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India Together

Hi Everyone: I am forwarding a message I got from Ashwin Mahesh, who writes
for Rediff on the Net. A few of them are starting an organization called
'India Together,' about which the following message talks. Ash wants to know
if we can write about policy matters for IT. Please take a look at the 
message and do the needful.


----- Forwarded message from Ash Mahesh -----

Dear Prem:

After much debate, we've got a prototype going for India Together. Check it out
sometime, we're at http://www.indiatogether.org/ and I am including a copy of 
the mission statement.

I feel that you guys can help fill an important niche here, which has to do with
policy. Apart from being a site to celebrate some successes, I'd really love to
have IT grow into a site to put forward coherent policies about socio-economic
problems. Give it some thought, and see if someone would be interested in 
writing up some ideas on particular policies you've already considered.



August 1998

India Together

Dear Recipient: 

This letter is to introduce you to the India Together public awareness and
solidarity campaign. This campaign has been made possible by the efforts
of several Indian students and professionals in the U.S, advertising
executives in India, editors of neighborhood newspapers in various Indian
cities, and a whole host of other interested people. We apologize for
repeat email which you may have received from different lists.

Every one of us recognizes at some level that the numerous problems that
India faces today require sustained efforts if we are ever to overcome
them. At the same time, many of us are not sure what we can do to help. 
There are, however, many organizations around the world involved in
dedicated efforts to improve the lives of people in India, although their
work is not always recognized. India Together is put together as an
awareness campaign, and as an expression of solidarity specifically with
such community groups, and with Indian life and concerns in general.

What makes India Together different? Many of us are aware of ongoing
efforts of various organizations and groups towards improving the lives of
our less fortunate countrymen. What's more, some of us are even actively
involved in such projects. However, we do not see a common message
acknowledging the fact that the collective impact of these efforts indeed
achieves a larger objective than the individual projects or activities
themselves do. India Together was conceived in part, to address this
vacuum, to bring together diverse groups and their work in a single
campaign built around our shared destiny.

The other noteworthy aspect of India Together is that it will provide a
means by which you can show your solidarity with such groups, even if you
do not have the resources or the time to participate actively. Virtually
all public-interest campaigns have a component devoted to mobilizing
resources, but India Together is different. Not that we discourage your
contributions in any way, but this is intended primarily as an awareness
campaign. It hinges solidly on the assumption that informed Indians will
be concerned enough to act, and therefore the imperative is bring the
information to those who care. This is a campaign for India, and for all
of us.

To become a facilitator for sharing good news from India under a common and
constantly reinforced message, India Together is working on two fronts. 

	a) Content: At the global level, is the website
[www.indiatogether.org]. If the content of the web pages makes you aware
of the nation we share, and the problems our people face, India Together
will have served its purpose well.  In pursuit of that, we will bring you
reports of work that community groups and charitable organization, NGOs,
etc. are doing in various parts of our country. The objective is to
celebrate the efforts of such groups and cherish them as the beacons they
are. The bad news is all around us, let us look to the good to find hope
for the future. 

	At the other end of the spectrum, individual communities are
running their own awareness campaigns with the same theme.  The first of
these will be the Adyar Together campaign, launched by the Adyar Times in
Chennai's southern suburbs. Other neighborhood newspapers in Chennai,
Mumbai, Bangalore and elsewhere will carry similar columns with the same
purpose - to help people in India see themselves as part of larger groups
than the ones they already know.  Efforts are also on to persuade national
newspapers to join in the effort by including similarly titled columns,
and your input in finding more outlets for the message is welcome.

	b) Solidarity: On a different front, India Together will work to
build solidarity amongst Indians all over the world through a shared logo
and a simple email signature campaign. To help build this solidarity, we
ask that you express your common cause with other Indians in either of two
ways, each of which is simple yet powerful and eloquent. One, you may (as
shown below) add the motto of this effort (INDIA Together: "we know and we
care") to your email signature file, and include it with your email
messages where appropriate. Second, visit us on the web, download the
India Together icon, and include it on your home pages along with a link
to the site itself. Either of these will spread the stories we bring far
and wide, and greatly increase the awareness generated by the campaign.

Knowing makes all the difference. It is our sincere hope that as we bring
the messages of our communities to each other, we will strengthen the
bonds of nationhood and cherish the compassion inherent in them. Your
expressions of solidarity will help greatly.  Do visit our site for
regular news stories about the good work being done, and keep an eye open
for reports carried under the India Together banner by newspapers both in
India and on the Internet. We also ask you to share with us any reports of
news from India that you think, can be relayed by India Together. Let's
spread good news about India together.

Thank you for your time, and we hope you will join us in our efforts. If
you find this message worthy of propagation, we ask that you forward it to
anyone who might be interested in participating in this campaign. Look for
the sign of this solidarity in the next email message you get from friends
or in the next newspaper or netzine that you read, and send them your own
good wishes in return, both with this simple message:

INDIA Together: "we know, and we care"

----- End of forwarded message from Ash Mahesh -----

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