Chairman’s message

Aasraa has completed an amazing 9 years working with Dehradun’s most vulnerable children!!! Education, nutrition, medical attention… this is our mantra. This year we have also focused on skills training. What use is education if we cannot equip our children to live a life of dignity; the dignity of employment.

We are proud owners of our first property, donated by Fundación Heres, Espana. This is our new NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling) centre for both Open Basic Education and Vocational Training. 110 older slum and street children flow through these gates to study in an accelerated program for classes 3, 5 & 8. We run skills training programs for a further 60 adolescents in data entry, carpentry, block printing and sewing. These children have been thoroughly marginalized in the past, it is our honour and privilege to bring them into the fold. NIOS at Aasraa Trust; a gateway to a positive future.

We continue to be amazed by the energy and resilience of our children. They live in such desperately difficult conditions and yet, they come to us daily, with a smile on their faces and thirst for knowledge and a better life.
Aasraa now has 24 centres. The programs are not gender specific and we are proud to say that out of the 2,151 children who are under Aasraa’s umbrella, 55% are girls! 465 children have been initiated into basic literacy through the Street Smart program; 538 children have been mainstreamed into local schools; government and private and NIOS; the after school support program, Wings, assists 1,226 children with homework, conceptual understanding and curriculum. This year we had two children on the State Honours list!

Aasraa launched its 4th High Tech Mobile Learning Centre in July 2017, sponsored by Rotary Club, International. This bus is used for transporting children to and from school in the morning and afternoon. In the late morning and evening it brings Computer Aided Learning classes to underprivileged children at building sites and from the slum riverbed communities.

Dialling back from technology and going back to basics, Aasraa launched 2 Education Carts to reach out to slum and street children in tight gullies of the city and introduce basic literacy to them. These are adapted vegetable carts piled high with books, crayons and bananas. They are colourful and cheerful. The response has been fantastic as we have been able to reach who have not been reachable before now!

As we look to the future, Aasraa is on stream to become a special learning centre, recognized by the Government Education Department, for bringing out of school children into education. We would like to work with more Government schools to bring our resources to more underprivileged children. We are applying for another Mobile Computer Lab, which has been a huge success, bringing computer literacy to hundreds of children in rural Uttarakhand.

2018 will be very busy at Aasraa. We are planning to build a Girls Shelter Home on a government school campus for homeless girls in Uttarakhand, a Centralized Kitchen and to further develop our Skills Training Centre.
Our children are thriving. We want more!

Shaila Brijnath
Chairman, Aasraa Trust