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Deputy High Commissioner of Australia Mr Bernard Philip hosts the first meeting of Friends of Asha (Delhi)

Deputy High Commissioner of Australia Mr Bernard Philip hosts the first meeting of Friends of Asha (Delhi)

Deputy High Commissioner of Australia, Mr Bernard Philip and Dr Kiran Martin, Founder and Director, Asha Society co-hosted an evening reception at Bernard’s residence on Thursday, 1st May 2014 at 6:30 pm. The event was organised to introduce new friends to Asha’s wonderful work and initiate a Friends of Asha group in Delhi.

Deputy High Commissioner Bernard Philip welcoming the Friends of Asha (Delhi) group

Deputy High Commissioner Bernard Philip welcoming the Friends of Asha (Delhi) group

Dr Kiran speaking about the Friends of Asha

Dr Kiran speaking about the Friends of Asha

The event began with Bernard welcoming the guests and he spoke about the support that Australia is extending to Asha for its various programmes. “Internationally, there are multiple Friends of Asha– in the US, Great Britain, Ireland and the most recent in Australia. But despite the incredible support in Delhi, we are yet to bring supporters together. We hope, though, that by bringing friends together we can raise efforts to support Delhi’s slum dwellers to a whole new level.” he added.

Mr Sam Pitroda, advisor to Prime Minister addressing the gathering

Mr Sam Pitroda, advisor to Prime Minister addressing the gathering

Ms Sonya McGuinness, CSM of International Rice Research Institute speaking about her experiences with Babita who is now employed there

Ms Sonya McGuinness, CSM of International Rice Research Institute speaking about her experiences with Babita who is now employed there

Dr Kiran gave a brief outline of Asha’s history and key achievements and spoke about the Friends of Asha in other countries and the kind of activities they perform. She was pleased to see the keen interest among the guests in becoming a part of Friends of Asha (Delhi) chapter. Mr Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister of India talked about his own journey and encouraged the students to never give up and to strive towards their goals despite all the challenges. Mr Sandeep Dhawan, Division Director, Macquarie Group, Ms Genevieve Clune, wife of Mr Bernard Philip, Mr Jim Nickel, Deputy High Commissioner of Canada and Ms Sonya McGuinness, Corporate Services Manager, International Rice Research Institute were the other speakers at the event.

Ms Genevieve Clune, wife of Bernard Philip narrating her experiences with her mentees Om Prakash and Ved Prakash

Ms Genevieve Clune, wife of Bernard Philip narrating her experiences with her mentees Om Prakash and Ved Prakash

Akhlaq student from Chanderpuri slum colony addressing the gathering

Akhlaq student from Chanderpuri slum colony addressing the gathering

Asha Student Ambassadors, Babita and Akhlaq narrated their tales of struggle, hope and success during their journey with Asha. Friends of Asha (Delhi) will be formally launched on May 7th at an event held by the Australian High Commissioner HE Mr Patrick Suckling. The launch will take place in the presence of Hon’ble Finance Minister of India, Mr P Chidambaram. Bernard himself has agreed to chair this group, and we plan to take the activities of Friends of Asha (Delhi) forward in the next few months under his leadership.

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