As we have grown in scope and number over the last 8 years it is time to reflect on what Aasraa has achieved so far; to recognize which projects under the Aasraa umbrella are having a strong impact on the slum and street children under our care and which programs needs to be fine tuned which are not.
Aasraa’s outreach programs have been very effective. The teams that go out at street level to bring children into literacy programs have had a good impact in the community. Illiterate parents are allowing their children to attend our classes and from outreach it is an easier step into the school mainstreaming program from Street Smart.
In the past few years Aasraa has mainstreamed and sponsored 586 children in various schools.
The after school project Wings has grown so big, it has been split into seven programs on different campuses! Children from the slums do not have homes in which there is light; a desk to sit at or a parent from whom they can ask for help while doing their homework. That is our job.
The anti begging campaign, being done in conjunction with Childline and the District Administration brings children off the street who are begging at traffic lights and street corners. It is very difficult to mainstream these children in schools. Here the children do a combination of basic literacy and vocational training. This program is having some effect but needs a stronger push from the police force to ban begging and an effective awareness program for the citizens of Doon to remind them that by giving to begging children it only encourages their abuse on the streets.
The Street Children who graduated from Street Smart and became block-printers and seamstresses are flying. They are master craftsmen and women. They have identity cards, bank accounts, pan numbers and provident funds! We have street children being inducted into this program continuously. Medical care and Nutrition are huge issues for these children. Aasraa takes comprehensive care of them.
Close to 1200 children were inoculated against Typhoid, regular vitamin supplements and de-worming tablets are given periodically. In the last 8 years Aasraa has grown from 35 children studying under the bridge at Bindal to an organisation looking after the overall well being of over 1800 children.
We strive to remember that it is not the number of children we look after, but the quality of life we provide for them! Over 200 children are now hosteled with us 24/7. Aasraa runs two hostels independently and sponsors another for food, maintenance and care giving.
We hope to see the children under our full care continue blossom. They have nowhere else to go. And we want them all.
Chairman, Aasraa Trust