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Irish Minister Damien English visits Asha

Irish Minister Damien English visits Asha

On 15th November 2014, the Irish Minister for Skills, Innovation and Research, Damien English TD, visited Asha’s Dr Ambedkar slum colony in RK Puram. He was accompanied by the Irish Ambassador HE Feilim McLaughlin, the head of Education in Ireland, Giles O’Neill, and Pat O’Riordan, Enterprise Ireland Director for India and South Asia. The group was warmly welcomed by the Asha community and had the opportunity to hear from members of the women’s association, children’s association and students of Asha’s Higher Education Programme on the difference Asha’s programmes have made to their lives.

Minister looks at the contents of a Community Health Volunteer’s medicine box

Minister looks at the contents of a Community Health Volunteer’s medicine box

As he was on a trade visit to India to promote education and research opportunities in Ireland for Indian students, the Minister was particularly delighted to hear from Asha students who have completed university studies and internships with prestigious companies and are now either in full-time employment or hoping to be so soon. Highlighting the importance of education, he encouraged them to pursue their dreams and to be role models for the younger children coming up behind them.

Mahesh, an engineering graduate from Dr Ambedkar slum colony narrates his higher education journey

Mahesh, an engineering graduate from Dr Ambedkar slum colony narrates his higher education journey

The group was welcomed into the homes of two Asha students in order to see their living conditions first hand. They were impressed by how hard working and talented the Asha students were, particularly when they were treated to a song played on the guitar!

Gaurav singing for Minister English and Ambassador McLaughlin when they visited his home

Gaurav singing for Minister English and Ambassador McLaughlin when they visited his home

Minister English was delighted to be presented with a copy of the book A Journey of Hope as a memento of his visit. He said “to understand what Dr Martin has done here, along with yourselves, in health, in empowerment and education brings joy to my heart and to see … that the young people here will have an education and will go on to have a career, maybe all over the world.”

Asha would like to thank the people of Ireland for the ongoing support they extend to it’s work.

For more photographs related to this visit, click here.

Watch Minister’s interview after the visit

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