What is Ashraya?
Ashraya is a charitable organization registered in India and the
United States. Its objective is to support programs that help
in the uplifting of poor women. Ashrayas focus is on
women and girls because women play a critical role in the welfare
of the entire family, but unfortunately have not received the same
opportunities as men and boys.
Ashraya is a word in the Hindi language that denotes support or
a helping hand. This word describes the main aim of Ashraya. It hopes to give a helping hand to adolescent girls and women through education and training to improve their income earning opportunities.
What type of programs does Ashraya support?
Any program that aims at improving the well being of poor girls and women
is eligible for Ashraya support. This includes the following:
- Skills training for adolescent girls and women to enable them to seek productive employment
- Support to girls and parents for the education of girls from grades 1 to 12
- Scholarships for post-secondary vocational training and, for very bright girls, higher education
- In exceptional cases, construction and upgrading of school facilities
The support from Ashraya is in the form of grants that are made on an annual basis. The amount of grant is determined depending on the nature of the proposal up to a maximum amount (currently Rs. 18,000 per project, or about US$ 400 per annum). Repeat grants are possible for successful projects. Ashraya expects the community to participate by providing space for the training center.
Scholarship aid for basic education currently varies from Rs. 600 to 1,500, and for post-secondary education and vocational training from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 per annum. The amount is determined by Ashraya taking into consideration total financing need, potential support by others and individual contribution by the beneficiary.
Who can apply for a grant?
Grants from Ashraya are made to community organizations, schools or individual girls that fit the specified criteria. Community representatives can approach Ashraya for setting up vocational training centers. Social workers are also encouraged to approach Ashraya with specific proposals on behalf of a specific community. Teachers and principals of schools, colleges and vocational training institutions serving poor girls are encouraged to refer needy and deserving students for scholarship aid.
How do I apply?
Please approach one of Ashrayas Trustees in India with your specific ideas either in person or in writing.
Management of Ashraya:
In India, Ashraya is managed by a Board of Trustees, assisted by volunteers who propose and oversee specific projects. The volunteers come from different walks of life. The one thing they all have in common is their commitment and dedication to the aims of Ashraya.
In the United States, Ashraya is registered as a nonprofit corporation in the state of Virginia. It has received tax-exemption as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. Donors may thus deduct their contributions from their US federal income taxes. It is managed by a Board of Directors. Current members of the Board are:
Dr. Inder Sud, International Development Specialist, President
Mr. Kyle Bruck, Algorithmic Trader
Mr. Daniel Ritchie, International Development Specialist
Mr. Richard Skolnik, International Health Specialist
Ms. Stephanie Sud, Consultant
Funding of Ashraya:
Ashraya is funded entirely from private contributions from individuals.
We do not ask or receive any financial support from the Government.
We heartily welcome contributions from individuals and business,
in India or abroad. Contributions in any amount will be gratefully