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  • Meeting Minutes for Asha Chennai on 21 May 2017


Volunteers Present:

Rajaraman Krishnan,R.Sundaram,Bhaskar,E.S.Ananth,Paripooranam,Kavitha,Kasturi Easwaran,Vijaya Sundaram,Saraswathi,Siddharth and Venkat Nataraj.

*Decisions and action items are in blue.


1. Rajaraman welcomed those present and gave a broad picture of finances of the organisation on date. He also described the growth and forecast a positive outlook for finances as the balance stood at Rs 1.5 Crores approximately. We also need to be concerned as we are still heavily dependent on support from Asha Central funds. There is a discrepancy of Rs 12 Lakhs. We have 12 Lakhs more than what is reflected in our projectwise balances. If we are unable to resolve it, this amount will also be added to our buffer funds. Mr Bhaskar, Mr Ananth and Ms Kasturi were requested to expedite closure of Project First step, WAH and Bharathiyar Trust accounts to clean up the accounts.



2.Bank Formalities

 Rajaram added that the problem of Authorised signatory at HDFC Bank has been resolved and now himself, Vijaya and Bhaskar can sign cheques, independently.  Some more formalities may have to be gone through for Internet access for both viewing and transactions.  



3. Appointment of An Accounts Assistant



Rajaraman explained in detail the content of accounting work, writing cheques, preparing vouchers, checking and correcting vouchers, entering in imprest registers, keeping track of regularising advances through regular  expenditure vouchers, data entry in MS Money and preparing reports etc. Between  Radha and himself the work is being done while  Malliga does  mostly the leg work. Malliga’s husband  Murthy  was inducted recently to cope with the load and his work was found  to be satisfactory relieving a lot of burden of tedious work from Radha and Rajaraman. Since Murthy can also do a bit of leg work if required, this can free up Malliga for assisting with other projects if required.




Geetha Iyengar, however, expressed  that she could chip in and help and therefore services of Murthy may not be necessary. This was discussed at length. It was generally felt that lower order clerical work is best done by a paid employee of ASHA so that volunteers’ valuable time can be used more gainfully.   Rajaraman promised to have a  detailed discussion with Geetha as soon as possible. Till then appointment of Murthy as an Accounts Assistant on an ad hoc basis at Rs 12000 per month, starting from June’2017  was approved.



4. Acquiring An Address for ASHA Chennai



With the Bank Records straightened, it is imperative that Asha Chennai has a permanent address. Currently the address registered with the bank is that of Lakshmi’s apartment. To meet this requirement it was decided to take on sub-lease at Rs 4000 Per Month, one Work Station from Solnet Technologies, Luz Avenue Raga Sudha Hall Mylapore, Chennai 600004. This will help in dealing with correspondence, particularly, if a paid Assistant like Murthy attends daily to routine work.



This was approved unanimously.



5. Volunteer offer for Software Development



Additionally, one Ms Jintu Jain has offered to work on software developing content etc and this workstation will help . If the computer related work of software development expands ASHA could hire more work stations.



6.Projects and Approval Of Budgets



Next on the agenda was approval by voting the various project proposals after an in depth discussion.



It was decided to defer consideration of Projects Asha Scholarship  ( Geetha and Vijaya) and UQE Tirunelveli ( E.Ananth) since Geetha could not be present and on Mr Ananth’s request respectively. Because of these the funding allocation for all projects has also been moved to the next meeting.



6.1 Project Sangamam Kanini



It was noted that  Item 9 relating to Hardware accessories purchase and hardware repair may increase to Rs 75,000 although only rs 50,000 had been proposed. The Budget  proposal for the total expenditure of Rs 32,97,500 for 16 Line Items with the above change was approved unanimously. Rajaraman stressed the need to get the software engineer in position quickly and progress on the content development work.



6.2 Project Pearl


Bhaskar presented the requirements for schools at Nagalapuram, Ayyanar ootru (2) , Koppampatti, Balwadis in Nagalapuram and Vagaithavur covered under Project Pearl . During discussions ithe provisions in Item 15 ( Water bottles) was increased to Rs 50 per bottle and item 17 (Uniform sarees ) was increased to Rs 1500 per teacher.  The expenditure commitment budget of Rs 12,90,650 for 30 Line Items with the above two changes was approved unanimously.



6.3 Project Thulasi


Paripoornam presented the Fund requirements for schools in Kamagaram, Nallanpillaipetral, Kanniyampadi, Seeyapoondi and Kattusitampur . Following changes were incorporated.


Line Item 8  Miscellaneous etc  to be deleted since it is included in Item 7


Line item 13. School day celebration expenses may be reduced to Rs 50,000 since all schools do not hold the function.


Line Item 18 salary for 13 months should read as Rs 26000


Line item 20 Newspaper/Magazine. Stressing the importance of running the Library well, which is named after ASHA Chennai late Founder Lakshmi Satyanarayanan the provision was increased to Rs 12000 from Rs 7200.


With all of the changes above, a total of Rs 9,83,800 was approved for the project unanimously.



6.4 Project Manigal Indiranagar



Saraswathi was congratulated for the outstanding performance of Gypsy children (Narikuravar)  in the recent Board Exams 10th and 12th. Then she presented the budget requirements which were discussed in detail. The budget of Rs 6,38,400 was approved unanimously with of the  following changes.


Item 1 Honorarium To Teachers was curtailed by Rs 12000 and thus will be Rs 2,67,000


Item 3 Fees For Vocational was to be reduced to Rs 30,000. even while keeping  the need, as explained by Saraswathi, to give special consideration  for Gypsy children not to feel deprived at the level of job entry.


Item 10 Data Cards amount was reduced to Rs 6000.



6.5 Project Manigal Kottur



Saraswathi presented the requirements of Kottur . During discussions it was pointed out to Saraswathi that salary increases should be compared from year to year on like to like basis. Therefore the Item 1a was reduced by Rs 6000.


Item 8 Data cards etc was reduced to Rs 6000.


The proposal with the above changes to the tune of Rs 7,15,500 was approved unanimously.



6.6 Poorna Vidhya



Kasturi Easwaran presented the requirements of funds for supporting CPS School at Shastri Nagar, Primary at Odaikuppam, , NS Garden at RA Puram, St Mary’s, Canal Bank road HS all in Chennai and one suburban school Adi Dravida School at Guduvancheri.


After considerable discussion provision for a regular teacher at Shastri Nagar may be deleted. Salary of Prakash should be Rs 9000 plus discretionary part depending on performance not exceeding Rs 1000. Another ( Philomena ) salary similarly should be Rs 7000 plus discretionary to maximum of Rs 600 based on performance.  New teacher, if appointed, should be fixed at less than total salary of Rs 10,000 and should take care of 3 Schools.


The materials budget of Shastri nagar be reduced by Rs 20,000.


Additionally Poorna Vidhya will be provided Rs 30,000 for a Laptop, Rs 6000 for Data plan per teacher and Rs Rs 10,000 for Administrative expenses.


Thus revised Figures will be


1.CPS Shastri Nagar      Rs 30,000 (salary - 0)


2.CPS Odaikuppam        Rs  1,53,000


3 CMS NS garden           Rs   50,000


4 ADWS Guduvancheri  Rs 1,23,000 (salary 93,000)


5 Primary St Marys         Rs 1,33,000


6 Canal Bank HS            Rs 10,000




1 Laptop                           Rs 30,000


2 Data Plan                      Rs 18,000


3 Administration                Rs 10,000


Total                                  Rs 5,57,000



The proposal was approved unanimously with the above modifications.



6.7 Project Deepam Computer Lab



Vijaya Sundaram gave an overview of the status of Computer Lab under Project Deepam . After some discussions it was decided to fix the salary of Computer Trained Teacher at Rs 19000 per month and Computer Assistant at Rs 6000 per month with an annual bonus of Rs 3000. Vijaya promised to look up the best deal for data cards since several options were available now from various Service Providers. This was sanctioned Rs 1000 per month. A total fund requirement for the project of Rs 4,35,000 was approved unanimously.



6.8 Project Right Start Teachers Training Scheduled from 22 May 2017



Rajaraman explained the nuts and bolts of organisation of this all important annual event when Asha Chennai Teachers from all across gather together to update their skills and also show case their wards’ presentations of learning outcomes. Meena Suresh and Jayashree Arun have kindly offered to be the resource persons. Children of 8 Teams will participate in the competition which will be judged by men of standing and the final Prize Giving Ceremony and Formal Show will be on 28th when Dr Bhaskar Ramamurthy of IIT M will be the Chief Guest. Prof Kamakoti of IIT M has been of immense help in putting up this grand event of Asha Chennai and also providing ICSR Auditorium. In passing Rajaraman mentioned that the annual assessment of quality in education that Asha has undertaken may soon form part of a Data analytic sponsored project between TN Govt and IIT M.



A total fund requirement of Rs 2,60,000 was approved unanimously for this training program and the event covering transport, boarding and lodging, local transport and also miscellaneous expenses for the final day event. Kasuri and Kavita kindly consented to buy the prizes and Trophy for the award winners. Prof Kamakoti too has pitched in to take care of ceremonial expenses.



7.Updated Proposals of Sangamam  and Hysco Sangamam



Rajaraman gave the highlights of revision in Sangamam and Hysco Sangamam project fund proposals. Project Sangamam proposal required changes as Hyundai Glovis has come forward to support all the Poondi block schools plus the library related expenses for all schools including those in Ellapuram block. With these changes the Hyundai Glovis portion of the project proposal came up to Rs 37,26,500 and the rest of Project Sangamam to Rs 10, 95,000. These chages to Project Sangamam totalling Rs 48,21,500 were approved unanimously.



As for Hysco Sangamam, some budget items needed to be changed as we have changed the list of schools after detailed site visits. The total amount remains the same at Rs 10,00,000. The changes to the proposal were approved unanimously.



8.0 Meeting ended with a vote of thanks for the kind hospitality of Bhaskar for the use of his home for the meeting.






















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