Basant Utsav – A Celebration of Spring

‘Basant’ which translates to ‘Spring’ is considered the ‘King of Seasons’ in most parts of India. The changes to more pleasant temperatures and depending on the region it marks the beginning of blossoms and outdoor activities.

While Basant in India is celebrated around mid-February to mid-April, here in Madison it adorns even greater meaning after about 4 months of bitter cold!

Asha for Education’s Madison Chapter welcomed the oncoming season of Spring in mid-March through a beautiful collection of music and dance performances. The event was organized as a fund raiser to support 2 projects that the Madison Chapter has been processing. Renowned local artists as well as upcoming talented artists participated and donated their time and talent to make the event a huge success.

The 2 projects in review are: Nirmaan and CHIP

Nirmaan, is an Non-profit Organization that focuses on providing career guidance, soft skills and vocational training and working opportunities to youths from economically challenged families and school dropouts. Nirmaan reaches out and places such students in a comprehensive training and guidance program that assesses their skill levels and trains them till they can finally find employment. Their Vidya Helpline initiative provides student facilities to enroll in schools, find funding aid, enroll in training program and land employment. Nirmaan thus strives to complete the full circle of education to employment for students that it works with.  Nirmaan has been approved and funded through the Chapter’s reserves.

CHIP, which stands for Children in Progress, India which focuses on working with public schools to enhance their teaching methodology. State-run schools in India focus on supporting children from economically challenged families with an average income of 60 to 70 dollars per month! The schools suffer from lack of facilities like toilets, libraries and availability of labs. The kids are interested in learning but lack of facilities affect their motor skills, social interaction skills as well as fundamental understanding of concepts. This in turn leads to early school drop outs. CHIP India focuses on providing teaching aids to these schools to help with basic skills for children under 3-5 years of age and fundamental training for kids 6-10 years of age. In addition, they provide employment to women in the neighborhood as co-teachers and also encourages them to complete certified courses for better opportunities. CHIP is still in need of $5000 to achieve their goals for this year.

Through Basant Utsav, the Madison Chapter raised a little over 20% of their goal to support CHIP. The total amount of $1200 raised was the highest in the last 3.5 years of Madison Chapter’s successes!

With the support of the generous Madison community and one successful event under our belts, we are now aiming for higher goals this year. The team extends their heartfelt gratitude to all the sponsors, patrons, donors, performers and volunteers who made this success possible.

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