The Arkitect Newsletter: Vol 02/03
- To Arkitects:
My apologies if you have already received this. I am experimenting
with technology, and I will look to sending future newsletters via
the YahooGroups method.
In this edition of the Arkitect:
1. News from a Village Development Circle
2. Vicious Circle
3. What is worship? A supplement to Rev. Richard Howells Intimacy
4. An Invitation
1. NEWS FROM A VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT CIRCLE
A development circle in each village with a radius of approximately
5 kms, will be the basis for the implementation of ARKs activities.
Each circle will be having an Ark Education Centre, Ark Health
Centre, Ark Youth Bank , Ark Information Dissemination Centre and
Ark Eco Club. These activities are listed in order of their
priority. Our top priority is education. If we get resources we will
take health and other activities also.
Ark is also networking with other like-minded individuals,
organisations and institutions to exchange ideas and share
experiences to increase pace of development. Kataila Development
Circle is the first Village Development Circle. Kataila is a village
in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh. Ark has connected a local group Aadarsh
Graamin Samaaj, Graam Pradhaan (Village Head), and individuals like
Sumer, Arvind Dubey, Subodh Yadav, Ashok Kushvah, Kalim Afsar and
Anil Jaisawal. Ashok Kushwah and his wife are most active people
from the village. Ark also provides the opportunity for its
volunteers to visit the organisation in an effort to help educate
volunteers about teaching in a rural context. Our foreign volunteers
like David Follington (Australia) and Annie Romanos (New Zealand)
infused life in Kataila Development Circle. They introduce computer
education at this centre by gifting it computers and its basic
With their active help Ark is running a school, established a
library and planning to open a vocational training centre- all are
parts of Ark Education Centre. A very happy news is that the school
at this centre has been recognised by Uttar Pradesh Education Board
as a Junior High School (up to 8th standard). This is a New Year
Gift from UP Government. Our plan is to make it a High School (up to
10th standard) and replicate it in different circles. The next
circle will be Chitarkoni Development Circle. This is also in
Ghazipur district and 20 kms from Kataila Development Circle. We
have already completed initial survey of this circle. It has around
ten villages and around 35,000 population. There is no high school
in this circle but some villages have primary schools (up to 5th
standards). I should mention here that there is no quality education
in these schools.
2. VICIOUS CIRCLE
Slums are the best examples of vicious circle and poor its greatest
victim. It is important to break the shackle of this circle- which
is easier said than done. Every one has a dream but few has the
courage to realise it. Let us attempt to break this shackle in our
areas. Let us at least try for that.
Ark volunteers has started their activities at Ark Education Centres
(AECs) in slums of Delhi.. We now realise how difficult is to teach
children of poor brethrens. Ark had to close its education centres
as the cold wave was in a furious mood. It has still not calm down.
Bitter cold continues with temperature plummeting to 2-3 degrees
Celsius. More than 300 people died of cold wave in Delhi and its
adjoining states. The only way to save these kids are to close AECs
and send them to their houses. Ark does not have indoor class
rooms. Its volunteers teach them in a community park - i.e open air
classrooms (for photographs of open air classrooms, please visit to
arkitectindia group on Yahoogroups.com)
Arkitects, Ark activists, have desire and passion to teach them.
They want to learn at AECs. The only barrier is that they are poor.
Their economic condition does not allow them to go to a school which
has rooms and Ark can not provide them rooms as it is an
organisation of students from Jawaharlal Nehru University who does
not have fund to get rooms even on a rent. And the circle, the
vicious circle, starts here. If they will not learn they will
remain ignorant of many basic things. More than fifty per cent of
their problems have its origin in ignorance about the basic fact of
life. Because of lack of education they can only work as labourers.
They are more prone to diseases as they are not aware of preventive
measures of diseases. Being unskilled laboureres they can not earn
more hence less expenditure on health care. It will further
deteriorate their health hence less work and less earning. Their
children will remain illiterate as they will have to work to support
their family. And this will go on and on until some one takes
responsibility of breaking this chain- the chain of poverty, the
chain of hunger, the chain of unemployment, the chain of life full
Due to cold wave Ark Education Centres will remain close for another
3. WHAT IS WORSHIP?
A supplement to Rev. Richard Howells Intimacy with God
(Rev. Richard Howell is General Secretary of Evangelic Fellowship of
I went to Holy Angel Hospital to get a friend of mine examined. I
was asked to stay out and wait in a waiting room of the Hospital.
What to do? I took out the latest issue of AIM, a monthly magazine
of EFI, and read four articles. Thanks to Mr. Solomon John, Manager
of Publication and Promotion, who gave me this issue, which was the
only friend in the hospital waiting room to talk with.
Intimacy with God particularly attracted my attention. I read it
twice to get the answers of questions arose at the time of its first
reading. The most important questions were related to worship. This
came when I was reading The Fruits of Real Worship and about four
helpful keys to become a person of worship.
1. What is worship?
2. Does every creature of God worships Him?
First, I would like to attempt the second question and my answer
will be yes. Each and every creature worships Him. Then the question
arises how. How do other creatures, other than human being, worship
Him? What should be the prayer of a tree? Perhaps to be useful for
others was the answer camefrom inside.
A tree never consumes its fruits. Others eat them with joy and
remain healthy. It also makes environment healthy by breathing in
harmful gases- green house gases like CO2 and releasing oxygen, the
life gas of every living being.
In spite of so much progress in the field of science, one can not
think of life without this gas. Trees are so humble, we should learn
this lesson from them, that even if someone injures them by
breaking its organs, they never deny their favour to the one who is
causing pain to them. In all the seasons - happiness and sadness -
they keep smiling and sharing their treasure of love without any
discrimination. They are so consistent in their approach that they
become useful for people even after death. It allows herself to be
used as a furniture and other decorative pieces of a drawing room.
In rural India, people still use wood as cooking fuel. The tree
vanishes into air while giving delicious food to one who burns it.
What will happen when trees stop performing their duty? What will
happen when they stop giving fruits to the hungry, shadow to
travelers, clean air to every one? What will happen when a stream
stops flowing and air stops blowing? What will happen when the sun
stops performing its duty to rise every morning and set in the
evening? Every creation of the God has a role, that is a duty, to
Did you get the answer of the first question- what is worship?
Do we, the human being, perform our duty? Well we must not fight for
rights, which is very common, but for duties, which we tend to
forget. Like trees we must try to excel in doing our duty.
The Arkitect invites its readers to share their experiences and
ideas whichcan help other individuals and organisation to bring some
positive change in their area of activities.
Please send your articles to the Editor/ Programme Coordinator, Ark
Foundation, 222 E, Brahmaputra Hostel, Jawaharlal Nehru University,
New Delhi. Email: ark@... and shaheen@....
Dr. Shaheen Ansari