The Anniversary Week: Celebrating 25 Years of Asha

Asha marked its 25th anniversary with a week of festivities to celebrate a quarter-century of empowering Delhi’s slum communities.

The first formal event of the week took place on Tuesday, 5th February at the India Habitat Centre in central New Delhi. During the evening, video presentations and speeches by dignitaries and slum dwellers alike paid tribute to Asha’s transformative work. India’s Finance Minister Shri P. Chidambaram, Hon. Alex Chernov AC QC, Governor of Victoria, and a number of other distinguished guests honoured us with their presence at this event.

Above: India’s Finance Minister Shri P. Chidambaram and Hon’ble Alex Chernov AC QC, Governor of Victoria, Australia, lighting the inaugural lamp as HE Patrick Suckling, Australian High Commissioner; and former Director of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation, Mr. D. R. Karthikeyan look on

The British Council hosted Wednesday’s event, the launch of Ed Sewell’s A Journey of Hope, a book of images documenting the transformation of Asha’s slum communities. Several slum residents who were featured in the book joined us to share their stories.

Above: Photographer Ed Sewell reflects on the life-changing experience of working with Asha’s communities

On Thursday, Asha supporters from abroad visited various Asha slums to meet with the community members they love so much. While at the slums, they spent time visiting people’s homes, speaking to the women and children’s groups and observing various activities going on in the Asha centres.

Above: Gordon Wright with wife Daphne, Coordinator, Friends of Asha (Ireland) and Dr. David Finch, Chairman Friends of Asha (GB) and his wife Helen Finch with Asha staff and community members at Zakhira slum colony

On Friday, a cultural evening of classical Indian song and dance elevated the celebratory tone of the week with performances by Neetu Chopra, Guru Vinod Kumar ji, Dr. Martin, and Sharon Lowen. Addressing the audience at this event, Chief Guest Shri L.K. Advani, Chairman BJP Parliamentary Party; and Guest of Honour HE Jan Henderson, New Zealand High Commissioner, commended Asha for promoting the arts as an important component of community development.

Above: Dr. Kiran Martin and Guru Vinod Kumar ji, Director and Principal, Bhaatkhande Sangit Vidyalaya, performing at the cultural evening

The culmination of our anniversary celebration was a thank-you event to show appreciation for the all the contributions of supporters, staff, and other members of the Asha family.

Above: Phil Leighton, Coordinator, Friends of Asha (GB) receives a token of thanks from HE Patrick Suckling, Australian High Commissioner and Dr. Kiran Martin at the Saturday event

Asha is immensely thankful to our supporters who travelled from near and far to be a part of this week. It was an immense privilege to have them with us as we celebrated 25 years of transformation in Delhi’s slums.

For more photographs from each event, visit our Facebook