Sunday 15 October 2017

TedX-PICT - Lessons from a Youth Activist - Aakash Shah

The founder and chairperson of Action For Pune Development, Aakash Shah, has been invited as a key-note speaker at numerous significant events across the world including United Nations My World 2.0 workshop in New York, UN Habitat-Young Social Innovators Conclave at Mumbai, Global Meeting of "Global Alliance for NGO's advocating for road safety at Marrakesh, Morocco & 35th session of Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

On September 30th 2017, Aakash was invited as a speaker at PICT TEDx 2017, which was hosted in Pune , attended by an audience of over 500. Aakash was the youngest speaker at the event. He shared his journey since inception and proved to be a strong source of motivation for engaging youth in community service and social development. Aakash has always been an inspiration to youth across the world. Being a youth activist and having worked with several multi-lateral agencies, he has successfully mobilised youth worldwide and formulated strategies for a number of global campaigns such as UN Millennium My World 2015 and World We Want, SaveKidsLives, HeForShe, etc. He has personified the power of youth and his exemplary work has been truly motivating not just for youth of the nation, but youth across the world. Aakash started his journey at a very young age, and is working towards integration of youth for the development process to secure a better future for generations to come. He has included several instances in his speech which focus on the role of the youth, thereby supporting his view that "Youth is the nation's blood and the architect of tomorrow's world"

Video Link:

Reported By - Bina Goklaney, Editorial Team Head, A.P.D.

Friday 8 September 2017

Skill Development Activity at MKSSS's Rama Sadan

"Celebrations are complete and happiness is doubled when there's togetherness"

Our team has started a new custom, of celebrating birthdays, once every month, with those who are away from their family. Through this, we aim to make a positive impact on the lives of maximum number of youngsters, who are indeed capable of reaching heights, just with the help of some guidance and resources.

In the month of August, we hosted a short entertainment and interactive programme for the young girls of MKSSS's Rama Sadan. Rama Sadan is a home for around 1500 girls, who belong to different strata, castes, religions and income groups; who are either partially or fully dependent on MKSSS for their food and living. Since our organisation has always been a strong supporter of gender equality and women empowerment, we chose to work with this organisation on a long-term basis.

We started the session by introducing ourselves and sharing our interests, and the girls equally reciprocated. Each of the 56 girls in the session, had a unique interest and belonged to the age group of 10 to 17 years. Owing to their enthusiasm, we deciphered how passionate they are about their career goals as well as artistic abilities.

As a part of the entertainment session, we played housie and the girls were happy to receive inspirational Marathi books as prizes. This was followed by a short birthday celebration where each girl who has their birthday in August, was given a rose sapling as a symbol of growth.

We plan to continue this activity every month, on the last Saturday of each month, wherein we'll not only host a celebration but also a skill development session for the girls, based on their age group and field of interest.
Although this is an interactive activity, our premier focus is development and women empowerment.

Reported By
Bina Goklaney, Editorial Team Head, A.P.D.

Saturday 5 August 2017

Computer Training Course with Hands on Learning at Mahila Ashram High School

A.P.D had recently collaborated with Mahila Ashram High School, Karve Nagar for our recent initiative which is educating young girls about the basics of computers. This activity was conducted from 23rd July to 4th August for over 500 girls of 8th grade. Before we took up this activity we conducted a survey and visited various schools in Pune. This survey was conducted to check whether computer education is given importance in schools and to our surprise Computer Education was not of major significance. The schools had computer classes, computer labs but no teacher to teach them.

We all know computers are an integral part of our lives and are increasingly becoming more important as teaching and training tools. Computer knowledge is essential from the career perspective as well. That is why we decided to take up this activity.

We started off by initially teaching the basics of computers and later proceeded with Microsoft Word. We had a weekly session of one hour each for every section of 8th grade.

During the first week of the activity the students were taught about the parts of the computer and their functions by showing them presentations.
In the following week we imparted basic information about Microsoft Word. Students were taught about the practical applications of Word and basic formatting tools.

We not only conducted theory sessions but it was a hands-on experience wherein the students were made to create a Word document themselves.
The session was successful as the students were cooperative and the teachers were extremely helpful.

We established a strong connect with the students which greatly helped us in teaching them to the best of our ability. This is a long-term activity which we plan to continue in collaboration with numerous schools across the city, with a horizon of reaching out to maximum students.

Youth empowerment and development is a trending topic in India.If a country's youth is educated it becomes a major asset for the country's development and educating the youth about computers will only help us and get us a little more closer to our goal.We really look forward at taking up more such activities which make an impact not only on the child's development but also help the country's development .

The course was designed by Nikhil Khanzode - Technical Head of Action for Pune Development, in collaboration with Mr. Yash Vardhan Agarwal, an IT Professional and B.Tech - Information Technology Graduate from Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal and was conducted by A.P.D. Members who were given training prior to the activity.

Reported By
Divya Jain - Editoral Team, A.P.D.

Monday 5 June 2017

A.P.D. Tree Plantation 2017

APD has maintained a legacy since Inception. Just like the past five consecutive years, this time too a tree plantation drive was conducted.

All of us complain about the increasing pollution and environmental problems in the city, but do we actually take some serious measures regarding it? Yes we understand that not all of us agree to use public transport or go out of the way to reduce pollution, but we all can plant one tree at least. Why not create more of what is going to be beneficial for us in the recent future instead of those detrimental industries!

Trees are a boon to the entire ecosphere. They detoxify impure air, add beauty to their surroundings, prevent soil erosion, serve as food to a lot of life on this planet and the list continues.

Thus, we at APD conducted a tree plantation drive on Monday, 5th June 2017. Around 20 members were ready with their gardening tools at Abhimanshree where this drive was conducted. 50 trees were planted this year which included a variety of plants like Hibiscus, Kamini, Bahama,Chrysanthemum , Pentus, Aboli and Tagar. Bahama and Hibiscus are used to treat many illnesses. Hibiscus has many other uses too. Aboli is used as an ornamental flower. Thus, all these plants were grown keeping such benefits in mind which could be used by the locals.

What makes APD unique is that these young enthusiasts divided themselves into teams which would later take care of the plants periodically. Planting trees is not where our work gets over. They need to be taken care of and need to be mentored.

Let's not restrict ourselves to conduct such activites to specific days only, but also by doing a bit every day and replenishing Mother Earth with all the beauty with which it was created.

Reported By
Alisha Jain - Editorial Team, A.P.D.

Monday 15 May 2017

Importance of Community Service for Kids

Action for Pune Development conducted an activity in Collaboration with Garware Bal-Bhavan Pune as a part of its community service endeavour.

The reason behind us taking this activity was to teach young children importance of community service as we want them to imbibe this value from the very beginning.

The activity was a three day session attended by approximately 70 children between ages 7-11.The topics we covered in these three sessions were Importance and Conservation of Environment, Road Safety and Money Saving.

Day One started with a brief  introduction about APD and our members, and then we further spoke to them about the importance of trees and played a small game which helped them to understand things better.

In the second session we explained to them about traffic safety and various traffic rules and used different pictures, poems and small acts to make things interesting to them. Then on the third day, we explained to  them about importance of saving money and played quizzes with them.

We concluded our sessions by telling them about community service and how it's beneficial for the society at large.

Overall the activity was an amazing learning experience not only for the children but also for us. The enthusiasm the children showed helped us build our energy and encouraged us to teach them to our best possible capacity also the children were immensely cooperative.

The feedback received was surely amazing and due to the activity's success we at A.P.D have decided to continue to work with young minds in future and help build a generation which is inclined towards community service.

Reported By
Divya Jain - Editorial Team, A.P.D.

Saturday 8 April 2017

A New Step for Good Governance - Voice of Pune

Voice of Pune - is the latest venture by Action for Pune Development.

Citizenship plays a pivotal role in democracy and a pro-active citizen is instrumental in bringing about a remarkable change in the society. Every citizen is bestowed with certain rights and these rights should be exercised in the best possible manner. "Right of speech" is a fundamental right which citizens can make use of, in an appropriate manner, for the betterment of the society and broaden the path of progress.

This is a platform which gives every citizen an equal opportunity to speak; hence, leading to an inception of transformation.

Keeping in mind the recently conducted 2017 PMC elections, we aim to reach out to the citizens of Pune, thereby giving them a platform to voice their opinions and in turn make their voices heard by the elected authorities.

Identities of individuals will remain confidential under all circumstances, but their suggestions and opinions will certainly be compiled and communicated to the elected representatives. The valuable inputs received from the citizens will be classified on the basis of area/locality and the compiled document will be presented to respective Corporators.

This process will therefore help in reconstruction and development of Pune city through active involvement of citizens.

"Every citizen's input is valuable; so voice your opinion and initiate a radical change"

APD Blood Directory

Become a part of the live-saving squad:
Action for Pune Development is an NGO, which has taken up the project of building a database of blood donors, and the sole aspiration is to reach thousands of people who are in urgent need of blood.
Thereby, we have a target to establish a strong database with thousands of donors from Pune city initially, and gradually start functioning at a national level.
The pace of life has increased but so has the rate of accidents and diseases. Accident victims and patients in urgent need of blood often lose their lives due to lack of blood. We need to overcome the gap between people in need of blood and blood donors.
We aim to create an umbrella of thousands of people so that we're able to cater to the needs of those who need help and in turn save lives.
The framework of the organization is such that the contact information of every donor remains confidential. The details of the donor are only accessed by the webmaster and will not be disclosed to anyone under any circumstances.

Our working procedure:
-When a person registers with our blood  directory, she/he is asked to provide their basic details: contact number, address and blood group.
-During crises, when there is a requirement for  blood, people can contact us.
-Thereafter, we will immediately send a text message to all the donors of the required blood group.
This helps in saving time and the speed at which the blood is available and thus, helps to save the patient's life.
You may not be a superhero with incredible powers, but donating blood saves lives & that makes you a "superhuman".

Disclaimer : APD Blood Directory is not a Blood Bank. We are just an online link between the patient and the donor. APD does not take any responsibility in any matter whatsoever.

Road Safety Rally

In February 2016, we organised a huge student rally at tilak road where hundreds of school students participated. The purpose of this rally was to spread awareness about road safety. Students prepared road safety posters and slogans and made use of them during the rally. Therefore, the message of road safety was wide spread by young students through various posters and flyers made by them. 

Tulsi Sapling Distribution

In the months of August and September 2016, we decided to promote the importance of tulsi as it has multiple health and environmental benefits. We organised various such camps and distributed hundreds of saplings, not just to individuals, but also to various offices and restaurants, by explaining the importance of tulsi to them. Therefore, we were successful in reaching out to hundreds of people and explicating the importance of tulsi. 

Winter - Blankets Donation Drive:

Winter temperature in Pune City was forecasted to be as low as 8 degrees this year. Unfortunately, there are hard working people, who strive hard, but do not have shelter. 
Thus, this was an initiative undertaken in order to collect blankets, thereby making them available to maximum people in need of it. 
We started our collection drive in October continued fortnightly, till  November. We received a huge response from the masses. Also, our team bought 50 new blankets and distributed them across different areas in Pune city, where people are in need. 

"This winter, we made an effort to provide enough for those who have too little"

Old Age Home Activity - Diwali

The team of Action For Pune Development celebrated the festival of Diwali in a special way in the year 2015. 
We organised a festive evening for the residents of Mathoshri Old Age Home. 
Diwali is a time to share with everyone and spread happiness. Therefore, we all played various games with them, had a short entertainment programme and shared Diwali delicacies with everyone.  
Our happiness increased a hundred fold by making everyone happy. 

Paper Bag Making Workshop

A paper bag making workshop was organised in Maharashtra Mandal School. The sole reason of undertaking this initiative was to make students understand the harm caused due to plastic bags and to encourage them to replace plastic with paper bags. 
Students prepared over 1000 paper bags and distributed them in grocery stores in their vicinity thereby spreading the message of "Say NO to plastic." 

Tree Plantation Drive 2016

Tree plantation drives is a custom that APD has been practising since the very beginning. We conducted a tree plantation drive at ARAI, wherein our team planted 100 saplings. 
The saplings planted were chosen in such a way that they do not require meticulous care and could grow faster than other varieties. 

Through our effort every year, we ensure that there is a positive impact on the environment and through our initiative we encourage hundreds of others to plant trees as well. 

Ganpati Visarjan - Nirmalya Activity

During Ganesha Festival, devotees often tend to immerse the offerings along with the idol of lord Ganesha during the Visarjan. This leads to severe pollution of water bodies. 
In order to prevent any harm to the water bodies, we collaborated with Lions Club International and conducted a Nirmalya collection drive. We made sure that we collect the offerings from the devotees and dispose it without causing any pollution. Also, the sentiments of the devotees were taken care of. 
Our small effort indeed saved the water bodies from getting polluted. 

Summer Activity

In Summer 2016, Pune witnessed a severe rise in temperature as it crossed usual levels of 40 degrees. Due to the increased heat, the underprivileged would suffer as their sugar level would drop. 
Therefore, our team undertook the initiative of conducting a glucose distribution drive. By means of this drive, we reached out to over 50 street vendors across the city who genuinely face troubles due to working in the sun. 
We explained the importance and usage of glucose to them, and provided them with packets of glucose powder sufficient for 2 months. 
The feedback that we received was amazing and thus the purpose of conducting the activity was fulfilled.

Notebook Donation Drive

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" 

Action for Pune Development has always given utmost importance to education. In this view, our team organised a Note Book collection drive in May 2016. Through this collection drive we collected over 200 dozen notebooks and donated them to needy students for the upcoming academic year. 

We were successful in securing an overwhelming response, through which we could help 480 students and fulfilled their stationery requirements for a year. 

"Educate the Youth as they are future change makers of the world"

Winter Clothes Donation Drive

We started with a clothes collection drive in the month of November, and encouraged young people to donate clothes for the less fortunate. We were lucky to get an overwhelming response, as people willingly bought new clothes and donated them. 
After the huge response received, we conducted distribution drives across Pune city and extended our help to maximum number of people.  

E-Banking Activity

In view of recent decisions of the Government, India is on the edge of a major financial revolution. As we're shifting from a cash-dependent to a cashless economy, certain fragments of the society are still unaware about the "digitally enabled transaction facilities for the transfer of funds". 
Thus, we conducted a drive on 28th January, across Pune city, through which we educated masses of vendors in various market places about:  E-wallets, Aadhar Enabled Payment System, USSD based Mobile Banking and Bank Cards. 
Our team interacted with the vendors in the local language, explaining every method in a simplified manner, as well as giving them a handout with the basic information about these options of digital transactions. The foremost aim was to make them understand that digital transactions are not complex and do not necessarily require a smart phone or internet connectivity. 

"We believe that the youth will act as engines of this transformational shift from a cash-dependant to a cashless economy. "