I am an AIDer. What is AID?
"Compassion whenever there is suffering ...
Conviction that the compassion is strong enough to eliminate suffering ...
Courage to make this conviction a reality -
This is AID."
Association for India's Development (AID) is a volunteer movement committed to promoting sustainable, equitable and just development. In solidarity with non-violent people's struggles, AID supports grassroots organizations in India and initiates efforts in various interconnected spheres such as education, livelihoods, natural resources, health, women's empowerment and social justice.
Here we are after "Running for India" in the 2008 Austin Marathon and Half-Marathon!
I have been with the group for the past 7 years. I like it because this group is one where learning is the key - we discuss and try to understand the issues that underly the many problems we see in the world and in India, and in this process, try to make changes in our lives to stop being part of the problem. AID has over 40 chapters all over the US and many outside the US as well.
One fun thing AID does every year is to come out with a themed calendar. The calendar has beautiful pictures from India, and this year the theme is ROTI (food).
This year the calendar tries to highlight the issues of the farmer. India is going through a period of great trauma for the farmer. This is a country where the farmer was respected as the giver of food, and where most of the land was agricultural until recently. In the past decade, thousands on Indian farmers have committed suicide because they are unable to compete in a world of globalized agriculture, short-sighted "agricultural modernization" and international trade decisions which don't keep his welfare in mind.
The calendar is printed using eco-friendly means, keeping with AID's belief that sustainable living starts at home.
I have saved my calendars from the past years because they truly are works of art! Previous calendars have featured P. Sainath's photographs (from an earlier post) on the theme of the rural woman; textiles of India from last year's theme of Kapda (meaning "cloth" - check out the link for beautiful photographs of textiles from last year), etc.
If you have a moment, do take a look at this website which features the 2009 AID calendar. It has interesting information, and if you so decide, you can order copies there as well!