http://www.one.org Brian Glanz » Asha for Education

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Asha for Education

Asha for EducationAsha for Education’s mission is to catalyze socioeconomic change in India through education of underprivileged children. “Asha” in Hindi means “hope.”

I first volunteered with Asha when I studied at Cornell in the mid 1990s and have stayed involved since. Their efforts are among the most sincere and most successful in basic education in India, with an all-volunteer staff and hundreds of active projects. One of my memorable Asha experiences was surveying tsunami relief efforts in 2005 with my wife, in Chennai and nearby, coastal villages. Asha does not usually provide disaster relief, but when needed, they had the resilience to organize and provide everything from food to boats to backpacks for school, for thousands of children and families.

More recently in 2008-2009, the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire captured hearts around the world. Of the millions who saw it, many wondered what they could do to help children from India’s slums.

Asha for Education volunteers have funded and organized dozens of projects in slums across India, including the slums shown in Slumdog Millionaire. Below is an excerpt of an article I wrote in early 2009 for the main Asha for Education web site, to help spread the word about Asha’s good work. In the article, I included several photos I had snapped in India of related Asha projects.

I’m updating this later in 2009 to add: the article and photos have been viewed by millions of people around the world via Asha’s site, my flickr stream, and web sites who have republished the photos and badges. The photos have also been used in unrelated fund raising campaigns for Asha. I couldn’t be happier to help tell the stories and rally support for these kids, to help give them the opportunities all children deserve.

Helping Children From India’s Slums

The Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire has captured hearts around the world. Of the millions who have seen it, many wonder what they can do to help children from India’s slums.

Asha for Education volunteers have funded and organized dozens of projects in slums across India, including the slums shown in Slumdog Millionaire. Asha has been working to help these children for more than 10 years, with 93 education projects focusing on children from the slums.

One of the best things you can do to help is to make a donation to Asha for Education — please use the Google Checkout form on the right side of this page. Asha has been given the highest possible rating by Charity Navigator and has been a top-rated nonprofit on many Charity Navigator lists, including “10 Slam Dunk Charities.”

In the sunny metropolis of Chennai, a 115-year-old school called Olcott Memorial is dedicated to educating the poorest children. The Chapter Coordinator of Asha Chennai, Lakshmi Suryanarayanan, is also Headmistress at Olcott Memorial. Lakshmi oversees the many education projects focused on helping children from slums in Chennai, funded and informed by Asha volunteers around the world.

A hard-working student at Olcott Memorial, funded in part by Asha for Education. Click for a larger version.

A hard-working student at Olcott Memorial, funded in part by Asha for Education. Click for a larger version.

Lakshmi greets some of her eager students. Project funded in part by Asha for Education. Click for a larger version.

Lakshmi greets some of her eager students. Project funded in part by Asha for Education. Click for a larger version.

Lakshmi anchors the dedicated staff at Olcott Memorial, here including kitchen staff who provide for students' nutritional needs. Project funded in part by Asha for Education. Click for a larger version.

Lakshmi anchors the dedicated staff at Olcott Memorial, here including kitchen staff who provide for students' nutritional needs. Project funded in part by Asha for Education. Click for a larger version.

Project Bridge is Olcott Memorial’s attempt to bridge the digital divide. There is a growing divide between children from poor families, whose access to computers is almost nonexistent, and the growing computer use by children from wealthy families. Future plans for Asha funding at Olcott Memorial include purchasing increased Internet connectivity for their computer lab, teacher training, and improving science labs.

Any amount you donate can mean the world to a child, and because Asha is run by volunteers, 100% of your contribution will reach the children. If a general donation is not specific or personal enough, consider giving with Asha’s Support A Child program.

Something else you can do to help: spread the word. Using one of the linked images below or in any way you prefer, share a link to Asha for Education on your website, blog, profile, or in email. If you know someone who may want to support basic education in India, send them here!

Helping children from India's slums with 93 projects in over 10 years -- Asha for Education. Helping children from India's slums with 93 projects in over 10 years -- Asha for Education.

Please link images to http://www.ashanet.org/

This page was published on Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 and is filed under Featured. Follow comments on this page through its RSS feed. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

3 Comments on “Asha for Education”

  1. Yamini on August 11th, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Thank you for releasing your lovely photograph under a creative commons license! I’ve used it to create a flyer to promote the Team Asha training program for the 2009 Atlanta Marathon, sponsored by the Atlanta chapter of Asha for Education.

    Team Asha Flyer for the 2009 Atlanta Marathon by Yamini

  2. Brian Glanz on August 11th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Nice work Yamini and I’m glad to :)

  3. Sripriya Padmanabhan on October 11th, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Thank you for the lovely photo! I have used it on an Event Invitation for a dinner event at ASHA San Diego happening on Oct 21st!

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Upcoming @ Pacific Science Center?



Joey Mornin, @joemornin on Twitter and a research assistant at the Berkman Center, had tweeted “I have seen the future, and it is a Carl Sagan/Stephen Hawking remix …” (11:24 AM Oct 2nd from TweetDeck). That I had to see, and when I saw it I had to tweet: “This Carl Sagan Stephen Hawking remix … should play on a wall @PacSci :) via @joeymornin” (11:35 AM Oct 2nd from Google Wave (Tweety)).


Pacific Science Center, @PacSci on Twitter, understands social media. As every person, business, or organization using social media ought to be, in a word they are: social. When I mention @PacSci, they watch for it and in this case their response was: “RT @brianglanz: This Carl Sagan Stephen Hawking remix … should play on a wall @PacSci :) via @joeymornin <GLORIOUS!>” (11:43 AM Oct 2nd from Seesmic). They responded quickly, giving credit to Joey Mornin and me, and added their own comment, <GLORIOUS!> — all in 140 characters. <yoda>Impressive!</yoda>


Will the “A Glorious Dawn” remix actually appear at the Pacific Science Center? Whether on a wall, at a kiosk, or on screen before IMAX films I do think this sort of “citizen media” should be displayed alongside “citizen science” in our educational and cultural institutions. This video accentuates and amplifies important parts of the messages Sagan, Hawking, and science at large have to share. In an incomplete circle, science has made possible the technology, has made possible the culture, has made possible great grassroots work like this media; science needs to close the circle and better connect with the community.


Quintin Doroquez, @quintind on Twitter chimed in, too by tweeting “@brianglanz That was brilliant!” (11:57 AM Oct 2nd from Tweetie) and I could not agree more. Thanks and congratulations to the creator of “A Glorious Dawn,” John Boswell, melodysheep on YouTube, whose video has a perfect 5 out of 5 stars after thousands of ratings and more than 600,000 views in its first two weeks.


还原真相:To Restore The Truth



六四是事實。还原真相:1989年6月4日的新聞,無辦法修改了吧:想要结束历史悲剧惟有真实、彻底地记住历史–真实的民主运动。

Twenty years ago on June 4, 1989, thousands of pro-democracy protesters — most of them students — were killed by the Chinese government where they gathered peacefully, in Tiananmen Square.


Seattle’s Ken Judd en Montage



Update: you are seeing this message if MySpace took the video down, again; I have it coded to show if the video cannot. The audio is out of copyright due to its age, but regularly trips MySpace automatic filters. I have had it unbanned twice by people, only to be re-banned. Alas! It is a montage from my photos of the works of Seattle’s Ken Judd.

I may remaster the video — publish a higher resolution, remove the birthday reference, add a new opening and closing, etc. Generally, this is a test of displaying video on BrianGlanz.net while it is hosted here by MySpace.





Remember 2009? Google Wave was 'it', good for everything from Pulitzer Prize winning journalism to Open Science Notebooks. 2009 was also the last time I updated this web site, to which you are more than welcome with that in mind.

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