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  • Meeting Minutes for Asha Chennai on 28th July, 2019


Attendees: Ramakrishnan, Bhaskar, Venkat, Rajaram, Usha Bhaskar, Sundaram, Venkataraman, Kasturi, Sriram, Saraswathi, Lokesh, Arun, John Paul.

* Decisions are highlighted in blue.

  1. Minutes of the meeting held on 26-5-2019 was approved
  2. Rajaram presented the Asha Chennai Financial report for Apr 2018- Mar 2019. He explained the sources & basis for arriving at the figures presented. Funding by source works out to Rs 2,37,62,412/ and Balance by location works out to Rs 2,14,83,756. Rajaram mentioned that the US Donations include US$ 3030 which is yet to reflect in the Statement of Activity prepared by Asha USA. Sum of ending balance by all projects and buffer works out to Rs 1,96,11,040.

    Rajaram mentioned that due to unknown reasons a difference exists between balance as per projects and balance by location and this gap seems to be growing. Since balance by location is greater than balance by project we have accepted the difference so far. Ramakrishnan volunteered to study our accounting process in order to find the cause for this difference and suggest a solution to rectify it.

  3. Whenever we incur expenditure to evaluate new projects which are referred to Asha Chennai, such expenses are accounted under ‘Project Explore’. As and when a project is accepted by Asha Chennai a separate account will be created for it. Going forward Project Sangamam will be called Glovis Sangamam and Sangamam Kanchipuraam will be called Project Sangamam.

  4. Since 2014 Bhaskar has been following with USA to close WAH. He will try one more time. If we don’t get proper response from USA we will close this account and move the balance to buffer. Project Deepam and UQE Thirunelveli have been closed and the balance moved to buffer
  5. Office of Solnet Technologies in Mylapore is being used only by Asha at present. We pay a fixed rent for a few work stations. However expenses on internet and electricity, vary based on usage by only members of Asha. During summer electricity cost goes up as air conditioner is used. It was proposed that internet charges of Rs 1100 per month and electricity charges upto Rs 10,000/ bi-monthly will be borne by Sangamam Kanini as it has a good buffer. This proposal was unanimously approved.

  6. Asha Scholarships – The proposal was presented by Venkataraman. Total number of recipients has been retained at 110, same as last year. As per the policy students in +1,+2 and college will be selected as new recipients. Rs 22,50,000/ has been budgeted for 2019-20 compared to actuals of Rs 15,66,186. The increase is due to increase in scholarship amount per student, change in mix of students. This proposal for Rs 22,50,000/- was unanimously approved.

  7. Project Sangamam – Dharmi Chand has left and we need to find a replacement. Rent for one work station at Mylapore office has been added as a new expense item which works out to Rs 48,000 per year. One regular teacher has been moved from Glovis Sangamam to Kadambathur. One new teacher will be recruited for Ellapuram block or other places. Including these changes budget of Rs 13,08,200/ was unanimously approved.

  8. Project Sangamam Kanini – Salary for senior developer has been reduced from Rs 1 lac pm to Rs 75,000 pm. Salary for junior developers has been reduced from Rs 50,000 pm to Rs 30,000 pm. The number of developers has also been reduced to 3 from 4. As minuted in point 5 above, Rs 60,000/ has been budgeted for internet and electricity for Asha office. With all these changes a budget of Rs 20,05,000/ has been unanimously approved for this project.

  9. Project Manigal – As agreed in last monthly meeting, discretionary increment has been limited to 4% of total salary. Due to the special nature of students involved, this project proposes to spend some amount to buy things for individual gypsy students in Kottur, Indra nagar school and the group suggested that this expenditure can be restricted to Rs 500 per student. This is excluding cost of uniform, tailoring. To support studies of gypsy students in other schools, colleges the cost budgeted works out to less than our own scholarship budget for similar students and hence was approved. Inclusive of these costs, Rs 6,82,800 for Manigal Kottur and Rs 6,17,800 for Manigal Indra Nagar were approved unanimously.
  10. Hariksha Trust – Bhaskar informed the group that Hariksha Trust's FCRA issues are still unresolved after almost three years now and their struggle to run the learning center for CP/MR children continues. Thanks to Asha Bangalore, which has approved and released Rs.3 lakhs for this project as of now. That will cover about 3-4 months of their expenses and so Bhaskar proposed that Asha Chennai support them for six months, similar to last year, towards staff salaries and food expenses only. The group unanimously approved Rs. 5,40,000 (Rs.90,000 per month for six months) towards this project and Asha Chennai will continue to take care of the approved project expenses directly.
  11. Muthu Loan – Muthu has requested for a loan of Rs 50,000 for his further studies (MSc Computer Science by correspondence) as well as for medical expenses for his mother and brother. Sundaram Sir felt we should only approve the loan for his further studies and Venkat felt we should only approve the loan for the medical expense. We first voted to see if we should give the entire loan or part amount. Seven of the ten volunteers voted for giving the entire loan amount of Rs 50,000.
  12. Budget Allocation – Rajaram presented the starting balance, project budget and the fundraising target for all our projects for 2019-20. We went over each project and decided on allocations from (and to) buffers. For projects that don't have fundraising target or are short, we allocated 85% of the the shortfall from buffer as is our usual process.

    We also decided on the funds to be transferred from the US buffers for projects that don't have sufficient funds or local fund-raising.

    The table above provides the details of the allocations and the buffer funds transfers. These were unanimously approved by the group.

13.  Accounts and Trust registration updates – Rajaram mentioned that the accounts for FY 18-19 are almost complete and should be done by end of July. The accounts will then be handed to our auditor for audit finalization

 Asha South India Trust registration is progressing well. The deed has been finalized with help from our auditor and the registration will be done soon.

14. Updates from Rajaram/Venkat's US trip and Asha 28 conference – Rajaram and Venkat visited a few Asha US chapters and gave an update about it. Rajaram also participated in the Asha 28 conference held in Chicago. He summarized his interactions and learnings from the conference.

15. Volunteering for core chapter activities – We solicited volunteers to take ownership of some core chapter activities. The following volunteers offered to volunteer for the various areas.

  • Fund raising - Venkat
  • Accounting / Treasury – Ramakrishnan (Indian side), Venkatraman (US side).
  • Internal Complaints Committee – Mr. Venkatraman volunteered to draft a policy document with the roles and responsibilites of the ICC
  • PR, volunteer engagement, etc – No one yet.

With that we brought the meeting to a close.

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