Newsletter-cum-magazine of Oasis Movement YEAR 1 I ISSUE 13 I Jun 16, 2008

Oasis launches novel concept of "Learning Community" through the Seminar "Vision for Sustainable Rural Development"

Oasis invited around 100 like-minded friends, activists, experts and organizations working for Rural Development in Gujarat to create a ‘Learning Community’, in a seminar on 'Sharing Collective Vision for
Sustainable Rural Development' organized on 13, 14 May, 2008 near Gandhinagar.



Exchanging Views : Participants discussing and sharing views during the Seminar on 13th & 14th May 2008 at Environmental Sanitation Institute, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.



....all are listening intently, immersed in grasping as much as they can. Slowly, morning Sunlight fills the hall as if dispersing the clouds of ambiguity and the hall echoes as hundreds of hands go up to applaud. Finally they have found a key principle for Sustainable Rural Development, for which they had come from different parts of the State to this Seminar. Oasis had organized this Seminar on the most fundamental aspect of Sustainability in Rural Development on 13th and 14th May 2008 at Environment Sanitation Institute, Gandhinagar.

As majority of our country’s population still resides in villages, Rural Development is one of most crucial Development Project. At present, there are scores of NGOs working tirelessly, round the clock for Rural Development. As individual units, they all have ample experience and lot to share, but at the same time, field is so diverse that there is equally so much to learn. This humbling realization to learn and share the invaluable insights and to create collective vision for Rural Development, a need for a ‘Learning Community’ which meets at regular intervals became inevitable.

Organizing: In line with this idea of creating ‘Learning Community’; a pilot Seminar was designed. Minutest details were worked out from the very beginning. Beauty of this Seminar lied in the fact that there was no stage. Even the Guests, who addressed the seminar, came in the capacity of Learners. We wanted this seminar to be a platform for give and take, learn and share; hence, there was balance of addressing the subject, question answers and revision. There were 19 speakers, but no Lectures!

Shri R M Patel, Principal Secretary, Labour Department, Ministry of Gujarat, Saluted the dedication of NGOs working in the field of Rural Development.

Why Sustainability: What we have today may not be there for our Children, because Natural Resources are limited. To retain life on Earth, it should be prime concern of our era to focus on Sustainable

Development. The very core of all NGOs is to facilitate development. But, even today, many of us fail to distinguish economic development from sustainable development and can not gauge the high social cost we pay in this ignorance. Thus, to understand this complex phenomenon and varied dimensions of Sustainability; our first step was to initiate a ‘Learning Community’ to come together, grasp this concept and create a collective vision.


The Seminar: Eminent Personalities, who had invested majority of their lives in studying, experimenting, and working with issues governing Rural Development, were invited to address the Seminar. It gave immense enthusiasm and motivation to participants to be guided by such experienced and reputed people in their field and to get the answers to the queries and dilemmas they faced.



. .



Initially as the seminar began, there was lot of confusion prevailing in the minds of participants, as none of them had really gone deep into this subject. As the day progressed, more and more questions arose, leading to constant thinking and evaluation. One after the other speakers came


Seminar on Vision Sharing for Sustainable Rural Development

Number of Days ....... . : 02 Number of Participants .: 63
Number of Organizations.32
Guest Speakers....... ...: 19
Topics Covered............: 16

and addressed on role of various aspects viz Natural Resource Management, Literacy, Women Empowerment, Agriculture, etc in Rural Development. Slowly, it dawned equally on all that it is only Multi Faceted approach which can beget Sustainability. Also, they became aware that it was necessary to form a community to address important issues and work unitedly.

Conclusion: At the end of seminar, participants were able to understand different dimensions of Sustainability. They got emotionally sensitized and felt rejuvenated with increased commitment. And we were successful in creating a platform to form ‘Learning Community’. We aspire to repeat this experience and form an organized community. You all are welcome to participate........

For detailed report of seminar, please click here>>>

Report by Poonam Golani, Oasis

For the lure of the Green!

Cycle Rally was organized at Bangalore to celebrate the spirit of 'World Environment Day'

World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 by the United Nations to stimulate world-wide awareness of the environment. The World Environment Day slogan for this year was: ”CO2: Kick the Habit! Towards a low carbon economy”. In that spirit, the OASIS rally promoted both, producing less Carbon Dioxide and planting more trees to absorb the same.   The rally started at around 7.30 a.m from Ambedkar Stadium in Basaveshvara Nagar. There were around 70 participants most of them clad in green. Around 40 children rode cycles and the rest walked. Many children were from Mount Carmel school. In a place like Bangalore where vehicles contribute to lot of pollution, a cycle rally sends a strong message promoting usage of pollution free or less polluting transport. The rally participants carried banners which said “Save our mother earth”, "don’t use plastics” and other pro-environment messages in English and Kannada. There was also chanting of pro-environment slogans. The rally ended at 9 a.m.

Here the children and parents discussed ways to conserve our environment. Prominent ones being restricting use of automobiles, reducing energy wastage, stopping use of non-biodegradable plastics and planting more trees. All participants took an oath to do their best for conserving the environment. After the oath the rally participants and passersby were given saplings to plant near/in their homes, where they can take care of them.   It was heartwarming to see the whole Rally being organized and initiated by children, Pratham Mehta , Hardik Fofalia and Nishant Sanghvi being the leading organizers. Barely 14 year old Pratham, who was the event head says “I study in Coimbatore and come home to Bangalore in vacation. I can literally smell the pollution in Bangalore and it gets worse each time. When asked what motivates them for such initiatives, “the lure of a green and pollution free Bangalore ” comes a quick reply. On these children rests the hope of the planet.

Photo Gallery

Celebrating World Environment Day : Cycle Rally being organized by Oasis Bangalore Team
Plant More Trees : Children offering Saplings to citizens to plant near their homes during Rally for World Environment Day on 8th June 08, Bangalore.
Children taking a pledge to keep the environment clean and green to mark the end of cycle rally organized on 8th June 08, for Celebrating World Environment Day, Bangalore
Learning Teachers: Oasis workshop- specially designed for the teachers of Fountain Head School, Surat held on 28, 29 Apr, 2008.
Group of Fountain Head School Teachers with Facilitator Sheeba Nair
Media Said it


Cycle Rally organized by Oasis for the World Environment Day on 8th June 08, was covered by Local Media; Dakshin Bharat (above) and Rajasthan Patrika (below)


  Editor's Note

Dear Friends,

Last Month, Oasis took a major step in initiating a movement for Creating and Sharing Vision for Sustainable Rural Development at State Level. We thank all the guests who came to address the Seminar. Response received in terms of participation by NGOs was also heartwarming.

Also, there were programmes /events organized at Bangalore and Surat. You will find excerpts of the same in this issue. For more details of our events/ projects, please visit our website

- Team Alive

News in Nutshell


  • Apr 28 – 29, 08: Two day workshop was conducted for teachers of Fountain Head School, Surat.
  • May 13 & 14th, 08:  State Level Seminar on 'Sharing a Collective Vision for Sustainable Rural Development' was organized at Environmental Sanitation Institute, Gandhinagar.
  • May 21, 08: SDC Session was organized for ASHA Teachers, Bangalore.
  • June 04, 08: SDC Session was organized for ASHA Teachers, Bangalore.



  • June 08, 08 : Cycle Rally was organized for 'World Environment Day' on the theme of 'Towards a low Carbon Economy' at Bangalore.



As the schools have started, so have ASHA clasees being promptly taken up. This year, ASHA project has adopted 15 Schools so far at Bangalore.



  • May 11, 08: Annual gathering and Felicitation Ceremony was organized for ASHA Team, Bangalore.
  • June 03, 08: TOT Programme was conducted for ASHA Teachers, Bangalore. 
  • June 05, 08: Orientation Session was organized for New Volunteers in ASHA Project, Bangalore.
You Said It

A workshop, specially designed for teachers was organized for the teachers of Fountain Head School, Surat on April 28-29, 2008.

Excellent experience. It was a privilege being exposed to such a workshop. We learnt so many things, which if we implement in our lives effectively, will not only make us a better person but will also enable us to make a difference around us.

- Monica Nanda

The workshop has brought very positive change in my life. I feel light, confident and happy. 

- Sanjana

It’s a must workshop not only at personal level but also for a better society and country as a whole.

- Vishakha Yadav

Changes the way of seeing the life. Helps more to learn & teach.

- Bharati Teckchandani

Feedbacks for the Facilitator Sheeba Nair-

Very approachable, very understanding, good natured. Teaches only what she herself lives everyday, it was very evident.

- Mariyam Baxmusa

Very charismatic, articulate with an infectious smile. A young person with vision.

- Gowri Murali

Soothing and Amazing person. Very supportive through out the workshop. Clears each principle with illustrations relevant to our lives.

- Sanjana

A great person who is very intelligent and yet so humble. A sweet person who can ease the atmosphere with her smile alone.

- Monica Nanda


An Annual Celebration and Felicitation Ceremony of ASHA Team was organized on 11th May 08. Below is reflection from one of the Participant

The time spent at The School of Ancient Wisdom on Sunday, was a beautiful gift of joy and togetherness. Till now I had heard that Oasis is a selfless society, but since that day, these words have started making sense and forming a strong shape in my heart and mind.


  Forthcoming Programs

Calendar of open Oasis Workshops at Surat

12 July
Diploma Series Workshop - IV
26, 27 Jul
Graduate Series Workshop - IV
11 Oct
Diploma Series Workshop - V
29, 30 Nov
Graduate Series Workshop - V
13 Dec
Diploma Series Workshop - VI
27, 28 Dec
Graduate Series Workshop - VI

Calendar of Oasis Workshops at Mumbai

5 July
Diploma Series Workshop - IV
4 Oct
Diploma Series Workshop - V
6 Dec
Diploma Series Workshop - VI


Calendar of Oasis Events 2008

7th - 12th
Parents Meet at Surat
Farmers' Meet
International Youth Day
Health Mela at Bangalore
Farmers' Meet
Teachers' Day
Farmers' Meet
Children's Day Celebration at Bangalore
Youth Exploration (Mumbai)
24th - 25th
Farmers' Seminar - State Level
International Volunteers' Day
Farmers' Meet
L3 - Graduation Day Celebration


Note :- The dates can be changed due to unavoidable circumstances. Please check the dates of the program in advance with respective coordinator of the activity/Oasis centre.


  ALIVE Archives

Forpast issues of ALIVE please click on the link:

ALIVE issue 12 - Jun 1, 2008

ALIVE issue 11 - May 15, 2008

ALIVE issue 10 - Apr 15, 2008

ALIVE issue 9- Apr 1, 2008

ALIVE issue 8- Mar 15, 2008

ALIVE issue 7- Mar 1, 2008

ALIVE issue 6- Feb 15, 2008

ALIVE issue 5- Feb 1, 2008

ALIVE issue 4- Jan 15, 2008

ALIVE issue 3- Jan 1, 2008

ALIVE issue 2- Dec 15, 2007

ALIVE issue 1- Dec 1, 2007


  Team Alive

  Alkesh Raval

  Jolly Madhra

  Kshama Kataria

  Poonam Golani

  Sanjiv Shah

  Umesh Patel

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