Catching up with Geeta

IMG_0042Since August, many people have asked how things are going for Geeta, one of AIC’s oldest Residential Program children, at her new school in Germany. This week, we we finally managed to pin down this busy girl for a little blog “interview” about her new life, her favorite things and hardest parts of living abroad, and her future plans. Enjoy!

Hey Geeta! Tell us what you’re up to these days.

[Laughs] That’s sort of a vague question, but okay…I started my college, Robert Bosch United World College, in Germany. I got a full scholarship and I’ll be attending for two years. I’m really enjoying my time at UWC interacting with students from all over the world. Read more…

Hip Hop Needs More Love

In October, volunteers from Austria came to Pune to work on a music project with our Residential Program children during the Diwali break. For two weeks you could hear the kids rehearsing their lines, and the boys’ room was modified to function as an informal sound studio – basically a cupboard with a lot of blankets, mattresses, and a microphone.

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Read more…

A Reason to Give ~ Ashwini

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When Ashwini was growing up in the Waghri basti, or slum, she suffered from recurrent and extremely painful ear infections that were never adequately treated or completely resolved. Like many children in our communities, she adapted to the situation, and her pain, ear blockage and hearing loss simply became part of life. This cycle of infection, inflammation and irritation weakened her eardrum and caused a growth called a cholesteatoma, which can permanently damage hearing and turn into a potentially life-threatening condition if allowed to expand further into the skull and brain. Read more…

Diwali Lights

Blog Diwali-003As usual, the Residential Program kids had a couple weeks off for Diwali to enjoy the festivities and take a well-deserved break from daily rigors of school.  This year, we kicked off Diwali break with a four-day trip to the Mahindra United World College of India (MUWCI), an International Baccalaureate junior college where one of our our oldest girls, Jyoti, recently began the 2-year IB program. The children were delighted to be back on MUWCI’s picturesque mountainside campus for the second year in a row, excited to be reunited with Jyoti and away from the booming firecrackers and bustling crowds that fill Pune’s city center during the Diwali season. Read more…

Going Places

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Last week, Geeta and Jyoti from our Residential Program learned that they have been selected to attend United World Colleges for the next two years!

Jyoti will begin the new school year in August at UWC Mahindra College, the alma mater of several of AIC’s founding directors, and Geeta will be heading to Germany to attend the newest UWC campus there, UWC Robert Bosch College! We are so incredibly grateful for the stars that aligned so that they could receive full scholarships to attend UWC. UWCs are prestigious IB schools that bring students together from all over the world in the spirit of global peace and understanding, and we have no doubt that our girls will have much to contribute to their new schools.

Thank you to the many wonderful people who advocated for them throughout this process, and of course, the countless supporters who have helped them get to where they are today. Finally, we are proud – SO proud – of these two lovely young ladies and their hard work and achievements. These two are going places (literally!) and we can’t wait to share their upcoming adventures with you!

A family retreat

In July, the Residential Program kids had a long holiday weekend. And, after a hot, dusty summer (March – June in Pune) and a month at boarding school in the heart of the city, how better to spend a long weekend than in the rural outskirts of Pune, enjoying the lush greenery and clean, crisp air of monsoon season? Read more…

An interview with Aakash

For anyone wondering where Residential Program big brother Aakash has been recently (since there hasn’t been much mention of him in the blog and he hasn’t been in too many photos), we figured a little update was in order. Aakash, who turns 21 (!!) next month, has been working and living with extended family in the area since last year, after having initially transitioned from the Residential Program to shared accommodations for working/studying young men. He comes over to spend time with the rest of the kids when he gets a break from work, and last week we took the opportunity to catch up with him about his plans, goals and life of late. Read more…

Love, War and Holi.

Although it has been hot here for months, we ended March with a bang, a puff of color, and a bucket of water to celebrate the start of spring. Holi at AIC was, as always, a vibrant and rambunctious affair, although it was a little light on kids and heavy on didis/dadas this year. At the residential house, Ramu, Sonali, and Sangeeta Maushi played on the terrace with MK Didi, Judith Didi (visiting from Austria), and four of Judith’s friends. Read more…

Republic Day Celebration – Residential Program

On January 26, India celebrated its 63rd annual Republic Day, which commemorates the anniversary of the Indian Constitution taking effect. Schools around the country put on special patriotic programs for students and teachers to show off the best of Indian arts, sports, history, and culture to parents and honored guests. Here at AIC, both the Residential and the Educational Outreach Centre children celebrated with spectacular productions. Bedecked in the national colors of orange, white, and green, our kids raised flags, performed patriotic songs and dances, demonstrated athletic skills, listened to featured speakers, and enjoyed sweets and laddus. Needless to say, a fantastic time was had by all, from the parents and guests in the audience to the student and teacher performers. Read more…

Fall 2012 – Residential Program Updates

The Residential Program has seen major changes in the past few months.  After a busy summer of regular swimming practice, wilderness and adventure sports camping, karate classes and yellow belt certification (big, big thank yous to Tabrez at Solaris pool, Idania didi and Melanie didi, and Bunny sir for sponsoring and arranging these activities for the AIC family!), it was back to school for the Residential Program kids in June.

Monsoon games

However, this back-to-school transition was different from all previous years, as the children were headed to a different school – a boarding school on the outskirts of the city, about 20 minutes from the Residential house.The decision was made to shift them to nearby boarding facilities as a temporary response to reports of government changes in residential institution licensure and registration regulations.  Although this action was pre-emptive, we feel that it was the best way to ensure minimal disruption to the children’s educations, while giving our organization the opportunity to continue to investigate proposed/pending regulation changes and pursue compliance in conjunction with independent trust registration. 

Ashwini, Jyoti, Pooja and Geeta with their new friends

Whether this arrangement will be a temporary placement or a longer-term restructuring of the Residential Program set-up is still being decided and we will continue to evaluate all possible options that are available to best meet the needs of the children.  As always, our absolute highest priorities are the security, stability, happiness and overall wellbeing of the little family known as the AIC Residential Program.

Hanging out at the new school campus


The children are adjusting well to their new school and dorms, though they miss the AIC home and family unit.  Recently back home for the 5-day Ganesh Chaturthi holiday, they were brimming with stories from their new school – moaning and groaning about bland food and early morning wake-up calls alongside tales of state level athletic competitions, cultural excursions, new friends and extracurricular activities such as horseback riding, drumming in the school band and lots more.  It has been a major change, but everyone is adapting, learning, changing and growing as we make the most of the new situation.