‘Asha’ Wins The Day
by Elizabeth Menon

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If you think it’s about Asha, the melody queen of Bollywood winning yet another award, you couldn’t be farther from the truth! It’s about the hopes and dreams of underprivileged children in India, becoming a reality through education. ‘Asha’ stands for ‘hope’ in Malayalam, Hindi and Tamil. A voluntary group of dedicated people, who are members of a non-profit charity organisation called ‘Asha For Education’, are determined to fulfil the dreams and hope of these children with your help. Few students from the University of California founded ‘Asha For Education’ in 1991 and now it has more than 35 chapters all over the world. The London chapter of ‘Asha For Education’ was started in February 2000, by a group of enthusiastic professionals and students.

Money for the project is raised mainly through the generosity of people, individual or corporate donations, sale of merchandise and various fundraising events. I had the pleasure of attending such an event, a fund raising dinner at ‘Chutneys’ in London, a few weeks ago. The evening reflected the dedication of the volunteers and their skill at organising such events. Ms. Punam Gupta addressed the guests and explained the hopes and aims of ‘Asha’ and a brief summary of the achievements of the London chapter. They currently support projects that are directly involved in children’s education in three states in India and plan to expand to the other states.

Dinner was an enjoyable spread of various vegetarian delicacies. And then of course, it was time to open the chequebooks! It was obvious that the members of the London chapter had worked very hard to make this evening a great success. One hopes that the guests were generous, to match the dedication of the volunteers who organised the event!

Asha needs volunteers to help with fund raising, to generate new ideas to create awareness and to identify any future projects in India. Individual donations can be made to, ‘Asha for Education’ and mail to: Asha for Education, 100D, Breakspears Road, Brockley, London SE4 1UD.

For more information: e-mail london@ashanet.org or phone 0870 777 2742 or visit www.ashanet.org/London.

© E Menon



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