Charu Nagpal

I have always valued the the importance of education as being the most important tool to help aid the progress of any economy. Asha is a zero-overhead, 100% volunteer-driven organization which is working for this cause. It aims at catalyzing socio-economic change in India through the education of underprivileged children.

I love the fact that Asha is a very transparent organization. They provide details about their projects including all the meeting minutes/ funds disbursal, etc on their website. Even though I’m such a new member of this organization, they encouraged me to attend meetings and play a role in deciding about disbursing funds and come up with more ideas for utilization these funds including suggesting newer projects that Asha could work with.
Did you know that with 150 dollars, you can sponsor all the expenses for a child for 6 months! By sacrificing one dinner, we can actually sponsor 1 or (depending on where in the world we are 🙂 ) 3 to 4 months of everything in a child’s life!

Asha is supporting 19 projects in different parts of India. One of the projects that I feel strongly about is ‘Prasanna Jyothi’ which works for disadvantaged girl children in India. They have girl children between the age of 3 and 18 and are providing for their education, lodging as well as various extra curricular activities to help in the overall development of these children, boost their confidence and make them capable of independent living. One of the girls from Prasanna Jyothi graduated with an engineering degree, secured a job with IBM and now lives independently. Various other girls have also secured diplomas and settled well. I strongly support Asha in this endeavor and hope to see many more girl children come out confident and well-placed in life.

To read about Prasanna Jyothi and other projects supported by Asha Austin chapter, please check here.

An interesting way in which Asha raises funds is through their ‘Strides of Hope’ program. I’m running my first half marathon (the Austin half marathon in Feb, 2011) as a part of this program more details of which can be found here. It’s by far the most challenging activity that i have undertaken. But at the same time, it has been the most thrilling experience! I hope the thrill and excitement and the cause that I’m working for will keep me going and help me achieve my race goal as well as my fundraising goal.

Please follow the links below to contribute for this cause.

Also, many companies match the amount you are donating to organizations such as Asha. Please see if your company is in this list and let me know. I’ll get back to you with the details regarding company matching for your company. Even if your company is not in the list, please let me know and I can find out if Asha can work with them and have them added to our list of companies that provide matching.

Thanks for backing me up and supporting this cause.

Best regards,