Category Archives: 2020

Asha student Mohini: Her personal story of struggles and victory while defying the odds

This is the story of 19 year old Mohini who lives in Asha’s Tigri slum community. Her father is a day labourer and mother is a housemaid. Their combined income is about 150 US dollars a month.

Mohini became a member of the Asha family at the age of 9, by joining the Children’s group where she learned and blossomed in a safe and loving environment, away from an abusive environment where she was harassed and teased.

Through her hard work and with Asha’s guidance and mentoring, Mohini did exceptionally well in her school leaving exams, and secured a seat to study a Bachelors in Home Science at the prestigious Institute of Home Economics at Delhi University.

In early 2020, Mohini had a terrible accident, falling from her makeshift roof at her shanty, and she injured her back bone. She had to go through spinal surgery and took months to recover.

To make things worse, she was diagnosed with Covid and became very ill. The Asha family at Tigri took loving care of her in every way possible.

Mohini had wonderful experiences at an internship at the Australian High Commission through Asha in the summer of 2019. She says she became more expressive and confident than ever, and was delighted to learn many soft skills.

She is now in her final year of her Bachelors in Science, and is looking forward to her future with great hope and excitement. She would like to do her Masters next, and is held up as a role model for other young girls in her community.

‘If I had not been a member of the Asha family, I would have been married after high school and possibly have had children.’ says Mohini

Mohini is an excellent Asha Ambassador and continues to inspire and give hope to young students in her community and beyond. Get your passport made, Mohini! Who knows what the future holds for you.

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Asha CHV Prema from Mayapuri

Hello friends, here is a video of the story of Asha Community Health Volunteer Prema. Asha has trained hundreds of such women from their respective slum communities over the past 33 years.

As a result of the comprehensive nature of Asha’s 3 tiered health care program, a few health stats for 2019/2020 are as follows:

Antenatal Care Coverage: 100%

Institutional Deliveries or Deliveries by Trained Midwives: 100%

Babies born with normal birth weight: 91%

Babies breast fed within 6 hours of birth: 100%

Vaccination coverage for children under 5: 98%

Maternal Mortality: 0

Infant Mortality Rate: 13( India as a whole-56)

Under five Mortality Rate: 13 ( India as a whole-37)

( Statistical Tool used: Median)

(Mortality Figures for India as a whole are under reported by the Government of India)

These women are the real heroes of health care in our slums!

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Asha student Amritesh shares his extraordinary story

This is a video of a remarkable story of a young man called Amritesh. Amritesh was a stutterer as a child, and experienced a great deal of trauma through his school years. He experienced helplessness, fear, and shame. He was constantly bullied at school, and resorted to avoidance.

Many stutterers do not get a good education, are not successfully employed, and have a substantially reduced quality of life.’

Not Amritesh! Here’s his story in his own words:

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One Girl’s dream of Higher Education

18-year-old Kulsum lives in Zakhira slum community with her family. Kulsum’s very poor parents had migrated to Delhi from the state of Bihar in search of better opportunities.

However, life in Delhi was not easy. After struggling with odd jobs, her father found work as a scrap collector, earning about 100 USD a month.

Kulsum got associated with Asha through the Children’s Group when she was just 6 years old. She loved coming to Asha, and that is where she began to blossom, as she learnt about the Asha values and about community service.

Kulsum and her family reside in a tiny matchstick size house in Zakhira slum. The size of a room is barely the size of a single bed mattress. The family of 6 manage to conduct their daily activities in this small space.

Through Asha’s support, Kulsum was able to score 89% in her 12th final exams. Her excellent marks were sure to secure her a seat at Delhi University.

However, due to financial circumstances, her father refused to send her to university. The Asha team in Zakhira worked relentlessly for days to convince her father. The team told him not to worry about the finances; Asha would support her.

Finally Kulsum took admission at Delhi University, to study a BA in Economics and Political Science. What a victory after weeks of convincing her father!

It was at college where Kulsum, a shy girl began to shine. She started to participate in debate competitions and group discussions in class where she spoke her mind. She won many essay competitions, at one time also securing the 1st prize as a cash prize of Rs 2000/-. That meant the world to her. She remembered that day how she could not speak a word before a stranger. She could hardly recognise herself!

Today, Kulsum is in her 2nd year of university and enjoying her educational journey. She is an active Asha Corona Warrior, and is standing with her community during these worst of times.

“I really enjoy writing and want to become a Hindi journalist, writing for a newspaper or an online news website in the future. I know that Dr Kiran and the Asha family will always support me to achieve my dream” says Kulsum.

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Asha student Parvez shares his story

Dr Kiran: ‘Here’s the moving story of Parvez in his own words. What a great deal of courage he has demonstrated by speaking in a language he didn’t know a word of, and learnt at Asha.’

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Asha student Tushar shares his story

Asha student Tushar from Mayapuri shares his personal story and achievements that he has garnered through the support of Asha. We thank all of you for your continuous love and support, in aiding young and bright minds such as Tushar and thousands more in Asha communities.

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Dr Kiran visits new Asha students in Kalkaji slum community

Dr Kiran visited Kalkaji slum community where she was greeted with around 30 Asha corona warriors and students who greeted her with a warm welcome, and huge smiles on their faces. The Asha corona warriors were eager and excited to interact with Dr Kiran and share their stories with her.

This year, the Asha team in Kalkaji has scored the highest level of admissions to the Delhi University within all the Asha slums! There has been a total of 25 admissions from this community and nearby slum areas where the Asha team continuously works. Dr Kiran was extremely happy with these results and congratulated the team for their dedication and hard work in securing these admissions.

Next, Dr Kiran held an interactive session with the new Asha students wherein the students introduced themselves and shared their stories. Dr Kiran enquired about their association with Asha and heard about how the Asha team in Kalkaji had helped these students with every step in securing their admissions in their desired courses and colleges. The new Asha students were extremely emotional while interacting with Dr Kiran, they thanked her from the bottom of their hearts for providing Asha scholarships through which these students were able to pay their college fees and secure their college seats.

The benefits of higher education within Asha slums are clearly visible and bring much joy. May this movement grow to reach thousands upon thousands of young people, and transform the entire landscape of the Asha communities, forever liberating them from the distress and sorrows of poverty.

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Reflections on Hope

This is a season of one of the greatest challenges the world has ever faced. It may be a time to fight, a time to question, a time to mourn, but there is always one thing we can hold on to, Hope. Asha. Where there is life, there is hope. Hope will see us through our challenges. They will not dictate our destiny. Hope will. There is great strength in optimism. Let us surround ourselves with positive people who speak words of encouragement. This is not a permanent thing, we will surely get out of these troubles. Hope brings light into the darkest places we never thought will have light. That’s been my experience all through life. Let’s think of the challenges we have faced in the past, and have overcome them. Fear is a big hindrance to hope. Let’s give doubt and fear less room in our hearts to breathe. Hope is a beautiful thing. It gives us peace and strength, and keeps us going when all seems lost. Hope is the only thing stronger than fear. Hope is Asha.


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