Save Water – Do your Bit !

WHO statistics reveals 0.007% of world’s water is safe for human consumption. This water is to be shared among 7 billion people on this planet. Water is scarce only because it is unevenly distributed on earth’s surface. The water that is available for human consumption is not safe because of varied types of discharge are made by industries into our water sources without proper treatment and recycling. In other cases, water in rural areas is made unhealthy by the agricultural waste, bathing and bio waste generated by the cattle. On an average 1 in 8 people in the world don’t have access to safe drinking water and this number reduces to 1 in 4 in cities.

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But The Biggest Consumers are theBiggest Sufferers– The Farmers.

Why Should We Care ? We stay in cities, we pay our taxes and get as much water as needed. There is no reason for us to be worried or be a part of any such initiative which saves water or water sources.

We need not go far to search for the answer. Singapore is all ready to provide 30% for their water needs by desalination of sea water. Cape town, the most affluent city in South Africa, is going to see Day Zero in July.

For years, a shutdown of this magnitude in such a cosmopolitan city had been almost inconceivable. But as overdevelopment, population growth, and climate change upset the balance between water use and supply, urban centers from North America to South America and from Australia to Asia increasingly face threats of severe drinking-water shortages.

What can we do ? – Government, Non Govt Organizations and other agencies are taking initiatives to revive our water sources, replenish the water table and cleanse them to keep them healthy. Many agencies are pursuing research on how used water can be purified and made fit for human consumption. But this problem cannot be solved by them alone. It is for each one of us to be aware and do our bit in contributing to solve this monster problem glaring at us in the face.

What we can do is more than just a drop in the bucket, especially when everyone does the same. Lets start by conserving what is visibile.

  1. Fix Leaks – It is said that 30% of New York’s water consumption – 36 mn gallons – is leaked due to old leaking pipes every day. We can at least fix our leaking taps. 1 drop per second makes it to 30,000 gallons per year. Would you not like to contribute to that?
  2. Curb Bad Habits –A bath tub uses 70 gallons and a shower 10-25 gallons of water. Running taps, bathing in shower for more than few mins are all luxury which we humans cannot afford anymore.

What is important is that we bring awareness in each activity that we do. Along with that we need to make others around us aware. Do your Bit. Act responsibly. By your actions and words, educate your family, educate your domestic help so that abuse of water stops. Just because we get it easily does not mean the world gets it too. Doesn’t mean that we will keep getting it for the times to come.

Water, water, everywhere. But not a drop to drink! – true to this paradox, this single crisis can hit us the hardest in the near future.

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Asar – A Helping Hand

I had heard from my domestic help about her neighbour, who was facing extreme issues at home. She had told me how her few months old child kept crying all day and how there were loud noises of fights coming from the neighbourhood at night. I used to wonder.

One evening, my domestic help was unwell and I was visiting her to take her to the doctor. I heard the child crying next door. The incessant crying was painful to the ears. I asked my maid as to what was the reason for this. She told me that this girl’s husband used to drink alcohol and beat her up. This guy never gave money for the household expenses and the mother and child, used to go hungry most of the times. I went to see this girl, a very timid looking girl, still recovering from the duel that had happened sometime back. She told me that she was not getting any household work to do because she had a small child with her.

I Saw Suffering.

I Saw a woman being ill treated.

I wanted to do something …

I wanted to call the police !

I was thinking why doesn’t someone do something about it ?

How can a simple person contribute to the society in the most nimble way. The thought didn’t seem to go away from my mind. My friend and I had been making few gifting items at home during Diwali. Items like Diyas and Torans, which we used for gifting to friends and family. The numbers were really small and were primarily executed as a hobby in spare times. The situation brought the idea of making more and selling, to generate revenue, eventually evolving into a micro enterprise. We spoke to the girl, offering her work to learn how to make these items and then we shall market them with all our might.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.

Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

– Chinese Proverb

She Agreed. With her three-month-old child, she initially started coming over to learn for an hour. Her child used to be fed and put to sleep and she could peacefully do her work. Slowly she became more comfortable and the time span started increasing. Once we taught her how to make something, she also had the option to take the raw material home and work at home. This brought in a lot of flexibility. She was dedicated and gave her 100% to work. Thus by Creating opportunities in an agile way, bringing in flexibility in the way of functioning, transformation of one household was happening. Earning to fend for her child gave her the lost self-respect, and she was much more confident to go out into the world.

We put up a stall in our area and she was behind the stall, seeing the impact of her efforts. Apart from the salary that she had received for her efforts, a portion of the profit was shared with her. The happiness on her face, was priceless. With the earnings she received, she fend for her family with self respect. She bought a sari for herself. Happiness to her and Satisfaction for me.

Bringing in flexibility in the way of functioning has brought smiles to those around us. Being sensitive and sensible has helped bring good to the society.

Giving Is easy, but doing so with Sensitivity and Care is an art!

This Diwali We distributed Book Marks

When we were young, we did not have electronic media to distract us in our favourite pastime – Reading !!

What is true is that the fast paced life and rapid growth of electronic media made available and accessible to us, is making reading as a – not so enticing activity. Particularly when we have audios and videos available for what we want to read, or know. Especially the young ones, who should be the ones enjoying the literature and stories the most, are the ones who are deep diving into the video world. It is because of this that their writing skills, are being affected along with the adverse impact on the otherwise incredible advantage in knowledge, vocabulary and understanding of life, which carries through college and into life.
From reading, the brain also benefits from a good workout when our intelligence is called into action, as is greater concentration.

Reading is a habit which is dying off very fast. To encourage big and small all to read more, ASAR distributed hundreds of bookmarks, all hand made, to all those we met during diwali. Hope that this encourages us to read more and more !!

Asar at Aapla Ghar

Wanting to contribute in our small ways, Asar went to Aapla Ghar and gave away Rakhis for children and elderly there. Based at the foot hills of Sinhgarh fort, it hosts children and elderly and takes care of them.

APALA GHAR, a NGO managed by LATE VAIBHAV PHALNIKAR MEMORIAL FOUNDATION, established in 2001 by Shri Vijay Phalnikar and Mrs. Sadhana Phalnikar in memory of their only son Vaibhav who died of cancer, started in a small way by providing free ambulance service for the benefit of economically backward section of the society. Today they are able to successfully manage all their projects only by generous donations in cash/kind from our well wishers.

It is truly motivating to see the kind of love and affection Aapla Ghar is providing to the members and the close knit family that they have.

The good deeds done by us, will take care of us in our further lives. Not Even Death can wipe out our good deeds.

Little Asar with children at Sinduhtai Sakpal Orphanage

This Rakshabandhan was exceptional at Asar Initiative. The volunteers of Asar Initiative were bubbling with joy at Sindhutai Sakpal Orphanage in Manjari.

Sindhutai Sapkal, affectionately known as the “Mother of Orphans”, is an Indian social worker and social activist known particularly for her work in raising orphaned children in India.

Volunteers of Asar carried 800 Rakhis for children there. Having known that there are multiple orphanages that Sindhutai Sakpal supports, we went with full preparation. Tying Rakhis to the members of the Manjari home, gave us more happiness and satisfaction than probably what could be achieved with thousands of good ideas.

The Smallest Good Deed is Better than the Grandest Intention !!

 

This Season is Different

This Season brings more Joy and Happiness to all around us.

The economy is all set to grow, there is hope in the eyes of all our associates and they want to learn more and more. The good thats happening around is that more women and Young College girls have been approaching us to Learn and Earn. Interestingly, new ideas come up, they themselves point out to improvements and new products. Very keen and willing, our team is growing !

Also, We start Posting online.

Our Facebook page is active and has our products available to be ordered.

Our First Upload on a merchant site for sale is also available here.

Along with them, the children of some of these women also come to see whats happening and try their hands on out of curiosity. Its interesting how keen they are to know whats happening and what we can make out of the material thats kept in front of them. Asar should very soon be launching children’s workshop, to make them more creative and interested in the festivities and colour of life. So, while their mommies work, these children can play around and have fun too !

 

The New Season ’16

We are more than a year old now. Thanks to those who have motivated us, guided us and helped us bring about the efforts in bringing about those changes to the society.

Sustainable development comes from the fact that we are consistent and self reliant organization. Our principle is to earn that due respect in the society by earning our own bread and butter. Getting grants and working under the guidelines poses a challenge and the main purpose may get lost under that assumption.

This is precisely what we are teaching our associates as well. It may be challenging in the beginning, but eventually become a long run stable model of operation.

Diwali is coming…

Rakshabandhan is a harbinger to the festive season. It brings in lot of festivities in the form of Ganesh utsav, Navratri, Dusshera, Karwachowth and Diwali. This gives another opportunity to learn and showcase the skills in the form of various artifacts.

Painting of Diyas for Diwali, Colourful Kundan Rangolis, floating rangolis, Gift boxes for chocolates, muffin candles, Gel candles are some of the many items that are being taught and created. It gives immense pleasure seeing how learning happens when there is an internal craving for it.

Support Through Stalls

Sales is the function of the organization which brings in revenues and allows it to continue its work. The revenues will come from the fact that buyers buy and contribute to the cause which has been started. IT companies in Pune supported the cause by allowing the stalls at their canteen spaces. Among those who supported were Capgemini, KPIT Cummins and Steria. It was a great beginning!

Learning Entrepreneurship by Selling What we made

Being together, brings confidence and enhances learnability. The young women associated with Asar decided to put up a stall at Pashan to display and sell the products made for the occasion of Rakshabandhan. They were happy and excited to have handled this activity.