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AksharBharati Newsletter

Issue #5 January 2010

In this issue

• Editorial (pg. 2)

• Cover Story: AB Goes Public (pg. 3)

AB gets to spread its wings through one of the
leading Marathi TV channels- IBM Lokmat.
AB’s documentary reaches hundreds of viewers
at Bharat Natya Mandir

• AB Updates (pg. 4)
Know more about what’s AB up to? AB activity
and chapter updates, the plans for next quarter,
what is working, what is not.

• AB in Pictures (pg. 5)
Some snippets of AB activities …

• Volunteering to heart’s content (pg. 6)

Know what it takes to volunteer … as told by
Anand Khedekar

• ABians’ Space (pg. 7)

Volunteers share their feedback, suggestions
and experience.

• Call for Participation (pg. 7)

• 2010 AB Calendar (pg. 8)

To know more about AksharBharati visit http://www.aksharbharati.org/ or write to info@aksharbharati.org

For feedback or discontinuation of this newsletter, write to info@aksharbharati.org. Feedback is highly appreciated.
AksharBharati Newsletter

Editorial Board
• Editor: Santosh S. Patil
Editorial (sanpatil@in.ibm.com)
• Co-Editor: Tanuja Dunga
Dear ABians, (tandunga@in.ibm.com)
• Co-Editor: Manojit Bhatnagar
Another quarter through and here we are again to bring you up-to-date with (manojit@kqinfotech.com)
the happenings of AksharBharati. It was indeed a pleasure to see you all • Content Review: Rupali Gowande, Anurag
welcome the transformed ‘AksharBharati Newsletter’ with your feedback. Agarwal, Vijay Suryawanshi, Rodney
I take this opportunity to share a very special moment with the entire AB Martis, Kailas Narawade
family. It is heart-rendering to announce that we have crossed the 150-mark • Graphic/Photography: Various Volunteers
for the libraries set up across the nation. This has been possible only because
About AksharBharati
of the time, effort and wishes of you all.
AksharBharati is a sincere effort to enable
Last edition talked about how your donations are appropriately channelised, children from underprivileged areas (slums,
in addition to the quarter updates and volunteers’ experiences. In this rural and remote areas) to have access to good
edition, we continue to share with you our volunteers’ thoughts, and there is literature and to nurture the reading habits in
a section dedicated to the volunteer of the quarter. We also bring to you the them. Our philosophy is that good non-
2010 AB calendar. academic reading in addition to regular studies
help in the overall development of children and
I also am glad to inform you all that this quarter has been special in terms of hence shapes up their future providing them
AB reaching more and more people by means of TV channels, and Sewa fairs the wisdom of choosing the appropriate things
organized at various chapters. These initiatives have helped us spread the in life.
message of AksharBharati across wider section of the society.
We do this by setting up libraries containing
As we continue to grow our primary focus next few quarters will be on the brand new books in regional languages, Hindi
fund raising, since that’s going to be the basis for all of our growth in the and English on various topics like history,
coming months and we request all of you to contribute in whatever way to biographies of great personalities, moral
help raise the funds through your coordinators. stories, world affairs, novels/stories, activities
and so on.
Let us keep the spirit of the last quarter up and continue to be committed to
AksharBharati. Here’s wishing you all a Happy & Prosperous 2010 and hope This is an initiative by a few IT professionals
the joy of reading is spread across more states, more institutes and more (currently close to 300 active members) across
children. various companies from India in association
with Sewa International – an International NGO
Santosh Patil (IBM) based at Pune and funded by the donations
sanpatil@in.ibm.com from our volunteers, well wishers and

AksharBharati Newsletter

AB Goes Public
Vijay Suryawanshi (Volunteer, Symantec Chapter)
Akshar Bharati on IBN-Lokmat September 29, 2009

What could be a better day, than the next day of Daserra, that Akshar Bharati gets an oppurtunity to propogate the
good work being done by its volunteers in front of a leading Marathi TV Channel - IBN Lokmat. Children from Apang
Kalyankari Santha & volunteers of various Akshar Bharti Chapter, participated in this first ever television coverage on
Akshar Bharti
Anurag Agrawal (AB KQInfotech Chapter) gave the opening Introduction about how Akshar Bharati Project was
initiated and rationale behind setting up of AB community libraries. After the opening session Anand Khedekar(AB
EDS Chapter) explained the working model for AB and the various steps that are followed for setting up of the new
libraries; starting from a potential library location, initial due diligence, book stamping, opening up library and regular
feedback. While Abhijit(from AB Cognizant Chapter) shared various experiences of ABians, while setting up libraries,
which include the interactions with kids, NGOs and the get togethers.

Following up on Abhijit's speech, Manisha Ghatpande(AB IBM Chapter) went onto showcase how the community
work being done by AB volunteers gives them immense satisfaction. She also explained how the family members of
ABians are getting involved in this noble cause. Kailas Narawade (AB Coordinator) spoke about how the process of
selecting books and what kind of books are there in the AB book set. Mr. C R Kulkarni (of Seva Sahyog) explained how
AB has associated itself with Seva Sahyog, for the management of donation and account management process.

Vijay Suryawanshi (AB Symantec Chapter) gave updates on AB’s current state of affairs in terms of number of
libraries, AB chapters, the states where AB has spread, etc. He also shed light on AB’s near and long term plans. For
the Ending note Rupali Gowande (AB Media Team) did an appeal to IBN-Lokmat viewers for joining hands for
volunteer work, supporting AB by donations and potential new library locations.

AB got about 25 minutes of air time on IBL-Lokmat in it’s first ever television coverage.

Akshar Bharati at Bharat Natya Mandir October 5, 2009

On the auspicious date of Kojagiri Pournima on October 5th, 2009.“Abhiyaan, the mission” a NGO based in Pune city
was doing a cultural program of one of the famous Marathi actress-cum-composer Madhurani Gokhale-Prabhulkar at
Bharat Natya Mandir. Abhiyaan’s coordinators liked Akshar Bharati’s concept and decided to showcase Akshar
Bharati’s documentary in their program; so as to speard awarness about the AB drive through word of mouth. The
documentary was well received by the 400+ members in audience and they appreciated the workbeing done by AB.
AB got on the spot donations and books for our next libraries. AB bookmarks were distributed to all the members
who attended the program.

This was the first public display of Akshar Bharati outside Akshar Bharati’s event.

AksharBharati Newsletter

Top 3 Corporate Donations AB Updates

• IBM India Pvt. Ltd. • AksharBharati achieves a grand milestone by taking the library count
Equipment worth Rs. 5,00,000/- including beyond the 150-mark.
4 LCD Projectors and 4 Laptops. A cash
grant of USD 1000 is also in pipeline and • AB has established 26 New libraries in the quarter taking the total count
should be reaching us soon. to 153 libraries across India. In continuation to the previous quarter’s
efforts wherein new chapters were established, new libraries have been
• Indira Institute of Management set up this quarter in Mumbai, Rajasthan & Kashmir.
In cash Rs. 30,000/-.
• New Chapters Started and the Owners of the Chapters
• KQ Infotech 1) GS Labs (Pune) : Razikh Ula, Shashank Parab
Matching grant of Rs. 12,308/- 2) IBM EGL (Bangalore) : Anand Sai, Shashidhar
3) IBM FT & FTP (Bangalore) : Vijay, Mahesh
4) IBM SA (Bangalore) : Rupa, Bhavna
List of Top Individual Donors
# Donor Amt (INR) Company • Tele coverage – In an attempt towards reaching out to remote and rural
1 Ravindra 23,456 Cognizant
areas, AB got a unique opportunity to be represented on IBN Lokmat. AB
2 Prashant 22,000 L&T coordinators and chapter owners provided rich information on AB’s
Vaidya purpose, activities, work and future plans.
3 Parag 20,000 Symantec
4 Shri 20,000 Indira • Sewa Fair & the AB Roadshow –
Deshpande Institute of The Sewa fair was organized across 24 companies, 2 educational
5 Alop Shah 10,000 Librato institutes and a society. Owing to this initiative, around 54 locations
Software were covered and we saw more than 140 volunteers contributing to the
6 Anand 10,000 KQ Infotech cause. Not only were we successful in spreading the message of AB, but
7 Mahesh 5,000 Oracle also in motivating people to join this effort. As a result of this, we have
Kulkarni now 369 new volunteers registered with AB from 19 different
Top AB USA Donors
• AB Get-Togethers:
# Donor Amt ($) Company
1 Ramesh 300 TCS At AB, we have been following the practice of organizing gatherings
Shinde where the chapter owners, volunteers and the children can come
2 Brijesh 200 Doctor
together not just to have a good time which surely is high up on the
3 Undisclosed 125 Undisclosed agenda, but also to share the experiences, give feedback, and to make

4 Girish 100 CTS sure the donations are being used appropriately and that the children
Kulkarni are benefiting from them. To this effort, get-togethers were organized
5 Narinder 100 Whiteboard this quarter at the following locations:
Singh Labs
6 Sumit 100 Mphasis o Bharatmata Abhyasika, Parvati, Pune
Sonawane (Coordinating Chapter: IBM TPO)
o Krishnai English School, Chikhalwadi, Bhor, Pune
(Coordinating Chapter: Symantec)

AksharBharati Newsletter

AB in Pictures
By Various AB Volunteers

Who said books are not fun ☺ working together; working for the better

Young kids being introduced to the benefits of Yoga No better feeling than the joy of giving

Pictures can tell the story of a thousand words

Tip for Volunteers
Whenever you do any activity please update the AksharBharati website (http://www.aksharbharati.org) with the activity
details. Update the sections for proposed, pipeline and established libraries.
Do write blogs , your experiences and upload photos. For access to upload, get in touch with your chapter co-coordinator.

AksharBharati Newsletter

Volunteering to heart’s content Volunteer of the Quarter

Anand Khedekar (EDS)

I was involved in setting up 3 libraries in the month of September under IBM

Ozon chapter, completing a total 15 libraries since April. I helped my team in
identifying schools, coordinating with them, completing initial inspection to Name: Mr Anand Khedekar
check out the existing library facility and registers, interacting with students Work: Mphasis Ltd
and teaching staff. I was also involved in book set formation, stamping and Native Place: Pune
handing over of the AB library to the school management. During thew DOB: 17 July 1984
inauguration, we asked students to read summary of the books which are Interests:
written on back side of respective book, and motivate them to read books. What drives him to work for AB:
In the month of Oct I helped in opening up Mphasis chapter I always wanted to volunteer in activity
officially and gathered volunteer support for the same. We have also related to educational sector development
th th th and especially in rural area. AB gave me an
successfully conducted Seva fair in 3 Mphasis locations on 5 , 8 , 9 and
th opportunity ‘to reach out to Children and help
12 Oct with the help 20-30 volunteers of Mphasis.
While setting up libraries, we had promised the schools that we them in the cause of their education’. It gives
would conduct quiz competition to review how they are performing (in them Joy of Reading.
terms of library usage). We announced Interschool quiz competition in It gives opportunity to help back the society
September among 7 schools of Saswad. Where we have setup AB libraries when we grow and stand up on our own feet.
nd There is an intense need of good libraries in
and 159 students had participated in 1 stage and 71 students in 2 stage.
th rural schools and we are focusing on the
Final will be conducted on 19 December at Saswad.
All this was possible because of team work (Atos, IBM Ozon & Mphasis same. We are inculcating good thought on
volunteers). children at right time that books are their
We have experienced a warm welcome from whole heart and friends………
gratitude by the schools. The school management was open and shared all
their Record for activities which they undertake. We have seen many good
Do You Know?
things in schools from rural areas like discipline among students, Strong Recording your volunteer hours not only helps
desire among them to learn, multiple activities & involvement of students, in knowing exactly how many hours you
upkeep of the school and its fantastic record keeping. volunteered but it also helps in many
companies to raise the community grants for
I would suggest one idea which can be implemented in the coming year - AksharBharati initiative. Major chunk of the
We can provide English daily newspaper facility in the AB library and funds that AB has raised so far is through
recommend rural schools to have daily reading sessions by students with an similar matching grants from companies
idea to improve English language and general awareness. They can also keep where our volunteers are working.
record of sessions conducted every month and we can check it along with
our regular library visits.

AksharBharati Newsletter

ABian Speaks…
Feedback, Suggestions, Experiences

When I got to know about AB which is working for children, I preferred to join it. Because children are the future of the nation,
so by helping them to build their future we can make a great nation. With this objective I started working for AB as a volunteer
and since then it has been 17 months of enriching experience.
In this time we have Organized Inter School Quiz competition, where we have already setup libraries to encourage them to read
more & more books and take benefits from them, make them competitive and nurture their reading habit.
Over all it has been a great experience and learning curve working with AB and to contribute something to the Society, which has
given a lot to us.
Thanks AB for making me a part of this journey...... -Deepankar.Biswal

Not a Member Yet? Want to Contribute?

AksharBharati provides a range of opportunities for you to be connected to this social cause and contribute to the development
of future of India. You can choose from one of the following activities to be a part of the AB family –

o Library setup activities (site visits, due diligence, book transportation, library setup, follow
up activities, kids’ activities and competitions etc.)
o Road shows, fund raising, awareness building
o Back office activities (administrative activities, web site management, general management)

o Individual cash contribution
 Donate a primary book set
 Donate a secondary book set
 Donate a entire book set
o Institutional fund raising effort
o Individual/institutional equipment support (book shelves, transportation vehicles,
computers or other related equipment)

To know more how you can help us, please contact us at info@aksharbharati.org or call Kailash on +91-9604533919.

AksharBharati Newsletter

2010 AB Calendar

January 2010 February 2010 March 2010

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
24 25 26 27 28 29 30 28 28 29 30 31

April 2010 May 2010 June 2010

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 1 1 2 3 4 5
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
18 19 20 21 22 23 24 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
25 26 27 28 29 30 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 27 28 29 30
30 31

July 2010 August 2010 September 2010

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
18 19 20 21 22 23 24 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
25 26 27 28 29 30 31 29 30 31 26 27 28 29 30

October 2010 November 2010 December 2010

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
24 25 26 27 28 29 30 28 29 30 26 27 28 29 30 31