Student Verses – Poonam Waghri

One of our exceptional students, Poonam is a budding poet and a social change maker. Along with a team of students from her school, Avsara Academy, she participated in the International Changemakers Olympiad in January 2020, to tackled a relevant social issue she could identify. She and her team took sessions on anger management and stress relief for healthy behaviour practices for her peers in two schools including AIC. They reached out to at least 50 students and made a positive impact in their lives!

Here are a few poetry verses penned down by Poonam in June 2020

Dear our Mother Earth,

First of all

I don’t know how did

Humans know your gender?

What made us decide this?

And if we did

Do we take care of you

Like our Mothers?

Sometimes you are so parched

That you gulp a single rain drop in a flash of light.

You bear the scorching hot sun,

So that we could live in peace.

But we never asked you what you wanted…

We have infrastructural activities to rank ourselves number one

In economy

Every moment we plucked a flower or the whole tree

By its roots

We ignored your cries..

We spoiled your beautiful

Water bodies with our human waste

But this COVID19

Brought you in spotlight..

We are able to reflect on our selfish actions.

From now

I personally grow a small tree

Every Mother’s day


A change maker of AIC, if you wake up Parinaz, fondly known as Pari, in the middle of the night and give her a math problem, she will happily take out her books and solve it! She has been passing this enthusiasm for the subject to her beloved students at AIC for the last three years.

Managing multiple roles at AIC currently, Pari aspired to be a teacher since she was in the 10th grade and she finally believes she has the job she was made for! She enjoys being a part of the AIC family and feels a sense of belonging to the community. She aims to be a mentor to each of her students and loves to enthusiastically take on any task that is assigned to her which makes her to perfect fit for the AIC team.

“The naughtiest of the children brighten your days and the best ones give you pride. Such are the children at Ashraya!” – Parinaz

The results are in…

…and the AIC kids have done us proud!

Earlier this month, AIC students and staff logged into an online portal with breathless anticipation to check the results of standard 10 board exams. For those unfamiliar with the Indian education system, board exams are secondary school completion exams that are taken after grade 10. The scores from these exams are extremely important in determining eligibility for junior college, university, and other higher education opportunities, hence we take them pretty seriously here at AIC.

Standard 10
One of AIC’s 10th standard classes, with staff (© Sarah Lauzé Photography)

Continue reading “The results are in…”

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”

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”

Partners in Learning

3U7A9680It’s no secret that active parental involvement in a child’s education enriches the learning experience. This year, one of our main areas of focus in the Education Outreach Program is to provide more opportunities for parents to partner with us and to concentrate on creating deeper, working relationships that ultimately set a standard of solidarity on which children can rely for support and encouragement in school. Continue reading “Partners in Learning”

A Teacher in the Making

On July 12th, students in India celebrated their teachers in an annual festival called Guru Purnima. It’s a day of thanks for the time, knowledge, and dedication they give, and an opportunity to reflect on the impact they make. Teachers, after all, encourage students to grow and often act as catalysts, guiding students as they turn goals and aspirations into reality. In addition to our wonderful staff at AIC, we have a budding teacher among our students this year.

Continue reading “A Teacher in the Making”

A Pre-Primary School Trip

IMG_9484As the school year came to a close last month, the AIC Pre-Primary School children were treated to a field trip at Pune’s historic Empress Gardens to celebrate the hard work of all of our students and teachers this year. The children were thrilled to have an opportunity to trade the crowded, slum environment of urban Yerwada for the lush, green landscapes of the so-called “Jewel of Pune.” On the morning of the outing, they were so excited that they even began lining up at the AIC Education Outreach Centre several hours before the bus was scheduled to depart! Continue reading “A Pre-Primary School Trip”

Brick Walls

“The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
– Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

She was standing near the flag pole, dressed in her gray salwar kameez uniform. Her eyes, shining with the pride of achievement, visible even from a distance, constantly flitted in a particular direction, as if seeking some sort of reassurance. I followed her gaze and saw a middle aged couple – her parents, I guessed. She was Suman, a 13-year old student of the AIC Education Outreach Program and the Chief Guest of our Republic Day function at Ashraya. Continue reading “Brick Walls”

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. Continue reading “Love, War and Holi.”

Republic Day Celebrations at the Outreach Centre

At the Education Outreach Centre, Republic Day celebrations spanned two days. On Friday, students in the upper grades participated in essay and drawing competitions. They had the choice of several themes, including “unity” and “modern India,” and they produced some gorgeously detailed work. While the older children scribbled studiously in the classrooms below, the terrace echoed with laughter and shouts of the younger kids, who were having a field day, well, having a field day. Between the three-legged races, tug-of-war, and relays, all the children had a great time, and even Manisha teacher got to show off her enviable jump rope skills. Continue reading “Republic Day Celebrations at the Outreach Centre”

AIC’s Holiday Party

Happy 2013 from AIC!
It has been quite an eventful time. Santa visited the Education Outreach Centre and the Residential House, much to the kids’ delight, and we celebrated Christmas, India-style, at the Centre. We took students on outings to video arcades and malls, welcomed guests from abroad, and celebrated the wedding of one of our teachers. New staff members settled in, and we bid a bittersweet farewell to Claudia didi. Continue reading “AIC’s Holiday Party”