What we do
Asha Kiran's goal is to provide children from
poor or deprived families the financial aid and moral support required to obtain
their basic right to education. We firmly believe that the path to economic
independence is through education, and further, that there are many around us
who would willingly help. We aim to select suitable projects in India that
will help reach our objectives. In turn, we will provide regular and detailed
feedback to our sponsors about the effects of their sponsorship. This can
include detailed profiles of the specific children, yearly report cards and updates
about their progress and so on.
Who we are
Asha Kiran is an organization consisting purely
of volunteer members who have come together to help raise awareness of the plight
of the poor in India. None of the volunteers or members are paid for their work.
They have been part of the organization as they share our guiding principle and
obtain a sense of satisfaction from their work. Our name, which means "A Ray of Hope"
and is shared by our first supported project in India, was chosen to convey the
importance of an education for every single child.
Zero administrative costs
As we have no salaried employees
in Asha Kiran USA, any minimal administrative costs are borne by members or volunteers
themselves. All donations made by sponsors go directly to deserving projects.
Founding of Asha Kiran
In 2006, Prithvi Shetty, herself a sponsor of charities in India, discussed setting
up a charitable organization that would work with projects in India that are
helping educate poor children. They were joined by four other motivated and enthusiastic
sponsors, Aarti Kumar, Praveen Herur, Arjun Seshadri and Varun Chandola to form
Asha Kiran in the same year. They came together in their understanding of the
economic disparity in India and the need to raise awareness among like-minded
people to contribute towards alleviating it.
They have been guided
and assisted by Mr. GLY (Loknath) Mendon, who has been running charity organizations
in India for several years.
The Smile Trust was formed in
Maryland, USA in the year 2005, by a team of Indians led by Mr. Ramana Regulapati,
to aid the education and rehabilitation of children who were orphaned by 2004
Tsunami and to take care of under-privileged children in India. In Dec 2010,
board members of Smile Trust voted to relinquish the operation of Smile Trust
in USA and join hands with Asha Kiran to further their cause and inducted Mr.
Ramana Regulapati to the Board of Asha Kiran.
The board members
of Asha Kiran Inc. are also firm believers that education empowers the poor and
gives them an opportunity to break free from the cycle of poverty. They formed
the board of directors, drew up the bylaws and registered the organization in
the state of Maryland and at the federal level. They successfully obtained 501c3
exempt status in November 2008.
As of April 2017, our active sponsors, 95 in
number, had enabled our current project, Asha Kiran India, to sponsor education
of 970+ poor students so far.
Currently Asha Kiran India supports education
of 376 students who are studying in various courses. Asha Kiran India has now
grown to cover families from Mangalore, Udupi, Puttur, Bellary in Karnataka;
Kasargod in Kerala; New Delhi; Madhyapradesh, Uttarpradesh, Rayadurga, Karimnagar
and Warangal Districts in Telangana, Nagapattinam District in Tamilnadu and Karaikal
District in Pondicherry.
Board Members and Officers
G L Y Mendon, born 1962, makes his home in Baltimore, MD, USA.
His dedication to our cause and experience in its execution keep us always striving
forward. He is the Asha Kiran US-India Coordinator.
Praveen Herur, born 1979, is a board member. He uses his excellent
organizational and communication skills to work with our sponsors. He lives in
Ramana Regulapati, is a board member and Treasurer of Asha Kiran
USA. He lives and works in Maryland USA. In addition, he uses his IT skills to
administer the Asha Kiran website and database. He is a firm believer of "Education
is the path to the Economic Independence". He coordinates with children in India.
Aarti Sampath Kumar, is a Volunteer of Asha Kiran. She served
as Asha Kiran Board member from 2006 to 2013. A resident of Mountain View, California,
she uses her business sense and financial acumen to help expand Asha Kiran. She
is a firm believer in education, and is a big contributor to the expansion of
Prithvi Shetty, born 1980, is a Volunteer. A society without
bias is her dream and she works with the Asha Kiran team in their efforts to
make this a reality. She lives and works in Austin, Texas. She is a firm believer
in education, and is a big contributor to the expansion of Asha Kiran.
Jayaprakash CM, is a Volunteer of Asha Kiran USA. He resides
in Maryland, USA. He started working as a Asha Kiran Volunteer from last 3 years,
helps in communicating with children, preparation of propaganda materials and
recruiting children in India. He shares our vision of educated India.
Ex Board Members
Arjun Seshadri, born 1979, was a board member from 2006 to 2013.
He managed Asha Kiran website until 2010.
Varun Chandola, was board member between 2006 and 2008. He was
instrumental in setting up Asha-Kiran website and database.
Asha Kiran works towards bringing in sponsors to fund the education of poor
children in India. We raise awareness and solicit funds by speaking to like-minded
people and by providing information through our website. Asha Kiran directs all
its funds to deserving organizations that meet the guidelines set forth in our
bylaws. For more details on projects and selection criteria, please visit
the Projects page.