Thursday, September 20, 2007

About Parichay

Parichay is a registered NGO; In 2000, Mr. Vijay Bajpai started Parichay in Tukhmirpur area of East Delhi. Parichay operates in a small basti where people are from very poor socio-economic background. He started this project out of his sheer interest in social work, as he observed that most of the children in the locality do not go to school and the youth are an ignorant mass. The people lacked the sense of hygiene and almost all children suffered from one or the other disease. His journey was tough as he started all on his own, until he collaborated with AID Delhi.


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About Parichay

The objective of Parichay is self-sustainability with the broader aim of making the individuals more aware and dignified citizens. Parichay encourages students’ participation in various activities like making of handicrafts, keeping in view the need to impart vocational education to them. Parichay endeavors to inculcate self-respect and high self-esteem to bring out the very best in them.

Parichay’s Road To Self-sustainability

Parichay identified that the best way to improve the lot of the people of the community was to educate the children and women. Parichay teaches all children of the community within its fold. The basic education is provided by volunteers and two teachers hired by Parichay. Keeping an eye on the community’s economic needs, Parichay engages the children in the making of handicrafts. Thus, vocational training is provided to them, which is altogether missing from the curriculum of other schools in and around the locality.

The children at Parichay are an expert hand at making items of daily use like pen stands, photo frames, folders etc. Stalls are then organized in companies like STMicroelectronics and HCL with the help of volunteers to market the products.

Parichay-AID Collaboration

AID Delhi's interaction with Parichay started in May 2004 and since then involvement has increased and Parichay has seen many successes.  AID has supported Parichay in many activities, and has helped improved the general lot of children in numerous ways. Following are some of the activities of which speaks of  Parichay-AID collaboration:

Nutrition program: The Nutrition program has been started to address the problem of malnutrition amongst the children. AID volunteers have been very supportive to fund this endeavor at Parichay.

Education: Basic non-formal education is provided to all the children. Volunteers visit Parichay regularly mostly on weekends. Based on the availability of funds received from volunteers, we try our level best to merge as many students as possible, with the formal education scheme.

A non-formal education center, Bal Vikas Kendra, was the first thing to come up as a part of the project. About 150 children have benefited from this program till date. This apart, Parichay has received enormous acceptance from the community. This has been on the lines of empowering the women, who have recently started a self-help group. This is a major benchmark as it encourages self-sustainability of the project. The funds generated from the Masala Unit, formed by women of the community, are a substantial aid to the running of center and earning a livelihood for themselves.

Students Enrolled in Formal Education Programs: Depending on the availability of the funds, the sponsored students are sent to a nearby public school. A total of nine children have been admitted to the formal schooling, and the future of these children seems bright as they are fast catching up with the formal schooling.

Masala Unit: Masala Unit has been started with the aim of promoting self-reliance as also to provide livelihood to the ladies of the community. Women of the community have shown enormous interest in this micro-credit self-help group. Reciprocating to their enthusiasm we have provided them with mixer, grinder, chakki, and a sealing machine. Ladies of the community are presently involved in the masala making unit. We have formed a small team of volunteers to market the spices made at Parichay.

Parichay Catalogue

parichay sales

Handicrafts: Children at Parichay are involved in making of handicrafts. A crafts teacher visits the center regularly to provide guidance on making various items of daily use like folders, potlis, photo frames, pen stands etc. The crafts work rekindle creativity among students while promoting divergent thinking.

Newsletter of Parichay is available here. [pdf - 2.5MB]

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Volunteer experience at Parichay by Anushri

by Anushri Pandey (NIFT student) 



I came to Delhi about 4 years back and it was not until January this year that I finally took up something that I had really been craving for, for a very long time, which was 'volunteering' for a cause.
Volunteering!!!..... yes, had done things in the past with my mother, teaching local women knitting, getting the stray dogs around my house vaccinated against rabies, teaching my aaya di's daughters basic Arithmetic and English and similar stuff. Nothing that really involved taking some time out of my schedule and going out to places, which I knew existed courtesy the morning newspapers.

So finally after all these years of being a spectator I joined AID India, referred by a friend as a good organization for people who really want to volunteer at their ease. And even before I could sip in the fact that I was a part, there I was in Bhajanpura, lost and confused, looking for Mr. Vijay Bajpeyi or Vijay bhaiyya as everyone else knows him. There he was at the bus-stop clad in Khadi with the trendy Jhola on one side, fervor and diligence personified, to guide me and Sneha to ‘Parichay’. 


 ‘The roads turn into galis which keep getting narrower and the rickshaw stops in front of a huge gray building and the clouds of confusion grow denser. Acting like the ray of enlightenment, Vijay bhaiyya tells us how this building happens to be ‘home’ to a number of families and also the Parichay working grounds. He takes us directly to the office and those 100mts, from the front gate to the office, greet us with at least a 1000 namaste-s and innumerable smiles. While Vijay Bhaiyya is briefing us in the office and showing us the products, we get to meet the work force, Moni, Tarannum, Rukhsar, Bulbul, Sona, Radha, Rani, and others, all with the same inquisitive smiles andnamaste-s. Getting on to what we were there for, we shift to the other room and all the kids immediately catch hold of us, each with her/his set of questions. Opening our pitaras we ask them what they want to do, and begins the bombardment of ideas.’ 


 In the course of those two days spent at Parichay, we did not teach them anything great but did let them explore, taught them techniques to make the already existing things better. Techniques that would help them cut down the cost of purchasing things from the market as they would now be able to make them. All of us worked with newer mediums, colors, yarns, paints, kinds of paper, scrap, junk and loads more. More them teaching them we were getting back to our roots, back to where we started from, back to the origins of creativity. The first day when the kids asked me to draw a butterfly I was embarrassed because its been 4 years that I have drawn one and I did not remember how to. And it was then that the realization struck me that these 4 years in the best fashion design college in the country has taught me so much but has taken away what I had and what I knew.  
I would thank Parichay- Vijay bhaiyya and all the kids to give me ‘me’ back. 


Parichay as an organization is producing several items but the quality has to be worked upon. I have had a chat with Vijay bhaiya in this regard and have taught Rani a few techniques concerning the same. The packaging and presentation is an area of concern and needs more focus. Some accessory design students are ready to help out with new presentation techniques. Also certain products which are commercially viable and easy to manufacture have to be added on to the existing list of products, like larger backpacks, jholas, decorations for various festivals (since we are lucky enough to have loads of them), hand printed letter pads, mouse (computer) covers, paper lamps (an acquaintance selling at crafts museum is eager enough to help) and other ideas could be added on.