The Gift of Water

This spring, our Education Centre received a tremendous gift: clean, pure drinking water. The preciousness of this gift cannot be understated. Reliable water connections are hard to come by in the slum area that is home to our Education Centre, and the water that flows through the government water pipes is of dubious quality and cleanliness.


Although we had relied on a water filter to provide clean drinking water, Continue reading “The Gift of Water”

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. Continue reading “Catching up with Geeta”

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.

Continue reading “Hip Hop Needs More Love”

First Aid with Dr. Madhavi

Welcome to Dr. Madhavi’s first aid workshop at AIC! Here, you will learn basic first aid for common accidents.

Ms. Shital with her newly dressed sling

On an especially busy Monday morning, the AIC teachers were preparing for their students to bustle into the classrooms. Ms. Shital was hanging up two-letter word placards, when she suddenly fell off of her footstool, potentially spraining her wrist! Mondays can be so rough.

What should we do? Continue reading “First Aid with Dr. Madhavi”

A Reason to Give ~ Ashwini


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. Continue reading “A Reason to Give ~ Ashwini”

A Reason to Give ~ Sahil

Sahil 1The best word to describe Sahil is definitely masti, or mischief. This adorable 8-year-old keeps teachers and caretakers on their toes with his antics, but his love for trouble caught up with him this summer when the wall on which he was precariously balanced collapsed and crushed his femur. He suffered multiple fractures and skin and muscle lacerations, along with a serious puncture wound from a metal rod that pierced his leg when he fell. After the accident, Sahil was immediately rushed to the hospital, where he was met by a team of AIC administrators, health workers and caregivers. This team stayed with his family throughout the evening and into the night as doctors performed emergency surgery to repair his broken bone and torn muscle tissue. Finally, at around 1:30 a.m., the surgery finished. The final tally: 7 stitches internally, 15 stitches externally, plus two large screws and an external rod to support his fragile bone as it healed from the 3 fractures. Continue reading “A Reason to Give ~ Sahil”

A Reason to Give ~ Keval

Photo0024Keval’s family is AIC through and through: his aunt is one of the Education Outreach Centre’s longest-running caregivers, and his mother, other aunt, and grandmother are all stalwarts of the Community Outreach Program and have worked at AIC in various capacities over the years. He himself has cycled in and out of the Education Outreach Program, although the firm rules on attendance have proved an obstacle. Keval was a normal, fun-loving teenager until May of this year, when he suddenly lost his ability to walk. AIC supported him and his family through the diagnostic process, which involved countless scans, probes, and tests spread over weeks of visits to specialists and hospitals. It is an intimidating and scary ordeal for any family, but especially so for Keval’s, as they are illiterate and unaccustomed to dealing with doctors and official procedures. Finally, the diagnosis came: rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of muscle cancer. Continue reading “A Reason to Give ~ Keval”

Breaking the Silence

Many thanks to Suneetha Giridhar for this guest post on the occasion of World AIDS Day.

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Imagine the following scenario faced by a girl in India:

Married as a young teenager, a mother one year later, abused,  battered, and deserted by her husband at eighteen, back to her parents’ house by nineteen,  given away in a second marriage to yet another alcoholic, irresponsible husband, and five more children by twenty-eight. Continue reading “Breaking the Silence”

Divya’s Story

One might imagine that sending a child to school would be a relative easy affair – provide a uniform, pay annual school fees, purchase some pencils and notebooks – sounds doable, right?

DSC01387aHowever, the factors that affect this child’s success (or lack thereof) at school are much deeper and more complicated than that. Problems at home are often the root cause of poor academic performance, behavioral issues, and inconsistent attendance. Ensuring the health and welfare of families is a crucial aspect of providing educational opportunities for AIC’s students and we don’t have to search very far to witness the impact of this approach—we see it every day in students like Divya (name changed).

Continue reading “Divya’s Story”

Baby Nikhil

AIC is excited to announce the birth of baby Nikhil!

DSC02327Thanks to the diligent prenatal care provided by AIC’s Health Outreach Program, Nikhil’s mother, Gopi, delivered her healthy baby boy by scheduled Caesarean section on October 8th, 2014. While it may seem strange to highlight the birth of one baby in the Waghri community, given that AIC supports dozens of women through their pregnancies and deliveries each year, Gopi’s healthy pregnancy and Nikhil’s birth illustrate the profound impact that consistent, high-quality prenatal care can have for women and babies in the AIC communities. Continue reading “Baby Nikhil”

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. Continue reading “Diwali Lights”

Monsoon Days

monsoondays2The monsoon arrived in Pune in July, bringing rain and the seasonally damp air that now, three months later, are starting to be replaced by sunshine and drier days as the rains subside. The monsoon is welcome as it is necessary for the success of crops and for replenishing the municipal drinking water reservoirs after the dry, hot summer months, but it also causes health and safety concerns for many of AIC’s families. Continue reading “Monsoon Days”