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Asha Higher Education Programme hosts a Students’ Meet for college students from slums

Asha Higher Education Programme hosts a Students’ Meet for college students from slums

On Friday, 19th April 2013 Asha organised the first ever Asha Higher Education Programme: Students’ Meet for college students who are a part of Asha’s Higher Education Programme.  The Students’ Meet, attended by nearly 300 students from various Asha slums, was presided over by Asha’s founder and director, Dr. Kiran Martin.  The purpose of the event was two-fold; for the students to share their stories and experiences on a common platform, and for Asha to discuss the problems faced by students in their day-to-day life and to encourage and motivate them to continue their studies.

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A students asks a question to the Asha team as others listen with rapt attention

The event began with a melodious song presented by a group of Asha students being trained at Bhaatkhande Sangit Vidyalaya, a prestigious music institute in New Delhi. Many college students from the slums shared stories of their experiences in college and their association with Asha.  Diwakar, a recent graduate from Kanak Durga slum colony shared his experience of interning with a multinational company as part of Asha’s Internship Programme last summer and how it helped him to get a job with an American firm.

Naushad from Seelampur slum colony holding a trophy he has received from his college for being the highest scorer during the three years of his Bachelors degree in Political Science from Delhi University

Naushad from Seelampur slum colony holding a trophy he has received from his college for being the highest scorer during the three years of his Bachelors degree in Political Science from Delhi University

The students also got an opportunity to discuss their problems with Dr. Kiran Martin and the Asha team in a highly interactive question and answer session. They asked dozens of questions ranging from which courses to apply for to situations that they had experienced when in college and while applying for jobs. In her address to the students, Dr. Kiran highlighted the importance of education and how it can help them break the generational cycle of poverty. She encouraged them to never give-up on their education despite any number of challenges and failures they may come across.

Dr. Kiran addressing the students

Dr. Kiran addressing the students

It was the first time for Asha that such large numbers of students were able to come together and discuss their achievements and challenges. Asha hopes that this event is only the first of many under the  Asha Higher Education Programme to help the students in their journey towards a better future and promising careers.

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