Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Initiative for Upliftment of Burmese refuges by IIT Delhi students


I am writing to you on behalf of a student group in IIT Delhi namely SIFE IIT Delhi (www.sifeiitd.org), seeking collaboration in public outreach of our community endeavors.

Since November 2010, our team has been working closely with the Burmese refuge community in Delhi. India being a neighboring country hosts a large and growing number of 100,000 Burmese refugees. Even with Burma attracting international attention and the President of the United States acknowledging the plight of the Burmese community settled in West Delhi, there are very few Delhites, let alone Indians who know of their existence. A nearly 10,000 strong community continues to exist in the obscure margins of our lives without anyone taking much notice.

Each day is a challenge for them - be it the lack of legal protection, work permits, education or the challenges of discrimination, abject living conditions, and poor health conditions. Ignorance of their cause amongst the Indians has been a major factor. Their continuous struggle to survive in this home away from home, made us dedicate ourselves to this cause. Under the name of Project Aarambh, we are making a fresh attempt for the cause of overall development of the Burmese refugees.

Our project looks to economically empower these people through sustainable income generation. We have been working with women based small handicraft entrepreneurial units in the refuge community, promoting their traditional arts – wherein we have even collaborated with DASTKAR (http://www.dastkar.org/). We have also established a platform for the community (Placement Cell) to get sustainable far pay work in the unorganized sector. Besides that, our efforts have included initiatives for holistic development such as health camps and awareness programs.

We seek your collaboration in order to increase the awareness and sensitivity regarding this issue in the city, and also to improve the effectiveness of our efforts. Public outreach will be instrumental in fulfilling these objectives. Please find attached a brief article on our activities : http://sifeiitd.org/PressRelease.doc and a flyer about our project : http://sifeiitd.org/flyer.pdf

Kindly let me know, how we could best take this forward.

Thanking you

Abhishek Jain
+91 9717577473
President, SIFE IIT Delhi

About SIFE IIT Delhi

SIFE (Student In Free Enterprise www.sife.org) - is an international non-profit organization that aims to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities and become socially responsible business leaders. SIFE IIT Delhi (www.sifeiitd.org) is the student chapter of SIFE in the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Established in July 2010, it comprises of a team of 23 dedicated students working under faculty supervision, and has now grown into one of the most dynamic student initiatives while working on its inaugural project.

SIFE IIT Delhi is one of the most comprehensive extra-curricular activities involving components from societal knowledge and community sensitivity to building sustainable social enterprises to management skills. In the long run it aims to create a pool of student leaders who use their technological and business skills to make the world a better place.