About AID

What is AID - Association for India's Development?

Association for India's Development (AID) is a non-profit volunteer organization committed to promoting sustainable, equitable and just development in India. In solidarity with nonviolent people's struggles, AID supports grassroots organizations in India and initiates efforts in various interconnected spheres such as education, liveliho
ods, natural resources, health, women's empowerment, and social justice. AID was started in 1991 by few graduate students at the University of Maryland, College Park. It started as a reaction towards people’s tendency to “just talk about helping India” but doing nothing about it. From its humble beginnings, AID has now grown into a large organization.

AID is registered with the US Federal Government as a non-profit charitable corporation under the category 501(C)(3). Its federal Tax-ID is 04-3652609. AID accounts are audited by an independent Certified Public Accountant, as per IRS regulations. Documents and information pertaining to AID will be provided on request, or can be obtained from the Secretary of State for the cost of copies and postage. Donations to AID are tax-deductible in the USA.

AID vision: "Problems are interconnected, so must be the solution."

The problems of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment,  disease, social inequalities, corruption, and the dwindling of natural resources reinforce one another. One problem leads to the other and feeds on another. Therefore the solutions to these problems must be interconnected, just like the problems themselves.  Thus solutions must involve initiatives in diverse areas like education, creation of livelihoods, health-care, demanding of accountability, environmental awareness, simple living, water-harvesting, alternate energy, and conservation of forests.

The interconnected nature of the problems neither starts nor stops with the people who are poor - it affects all of us. Our inability to tackle these problems, take the initiative, trust and work with others and overcome the fear to question authority or change life-styles is very much a part of this web of problems and has to be tackled.

AID philosophy: "Sangharsh, Seva, and Nirman"
At AID, we believe that Seva, Nirman, and Sangharsh are imperative in any development initiative.

With Seva, we mean volunteering and service. It not only involves service and volunteering by agents external to the beneficiary community (like us), but also from within the community. For example, most of our projects involve a service component put in by the beneficiary community.

With Nirman, we understand building, growth, construction etc. This is not only of physical assets that a community will build for itself in the process of development, but also the value system of equality, justice and trust that should evolve out of the development activity. Any development activity that does not ensure trust and equality of all participating parties, will have inherent shortcomings of social, cultural, economic or environmental nature.

When in a development initiative, trust and equality of all parties is not ensured, injustice is often perpeterated. In such times, it is imperative to Struggle (Sangharsh) for equality and justice for the parties that have been neglected. This struggle might be against the values of a society that promotes evils like dowry, or against a corporate that is thriving by crushing livelihoods of underpriviliged or against corrupt official machinery - where it exists and so on. Therefore Sangharsh is an integral part of development process and finds due place in AID philosophy.

AID at a glance

  • Founded in 1991 / Incorporated in 2003
  • 36 chapters in the US / chapters present in India, UK, Australia, Canada
  • Approximately 800 active volunteers across different chapters
  • Around 120 ongoing projects supported AID chapters covering 22 states in India