Empowering poor girls with education and training

Presidents' Message

Since its inception, Ashraya's goal has been to provide a helping hand to young girls and women to improve their well-being and to help them stand on their own two feet some day.

In pursuant of this goal, Ashraya provides education and training support to girls. Education support is provided in the form of scholarships to girls for post-secondary education. To ensure income targeting, scholarships are only provided to girls completing their studies in government or government-aided schools. The children enrolled in these schools are among the poorest families.

Vocational training can be in fields like nursing, housemaids, seamstress, embroidery, hair styling, fashion technology, etc. Training maybe obtained at informal and formal institutions. Informal vocation training is normally of 6-12 month duration and is arranged through a suitable training center.

Thanks to the financial support of our board member, Kyle Bruck, we have also a limited number of scholarships available for girls wishing to pursue post-graduate education in a field related to mathematics and science.

In the early years, Ashraya also provided support for early childhood development, basic education, school health, and for upgrading poor schools. While we continue to be open to supporting such activities in exceptional cases, our main focus now is on post-secondary education and training, areas that have the highest demand and payoff in making a significant difference in the lives of poor girls.

While many of our scholarship recipient have been bright girls who performed very well in their previous studies in high school or college, we appreciate that poor girls often come from family circumstances where they have had to balance their study needs with other family responsibilities. So we do not limit our scholarship to only the top stud nets but encourage any poor girl who has an aptitude and will to pursue further studies to apply for our scholarships. We require that you have obtained admission to a recognized institution for your studies in a subject related to mathematics or sciences or in a vocational field that has good prospect for future employment.

Our scholarships are given as grants to the girls. Scholarships are paid on your behalf to the institution where you are enrolled to defer tuition and other charges. All scholarships are renewable for the duration of the course of studies provided the girl maintains good standing in her studies.

In the 15 years since we establish Ashraya, we have been able to help more than 5,000 poor girls. Many of the girls we have helped have been successful in obtaining jobs, some have started families, and a few have gone on to pursue bigger things. We are proud of all of them with what they have achieved and take great satisfaction in knowing that a small "helping hand" extended to someone may have changed her life.

We would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to our friends in India and abroad who contributed to Ashraya. You can be assured that your funds are supporting very worthwhile efforts. May God bless you all.

Mrs. Manorma Mayor
President, Ashraya Trust (India)

Dr. Inder Sud
President, Ashraya (USA)