Minutes of Asha Chennai Meeting held on Sunday 3rd June, 2018 at The Residence of
Kasturi easwaran in Royapettah, Chennai 600014.
Following were present
Decisions are highlighted in blue.
1. AFE BoD
The Board of Directors (Venkatesh and Uttara) from AFE were invited to join the meeting by
a conference call listening in. After about 45 minutes the call seemed to have ended.
Rajaram at the outset informed them that mostly local issues were to be discussed.
2. Ratification of Decisions taken on 22 April,2018 Meeting
All the decisions taken on the meeting held on 22nd April, 2018 were unanimously ratified.
3.Next Item of the agenda regarding updating on Financials was deferred to be taken after
considering couple of other agenda items as a few more people were expenses.
4. Asha Chennai Scholarships Proposal
Kasturi with the help of Rajaraman had prepared the budget proposals in view of the change
in steward. It was generally agreed that the focus on Quality of Education should take
precedence over rendering financial assistance to individuals to prosecute education.
By a vote of 6 to 1 it was decided to reduce the ceiling limit of number of scholars to be
financially assisted to 110 out of which 103 are continuing scholars. Thus only 7 more new
candidates will be selected for 2018-19 Academic year.
It was also decided by 6 votes to 1 that eligibility guidelines for fresh scholars be so framed
as to give preference to candidates in Class Ten, Eleven, College (other than professional)
Accordingly it was decided that the Budget for student fees in 2018-19 would be reduced to
Rs 16,50,000 and the total to Rs 19,85,000. This was unanimously approved.
5. Sangamam Kanini Proposal
Rajaraman presented the Budget Proposals for Sangamam Kanini for 2018-19. He
explained that the budget for a software engineer and the small expenses for Olcott
Memorial School could not be presented to Hyundai Glovis which necessitated the
Sangamam Kanini proposal.
The total budget for the project is Rs 5,70,400. This was approved unanimously.
6. UQE Tirunelveli
Ananth reintroduced the proposal for funding UQE project for 2018-19. It was pointed out
that the volunteers have the same objections to the project as discussed in the previous
meeting when discussing the Jan-May 2018 proposal. These are two levels of indirection,
lack of loyalty of Asha teachers to Asha, potential lack of impact of Asha in a large school,
lack of expertise in handling education for high / higher secondary schools and lack of
budget details of the two trusts which are currently handling the schools among others.
The proposal was rejected with 6 Votes against and 1 for.
Ananth requested that the proposal not be rejected but instead be deferred and that he will
bring Nalan from NJT and Ms. Radha the coordinator of the project to answer our questions.
The volunteers felt that most of the objections such as above will not change even with
answers from Nalan or Radha. Further volunteers felt that we have already spent a lot of
time in probably every meeting since July of 2017 discussing this project. Therefore the
deferment request was also rejected with 6 Votes against and 1 for.
7. Financials for 2017-18
Rajaram presented the status of Asha Chennai’s finances. The following decisions were
a) Admin : It was decided to allocate Rs 1,00,000 to Buffer in view of the expenditure
b) Asha India Conference : It was decided to allocate Rs 27,033 to buffer on similar
consideration as above.
c) Project First Step -- It was decided to roll back the balance Rs 3,33,855 to buffer
since no further expenditure is anticipated.
d) Bharathiyar Trust St Louis -- It was decided to roll back Rs 44,245 to buffer on similar
consideration as above.
e) Avalurpet CP/MR School -- It was decided to allocate Rs 1,00,000 to buffer on similar
consideration as at a) above.
f) Rest of the information presented regarding previous year’s allocations etc. were
ratified by the volunteers.
g) All the above decisions were unanimously voted.
8. Allocations for 2018-19
a) Broadly it was decided to continue allocation towards projects at 85% of the
requirement this year as well to continue incentivising the stewards to raise funds for
b) Asha Scholarships It was decided to allocate Rs 18,00,000 instead of the projected
sum of Rs 20,00,000.
c) Project Deepam Since this is too be closed at the end of June, 2018 it was decided
to roll back Rs 178748 to buffer
d) UQE Tirunelveli. Since this project is not funded now it was decided to roll back Rs
225192 to buffer.
e) During the meeting held on 22nd April Project stewards were asked to make some
changes in their budget proposals for 2018-19. In respect of Project Sangamam,
Sangamam Kanchipuram, Thulasi, Poorna Vidya, Pearl, Manigal Indira Nagar and
Allocations for 2018-19 were approved unanimously incorporating such changes decided
as stated above. The project budget, allocated amount and the transfer required from our US
buffers is shown in the below table.
Allocation from Buffer
Transfer sanctioned from AfE US account
9. Loans to Asha teachers and staff
It was decided to enhance the ceiling limit of loans per year from the present 2 per cent to
5 per cent of the total annual expenditure of Asha. This will increase the current ceiling
from Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 7 Lakhs.
Increase of the outstanding loan ceiling to 5% of previous year’s expenses was voted
unanimously by all the seven present.
It was unanimously approved to sanction a loan of Rs 75,000 each to our administrative
staff at Chennai Murthy and Malliga for building house in Guduvanchery where.Malliga
has a plot of land. It will be repaid in 25 instalments at the rate of Rs 3000 by each of
them. Rajaraman and Bhaskar will be guarantors.
It was unanimously approved to sanction a loan of Rs 30,000 to S. Ramya, a teacher at
Project Sangamam / Sangamam Kanini for purchase of a scooter. Independent mobility is
essential for her in the course of discharging her duty as she has to visit far flung schools
near Uthukottai. She will refund it in three years, her first instalment of refund will be due
as soon as her EMI payment is over. Venkat and Rajaraman will be guarantors.
Kasturi stated that Philomena a teacher at Poorna Vidhya had serious setbacks in her
health condition for several months needing prolonged treatment incurring expenditure for
treatment in hospital. It was unanimously decided to sanction a loan of Rs 30,000 to be
refunded at the rate of Rs 2000 in 15 months. Kasturi will be her guarantor.
Aishwarya another teacher at Project Sangamam has sought Rs 50,000 for house
construction to enable her family to relocate. It was decided to defer consideration of this
It was unanimously approved to sanction a loan of Rs.30,000 to Poonkodi, another
teacher at Project Sangamam / Sangamam Kanini for the construction work for her
house, to be refunded in 2 years. Rajaraman and R Sundaram will be guarantors.
15. Registration of a new trust for Asha Chennai and other Asha India chapters
Rajaraman apologised for not having made any progress in this effort.
Note it is currently planned that Rajaram and Bhaskar from Asha Chennai, Vallabh and one
more person from Asha India will be the initial set of trustees of this trust.
Ananth proposed that his son EA Rajesh who although in US is actively interested in
participating in voluntary work in the field of education in India be made on of the trustees of
this new trust.
The volunteers felt that EA Rajesh did not have any connection to Asha Chennai or Asha
India at present. Therefore the proposal was rejected by 6 votes to 1.
16. New plans for allocation of AfE central funds.
Rajaram updated the volunteers about the ongoing discussions on this topic and said that
he will forward the mail to asha-chennai-core.
17. Vote of Thanks
All present thanked Kasturi Easwaran for her excellent hospitality and allowing her drawing
room to be utilised for today’s deliberations and providing tea and snacks.
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