In June 2012, Asha launched yet another trailblazing initiative, the Asha Internship Programme. 25 university students from various Asha slums walked into offices across Delhi and Gurgaon to do a month-long internship, during the summer break from college. For many it was the first time they had ever been in a professional environment. Major companies like Macquarie Group, Rio Tinto, Parson Brinckerhoff and BAE Systems India, along with the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian High Commissions, and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry took interns from the Asha slums.
This initiative was possible after the pilot project with F1F9, an innovative financial model building and training firm. The success of this pilot project led to the inception of the Internship Programme.
The students set to work, helping with research and basic office tasks. They learnt how to sit in meetings, how to speak professionally over the phone and also had the opportunity to have casual conversations with office staff over lunch about career paths and how to make it in the competitive Delhi job market. Being exposed to these office environments and meeting working professionals on a regular basis has helped them to become more confident individuals and has given them an added career focus.
Six years later we have over 290 students who have benefitted from this noteworthy programme. Asha hopes this programme marks the start of new opportunities for the students that will be a turning point in their lives as they finish their education and enter the professional world.
Click here to see Asha slum students doing internships at various companies and high commissions.