Our Story

2020    Ashraya commences a new program named “Hamari Shala”, which supports students as a whole-school, providing teachers with the opportunity to delve in to all academic subjects inclusive of value-education, life-skills and other non-scholastic subjects.

2019    Ashraya introduces its first ever “Early Childhood Education and Care” curriculum, a curriculum based on building holistic and relevant skills through inquiry-based and activity-based approach.

A step towards holistic education: Ashraya collaborated with various other nonprofit organizations on ground to enhance holistic education on a formal and informal level. Our partners provide us opportunities to learn public-speaking, art and craft, spoken word poetry, coding and electronics.

2018    For the very first time, 39 children from the Waghri and Sikhligar communities, are attending college in disciplines ranging from Science, Commerce, Fashion Designing, Hotel Management, Travel and Tourism, Sociology and Business Studies.

2017   Ashraya enrolled 70% of students to low-income private schools from government schools for better accountability in schools and quality education.

2016   20 of our 21 tenth grade students passed their board exams and are now secondary school graduates!

2015   Ashraya celebrates its 10th year of operations in Pune! In spring, our Education Centre receives a tremendous gift: clean, pure drinking water.

2014   Two of Ashraya’s first Residential Program girls, Geeta and Jyoti, receive full scholarships to study at United World Colleges in Germany and India. Sanjay and Akash also graduate from secondary school, enrolling in Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce and a diploma course in Travel and Tourism, respectively.

2013   Ashraya launches an in-house counseling program to enhance support services available to Education Program students. In addition to regular counseling sessions, the new counselor runs regular gender discussion groups for our older students, in which important, relevant issues like child marriage and gender roles are discussed. The Residential Program expands to 14 with the addition of 12-year-old Suraj.

2012   10th Standard students are tutored using AIC’s own curriculum instead of an external tutoring program, and 100% pass their exams! Residential Program children shift to a residential school in compliance with new government directives.

2011   The Residential Program grows to 13 with the addition of Rahul, and Geeta takes an unprecedented trip to the US to attend the Philips Exeter Academy summer program on a full scholarship. The Education Outreach Program moves to a bigger building to accommodate the growth of the program. Over 6,000 visits are made to the Ashraya Health clinic this year and the Community Outreach Program offers mobile phone repair training, tailoring classes, and a literacy program for adult community members.

2010   Ashraya launches an Early Childhood Education component to the Education Outreach Program, enrolling 50 new children age 3-6 in a homegrown pre-school program. In order to accommodate these additional classes, the Education Outreach Program moves into another building down the road, while the Health and Community Outreach Programs remain at the old centre, bringing AIC’s total facilities count to 3. At the Residential Program, AIC welcomes its 12th child, Poonam. (read more…)

2009   The Education Outreach Program expands to 150 students ranging in age from four to seventeen. Following the success of the 2008 trial group in English-medium schools, all new students and many current students are placed in English-speaking schools. AIC’s oldest student passes secondary school exams and becomes the first high school graduate in her community.(read more…)

2008   The Residential Program family welcomes an extremely malnourished 12-month-old baby, Ramu, who immediately starts to thrive. AIC begins placing a small pilot group of Education Outreach students in English-speaking schools, while the program doubles to 90 students. The Health Outreach Program embarks on several community development projects, which eventually grow into a separate Community Outreach Program. Legal advocacy assistance and workshops, an adult literacy program, numerous and varied vocational training programs and microcredit savings groups are now a regular part of AIC’s activities. (read more…)

2007   The Residential Program expands to 11 children and the Education Outreach Program grows to include 40 children and a separate centre in the slums. Students are unable to attend school, however, if a parent or guardian becomes sick and the child is required to provide support at home. The Health Outreach Program is AIC’s response to this problem, providing students and family members of the Education Outreach Program with treatment for a variety of ailments, ranging from routine issues to serious health conditions. (read more…)

2006   AIC makes its first program expansion by enrolling 12 out-of-school girls from a nearby neighborhood in local elementary schools, and the Education Outreach Program is born. These girls are provided showers, meals and tutoring at the Residential house before and after school. Meanwhile, a UK fundraising branch launches to enhance fundraising efforts in Europe. (read more…)

2005   The Residential Program opens its doors to four children: Sanjay, Akash, Basraj, and Geeta. Fundraising branches are launched in Montreal, Atlanta and Austria. (read more…)

2004    Elizabeth Sholtys, frustrated by her volunteer experiences in Pune with overcrowded government-run orphanages, resolves to start her own home for children. Six friends around the world join her to form the Ashraya Initiative for Children. (read more…)