About Us

Founding    Board Members    Strategy    Beneficiary List    Sponsor List

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

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 Sunnyvale, CA.

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 Asha Kiran.

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.