In my earlier post on volunteering, I mentioned that I am / have been associated with other non-profit organizations other than Aviratha. So, this is a post about those.
The first one as far as I remember is Belaku. Belaku ran a orphanage for kids at N.R.Colony. We gave some cereals and pulses once or twice a year and that’s it. After I started with Aviratha, I stopped that. (And heck no! It has nothing to do with Aviratha.)
Buguri Reading Library/ Hasirudala
Couple of years back, I visited Buguri reading library at Sarakki (near Banashankari Metro station) set up by Hasirudala team. I absolutely loved their work. They have a good collection of books and any kid in the area interested in reading them is welcome there. They are open to external volunteers on certain days of the week. I visited their place couple of times and was mighty impressed by the way they are organized, rapport kids have with the team, freedom given to kids in choosing the books, their reward system that motivate kids to read more books, and most importantly the way kids mingled with us without an iota of hesitation. I hope to visit again post the Corona season.
Another NGO I am associated with is Light Lives. One of my ex-IBM colleagues leads that team with couple of others. They do some amazing work in helping students to continue education and providing self-employment and medical aids to the needy. Though I haven’t participated in any of their activities, I am glad to have contributed my bit at some point.
India Literacy Project
India Literacy Project (ILP) is an NGO that is close to my heart. The Wow! factor for me was the way they have used Google Earth to teach the so-called boring subject like Social Science. When most of the world is focused on Maths and Science, I was excited by their novel and interactive approach to make Social Science interesting. Someday I hope Google makes an offline version of Google Earth even if it is with limited features so that this initiative reaches out students without internet access.
Apart from this, through Aviratha we have distributed many ILP science kits to students across Karnataka and conducted workshops using them. These kits containing low cost, no cost materials are mapped to Karnataka state syllabus and come with a user manual in print form and learning videos in a CD. I have personally seen it being used in schools before distributing widely. The feedback I received from teachers about the utility of the kit has been very encouraging. We have also distributed their teaching aids made available under Creative Commons license. They have a well-researched career guidance book as well.
More recently, they are creating much-needed learning videos on ICT tools in Kannada. These tools are part of the ICT training syllabus for teachers and students in Karnataka. As far as I know, their YouTube channel is one of the very few places where such videos are available in a single place.
As you might have guessed by now, I have mostly been a beneficiary of ILP directly or indirectly and haven’t contributed much to ILP. Hope to change that soon. I took up a project once, but could not continue. Well, that is for another story; story of projects that didn’t take off.
Other than Aviratha, currently I am most active in Ruthumana, a Kannada literary and art online magazine. They have some rare and insightful articles, interviews, digital archives, etc., about Kannada culture, folk art and literature to which I contribute in multiple ways.
That is all I can think of. Don’t think I have missed any. But if I have, I will update later.