Asha for Education Announces Work An Hour 2004

July - September, 2004
Asha for Education Announces Work An Hour 2004

Just an hour of your time; a world of hope for a child.

Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations once said, "Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development."

Asha for Education

Was born out of the belief that addressing the problem of education is pivotal in breaking the 'vicious cycle' of poverty.

Founded in 1991, at the University of California, Berkeley, Asha for Education is an international action group dedicated toward catalyzing socio-economic change in India through the education of underprivileged children. Asha is not just a fundraising agency. Asha volunteers from over 66 worldwide chapters, endeavor to understand the root issues being faced by our project partners in India, and consider themselves "facilitators" and not "givers". Many Asha volunteers are involved in direct collaborations with project partners in India, in activities that include curriculum development, creation of innovative learning techniques and resources, using technology in remote locations and working on improving existing government...  schools. Asha also addresses issues of health, empowerment and women when they relate to its education work.

"Work An Hour"

popularly known as "WAH", is Asha's annual worldwide fundraising event to help educate underprivileged children in India. This year, Asha for Educationpresents the seventh consecutive WAH. The event symbolically begins on July 4th, American Independence Day, reaches a peak on August 15th, Indian Independence Day, and finally culminates on September 5th, which is celebrated as Teacher's Day in India. The project partners chosen for WAH support require larger sums of money to facilitate fixed expenditure on items such as infrastructure, construction and other one-time costs.

The immense effort geared towards this annual fundraising has produced spectacular results on the fields. WAH has helped many a budding project partner stand on its feet. One heartening example is Bharathi Trust (BT), a non-profit development organization that has been working for the cause of empowerment of the Irula tribal communities living in the interior pockets of Thiruvallur district in Tamil Nadu. The Trust is headed by Siddamma who believes that the tribals should not be bulldozed into uniformity by some over-centralized monolith of a development plan. The Bharathi Trust actively tries to preserve the tribal customs and indigenous knowledge that the Irulas have handed down over generations. The organization ensures Irula participation during the planning and implementation of all projects.

One of the primary objectives of BT is the education of the Irula children. Asha for Education has been involved with BT since 2000 and has striven to help the Irula children become a part of the mainstream government schooling system by supporting them through motivational centers. During WAH 2000, Asha supported the inception of 9 centers, benefiting more than 540 Irula children across 12 villages. WAH 2001 funds were needed to sustain these 9 centers. Most of the children from these 9 motivational centers are now going to the government school and doing very well there. These motivational centers have now been transformed into evening tuition centers to help the same children.

Based on the success of these motivational centers, other centers have been started or are being contemplated in Thiruvallur and Vellore districts. BT has also started vocational initiatives to provide the Irula community with better alternatives to existing means of livelihood. The timely financial input from WAH 2000 and 2001 has helped spur the positive initiatives of Bharathi Trust. Over time, Asha has developed a beautiful friendship with BT, as Siddamma points out "Asha for Education, we would say, is not a funding agency alone, but a real partner in all our activities." More details can be found at:

Each year, a set of projects is selected after a stringent review process involving most Asha chapters. The project partners selected for WAH 2004 are:
  • Baikunthapur Tarun Sangha (BTS): Located on a remote island in the Sundarbans in West Bengal, BTS requires support for expansion of Patha Bhavan, a primary school which Asha has been supporting, a computer literacy program, a library as well as infrastructure development for 3 government-aided primary schools.
  • Juanga, Orissa School (JGA)Based in Juanga, in rural Orissa, JGA was built after the local government schools were destroyed by cyclones. Funds generated through WAH 2004 will be used for expansion of the school and purchase of vehicles for transportation of children and medical supplies.
  • Project Look Ahead (PLA)PLA targets the computer vocational training and employment needs of blind girls and boys in Drishti Viklang Sangh, Jaipur, Rajasthan and in Kamla Mehta School for blind girls, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Vanashree (VNS): Vanashree trust based in Bachodi, a village near Jog Falls in Karnataka, works for the overall development of tribals in that region. WAH 2004 funds will be used for completing the local residential school with kitchen facilities, bathrooms and furniture.
  • To Reach You (TRY): Located in Mudichur, Tamil Nadu, TRY strives to rehabilitate commercial sex workers and their children. They need to set up a permanent home for these children.
  • Champa Mahila Society (CMS): CMS aims to create a self-reliant community across many villages in the Basanti area of the Sunderbans in West Bengal with a focus on schools, extensive health care programs and various self-help groups. The WAH 2004 budget includes requests for supporting health-related expenses ranging from medical equipment, health awareness camps and doctors' salaries.

WAH 2004 seeks to bring together people from all over the world to help ensure that every child receives the care and education required to live a healthy and successful life. This year our target is to raise over $175,000 across the globe.

All you need to do is donate at least one hour of your annual salary to Asha for Education. It does not cost too much to educate a child in India: $10-$20 can support a child's education and living expenses for one whole month! You can make a big difference!!

Asha for Education is a zero-overhead, non-profit, volunteer-driven organization.

All operational costs are borne by our volunteers, enabling us to send 100% of all donations to our project partners in India. All donations made to Asha for Education in the United States are tax-exempt under IRS code Section 501(c)3 to the fullest extent permitted by the law. Participation in WAH 2004 is just a click away. Asha for Education has a simplified and secure online donation process for credit card payments.

Please send an email to: if your company participates in matching donations.

You can also make donations through checks (made out to "Asha for Education" in the US/U.K. and to "Asha" in India) by mailing them to the following addresses. The envelope should be addressed to "WAH-2004 - Donation Pledge Id # ":

United States Asha for Education - Silicon Valley P.O.Box 641741 San Jose, CA 95164-1741

India C/O Nikhil Pednekar, B-20, Preeti Kanha, K.V. Chitale Path, Near Portuguese Church, Dadar, Mumbai 400028 Donations made in India are 50% tax-deductible under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act

United Kingdom 100 D Breakspears Road London SE4 1UD In the U.K., Asha for Education is a 'registered charity' (charity number: 1088168) and donations are tax-exempt.

Netherlands (Holland) 203-B Boschdijk 5612 HC, Eindhoven

Switzerland Asha Zurich C/o Sathya Krishnamurthy Aprikosenstrasse 20 CH-8051 Zurich Asha is registered as steuerfreie Verein under the Kantonales Steueramt Zurich.

Germany Asha Munich c/o Mehar Singh Ravansburger Ring 65 Munich, 81243

For more information:
  • General information:
  • Media kit:
  • Websites:,

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