Nataraj Hariharan

Hey guys,

Thank you for taking your time to come visit this page. I am training for Austin Half Marathon as part of Team Asha. The race is on 20th February 2011. BTW it is 13.1 miles LONG.

I am running the half marathon so that I can raise money to make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged kids in India. ‘Asha for Education’ is a volunteer-driven organization that supports education projects in India in the belief that education is a critical requisite for socio-economic change.

The Austin chapter of Asha is currently supporting 19 projects in different parts of India. The project I am raising money for is Asha Samajik Vidyalaya (ASV), a community school for children who perform hard labor. This school has been funded by Asha Austin since 2004. The school began with 34 children (29 girls and 5 boys) and very meager resources.

The school was started to serve impoverished communities (Rajbhar, Bansfore etc.) primarily consisting of landless agricultural laborers or those who farm on leased land. Before Asha Austin started funding the project, the school was run in a temple dharamshala and the verandah near it. Today, the school has make-shift classrooms in a tin shed with desks and chairs, basic study material for children, on an acre of leased land. Due to the efforts of Brajendra Tiwari, a committed school teacher, and with Asha funding, the school has begun to be viewed positively by the community and has grown to about 130 children. It is heartening to see the dual goals of child education and community awareness slowly but surely materializing in this village.

• You can either donate to the general corpus of the funds for ASV towards expenses of maintaining the school, meals for the children, school supplies etc.
• Or, you can also donate towards the living and educational expenses of a single child for as little as $25 a month/$300 a year. If you would like to specifically donate to sponsor a child for any number of months you wish, please indicate so in the comments box on the donation page.

You can also donate through your company if it’s on the list that matches donations to Asha. Here’s a list of companies that match.

I’ve committed to raise $750 for this cause. Asha is a zero-overheads 501(c)(3) organization, which means that every penny that you donate will directly benefit the school and the project. Every dollar you donate makes a difference. Please also help by spreading the message to your friends and family.

Thanks for backing me up and supporting this cause.

Best regards,