Category Archives: 2016

Wonderful interaction of Asha High School Toppers with Mr LK Advani

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It was a joy for me to take some of Asha’s toppers in class 12 to meet Mr LK Advani, senior most leader of India’s Ruling Party, the BJP. Santosh Kumar of Zakhira slum colony has scored a brilliant 91% in Chemistry and Physics each. His father is unemployed and mother earns a shocking £2.50 per month. Having faced extreme poverty all his life, this remarkable result is such an inspiration to the world. He would like to do an Honours in Physics and would like to become a Scientist.

Sonam from Chanderpuri slum community scored a wonderful aggregate of 88% with 91 in Political Science and Hindi each! She would like to study an Honours in Political Science. She has been a member of the Asha family since she was a young child. She too has been raised in severe poverty and couldn’t have ever dreamed of studying further without Asha’s support.

Rishabh from Dr Ambedkar slum colony has scored a fantastic 92% overall, and amazing marks in Business Studies, Economics, and Accounts with an A plus grade in all the subjects. He dreams of becoming a Chartered Accountant someday.

There are hundreds of children from the slums Asha is currently helping to apply to Delhi University. I’d like to give each one of them a chance at a decent and dignified life. My team and I are completely committed to helping them all the way. I hope all of you can help us in every possible manner to attain this goal. Here is how you can help – https://www.givengain.com/cause/1772/donate/#start

I’m deeply grateful for all your support.

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Welcomed Dr Harsh Vardhan to Asha

Following on from my meeting with Dr Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Government of India last week, today we had the joy of being able to welcome him once again at Asha.

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First, he visited the Asha Polyclinic and Diagnostic centre where my team and I showed him our state of the art services that are available to slum residents at nominal fees. The Hon’ble Minister reminisced on his visits to Asha in early ‘90’s and was pleased to note how the work has expanded over the years.Picture3Later, Dr Harsh Vardhan went to Kanak Durga slum colony to meet with the women, children and college students who are associated with our work. The community was thrilled beyond words as the Hon’ble Minster showed great interest in the stories of their accomplishments and impediments they faced.

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Dr Harsh Vardhan was meeting with the college students from Asha for the first time and spoke warm words of encouragement to them. “With your hard work, you have managed to convert situations of extreme challenges into a life of hope and bright future. I cannot congratulate you enough for this,” said the Minister addressing them.

It was a wonderful afternoon filled with much joy and great conversations, and I would like to thank the Hon’ble Minster for taking out the time to visit us.

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Meeting with Indian Minister for Science and Technology

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I had the honour and pleasure of meeting with Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Government of India. He has been an Asha supporter almost since it was founded. As the Health Minister of Delhi in the ’90’s, he was instrumental in involving Asha in a number of collaborative programmes with the government.

He pioneered the Pulse Polio Programme in India, launching it first in Delhi and then helping its expansion throughout the country. Amongst his numerous achievements, he was instrumental in the formation of the Delhi Prohibition of Smoking and Non-Smokers Health Protection Act of 1997.

Dr Harsh Vardhan was happy to note of Asha’s great strides in slum development work, particularly the Higher Education Programme. I also presented him with ‘A Journey of Hope’ a photographic essay on the work of Asha by a British photographer. We hope to receive him at Asha later this month.

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A lovely interaction with the Premier of Ontario, Hon. Kathleen Wynne

My team and I were delighted to welcome Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, Canada to Jeevan Nagar slum colony on Friday, January 29, 2016.

Amongst much warmth and joy, we had a lovely interaction as the Hon. Premier showed great interest in the work of Asha. Despite her extremely packed schedule, she spent over an hour and a half with the community and answered all the questions they had to ask.

The Hon. Premier also had warm words of encouragement for everyone and remarked that even the first world countries like Canada can learn so much from the success of Asha communities. She also gifted books on the culture and history of Canada to the children. What a wonderful gesture!

Thank you so much, Premier Kathleen Wynne, for visiting us.

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On Trust

I am filled with joy at the start of the New Year, as I witness the lives of children who have been raised in insufferable poverty, now blossoming and flourishing in amazing ways, and demonstrating astonishing success.

As I reflect on how my team and I have arrived at relationships with them that are based on so much love and trust, I have been thinking about the word ‘Trust’. The Cambridge English Dictionary says ‘to trust’ means ‘ to believe that someone is good and honest, safe and reliable, and will never harm you.’

Trust has been fostered beautifully as the children have understood that there is enough room for them to deposit all their worries and their hurts. They know that love and loyalty are given freely and consistently, under all conditions, and without reservation, the only desire being to strive for their well being.

Affirmation is one of the most important ways of fostering trust in others. This requires recognising their gifts and appreciating them in a safe and loving environment. There is no room for judgemental or guilt inducing, condemning, critical words that lead to feelings of rejection. When I validate a child, I am saying, I hear you. I see you. I think of you. I acknowledge your accomplishments. I appreciate your efforts. Generous validation fosters tremendous trust and security, and has a profound effect on the lives of children, bringing about a vibrant expression of latent potential within them.

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Offering leadership on the vision and values of Asha by example, and communicating them effectively all through the ranks, is a wonderful way of building trust.

As a result of the fostering of trust, the children are so open and enthusiastic. They are discovering who they are, and growing up to be responsible and caring. They are learning what it feels like to be understood by another person, and therefore learning respect and empathy for others.

Scientists have labelled the hormone Oxytocin as the Trust Hormone. Higher levels of Oxytocin are released in response to kindness, warmth, connection, communication, hugs, eye contact, laughter; and the more Oxytocin, the deeper the levels of trust.

Let us all embrace and foster trust in all our relationships, and remember that the way we experience life’s events can change forever.

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