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CNJ Projects 2006. Ashraya. Asha CNJ Know Your Projects Session October 2006. Ashraya Background. Residential re-habilitation center for challenged girl children, from poor economic background Located in Kollam Dist, Kerala. Started by an individual Mr. Venugopalan, in 2000

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Asha CNJ Know Your Projects Session

October 2006

Ashraya background
Ashraya Background

  • Residential re-habilitation center for challenged girl children, from poor economic background

  • Located in Kollam Dist, Kerala. Started by an individual Mr. Venugopalan, in 2000

  • Severely under-privileged cross section

    • Challenged, Distressed economic background, Girl child

    • Mentally challenged (cerebral palsy, mental retardation), Physically challenged (multiple disabilities, polio)

    • All from Below Poverty Line families; mostly broken families, single mothers/addicted father, other children to take care of.

    • Are generally ill-treated, abused or at best ignored

    • Very rare chances of being offered chances of development and treatment with dignity, acceptance and love

Ashraya mission
Ashraya Mission

Ashraya is an abode for challenged girl children, hailing from distressed economic background. Ashraya's mission is to mould each challenged daughter in to a self reliant and dignified individual with a will to successfully face the problems and challenges caused by their disability.

  • Ashraya provides the following to its daughters:

    • Accommodation, Food, Clothing, Medicare, Corrective Surgery & Physiotherapy

    • Well rounded education based on their skill level and abilities (differently abled, not disabled!)

    • Most importantly, love, affection and a sense of belonging that is absent in their own domestic background (home, not an institution)

  • Statistics

    • 24 children (13 children with special needs)

    • Age group 5-14

    • 5 Full time teachers, 4 part time

Ashraya activities
Ashraya Activities

  • Special Education

    • Catered to each child based on their nature, level of functioning etc

  • Regular schooling

    • Govt. school (state syllabus)

  • Co-curricular and recreational

    • Sports, games, dance, music, painting, outings, get-togethers

  • Livelihood oriented pre-vocational training

    • Develop sense of satisfaction, self-esteem. Computer education, stitching & embroidery, craft work and clay modeling, drawing, cooking and domestic chores

  • Speech and sound therapy

    • Classical music, mantra chanting to improve memory retention, and music as a medium of expressing their needs and emotions

  • Early intervention program

    • Below 6 years, sensory motor training, sensory stimulation programs

  • Physical exercise, yoga, classical dance, martial arts

  • Teachers training and staff development program

    • All teachers are themselves challenged (physical, blind)

    • Sends teachers for training programs including special education, computer training, spoken English, yoga and meditation, attending seminars

    • Provided artificial limbs, corrective surgery etc

  • Awareness sessions for school-going children

    • Awareness sessions for school-going children about disability, their role as tomorrow’s citizens in caring for their challenged brethren

Ashraya impact
Ashraya Impact

  • Impact on children

    • Initially most children have severe learning disabilities

    • Remarkable improvement in 1-2 years (conventional and creative techniques, individual attention round the clock)

    • Some special kids could be tutored almost like a normal child

    • Drooling, and such other physical manifestations of mental retardation reduced appreciably and on a sustained basis

    • Asha volunteers who have made site-visits have all remarked about the self-confidence, well-groomed nature, and above all the spectacular display of creative skills by Ashraya daughters!!

    • On their competitive spirit, self-confidence and overcoming their under-privileges:

      “Regular school going Ashraya daughters with all their challenges did compete with able-bodied classmates of their school youth festival and won six first prizes for various cultural events.  It is not all. Two of them were selected for the sub-district cultural meet where over 25 schools participated and both of them proved their metal”

Asha cnj and ashraya
Asha CNJ and Ashraya

  • Very low over-head

  • Punctual in accounts reporting, project updates

  • 5 site-visits (3 people) made

  • Purdue chapter:2,600$ in 2004

  • Overall our volunteers have found Ashraya to be a truly worthy project to support; motivation, dedication and execution [in 2006 Ashraya came #1 in the project selection ranking by CNJ]


  • Why Asha should continue/increase support for Ashraya?

    • Ashraya is creating sustained impact in changing the life’s of challenged girl children

    • Trust-relationship over 2 years

    • Very creative and encourages us to replicate Ashraya models/ideas across other projects

    • Wonderful learning opportunity for volunteers

  • Challenges

    • Very high quality (an extremely worthy aspect) brings higher costs; long term economic sustainability

    • Single point of failure

    • Uncertainty regarding future of child after passing out

Future plans
Future Plans

  • Residential Artificial limb unit project

    • Effectiveness of artificial limbs for kids depends mostly on close monitoring and modification during the initial period

    • Ashraya to set-up a residential artificial limb unit, primarily for poor disabled children (42K USD NR + 5K USD/year)

    • Theme: Mobility to enable education

    • Ashraya proposal: Asha’s help in setting up the facility. If successful Ashraya can help Asha to replicate it elsewhere. (Ashraya for Mobility, Asha for Education!)

  • Ways to help

    • Monitory (WAH proposal, present to bigger chapters)

    • Know-how

      • details about how such centers are run in the US and else-where

      • Possible collaboration between Ashraya and such centers

    • Other funding sources (Indian software companies/more)

      • Using our network to find out and reach such companies

      • Making presentations/project proposal material

How can you help
How can YOU help?

  • General interaction/awareness about the project should improve (only a few volunteers know about the project well!)

  • Specific tasks

    • Know-how/networking with similar centers in US (1-2 active volunteers)

    • Making proposals for ALU (1+ active volunteer)

  • Other potential areas

    • Technology (any technology that may help mentally/physically challenged children)

    • Applying Ashraya models across other Asha projects

    • Other creative proposals?

Cnj projects 2006

“Ashraya has a dream, One of our children who is in high school today and totally paralyzed below the waist appears to have in her the spark for being led for a professional course in Medicine.  We are prepared to assist her to any level in this venture.  We know it is a difficult dream but seeing the dedication of our volunteers it doesn’t seen impossible to achieve it.

Ashraya should be a developmental arena for the challenged”