What does “Asha” mean?

Asha means “hope” in Hindi. Our many interventions give slum inhabitants hope by showing them that, with some help, they can transform their lives.

Why are there so many people in the slums of Delhi?

In a city of around 18 million people, there are now more than 4 million slum dwellers. The majority of these people have migrated from villages in rural India to look for work and better opportunities.

However, when they arrive they find that life in Delhi is very expensive, and even if they find work they can’t afford a place to live. They end up living in primitive shacks with little shelter and no sanitation, cooking facilities or other basic necessities.

What makes Asha’s approach different?

Asha’s approach is based largely on training and empowerment. We want people living in slums to be able to take responsibility for improving their health and living conditions. Major aspects of slum dwellers’ lives – their backgrounds, lack of education, the environment – make it difficult for them to do this on their own. Asha provides training, encouragement and practical help that enables people to gain the skills and confidence needed to improve their situation.

Can I come and volunteer?

We welcome contact from people who are willing to offer their time and skills to help our work. Volunteers can teach English to groups of children in the slums, renovate medical clinics and resource centres or assist with research projects, among other things. Further details can be found on our Volunteer Page.

How is Asha funded?

Asha is funded entirely by the assistance of our friends and partners in India and overseas: these include other charitable organisations, the Indian government and individual supporters. Click here to find out who our partners are, both here and abroad.

What proportion of the funds are used for administration?

Only 7% of funds are spent on administration, and the remaining money goes towards running our projects. Asha’s financial audits for the past year are included in our annual report – you can find the latest copy here.

How does Asha choose which slum to work in?

Slums are chosen depending on the level of need observed. Asha has selected project areas in the past by visiting slum areas, speaking with community members and identifying their needs. To avoid duplication of effort, we avoid areas where NGOs are already involved in similar work. As slum transformation takes time, the size of each area is also a factor when targeting new communities as we need to have sufficient funds available for the work.

What can I do to help?

There are lots of possibilities! We rely greatly on our partners and supporters around the world who either raise awareness or contribute financially. Of course, the more money we have, the more we are able to do here in Delhi. Every contribution is valuable and can go a long way in India. By giving to Asha, you will be helping people to break free from the destructive cycle of poverty and despair.

Click on Get Involved above to learn more about the ways in which you can support.

Can I send clothing, books or other items for people in the slums?

If you are based in Delhi, we will gratefully accept donated items that we can distribute to those most in need. If you live elsewhere, the most efficient way to help is by making a donation. Nearly everything can be sourced here at a cheaper price than elsewhere, and administration can be reduced when we buy necessary items directly.

How can I learn more?

By browsing this site, and reading current and past annual reports that can be downloaded from our  Publications section. You can contact us with any specific queries by emailing us.