Hello there! Thanks so much visiting our Strides of Hope page! We are Vishwas Iyengar and Charanya Ravikumar (the new Mrs Iyengar 🙂 ) and we will be running 4 half-marathons in 4 months as part of Asha for Education’s Strides of Hope program. Asha for Education is a zero-overhead, volunteer-driven organization that works on education in India in the belief that education is a critical requisite for socio-economic change. The 4 races that we will be running include the Atlanta Half-Marathon, the Dallas White Rock Half-Marathon, one of both our favorite races – the 3M Half-Marathon and lastly the Moorea Semi-Marathon in Tahiti, our first ever international race!
We have both run with Team Asha in the past, but this year is very special to us because we will be running and fundraising for the first time together as a couple. Our primary goals in undertaking this effort don’t just stop at raising money to help underprivileged children India. We also hope to educate both ourselves and those around us about the importance of literacy and primary education, and how giving access to these to as many children as possible will be an integral to breaking the vicious cycle of poverty. Please do take a couple more minutes to read about our efforts.
Namaste! This is my 2nd year with Team Asha. Last year I was able to raise $1300 thanks to the generosity of my friends, family and well-wishers. I had an incredible time training and fundraising last year, so I didn’t think twice about jumping on the bandwagon once again this year! I truly believe that basic education is very important as it provides a strong foundation in life. Education is the key ingredient in creating a society that is free from the vicious circle of poverty, child labor and illiteracy. Latest figures have shown that the current youth illiteracy rate in India is roughly 30%, which approximates to about 300 million children that cannot read. Through participating in this program, I hope I can help bridge this gap at least a little. Do check out my blog to learn about my training efforts and race reports.
Hey All! Firstly I just want to thank all of you who have supported my Team Asha efforts. With your generosity over the past 3 years, I was able to raise more than $8000 for Asha Austin’s projects. This year, other than just running, I’ve also taken up the challenge of being a project coordinator for Jeevan Gnanodaya School of the Deaf, based in Chengalpet, Tamil Nadu. Jeevan Gnanodaya is a school that educates speech and hearing impaired children from poor, rural backgrounds. Working with the school management and interacting with the children directly has really given me a better insight into how Asha is truly making a difference in their lives. Due to time constraints, I will not be running a marathon this year, but will still be challenging myself by running 3 half-marathons. As always do check out my running blog to read about my training adventures. Thanks in advance for all your support!
Our goal is to raise $100/mile each for Asha for Education, and specifically for Jeevan Gnanodaya and Prasanna Jyothi – an orphanage for girls. Asha for Education is the recipient of the top rating of 4 stars in an independent survey of charity organizations worldwide in the category International Development and Relief Services. We run so they can read and we hope that you can sponsor our cause, by donating however much you can. No amount is too little. We believe that it is important to not just do what we can, but to do what it takes to make a difference in the lives of these children! Please donate with your heart – and not your head!
** If you would like to donate to an Asha Austin project other than the ones we have specified, please do let us know and we can help facilitate that.
** Corporate matching is a great way to automatically match your donations. Please do check if your company has a matching program. You can also contact us if you have any specific questions.