Friends of Asha Australia

Christmas Appeal 2020

Dear Friends and Supporters,

This year has been so challenging for everyone, wherever they live, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. For the poor in the Delhi slum communities, it has been truly devastating. In the light of this we have had to respond in unprecedented ways, to prevent wholescale disaster and as a result our resources have been very stretched.

We attach our Christmas Appeal and hope you might be able to make a contribution to show these people they are not forgotten and to spread hope this winter time.

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy Christmas,

Click here to see:

Christmas Appeal 2020


Friends of Asha Australia Board

Australian Friends of Asha was launched by the Governor of Victoria, The Honourable Alex Chernov AC QC, Patron of the organisation, in November 2012 at Government House, Melbourne. The organisation is chaired by Asha supporter and Chairman of Bendigo Bank, Mr Robert Johanson and aims to provide support to Asha and promulgate its work throughout Australia.

News and Events

March 2021: Inauguration of IT Center at Asha’s Mayapuri Slum Community

On 4th March 2021, ASHA inaugurated its first IT Lab in Mayapuri Asha centre in the presence of His Excellency Barry O’Farrell, High Commissioner of Australia to India. The event was also streamed live through zoom, and Asha supporters in Australia and around the world were able to watch with great delight. Read more.










February 2021: Chairman of AFOA Robert Johanson awarded the prestigious Australia Day honours

Asha congratulates Robert Johanson, the Chairman of Australian Friends of Asha, on being awarded the prestigious Australia Day honours for his distinguished service to finance, Australia-India relations, and education. Read more. 










March 2020: Dr Kiran and Asha graduate Mahinder visit the University of Queensland

The University of Queensland in Brisbane Australia will partner with ASHA and support its equity development work. UQ will support a high achieving Asha student to undertake studies at UQ’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences or Faculty of Business, Economics and Law in 2020. Read more.











February 2020: Asha’s first beneficiary of the Sydney Scholars India Equity Scholarship

We wish Asha student Abhishek, the first beneficiary of the ‘Sydney Scholars India Equity Scholarship’ all the very best for his future as he beings to pursue ‘Master of Management’ at the prestigious University of Sydney. Read more












February 2020: Asha bids farewell to Australian High Commissioner H.E Ms. Harinder Sidhu

Hi there everyone, there was yet another farewell at Asha- given to the Australian High Commissioner to India Her Excellency Harinder Sidhu, who will be returning to Canberra shortly after spending 4 years in India. Read more









January 2020: Trinity visits Asha

What a joy it was for the children at Asha’s Zakhira centre to have a team of 12 students from Trinity College, University of Melbourne (Australia) volunteer for about 10 days, starting from 13th January. Read more









November 2019: Sydney Scholars India Equity Scholarship awarded to Asha student Abhishek

On 20th November, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney and Principal Dr.Michael Spence, along with Dr.Kiran Martin, Founder, and Director of Asha society launched the ‘Sydney Scholars India Equity Scholarship’. The first Scholarship of its kind was awarded to the student Abhishek Handa from Peeragarhi slum colony. Read more











November 2019: Trinity College hosts a morning tea to support Asha

Trinity College students have been enthusiastically supporting the work of Dr Kiran Martin and the Asha Society by visiting Delhi to volunteer over the summer break. This strong connection is now to be expanded to include financial support with the launch of their ‘giving circle’. Read more











November 2019: Diwali celebration at the Australian club by Australian Friends of ASHA

The Australian Friends of ASHA held a Diwali celebration at the Australian Club, melbourne on Friday Octber 25th.

The event was attended by 120 guests and friends of ASHA and the catering was provided by Celebrity Chef Mr Adam D’Sylva who has two iconic restaurants in Melbourne, Tonka (Indian inspired) and Coda. The Convenor of the evening was Mr. Harish Rao, member of the Australian Club and Board member of Australian Friends of ASHA. Read more

September 2019: A team from The Australian National University visits Asha

Prof Kiaran Kirk, Dean of ANU College of Science, Prof Penny Brothers, Director, Research School of Chemistry, Prof Peter Bouwknegt, Director, Mathematical Sciences Institute and Jay Poria, Manager – International Relations and Partnerships from Australia National University, paid a visit to Asha on 7th September 2019. Read more.








August 2019: Bidding adieu to Asha’s first Chevening scholar 

The British High Commissioner Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG organised a reception at his residence to celebrate Chevening scholar Chandan’s journey to the UK. The august gathering included Australian High Commissioner- HE Ms. Harinder Sidhu, senior diplomats from various embassies, other eminent dignitaries, meritorious students from Asha slums and the Asha team. Read more










June 2019: Dr.Kiran congratulates Chandan on joining research program in Canberra

In Melbourne, Australia against a backdrop of the city lights, Australian Friends of Asha and Dr Kiran Martin congratulated Chandan Singh as he undertakes a three-month research program in Mathematics at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Dr Kiran informed the new supporters and long-standing donors on the history of Asha and acknowledged the remarkable transition made by Chandan progressing from a childhood in a slum of Delhi to a postgraduate student in Australia. Read more








July 2018: Invitation for Mahinder’s Graduation Ceremony

Mahinder Shrivas is a name taken with a lot of pride by the whole Asha family. We are ecstatic to share that he is about to complete his master’s from Trinity College, Melbourne.

To celebrate this glorious graduation ceremony, a fundraiser has been organised by the kind Professor Ken Hinchcliff, Warden of Trinity College along with Robert Johanson, Chair Australian Friends of Asha Slums (AFOA), in the presence of Dr Kiran Martin, Founder and Director of the Asha Society.  Read More 






May 2018: 2018 Internship Launch at Australian High Commission

A programme that started just 8 students getting an opportunity to intern in two Multinational Companies in the year 2012, has come a long way since its inception. It has been incredible to receive such an overwhelming response, with many more partners collaborating with Asha to provide a platform for the young talent of slums. Read More






March 2018: “Images of India”- a fundraising photographic exhibition in Fremantle by Juliet Murray

India is a land of contrasts. Poverty is significant and yet it is a country that is immensely rich; in culture, spirituality and diversity.  In this exhibition, photographer Juliet Murray aims to capture this richness while highlighting the challenges that people face. Read More








February 2018: Asha Turns 30

What an exciting and inspiring week of celebrations it has been on the occasion of Asha completing its 30 years of service to Delhi slums in the month of February!

We were delighted to have our friends and supporters from across the globe to celebrate the thirty transformational years.We take this opportunity to thank each one of you for being a part of this wonderful journey. If not for your sincere support, achieving this milestone would have been impossible.

To mark the splendid thirty years of Asha’s work in Delhi slums, we had a week-long celebration of events starting from February 7 and concluding with the main event on February 10 that was received with much happiness and appreciation by everyone. Asha graduates Chandan and Dilip beautifully presented the evening to the gathering, leaving everyone impressed with their emceeing skills. Women, children and students from the slums shared their powerful stories of change touching the hearts of the people present.Videos showcased of Dr Kiran and Asha’s thirty years of work summed up the inspiring journey of thousands of lives that have been changed.

It gives us immense pleasure to share the updates and pictures of the events with you. Please click on the link below:

Celebration Of 30 Years Of Asha


January 2018: Newsletter Issue 77

Dear Friends,

We are glad to present to you our Newsletter Issue 88 for the year 2018. This year as Asha celebrates its 30 years of service to slum dwellers, we have special messages from our global friends of Asha. You will also read about Sanjan and Sahil’s heartwarming stories of change.

We have some interesting testimonies from our volunteers and the latest activities Asha has been busy with.

We hope you enjoy reading this Newsletter as much as we have enjoyed writing it.

Click on to read more:

January 2018 Issue

November 2017: Newsletter Issue 76

Dear Friends,

It gives us great joy to keep you updated with the stories of change from our slum communities. In this  76th edition of our Newsletter, you will read about a young boy Jatin, who found a new life through Asha’s Healthcare Programme after having struggled for years with Tuberculosis.

Sumitra’s heart-wrenching story from Mayapuri slum community and her journey of finding happiness through her friends in Asha’s Mayapuri resource centre will inspire you.

You will also read about the experiences of our wonderful volunteers and other events that have kept us busy

Want to read more? Click here:

October 2017 Issue

October 2017: Dr Kiran hosted by Macquarie at their HQ in Sydney

Dr Kiran and Asha graduate Mahinder were given a very warm welcome by Shemara Wikramanayake, Head of Macquarie Asset Management and her senior colleagues at Macquarie Bank at their HQ in Sydney.Read more

October 2017: Dr Kiran and Asha graduate Mahinder hosted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Melbourne:

Dear Friends,

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. Read more

July 2017: Newsletter Issue 75

Dear Friends,

We are delighted to introduce the 75th issue of our newsletter. Your support means a lot to us and it gives us immense joy to bring to you the latest developments from the Asha slum communities.

In this issue, you will be proud to hear about the achievements of Asha’s 2017 High School Batch. You will read about the inspirational journey of Hariom, a cobblers son who aced the High school exam with a whopping 90.75% and his future dream.

Also read about Gomti’s life changing experience after coming to Asha and Chandan’s exciting Uk trip along with Dr Kiran Martin.

Click to know more:

July 2017 Issue

March 2017: Australian Senator Hon. Mathew Canavan visits Asha – We had the pleasure of hosting Australian Senator the Hon. Mathew Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia and other ministers from the Australian High Commission visit our Kanak Durga slum community to celebrate the International Women’s Day. Read more…

February 2017: Lion Fundraiser – On 21 February 2017, a group of Asha supporters in Melbourne enjoyed a private screening of the Oscar-nominated Australian film, LION, starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Sunny Pawar. Read more…

January 2017: Team Trinity spreads joy at Seelampur – What a joy it was for the children at Asha’s Seelmapur centre to have a team of 12 students from Trinity College, Australia volunteer for about 10 days, starting from 16th January. Read more… 

November 2016: Team from Monash University Volunteered at Asha – The Asha team and community at Asha’s Anna Nagar slum colony were thrilled to greet friends from Monash University, Australia. Read more…

November 2016: The Australian Cricket Community extends support to Asha – On 10 November 2016, the Australian Friends of Asha were hosted for a Diwali dinner in the Olympic Room, at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. Read more…

October 2016: Bendigo and Adelaide Bank celebrate Diwali to support Asha – On Friday 28th October Bendigo and Adelaide Bank celebrated the Diwali festival across its Adelaide and Bendigo head offices. Read more…

September 2016: Australian Friends of Asha host Asha Graduate Mahinder – Australian Friends of Asha invited Asha graduate Mahinder to share his experiences at their board meeting in the offices of Corrs Chambers Westgarth in Melbourne. Read more…

July 2016:  Australian High Commissioner HE Ms Harinder Sidhu visits Asha – We had the immense pleasure of having the Australian High Commissioner to India, Her Excellency Ms Harinder Sidhu on 28th July. Read more…

May 2016: Dr Kiran takes Asha to Australia – Dr Kiran and Asha student Usha have just completed a busy week in Australia. Read more…

May 2016: Dr Kiran and Asha honoured by the Australian Government – We are glad to announce that on Wednesday, May 25 Asha Society and Australian Friends of Asha (AFOA) were deeply honoured to attend a reception in Canberra hosted by Mr Peter Varghese AO, Secretary of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and former Australian High Commissioner to India. Read more…

May 2016: Australia inspired by success in India’s slums – Asha’s Dr Kiran Martin and young slum resident Usha will provide insights direct from Delhi’s slums to inform Australia’s indigenous and aid programs. Read more…

May 2016: Dr Kiran Meets Australian HC HE Harinder Sidhu – Dr Kiran had the immense pleasure of meeting with HE Ms Harinder Sidhu, the recently appointed Australian High Commissioner to India this week. Read more…

May 2016: Team from Australian High Commission Visits Asha – We at Asha were pleased to host a seven-member team from the Australian High Commission including Rechelle Carroll, Ronae Duthie, Jacqueline Duthie, Ellen Sanders, Zeina Sallalch, Bassam Walid Azar and our good friend Kimberly O’Brien, who has been associated with Asha’s Mentorship Programme for almost a year now. Read more…

March 2016: Former Australian Cricketer Damien Fleming visits Asha – Former Australian Cricketer, Damien Fleming visited Asha on March 29, 2016. Damien has been in India for the past few days for the ICC T20 World Cup. Read more…

February 2016: Macquarie Global Services donates medical equipment – Macquarie Global Services have kindly donated towards two of the most pressing needs of our healthcare programme – a Fully Automated Biochemistry Analyser and a Colour Doppler machine. Read more…

February 2016: Team from Trinity College, University of Melbourne visit Asha – It was wonderful to have a team of nine undergraduate and post graduate students from Trinity College, University of Melbourne for the first time at Asha. Read more…

January 2016: Macquarie Group Foundation hosts Dr Kiran – Dr Kiran met with Shemara Wikramanayake, Chair, Macquarie Group Foundation, and Sandeep Dhawan, Division Director, Head of Global Finance Services – India at their Delhi offices on January 18, 2016 Read more…

November 2015: Australian World Orchestra strikes the right chord with Asha children – Members of the Australian World Orchestra, who are currently touring India holding concerts across the country, visited Asha on Saturday, October 31. Read more…

October 2015: Australian delegates visit Asha – We were happy to have a team from Australia visit us. Dr Kiran welcomed Penny Fowler, Chairman of The Herald and Weekly Times, Ross Fitzgerald, Director of Visy Industries, Lisa Sampson also from Visy Industries, and Greg Sheridan, Australian foreign affairs journalist with his wife, Jessie. Read more…

For the latest news from Australia and more details about the ways in which you can support Asha, please visit

Contact Details

Richard LederMr Richard Leder, Secretary and National Coordinator, Australian Friends of Asha for slums

Australia India Institute, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, Arts West Building, Parkville  VIC  3010, Australia


Charity Registration Number ACN 161 085 650