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The Arkitect, Volume 06-07/03

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  • arkitect95
    July 2003 The Arkitect An Ark Newsletter Volume 06-07/03 CONTENTS 1. Report a. Kataila Development Circle b. Gifts from Mathilde Rouyer, Paris, France 2.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2003
      July 2003

      The Arkitect
      An Ark Newsletter
      Volume 06-07/03


      1. Report
      a. Kataila Development Circle
      b. Gifts from Mathilde Rouyer, Paris, France

      2. Volunteers' Column
      a. Worshiping God Through Community Service
      By Shaheen Ansari, New Delhi.
      b. Hotdog Man
      By Alex Moore, Student, Penola High School, Australia.

      3. Two Ways
      Why Your Yahoogroup Called arkitect95 ?
      Mohammad Irshad, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.

      4. Invitation

      5. Notice
      a. One Year in Dhapo Colony Slum.
      b. Annual Awards

      1. REPORT


      New session has been started from July. With this session we
      have introduce 9th and 10th standard properly. Earlier we were also
      holding classes for students of classes 9th and 10th standard but it
      was on an ad hoc basis. Now we have 17 and 11 students in class 9th
      and 10th standard respectively. Most of these students are girl as
      boys manage to go to other schools in Ghazipur main city which is 7
      km away from the village. if we can provide good education, we can
      improve our number of students. We have to go for door to door
      campaign about providing education specially to girls as parents are,
      now, ready to or sending their male child to schools- some send them
      to our school in the village and some to different schools in
      different villages or in the main city. Obviously standard of schools
      in the city is in much better condition. They have good
      infrastructure and well trained teachers where as we have huts and
      educated unemployed youths of our village or nearby villages. They
      are not only untrained but few of them are less motivated and will
      leave the village school as soon as they get better opportunity.


      Alex Popovich, Penola High School, Australia, was the first
      person to take an initiative of his own to collect educational
      materials from people from his school and his locality/colony and
      send them to Dhapo Colony Slum. He also educated/campaigned among
      people of a local Ambulance Service, where he works as a volunteer
      for more than a decade and did the same at a local hospital where
      Olga Popovich, his wife, works. And the response was tremendous.
      Students from his school wrote letters to slum children and essay
      about the place where their distant friends live. And their parents
      and teachers donated pens, pencils and notebooks.
      Thank you very much Alex for initiating it.

      Mathilde Rouyer (now in Paris, France) followed him by donating
      books, pens, pencils and copies to each students of Ark Education
      Centre at Dhapo Colony. She also donated some cloths. She had a great
      desire to teach at our centre but by the time she learnt Hindi, the
      medium of instruction at the centre, her visa was expired and she had
      to leave for her country, France. Right from the beginning she has
      been with us in the slum. Ark Foundation would like to thank her for
      her help- both on and off the ground- in running Ark Education Centre
      at Dhapo Colony Slum in New Delhi.

      Vinya Masih was another person who took an initiative and
      collected three bags of cloths which we distributed in the slum. He
      is working with Children At Risk and Evangelic Fellowship of India,
      New Delhi.


      By Shaheen Ansari

      One Friday afternoon, on his way to offer the weekly namaz at a
      mosque, a friend found an accident victim lying unattended on the
      road. As he hesitated over what to do a few more passers-by joined

      Reasoning to himself that the injured person will now be taken
      care of, he hurriedly continued to walk towards the mosque. But that
      day, no matter how hard he prayed, peace eluded him.

      Something was missing. He agonised over whether he could remain
      indifferent to a fellow human being's suffering while making fervent
      attempts to serve God through prayer?

      Prayer gives utterance to what lies deep in our hearts. It is
      the longing of the heart to break free from the narrow confines of
      the individual self to find the Universal. The journey is from
      isolation to communion.

      It leads to an encounter with the Divine in every bit of
      creation. The practice of religion guides us to this supreme vision.
      But often, we mistake the guideposts for the destination. It is then
      that prayers become mere empty words, rituals become mere routines
      and the soul becomes a slave of habit.

      Renunciation of worldliness does not mean renouncing the world
      Nizamuddin Auliya, the renowned Sufi saint of Delhi, often used to
      say that the observance of rituals and the performance of spiritual
      practices are like the spices in a cauldron; the real thing is
      the 'meat'. If there is no 'meat' in the cauldron then there can be
      no stew and the spices are of no use. Renunciation of worldliness can
      be likened to the 'meat' in the cauldron. But the renunciation of
      worldliness does not mean renouncing the world.

      It means to live in the world, dedicating your life to the
      service of God by giving what you have to those who need it more.
      When Shaykh Muinuddin Chishti of Ajmer was asked to explain the
      highest form of religious devotion which endeared man to God, he
      said, "Develop river-like generosity, sun-like bounty and earth-like

      In the eyes of God no spiritual exercise, no penitence, no
      prayer, no vigil has greater significance than removing the misery of
      fellow human beings, bringing consolation to distressed hearts, and
      helping the downtrodden. For the Sufis service to mankind is the
      highest form of worship.

      It is prayer in action. Sufism grew on the rich soil of Islam.
      Its roots go deep to draw sustenance from the very core of that soil.
      If Sufism is a celebration of love then Islam is also a religion of

      Service of fellow beings is an expression of divinity It is love
      of God that finds its most exalted expression in the service of
      fellow beings. It is also a love that knows no boundary.

      Nizamuddin Auliya mentions the story of Prophet Abraham. The
      Prophet never took his meals without a guest joining him. He
      sometimes went for miles in search of a guest.

      One day he was alone with a polytheist. He hesitated giving food
      to this man till Divine admonition came to him: "Abraham! How is it
      that we can give life to this man yet you cannot give him food?!"

      The message is clear: A traveller of the Path transcends all
      barriers of cult or race, caste or gender, language or geography in
      helping his fellow creatures. True religion does not divide — it

      It is our union with God, our gift of friendship to one another.
      One day a man presented a pair of scissors to Baba Farid. "Give me a
      needle", he told the man, "I sew (and join). I do not cut (and
      divide)". Violence only begets more violence. Nizamuddin Auliya used
      to say that if a man places a thorn in your way and you place another
      thorn in his way, there will be thorns everywhere.

      It is only acts of forgiveness and unbiased love which can break
      this vicious circle. We need to heed messages of peace more than ever

      We live in a world torn by conflict and violence, destruction
      and despair. The world is replete with desolate hearts that are
      parched with fear and distrust, envy and hatred.

      The Sufis' 'message of the heart' is a call to unearth the
      streams of love buried in our hearts. These waters can make gardens
      of peace bloom once again.

      b. HOTDOG MAN
      By Alex Moore

      I woke up. I didn't feel like getting up, I never did. I am
      enslaved. I have been made to work in a drink stall by an old grumpy
      man who doesn't pay me and he yells at me every day. I get up our of
      bed staggering. I change into my work clothes. And started walking I
      say "goodbye" to may fellow slaves who are slaved to clean houses and
      carry water and bricks. I walk outside. I can smell the pollution of
      the hussle and bussle. We have an apple tree out the front of our
      orphanage. I pick some for the day. I keep walking down the path with
      trees and bushes lined on each side. Through them I can see the
      temples. I am getting closer to my favourite watering hole. I finally
      get there. I have water bottle that I carry with me to work. I fill
      it up with water. It is really murky and brown. And I can see the
      dirt sinking to the bottom. I take a sip. I wonder if there is such
      thing a pure clean drinking water. As I pass my friends' houses I can
      see they are getting ready for work. Only one more mile to the drink
      stall I work at. I sell cokes, fruit juices, and hotdogs. I am nearly
      there. I can hear the cars and trucks with their loud horns. I
      finally get there but two minutes late. My boss greeted me with an
      angry expression on his face. He was a tall man who looks like Osama
      Bin Laden. "Where have you been?" he yelled, "we have been very
      busy!" as he spat on my face. "All right all right" I sobbed and
      walked of and put my apron on. We were busy today. The same old white
      tourists coming up and teasing us. Finally it was knock of time. My
      boss yelled "GO HOME YA UGLY KID!" So I set off walking home glumly.
      Past my friends house. Past my favourite watering hole. And past the
      apple tree. It was fried rice for tea. With lots of flies. I am
      really tired. I head off to bed. Its only 8pm. As I lie in bed I
      wonder. when I will get a new pair of sandals.

      (Alex Moore is a class 9th standard student. He has written this
      essay after listening stories from his teachers and other people and
      discussing with parents and main source of inspiration, Alex
      Popovich, a senior teacher at Penola High School.)

      3. TWO WAYS

      Q. Why your yahoo group called arkitect95 ?
      By Mohammas Irshad, Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar Pradesh.

      A . There are two questions- 1. about the word 'arkitect' and 2.
      about 95.
      The name of our organisation is Ark Foundation and we call it
      ARK. 'Arkitect' was derived from ARK and pronounce as 'architect',
      meaning a person who design and supervise developmental work.

      The second part of the question refers to the formation year. Though
      Ark Foundation got a registered status in 2002, it was 1995 when we
      started our first village programme. In the beginning we did not
      realise the importance of registration. Our school in the village
      recognised first by the UP government than our organisation.



      The readers are requested to send their ideas and experiences
      before 25th of every month. to share with other people through this
      newsletter. Comments, criticism and questions are also welcome.
      Please visit arkitectindia,
      for earlier issues of The Arkitect and photographs of volunteers in

      5. Notice

      a. One Year in Dhapo Colony Slun

      On September 1st we will complete one year in Dhapo Colony Slum.
      We will be having a small function to mark one year in which we will
      evaluate our success and failure and work on how to improve our
      activities to provide maximum result with limited resources.

      We have also given topics for essay and paintings to slum
      children. Children have also written some thing for their friends in
      Penola High School, Australia. The prize winning paintings and piece
      of writings will be sent to Alex as souvenirs.

      Though only three will be winners from each category of events,
      we are planning to give something to all the participants. Our prize
      will be in the form of study materials and may be few cloths or toys.
      We are still thinking about it.

      We will be happy to receive suggestion about the programme. We
      are planning on a very small level so that this time we don't
      have to

      Please send your suggestion before August 20, 2003 so that we
      will have enough time to do it on September 01, 2003.

      b. Annual Award

      Ark foundation is thinking on the line of introducing award in
      the memory of one's dear one like Ark Sufi Saheb Award for
      Student of
      the Year.
      My grand father, late Mohiuddin Chishti, popularly known as Sufi
      Saheb, passed away in 1998. His post dinner session with children
      has a greatly influence on me in shaping my thinking and working for
      people in need. It is in his memory Ark Foundation is going to start
      Ark Sufi Saheb Award.

      In the same manner, ARK is inviting people who would like to
      start award in the name of his/her dear one. People from India and
      abroad are welcome.

      Interested person may kindly send his/her request before
      August 20, 2003 and awards for the same purpose may should be send
      by August 25, 2003.

      Suggestions are also welcome in this regards. Kindly send your
      request and suggestions on ark@... and arkitect95@....

      Dr. Shaheen Ansari
      Programme Coordinator
      Ark Foundation
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