A group of young graduates from Delhi University and BITS started social service with Aident Social Welfare organization almost 23 years ago. A journey, which began with teaching 15-20 kids in Cigarette Wali Basti in Model town, Delhi, under a tree, has since spread out far and wide.
These 23 years have been a journey of learning, unlearning and relearning. In all these years we have always strived to keep our ear to the ground and learn from the community about the means and ways in which they can transform their lives and bring these learning into practice by being an active partner in this process of change.
Our driving force has been the idea of inclusion of all such communities, which have been subjected to socio-economic discrimination. Schedule Tribes, Schedule Castes, women, minorities of all kinds- sexual (LGBT), religious, linguistic and all such groups, which have been on the margins of our society, have been the focus of our attention. We firmly believe that when the last person in the queue is able to access and avail the fruits of development, our society can be termed equitable. This continuous engagement with all these communities has provided us an immense opportunity to learn and act for the betterment of their marginalized existence. What give us strength is our more than 23 years of learning and a very strong volunteer base, again mostly drawn from marginalized section of society.
Fired by the belief of learning to act, we have spread our works in seven states of India- Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. Beginning with education now we have now our foot prints in Health, Livelihood, Water & Sanitation, women empowerment, education and Child Labor.
Organizing remedial classes, providing vocational training and sending dropout kids back to schools have been some of the most satisfying moments of this journey. Working with more than 6500 kids, forced into child labor, and seeing them coming back into the mainstream through our education intervention and skill development programme can be counted as one of the major milestones of our learning. Creating open defecation free (ODF) villages out of communities which have neither experienced nor explored the idea of using a toilet, is one of our proudest moments. In the last 23 years we have partnered in transformation of communities of Female Sex Workers, Man having sex with man, Trans genders, injecting drug users from a very shy, reclusive group to a community which asserts, stands and fights for its right. Women empowerment has always been one of the thrust areas of our work, driven by our absolute belief that any change in the society can only be assured and sustained by keeping the question of gender at the centre of our planning and strategy. By running Gender Resource Centre (Stri Shakti Kendra) not only we have been able to bring all the government schemes within the reach of women but also ensured that services and benefits are delivered at their doorsteps.
In this long and enriching journey we have enjoyed the continuous support of Government of India, State governments, Bilateral Organizations, Multilateral Organizations, Indian multinationals, Foreign multinationals and last but not the least scores of individuals and communities.