Sirsha Chatterjee

Welcome to my fundraising page! I’m running the Austin Half Marathon with Strides of Hope to raise funds and awareness for the education and development of kids at risk from hard labor.

Why I’m running with SoH?

Having organized numerous food-filled fundraisers for Asha for Education (Asha) in the past, I needed a way to return to the cause and staying committed to my health. I’m running with SoH to live and let live better. SoH moves me in more ways than one.

I’ve decided to run for Asha Samajik Vidyalaya (ASV), a community school for children who perform hard labor and funded by Asha Austin since 2004. For those of you who know me, my PhD thesis studied child labor. Running for ASV is my way of paying back for the education that I received, to those who I got it for.

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.


What’s the best you could do with $25 in a month?

• Gym membership dues?
• A relaxing pedicure?
• Latte fix for a week?
x A bright future for a child?

ASV is also a Support-a-Child project. Which means that:

• 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 but I know you can help me do better than that for ASV. 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. Please know that Asha, the children of ASV or I think that no amount is too small. Whatever you can donate is valuable. Please also help by spreading the message to your friends and family.

I cannot do it without you.

As I train towards the most grueling physical challenge of my life, I’m asking you to take a journey with me towards that goal. When I run, you’re on my mind. Together, we run so they can read.

If you prefer donating by check, please write a check to “Asha for Education-Austin” and address it to Sirsha Chatterjee, Ernst & Young, 401 Congress, Suite 1800, Austin TX 78701.

How I began to run

The best analogy that I can find about how I began running is that it’s like the cute guy you’ve been wanting to ask out. I ran a few miles here and there but didn’t muster the courage to go the distance. On my first date with a long run, one beautiful Saturday morning at Rogue in Austin, I was nervous about, well, my performance. I surprised myself by running 5.5 miles on that first run. I ached all over but the high was incredible. It’s a lot like falling in love. I think about running all the time, I fantasize about it, I can’t wait till my next run and I stalk running on the web. It’s about me and yet it isn’t.

To read more about my running experiences visit my blog