Good Evening Everyone,
Today we have all gathered here to celebrate 30 years of Asha – Transforming lives. According to me, transforming life is about taking you from the bottom and putting you up at the top through educating, inspiring, and providing hope.
So, ladies and gentlemen,
My name is Sahil, and I have come from Kusumpur slum colony to share my journey with you.
When I was 2 years old, I lost my mother. It wasn’t a natural death. She committed suicide. And, do you know the consequences of suicide on those who you leave behind? We were frightened to stay in our own home. The question which haunts me is “how did all this happen? How could she do this.” The whole incident haunted me throughout my childhood. My neighbours, relatives and friends kept talking about this and constantly showed pity on me. So I used to go far away from my community to play.
My father was really supportive, and he played the role of father and mother. But he had his own limitations and emotional problems.
In Class 10, I was the topper in my school and I got a GPA of 8.8 out of 10. I wanted to continue my studies, but I was really worried about my financial problems.
One hot summer morning, I saw two people from Asha standing outside my home: Rani Ma’am and Pushpa Ma’am. When I entered the Asha centre, everybody accepted me, and I felt loved and cared for. I was so amazed at how everyone was so ready to help. Our senior Asha Ambassador Shubham has taught me maths even at 10’ o clock in the night.
As a result of this, I secured 86.5% in my 12th Class exam. But the competition for college admission was so tough that I was not getting admission. Days passed by. College lists came out one after the other, but my name was not on them. I was literally about to quit. But Pushpa ma’am said, “wait, there is one more college list to come”. And in the last college admission list, I finally made it into Delhi University. That day I learned, “never lose your hopes, until you die”.
As an Asha Ambassador, I take educational workshops and classes for my juniors. Because of my efforts, my juniors Lokesh and Vinny were able to get admission in Moti Lal Nehru College and Mata Sundari College respectively.
We also love to share our stories and to have lunch with the women of the Mahila Mandal at the Asha Centre. Through Asha, I have done my internship at a UK based Financial Modeling Company called F1F9. When I returned to college after my internship, all my friends were shocked and wanted to know, how did I get this internship.
Basically I have always been a shy person and an introvert. By practicing the Asha values of Gratitude and Affirmation, I have overcome my shyness and improved my communication skills.
In the future, I would like to do my MBA in Finance and International Business. I hope I will receive your blessings as I prepare for this very difficult exam.
Dr. Kiran ma’am is a woman with a vision to educate all the children in the slums, a vision to reach every slum of Delhi, to bring people to the brighter side of the moon. Ma’am, I can’t thank you enough for everything.
In the end, I want to say that I want to help my father have a happy, secured, and peaceful life, at least in his old age.
Thank you all for listening to me.