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  • Meeting Minutes for Asha Chennai on 19th February 2017


Volunteers Present: Saraswathi, Ananth, Jayashree, Lokesh, Bhaskar, Kasturi, Venkat and Rajaram.

*Decisions and action items are in blue.


1. Financial Report

Rajaram updated the team about the financials of Asha Chennai as of Dec 31st 2016. While each of the project had adequate funds till the end of the project year (May 2017), the buffer was severely depleted. We are hoping for the allocation from the Asha Central funds to cover for the shortfall. Some of the project funds that needed some action were,

    • Projects WAH and Bharathi Trust still have funds sitting in them. We need to talk to the appropriate chapters and move these into buffer. Bhaskar to take this up.

    • Project First Step also has funds remaining. Kasturi and Ananth to take the steps to move these info the buffer.

    • UQE Thirunelvelli needs to have a project page so that funds transfer for this can be initiated.

    • Bhaskar to initiate fund transfer for the three remaining projects shortly : UQE Thirunelvelli, Poorna Vidhya and Project Pearl.

    • Chennai Disaster Relief project has a negative balance as we did not receive the central funds for which was approved back in Dec 2016. We will try to allocate the WAH funds for this and close this out. If not we will allocate funds from our buffer.


2. Project Updates Sangamam Kanini

Rajaram presented the various major activities happening with Sangamam Kanini.

    1. Teacher Training – There were training sessions held on 28th on 30th Dec for all project teachers. These were very successful. Further the online English training is continuing. For the next month or two we will be taking up training the Thiruvallur teachers for TET.

    2. Assessments – After finishing the oral assessments in November, we are now conducting the written assessments across all project schools – a total of about 55 schools and 3000 children. Volunteers were requested to help with the conducting of the assessments in Chennai schools on Jan 27th. The grading and the analysis of the papers is starting up.

    3. Presentations – Venkat talked to the volunteers about the effort ongoing at the Sangamam Kanini supported schools. The 4th and 5th standard children are developing presentations on various topics. They will get this ready by the end of March. The best 10 will be selected and some function will be held where they can present it to an audience. The best 3 from that will be chosen for some prize. This will also be an opportunity for us to bring in some officials from the government as well as media and make them aware of the work we are doing.

3. Project Update Scholarships

Geetha updated the team with the current status of the scholarship project. The first two disbursements were complete and the last disbursement will be held in May along with the collection of renewal applications. There was a session held with Technocrats India. They presented the students of 11th and 12th standards along with their parents with various options that may exist for their continued education and career. One on one sessions will be sponsored for all students that need counseling. Fund raising is proceeding. About 10 Lakhs out of the needed Rs 20 Lakhs has been raised.


4. Loan for Jothi – Teacher at Project Sangamam

Jothi is teaching at Kottaikulam a school supported by Project Sangamam. When she was coming on her scooter for a meeting at the Sangamam Office on February 11th, she made a mistake while turning into the lane for the office and a car almost hit her. Thankfully she escaped and only suffered minor injuries. He scooter suffered damages and the total bill for repairing it is over Rs 15,000. The insurance will cover only about Rs 3500 out of it! She was requesting a loan of Rs 10000 from Asha to cover the costs.


All the volunteers unanimously approved the loan of Rs 10000 to Ms Jothi.



5. ARC Poll items for 1H2017

Bhaskar presented the poll items for 1H2017. These were,


a. Default allocation of donations to nearest chapters based on ZIP code.


This concerned all our chapter volunteers. Since people from Chennai would not be donating through the US donations pages, we will not receive any money because of this and further if given a choice the donors may well choose an Indian chapter from the places they hail from. Defaulting the chapter just by proximity will certainly not be good for us. We also need to understand the numbers for the donations in various categories. Rajaram and Bhaskar should follow up and try to make the donors choose a chapter (from all chapters) instead of default by zip codes.


b. Changes to the fellowship program. The volunteers did not have strong opinions on this proposal and were find with the proposal as it stands.


6. Asha India Conference

Rajaram will try to go to the Asha India conference. Other volunteers said they will also let Rajaram know if they will be able to come. The two main agenda items that we will be moving for the conference would be the following,


    1. Improve the processes so that our audits and various filings proceed smoothly. In particular look at engaging an English speaking accounts person who can and should travel to every chapter at least twice a year to train the treasurer / accounts person in the chapters and ensure smooth audits.

    2. Start the process of another registration for Asha India so that our operations are not hindered if there are any problems in the FCRA registration etc.



Minutes recorded by Rajaram


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