Lokvani – August 29, 2012
On Saturday, August 4, the American India Foundation’s New England Young Professionals Chapter (AIF NEYP) hosted its annual “Reach For The Sky” kite flying and outdoor activities event on Spectacle Island, one of the Boston Harbor Islands.
The weather for this year’s event certainly did not disappoint, as it was a perfectly sunny, warm summer day with ideal conditions for kite flying. All enjoyed a beautiful ferry ride out to the island that included a narrated history of the Boston Harbor. Upon reaching the island, everyone gathered to receive their kites while Prabhod Sunkara founding member of AIF NEYP, gave a brief overview of AIF NEYP, the event’s beneficiary and the day’s activities. Most then went to work readying their colorful kites for flight, while others relaxed and chatted as they overlooked the harbor, took a dip, or just strolled around the beautiful, peaceful island with its rolling green hills and wildflowers. Vrushali, the talented henna artist was kept very busy all day as a steady stream of ladies lined up to await their turn to receive her beautiful tattoos. Everyone’s appetites were satisfied by the tasty snacks and refreshments provided by Passage to India. After a fun-filled day, all enjoyed the relaxing ferry ride back to Long Wharf with kites in hand to ready fly another day.
The proceeds from this year’s event will go toward, Learning and Migration Program (LAMP), one of AIF’s signature projects focused on education. AIF’ s education programs focus on increasing access to education for children who are not currently in school and improving the quality of education provided in schools.
According to the United Nations Human Report Office as of May 2011, India ranks 134 out of 187 countries on the Education Index of the International Human Development Indicators. India has improved but certainly not significantly since 2009. LAMP, which began in 2003, is AIF’s education initiative directed toward the hundreds of thousands of children who are deprived of education due to the seasonal migration of their families for work. Because of the disruption in their education, the children either fail to advance or drop out of school. This program connects children of migrant workers to quality elementary education through seasonal hostels in home areas and enables parents to migrate while their children’s education carries on without interruption.
As part of the program, children are also brought up to age-appropriate learning levels through a learning enrichment initiative that has now extended to children of non-migratory families. In addition, LAMP also advocates on behalf of migrant children for their inclusion in state and national level education policy decision-making. To date, LAMP has benefited 260,000 children in 935 seasonal hostels, 300 villages and 200 slums in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and West Bengal.
For more information on AIF’s mission, vision, programs, chapters and events visit www.AIF.org.
In addition, information on the upcoming November 3, 2012 Gala event is available at http://www.aif.org/events/303