It all started with the AID Calendar. AID London asked for 50 calendars, and I wrote to Rashmeeta asking if someone could collect the from Heathrow airport, as we were going to India via London. She wrote back asking if we could give a talk and help AID London reach out to the public. There had been quite a bit of volunteer turnover since we last met them in 2011, she explained, and they wanted to use this event to rebuild the chapter. She and Vamsi were as energetic as ever, or even more so. Best of all, they were now married, adding AID London to the ranks of chapters that boasted an AID Couple.
They worked hard to publicize the event, and got replies from 15 people saying that they would attend. When we walked into the Abbey Centre, a community centre attached to Westminster Abbey, we saw 25 people, and a few more walked in as we went along. People were quite interested and asked questions during and after, just as at any AID talk. In fact, it all felt so familiar I wondered why we had doubted at all that people would be interested. Maybe it was the size and pace of London – would there be time and space for volunteering with AID? But the people stayed well past the closure of the meeting and we could have easily continued longer, had the room been open. We hope to see this commitment continue as AID London serves as a channel for those who care about sustainable and just development in India to put their energies to good use.