Volunteers

Subhamoy Das

I’m a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at UT Austin researching in the cardiovascular field. I have been volunteering with AID since February 2012. It all started with RUN FOR INDIA 2011-12 season. I wanted to run the 2012 Austin Half-Marathon and hence joined this awesome desi running group to train with my friends. I was also very excited to raise funds for India and was pleased to raise close to 3000$! Then the question arised; where was the money going to and how was it being used? That prompted me to start attending the weekly CSH meetings and be an active volunteer. I’m also coordinating the project “Utthan” since July 2012 which was handed down to me by our running guru – Vinay Pandey. I have been a dedicated AID volunteer ever since and I’m so happy that I can do my small part in making someone’s life better back in India. It is a great feeling!  Hope to keep running and raising funds for the underpriviledged!

Umesh Varma

I have been volunteering with AID Austin since July 2012 and was associated with AID Hyderabad for specific projects like Flood Relief in Khammam. I have worked with non-profits in India for 9 years and my focus has been Human Rights and Transparency in Governance. Right to Information and Urban poverty issues are my major focus. Citizen assertion has been an important component of all activities I was involved in for the simple reason that, fundamental transformation will not be brought in by charity. It can only be achieved by democratic participation and collective decision making for greater good. 

Parvathy Prem

I have been volunteering with AID since 2010. I got involved because AID seemed like a good way to go about meeting a longstanding urge to “do something” and in that, I haven’t been disappointed. Conversations with volunteers, well-wishers and project partners are moving, inspiring and thought-provoking in turn; the longer I volunteer, the more I learn, and the more there is to think about. Something I think sets AID apart is its recognition that sangharsh, seva and nirman are all necessary to secure a development that is sustainable, equitable and just. Apart from AID Austin’s (wonderful!) projects, I’ve been involved (as part of an AID-wide team) in the sangharsh side of things- particularly in campaigns for justice in Bhopal, for protecting livelihoods and democratic rights of communities adversely affected by ill-considered industrialisation, and against human rights violations by the state. I’m always struck by the common sense and vitality of people’s movements and grassroots organisations across the country, and it’s a privilege to be able to work with them. Outside of AID, I’m a graduate student in the Aerospace Engineering department at The University of Texas, Austin.

Akhilesh Jain

I have been a part of AID Austin since spring of 2010. At first, I started running with them as a part of the Run for India program and soon I got interested in helping AID organize awareness activities and fundraisers. Through the various CSH discussions and events, I have met many inspiring people and got to learn more about our country then I could ever have. 

Ashay Rane

My volunteering experience with non-profits started in 2010 with AID-Austin, when I relocated to this city for work purposes. Indeed, the experiences have been fulfilling to the extent that they have spurred me to volunteer with AID-Austin and multiple other organizations located in Austin. Here at AID-Austin, I was the secretary of the chapter in the year 2011 to 2012. This year (2012-2013), I have taken up the task of revamping AID-Austin’s online presence. As part of volunteering with AID-Austin, I have had the good fortune of organizing awareness events and raising funds through marathon runs. In addition to educating me deeper about India, volunteering has not just strengthened my skills to work in a team but also helped me in understanding and navigating the challenges faced by non-profit organizations.