I'm really glad that we're collecting donations for Sarvodaya, to help them build schools and libraries in Nepal and Sri Lanka -- ever since I started DesiLit, I wanted us to do literacy work in S. Asia as well as simply promoting diaspora authors. Feels better giving back, you know? Sarvodaya has a great track record, and did stellar work during the tsunami, receiving a United Nations Award for their work.
Even if you're not planning on attending Kriti, you can donate to Sarvodaya through our pre-registration page -- or, more efficiently, donate directly at their site.
For more about Sarvodaya, here's a short video showing the kind of local, grass-roots work they do. I was particularly impressed with the willingness of the local volunteers to beg for their lunch from the community they were helping. I have a hard time imagining that happening in the U.S. -- a hard time imagining myself doing it, even. Maybe we all need a little less pride, and a little more willingness to acknowledge our shared interdependence in the community.