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Pankhudi Mumbai – The Intern Speaks (3)

October 13, 2010 in Uncategorized by pankhudimumbai

Just as there was a learning curve with my knowledge on transportation, it took time for me to get comfortable with the adoption agencies (my main primary source of information).

In Mumbai, there are several government-approved adoption agencies, so you would think that it would be an easy matter to get a contact with the agencies. Unfortunately, there was a difficult wall I had to scale.

Many agencies required some official processing before any information could be divulged. While this is a completely understandable chain in the processing of information, because of my time constraints, it led to an unfortunate drain of time. In all honesty it actually became quite frustrating at times, as I would spend hours on the phone trying to talk to different agencies, just to be stonewalled when it came to getting any real information.

But not to fear, I was able to find a source of light in Betty. She was able to help me through the process of writing up the report, connecting me with people and answering questions I bombarded her with, over the two weeks.

This is what amazed me the most in working with these agencies (and the volunteers at Pankhudi) : They were all working for the benefit of others; a motivation that I have not had the pleasure to see in many places. Thus, with the help of these people and quite a few hours in front of my laptop, I was able to finish the report.

Was it all worth it? A week after I left Mumbai, as I sat to send in the final copy of my write-up, I pondered this very question. Even though my meeting with Pankhudi was purely a coincidence, I met some truly amazing people, experienced a completely new city (including the language, food and rickshaws it had to offer) and was able to help out for a noble cause. Simply put, it was definitely worth it!

Pankhudi Mumbai – The Intern Speaks (1)

October 13, 2010 in Uncategorized by pankhudimumbai

Adams Koshy interned with Pankhudi Mumbai for one of our dream projects – Aanchal.

Through a three part series,  Adams shares his experience of staying in Mumbai, interning with Pankhudi and learning about some quintessential human qualities.

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My Fortnight in Mumbai

Joining Pankhudi was in all respects a chance encounter. The journey began with a conversation about a teaching opportunity in China. So why did I end up in India? Well the simple fact is that help is needed around the world, and when I saw the problems in my own country (India), I saw no need to look any further. This simple realization soon found me tapping away at a keyboard trying to find a volunteer program in India.

Out of all the ones I could have chosen, I just went with the first link I could find, iVolunteer. Well, this might not have been the most thought-out approach, but at the end of the day I guess it was the right one. Or else, I would not have been connected to Pankhudi nor would I have spent two great weeks in Mumbai.

So what did I accomplish in these two long weeks? I wrote a report! Well I know that you must think. There must be something I missed out, because I went hunting for a teaching opportunity and I ended with research? Well the long and short answer of the matter is language. I come from the southern rice bowls of India, from a little state called Kerala. Where our own language (Malayalam) has usurped the role of Hindi, leading to my unfortunate negligence. A negligence which created its own problems later on. The initial result was that to teach these wonderful children, I would need the skills of Hindi (or at least Marati). So what was I to do? This is when I was presented with three intriguing projects by Pankhudi.

The most appealing of which was Aanchal, a project dedicated to the orphaned children in India. But what are the terms used in the industry? What is the process for adoption? What are the roles of the bodies involved? What can Pankhudi do? So with what began as simply a cursor on an empty word document, I was put to answer these questions in a report that helped inform Pankhudi, and act as their first step forward with Aanchal.

In all honesty, as I took my first step out of Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, I was nervous about what I could achieve in merely two weeks. On top of that I was going to be meeting a whole slew of new faces, in a city I had only visited as a child, where they spoke a language I had only heard on TV. The first of these faces was Aditya.

Aanchal: Pankhudi’s Latest Project

August 22, 2010 in General by pankhudidelhi

When Pankhudi began, way back in 2005, one of its primary objectives was deemed to be the promotion of child adoption in India. However, this being a rather complex issue, the founding members wisely decided to put it off for a little while longer until they had gained some experience in running an NGO. Five years down the line, the time has finally come when we can say we are truly ready to tackle this issue. We have decided to call this new project ‘Aanchal’ – a term synonymous with protection and care.

Our knowledge on this subject is still rather limited since our work in most of our chapters involves children from slums and government schools, and not orphanages (Bangalore being an exception). Before we can decide what we want to do to promote child adoption, we need to learn all there is to know about the current process and its flaws. To get this process started, we recently had an intern from the UK visit our Mumbai chapter to work on research about child adoption in India. He got us off to a great start and gathered a lot of useful information that has helped us create an initial picture about how things are done in India.

The next step will be to actually visit orphanages, adoption agencies, and other organizations involved in the adoption process to get a firsthand understanding of the system. We will use this to determine the role Pankhudi can play in supporting adoption in India.

Our main requirement right now is for enthusiastic volunteers to work with us in getting this project off the ground. Even people who are not able to work on field can help us by engaging in secondary research and brainstorming with us to determine our next steps. If you’re interested, please send us a mail at join@pankhudifoundation.org with the subject “Request to join Aanchal”. You can also e-mail us at pr@pankhudifoundation.org with all your queries.