their mother few days ago to a distant relative in the village on their mercy.
Kunti is 12+ years old while her younger sister Laxmi is 8+years old. Their parents have 6 children (4 girl and 2 son).Father who is a regular drunkard beats her wife and children regularly without any reason like every useless Indian who used to show their muscle power to the woman.
AhamBhumika ran its first Summer camp in a little village called Bodako in Bhopal. Aham Bhumika is run by the energetic Subrat Goswami, Devendra Singh and Mukul. The local volunteers were Deepa, Kavita Bhattacharya and Rupa Goswami. The other out-of-town volunteer was Aditya Arya. I decided to take part on a whim. Subrat's every tweet was calling me to Bodako : )
Little did I know it would end up being the experience that it was! We got a feel of the terrain a day before the camp. The first sight that greeted us was of children carrying water on their little heads.
With daily media reports on Indian economy leaping with a net growth of 8% GDP every year, one is bound to feel good that our country is on the path to peace, harmony and progress. So many graduates are moving to big cities to find lucrative jobs in ever-expanding Indian market.
Big international companies are setting their plant on Indian land bringing money and employment both in India. Despite all these reports, we often ignore the plight of poor which still constitutes a major chunk of our population.
Jawaharlal Nehru had once said-"Educate a man and you educate one person. Educate a woman and you educate the whole family." Female Education in India is not a gift of modern civilization.
In olden days women excelled in the sphere of education and hence the goddess of learning was conceived of as a female who was popularly known as "Saraswati". The traditional value of girl education in India was to enable her to be more competent in running the household, especially motherhood and to be able to give children a better upbringing.
These are the photographs of "Mahak" ( Flavour).An education centre started by us for the girl child of stone crushers of a village namely Mahabadia near Bhopal. These girl child have never been to school and they look after the household work after their parents are off to the field.
We are providing them initially basic education of reading and writing Hindi and Artihmetic.These education centre started functioning from 11.12.2011.We also intend to add some interesting activities like doll making,art and craft etc.shortly.
There are many pre-conceived notions related to volunteering and social networking among us. We think that volunteering can be only done by going to the NGO. But volunteering goes beyond our physical presence. Commitment has no boundaries.
We think that Social networking is just for sharing photos that we took from our recent Goa trip. But a person named Shawn Ahmed (he goes by the handle @uncultured on twitter) creates awareness and funds through social media and recently, due to his efforts he was invited to Davos.
We require Computers (Desktop/ Laptops) preferably old but in working condition. We'll need the computers with installed Operating System and other general softwares like MS office etc.1
Aham Bhumika launches the "Donate a Bi-Cycle Campaign". A bicycle can help transform the life of a student who would otherwise skip school to avoid travelling across villages.2
Rural India is still deprived of bare necessities and one of them is Clothes. The cloth Bank initiative was started to ensure that children and adults have a steady flow of clothing.3
There are many pre-conceived notions related to volunteering and social networking among us. We think that volunteering can be only done by going to the NGO.4
Ahambhumika works in two adjoining villages: Borda and Mahabadia, situated on the outskirts of Bhopal.
When we started, we found that the adolescent girl children of these villages had no access to any art and craft orother recreational activity through which they could develop and show case their talent.
To involve the girls in recreational activities and give expression to their creativity, we started craft based activities with the support of our volunteers through weekend classes every Saturday and Sunday.
We began by teaching them crochet work. Thereafter we started imparting them training in hand embroidery. The girls took immense interest and they learnt the basics of hand embroidery quickly.
At the moment they are learning various stitches and making an effort to become proficient in hand embroidery. This training is given free of cost under the guidance of experts. The programis supported by donors and the contributions received are used to buy fabric and threads . The products made from the panels hand embroidered by the girls are stitched into bags. (and are provided to the girls for their own use.)
The surplus work is gifted to volunteers and supporters when they visit our centre.
We are delighted to announce that we have more than 30 girls who attend our week end craft classes with joy and are proud of what they are learning.
As Pooja one of them says, "We enjoys doing craft activity during every week ends in our craft centre.Earlier we do not have anything like that and we used to spent time ideally during week ends but now we enjoys learning the activity under the guidance of the didi.Some time people from various parts of country also visit our centre and they appreciate what we have learnt and learning."