ASEEMA TRANSFORMS LIVES
At present, 95% of Aseema alumni are studying, or employed full-time, or studying while working part-time. Give where it helps! Help transform the lives of some of India’s poorest children.
Meet Sunitha Gaddam
From Pavement Dweller to Wipro Senior Executive
Sunitha was one of Aseema’s earliest students, beginning at the age of 6. Sunitha was once a so-called “pavement dweller” in Mumbai’s Bandra Reclamation. Sunitha passed her SSC in 2010. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in business management studies and then an MBA.
Sunitha was hired by Wipro Limited and worked her way up to Senior Human Resources Executive, where she remained for 6 years.
She then took her current job at Accenture, a multinational corporation, as a Talent Fulfillment Senior Analyst.
Sunitha exceled in academics and art, as did her younger brother Mohan. Sunitha returned to Aseema for art workshops while still living in Mumbai. Some of her art is now sold as limited-edition art prints. Aseema’s art teacher, Varsha Trivedi, once said of Sunitha, “You just have to give her a hint of what you want, and she comes out with an ocean!”
Meet Sachin Misra
From Bullying Victim to Physicist and Software Engineer
Sachin grew up in the slums Deepakwadi, Nirmal Nagar. He tried to enter a general municipal school, but it was a school, Sachin says, “where like students used to get beaten, so” he admits, “I used to cry.” Then, his family found out about Aseema. Sachin remembers his first day there. At first, he thought he should lay low to avoid the same treatment. Sachin atended Aseema’s Santacruz Municipal School for six years, from Standard 4 to 10. “I have enjoyed those years,” he says with obvious emotion. “Everyone is proud of Aseema.”
Sachin followed his heart, as expressed when he was Aseema’s SSC Topper. He finished his bachelor’s degree in physics from Mumbai’s Ruparel College and is now studying for his master’s degree in computer application at Vivekanand Education Society’s Institute of Technology. He wants to be a software engineer.
Here, you can hear Sachin and another former student describe Aseema’s warm and supportive atmosphere and how Aseema teachers go above and beyond
Meet Mamta Aiedurappa
From Water Taps at 5 Years of Age to Montessori Preprimary Teacher
Mamta grew up in the slums of Mumbai. At 5 years of age, she was cooking for her family and still remembers standing in lines at a public tap to haul water back to the family room.
She also remembers Aseema’s chairperson Dilbur Parakh coming into the area repeatedly trying to gain the trust of parents and how difficult it was for families to believe in her at first, having witnessed many unkept promises in the past. Dilbur, a Parsi Indian, is particularly tall and fair, and to the inhabitants of the slum, she looked like a foreigner. Eventually, she won over enough parents to start the first class.
Mamta is now a pre-primary teacher at Aseema and believes that Aseema changed her life completely and wants to give back. Listen for yourself as Mamta describes the overwhelming impact of Aseema on her life and the lives of other students.
Meet Shahnawaz Shaikh
From Life on 120 Rupees per Day for his Family of 7 to Aseema Product Designer
Shahnawaz grew up in Nargis Dut Nagar and Rajiv Nagar, shifting from one ramshackle slum home to another with his mother and six siblings. His older sister heard about Aseema, and his mother enrolled Shahnawaz there as a litle boy. Tragically, she died about a year later, leaving the siblings to fend for themselves in the slums. Fortunately, Shahnawaz had Aseema to rely on.
Aseema places a heavy emphasis on co-curriculars so that the children can discover their true desires and potential. Shahnawaz exceled in many areas, including art. He recently graduated from J.K. Academy of Art and Design in Mumbai and now works at Aseema as a product designer to help Aseema raise funds.
During the height of COVID, a government-imposed lockdown let Aseema families without access to even their meager income as daily wagers. Aseema conducted round after round of ration kit distributions to Aseema families, each time to the benefit of nearly 10,000 people. Shahnawaz was there helping and training families on the use of technology for remote learning.
Why? He explains, “When we were small, we required help. At that time, Aseema helped us. This is our time to help them. If in any way I can help, I will be there.” Shahnawaz embodies the value-based education Aseema provides, where altruisim is woven all throughout the curriculum.