Annual Conference of the Association for India’s Development, May 28-30
This Memorial Day weekend - May 28-30 - the Association for India’s Development will be hosting its annual conference at the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA. This conference is an annual effort by AID’s volunteers to share ideas, learn from past experiences and plan strategies for future sustainable development efforts with the most marginalized communities in India. This year, the conference holds a special relevance, as 2011 is the 20th year of AID.
AID is a volunteer movement promoting sustainable, equitable and just development. AID is comprised of over 1000 volunteers spanning 36 chapters within the United States of America. AID supports grassroots organizations in India and initiates efforts in various interconnected spheres such as agriculture, energy, education, health, livelihoods, natural resources including land and water, women's empowerment and social justice.
This year, the keynote speakers at the conference are senior staff members from two of AID’s grassroots partners in India. Both talks are open to the public and will also be streamed live on the conference website.
On Saturday, Praful Chandel, Senior Village Coordinator at Jan Swasthya Sahyog (JSS), Chhattisgarh, India, will present his perspective as a community-level health worker in rural Chhattisgarh. JSS works on the implementation of several preventative and public health programs in over 50 villages.
On Sunday, Himanshu Kumar, a Gandhian human rights activist and founder of Vanavasi Chetana Ashram, Chhattisgarh, India, will address the challenges in ensuring sustainable and equitable development among the most marginalized communities in the mineral-rich regions of central India. Mr. Kumar has been working for the past 17 years in the midst of an old triangular war between the State, the Naxals (far-left communist insurgency), and the native tribal population, split from within by the infamous government-sponsored Salwa Judum (anti-Naxalite militia).
The conference will also be attended by AID founder, Ravi Kuchimanchi, and several of AID’sJeevansaathis (full-time volunteers) who lead various development initiatives at the grassroots throughout India. This will be a unique opportunity to interact with them.
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