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AID Conference 2013

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Archna Monga

on 4 April 2016

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Transcript of AID Conference 2013

22nd AIDer Family Reunion!!
AID Conference 2013
First AID Conference
It was awesome!!!
Should we skip the conference and donate the money thus saved to AID???
If joining AID was a big milestone, then attending our first conference turned out to be a bigger one.
In hindsight, it was one of the best decisions that we made this year.
AIDers come in all forms and ages
Although it's painful to relive these memories, is it better to talk about your experiences in an open, non-judgmental forum or keep these stories private?
How many people have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime?
There are other options though. People can marry people of the same sex or remain unmarried.
It seems as though from this discussion that so many people have been affected by sexual assault, gender discrimination, and domestic violence, such that no one should ever have to feel alone or feel ashamed discussing these issues.
I have
I have
I have
I have
Volunteer 1
I'm not only angered by what happened to me, but I feel ashamed to discuss it. I feel ashamed as if it was my fault, or because others will perceive it as my fault. Sometimes I wonder if I could have done something different or fought back.
Volunteer 2
When I feel safe and am in a trustworthy environment, I feel better when I tell people about what happened to me, especially because I was not raped per se, but I still feel violated and experienced trauma. I, sometimes, do not I think I deserve to be heard, because the assault I went through wasn't as severe as others.
Volunteer 3
But it is important to release the burdens of carrying these stories alone, and when we acknowledge what happened to us, it also deepens our solidarity.
Volunteer 4
Yes, regardless of the degree of severity.
AIDer 1
What about dowry? Although that is not a violent display of power, it is a financial means of propagating gender inequality and giving men additional power in marriage.
AIDer 2
Isn't dowry technically a way of giving a daughter her share of family property in a marriage?
AIDer 3
Yes, but why would the question of dividing the property arise while the parents are alive?
AIDer 4
But the problem lies in the structure of the family itself, where the son is considered an integral member of the family for his entire life, regardless of his marital status. In contrast, the daughter’s role is affected by her marital status, and this is reflected in the concept of “giving away her share” at the time of marriage.
Also, the pressure on women to marry affects their ability to challenge a tradition a tradition like dowry. Giving the falling ratio of women in society, she would likely have the upper hand in marital negotiations, as more then 10% of men would be unable to marry (women).
We have largely focused on our discussion on violence against women, but the problem also affects men as well, who perhaps have even fewer avenues to seek support.
AIDer 5
There are also children, both boys and girls who experience the fear of speaking out at multiple levels.
AIDer 6
While working for a domestic violence crisis hotline, I also found that relatives of women who face domestic violence or sexual assault are affected by
seeing their loved ones abused.
AIDer 7
Yes, I have experienced that personally, because I know my sister has endured sexual assault, but I had trouble approaching her about the issue but was also concerned that she had to bear the pain of this memory alone and in silence. I didn’t want her to feel alone.
Couldn’t we all, then, serve as a kind of crisis hotline to create safe and supportive spaces like the one that came about at the conference? If people who have been carrying around these painful experiences can share them, then that would neutralize the weapon of shame that is so often used to silence those who would otherwise speak out against sexism, sexual violence and oppression.
AID Family and Culture
This is so true in AID and was clearly visible at the conference
All volunteers were free to take up pursue any initiative while at the same time other fellow volunteers would come up and support him/her
All (Old, Junior and New) volunteers were treated equally in all aspects including but not limited to providing opportunities
"No individual is bigger than the organization and it's goals"
"I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man [woman] whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him [her]. Will he [she] gain anything by it? Will it restore him [her] to a control over his [her] own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj [freedom] for the hungry and spiritually starving millions?
Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away."
Yes Please!
The organization where its goals are the same as the goals of its members- AID
actually means
AIDers live by
Skit on gender issues
Why, I, as a guy, wore a skirt at the AID conference!
Meeting the change makers
Change makers and the big names. Would they be approachable?
"Dr. G.V. Ramanjaneyulu is a agricultural scientist who gave up his job to work independently on sustainable agricultural practices................................"
Through the conference we got to meet, interact and learn from them
Voila! Its the same person. And he has spoken about the current state of agriculture in India and the many improvements brought about by indigenous sustainable practices
Who said what?
The plight of tribal communities in Chattisgarh and Jharkhand.......
The continuing discrimination and exploitation of Dalits in India.....
Mining mafia in Bellary.....
Gender bias, patriarchal norms and ............
KoolAid is cooler than ever
Who Decides what is Women's Wear and what is Men's Wear?
Sonika Sethi's tip: How to continue as AID volunteers after having kids!
FUN fuNNNNNNN Funnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!
Skit on gender issues
Evvar-Nevvar-Newer Ready!
Skit on gender issues
Pledging to neither seek nor give dowry and to encourage others to follow suit
Novel fundraising!
More Memories...
All in all, for us as AID volunteers, this conference was everything an AID conference should be: energizing, rejuvenating and connecting volunteers in a deeper way showing new directions going forward-

- Anitha & Dhiraj
Dayamani Barla: Cogent & Positive
A journey began 22 years ago by a few, still marched on by thousands that are now part of a cogent, enthusiastic, close-knitted family of
and in 2013
chapter arranged the
annual reunion in their l
ush green city. KoolAID conference newsletter takes you through the reunion trip in all new format....

"Number of “Ladies dresses and kurtis” made by our partners in India would be on sale at the Jivika stall at the conference...." --
King Cobra (name masked)
Here's how it happened.....
King Cobra bhai, why say “ladies dresses/kurtis”? They are dresses and kurtis – whoever wants to buy/wear them, it should be perfectly okay.
“That is a silly argument, Women’s clothes ARE different from men’s clothes in size and style."”
“Who decides what is women’s style and what is men’s style anyway? After all, no one thinks it’s weird when women wear shirts, pants or even suits!
Her words got me thinking. Why wouldn’t I wear a skirt? Well, because:
- The “Ew! It’s girl’s clothing” factor and
- The weird looks that society would give me and the terrible aspersions that it would cast on my manhood (mardaangi).
Hmm!! Upon closer inspection at my reasons, I concluded that neither of these arguments were logically sound nor particularly convincing enough to NOT wear “women’s” clothing. I decided then that Asti was right (again!). I took on her challenge and agreed to wear a skirt or a kurti at the conference.
Asti was, of course, delighted at my volte-face.
Read full article here -
Gender Issue: Skit
Parent and lilliput AIDers
"One of the highlights of the conference has been our experience as parents and through the eyes of our youngest atendees: or kids."
Sonika Sethi says
Of Instant Deaths

"Volunteering is about hours we put in, right? To some extent, yes, especially as long as we think of volunteering as separate from living our lives.s. Yet, most people in our stage of life make time for several kid-related activities"

"Our very own, the infallible, Evvar-Nevvar- Newer trio pronounced “having a baby” as a reason for “instant death” of a volunteer!"
"By any standard, the quality of time spent by our little ones at the conference far exceeded the quality of time doing most of the activities"

"Thanks to Mona, Debolina, Aravinda and others to keep the little ones engaged. Not to forget the *motherly* eagerness of the average volunteer to hold a baby..."
Why do we do it?
"Continuing to volunteer for AID even after becoming parents has one big prize....Passing on the community of like-minded friends we have made by being a part of AID and the values that AIDers embody..."
Of Lilliput and No Mean Feats
Read full article -

"Kids are getting the gift of friendships that start early and promise to go a long way, and ones based on shared values"
"They’re being given an opportunity to see their parents as the people they are/ were before being parents"
"On another level, in this age of everyone – from fast food to electronics –it is targeting the young for a lifetime of ‘brand loyalty. What is a better way to do it than through an environment where they’re welcome and gainfully engaged in better and healthier pursuits and where their parents find a comfort zone of like-minded parents? "
Realistically, it’ll take time and a lot of Lilliput to harness the Gulliver of social change…
So how will the Lilliput chapter evolve? Well, who knows!
But for now the scales are tipping in favor of expanding the reach of AID, not just geographically, but generationally as well
The "positive pagalpan" of Dayamani Barla
"Engaging in any sort of activism or progressive work will surely invite various labels from society, and quite frequently one of being touched in the head, being a little "pagal." It is this kind of "positive pagalpan," that one must carry forward, she said, indicating the need for a certain passion, a certain inexplicable and unbending dedication to a cause and struggle that one must embody to carry on any struggle."
Dayamani covered considerable ground in terms of the the issues that she has always struggled with -
Participatory democracy
The battle over resources, especially in the eastern state of Jharkhand, India
Video of chat with volunteers
Read full article -
And more....
And much more...
My Tryst with AID - Malathi Kalyanikar
Nausea and Metamorphosis - Debosree Roy
The conference "blew my mind" - Deepika Saini
Thank you Charlotte Chapter for a wonderful experience
Publication Contributions
Pavan Vaidyanathan
Dayamani Barla
Ilina Sen
Prasad Chacko
S R Hiremath
By Pavan Vaidyanathan
Archna Monga
Samantha Sekar
Santosh (errr...isn't it Rohit? )
Full transcript