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.