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The Aasha Build: Gift hope, build a home

Slumdog Millionaire has put the slums of India on the world map, albiet in an artistic way. Despite the obvious, it’s still hard to believe that some people don’t have a concrete roof over their heads, that they live in make-shift shacks even in this age and time. Apparently, India homes 17% of all slum-dwellers in the world, a figure which translates to about 170 million people! The odds are just slightly tilted in our favor. 

If you have ever witnessed the poverty on India’s streets (in person or through CNN or BBC), I am sure you have wondered, even for a moment, if there was a way you could help. This is your chance.

A few of us have started an initiative with Habitat for Humanity to build houses in a slum area in Devanahalli, on the outskirts of Bangalore, India. The 2 weeks we spend on site will involve an intensive 10 day build, with an aim of constructing 8 double-storeyed houses, sheltering 16 families or approximately 96 individuals. A house might sound trivial, but to some child and some parent, it will be their first real home.

Aasha is the Hindi word for hope, and The Aasha Build is our chance to make a difference in our world. 

The Aasha Build

Besides the issues of homelessness and poverty, the village of Devanahalli and its neighbours are also breeding grounds for microfinance and self-help groups. Without the technicalities of these titles and the formal operations they entail, these villages have sustained themselves for years by self-help practices. Unlike urban India, families in these villages are mostly headed by women, who support each other as ‘human collateral’ for microfinance institutions and undertake entrepreneurial ventures. 

Although we are recruiting only 20 volunteers to go for the build, we are trying to engage the entire online community to create awareness about homelessness, microfinance and self-help groups, and to garner support. If you would like to contribute to our initiative, here is how you can help.

Support our cause by displaying The Aasha Build badge on your blog or website. Communicate your support to the Devanahalli community by leaving them a message here.

“How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.”  – Anne Frank

8 Comments

  1. Radhika says

    hey shivya.. nice post 😀 btw the teeshirts came today im too excited about them.. im wearing one Now !!! 🙂

    can you tell me how to start posting on the aasha build blog? i dunno where to login !! and i know i sound totally stupid but ive been clicking madly all over the place and i dunno how to login :S can i login without a wordpress account..i got an invite as an admin on my gmail

  2. Awesome! I can’t wait to see them 😀 Yeah, you log in with your wordpress id and add the blog to your blogs 🙂 Btw, can you change the support badge code on the aasha build website to the one you used on your blog? I seem to get a rectangular image if I use the current one!

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  4. docmitasha says

    Wow! Amazing! When did you get involved with this? When are you going?

    My dream…whenever i figure out how and when…would be to change the situation of the slums in Doon. For one thing, those slums under Bindal Bridge and near my home remain my strongest memories…for another, I hate that in the boom the city has gone through, everyone kind of forgot these families.

    Awesome! I’m so proud of you guys! I’ll support as much as I can!

  5. @ Vishesh: 🙂 What is YU?

    @ Docmitasha: Thanks for the support! The build will take place from May 8th – 23rd. I’ll keep you in the loop 🙂 I hope we’ll both make that dream of yours come true!

  6. @ Vishesh: Thanks for the link to YU. It sure seems like a great site! I dropped them an email regarding The Aasha Build. Are you the founder btw?

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