Dr Kiran and Mahinder hosted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Melbourne
Dr Kiran is just back from a wonderful trip in Australia where a number of meetings and events were held to raise awareness and resources for the work of Asha in India. The board members of Asha Australia did an amazing job with the organizing of this busy and exciting trip. We were delighted that Asha graduate Mahinder who is studying for a Masters in Computer Science at the University of Melbourne, accompanied her everywhere and beautifully narrated his moving story.
Price Waterhouse Cooper kindly hosted a lunch in Melbourne that was attended by the Australian business community, academia, members of Australia India Institute, Bendigo Bank, and other eminent individuals and groups. Dr Kiran spoke about her vision, achievements, and exciting future plans that involved reaching out to every slum in India’s capital in the next 5 years. Mahinder spoke movingly about his early years in Ekta Vihar slum colony. He talked about the harsh poverty he experienced during his early childhood, remembering how he was an unwanted child abused by his father and beaten many times. There was never enough food to go around, long queues at the public toilet, no new clothes, and no space or motivation to study.
He talked about the wonderful way in which his life changed once he began coming to the Asha Centre in his slum. He did very well at high school through his hard work, and with Asha’s encouragement and guidance. His admission into Galgotia’s College of Engineering was a ground breaking and pioneering milestone in his educational journey. Never before had anyone from his community been to university. He graduated with an honors and got a job as a Programmer Analyst at Cognisant in India, where he performed brilliantly. Asha Australia, led by the efforts of its Chairman Robert Johanson made efforts to help him receive an opportunity to study at the University of Melbourne. And he delightfully described to the audience how he felt that he had been born again in Australia! Living at Trinity College, one of Australia’s top residential colleges, and doing so well in the Masters Program at UOM, he smiled and said: birthday parties, bow tie and blue coat, cocktail events, formal dinners, gym workouts, swimming, all thus and much more were now a part of his daily life.
Thank you PwC for this wonderful occasion and for partnering with Asha to help transform lives in the slums of India!