2011: It was wonderful for Dr Martin to be able to spend time in Australia last month. It was a very fruitful visit and she met some very inspiring individuals and many new Asha supporters.
Hon Alex Chernov, Governor of Victoria and his wife Mrs Elizabeth Chernov hosted a luncheon at Government House, Melbourne in honour of Dr Kiran Martin.
Dr Martin with the Most Revd Dr Philip Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne and the Right Revd Philip Huggins, Bishop of the Northern and Western Region of the Anglican Dioceses of Melbourne. Dr Martin was the guest speaker at the Eucharist at the Opening of the Second Session of the 50th Synod, for the Diocese of Melbourne Anglican Church of Australia.
(L-R) Ms Prarthna Dayal, Prof Graham Brown, Dr Kiran Martin, Dr Peter Deutschmann and Dr Martha Morrow on the occasion of the publication of ‘Asha: Hope and Transformation in the Slums of Delhi’, a detailed research study about Asha’s model and methods in urban community development, a project undertaken with the Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne and Australia India Institute.
We would like to thank the Australian Community for their warmth and hospitality during this visit. In particular we would like to thank the Nossal Institute for Global Health, Melbourne University and the Australian High Commission in Delhi for all the efforts they made in organising this trip.
A team led by Erin Lynn from Monash University, Australia visited Asha during the month of February. The 8-member team comprising postgraduate students and faculty from the university spent a week working at Asha’s slum based centre in Jeewan Nagar slum colony.
The team painted the children’s resource centre in Jeevan Nagar with vibrant murals. The children in Jeevan Nagar simply loved the new look of the centre. The team also got engaged in a lot of value based discussions with young students which was enjoyed by all.
During their week-long stint at Jeevan Nagar, the team members were able to build a healthy rapport with the women and children from the community. As the women narrated their journey with Asha, the team members were delighted to observe the changes taking place in the lives of the community as a result of Asha’s interventions. It was an immensely enriching experience for the community as well, as they got to learn about the culture, lifestyle and history of Australia.
It was the first time that Asha hosted a visit from the Monash University and would like to thank the team for taking out the time to visit the community. We look forward to many more such visits in days to come.
On 7th March, 2014, we were privileged to welcome Professor Sue Elliot, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Engagement), University of Melbourne; Mr Bill Burdett, Member of Board of Directors, Australian Friends of Asha; Mr Wayne Lewis, Commissioner to India, State Government of Victoria; Ms Gonul Serbest, Executive Director-Trade, Government of Victoria; Mr Howard Ronaldson, Secretary, Department of State Development-Business and Innovation and Mr Amitabh Mattu, Director, Australia India Institute to Asha.
They met with Dr Kiran and members of the Asha Team at the Asha Headquarters where they were given an orientation about the work of Asha after which they visited Kanak Durga slum colony to meet with the community. Warmly welcomed amidst loud claps and cheers, the visitors interacted with the members of Mahila Mandal (Women’s Association) and the college students over a two hour session. While the women narrated their journey towards empowerment the students excitedly shared the accounts of their experience at college.
The visitors were greatly impressed to note how the women who never stepped out of their house earlier have now become active participants in the development of the community. Whether it be water problem or sanitation issue, they know whom to approach to get the work done. They also visited a few members of the community in their homes to gain a clearer perception of the challenges they face in their day to day lives.
Asha has always shared a warm relationship with the people and government of Australia and we do look forward to more opportunities of welcoming them in the near future.