"Ashraya" meaning 'shelter', was founded and registered in 1982 and has since then brought hope and love into the lives of many children and adults. Ashraya is committed to alleviate the sufferings of women and children in distress through our various programs.
Jul 3, 2014

Quarterly Update - April to June 2014

Dear Friends and Supporters of Ashraya,

Ashraya’s Community and Site Crèches have brought about a significant change in the outlook of the families in the slums, and in the labour colonies. It has imbibed in them a sense of responsibility, awareness regarding health, nutrition and also most importantly, driven the importance of educating their children.

They have been running in an efficient manner. This quarter had a lot of physical and emotional activities involved. The older kids were prepared to move on to a regular school. The teachers were acting counselors, reaching the unreached for the new admissions. By the word of mouth and the work done by these community and site crèches, many needy parents walked in requesting for admissions. These applications were then evaluated to identify the neediest ones and were admitted for the academic year 2014 -2015.

Not just that, unreached, disadvantaged groups and Parents were made aware of RTE provisions and almost 100% of the children at our crèches, when they complete the age of four were moved to regular, formal schools, either English medium or Kannada medium. While around 132 kids bid farewell, the parents expressed their gratitude to teachers for accomplishing a challenging task of educating their children, teaching them good manners and clean habits etc, which laid a strong foundation for their future.

Most women expressed that “Earlier they had a feeling of insecurity while leaving their children at home. But now at Ashraya crèche, their children are safe and that they are tension-free now and can contribute more to their family. They also expressed that the helpers at crèches take utmost care of their children.”

The early June at Crèches was exciting, yet anxious time for the child, parents and teachers. So number of things was suggested to parents/ carers to facilitate their child's smooth transition from home to Crèches and to reduce absenteeism. Separating from family and saying goodbye was difficult for most children and they sobbed all morning. The staff at crèches assured parents that, if their child cries or is upset when they leave them, to remember, that it is a normal response. Gradually, our skilled, caring crèche teachers helped children and their parents learn to separate for the day.

Crèche on construction site, continue to provide a safe place for children during the working hours of parents, also prevents exclusion of girls from educational activities, being the girls often kept at domicile to look after home or younger siblings. Through the staff of kindergartens these girls attend the nursery and in fact continue to live as a "child", not as an adult. 

The Social worker made regular visits in this quarter to monitor and evaluate the functioning and maintenance of the crèches. The doctor also paid monthly visits to the crèches to monitor the general health of the children. Progress in health and nutrition is evaluated and he also advises the teachers on nutritional requirements so that they can inform the families.

On behalf of the entire Ashraya staff and Board Members I would like to thank you for your support. Your support and positive comments are the fuel that keeps us moving forward to make Ashraya Neelbagh School a sustainable Project.


Appreciate all your support!


Thanks and Regards,


Evalin Christabel

Project Head – Ashraya

Apr 8, 2014

Quarterly Update

Activities at the Creches
Activities at the Creches

New Year

January is a very special month for all of us at Ashraya as we celebrate the New Year with all our crèche children and the staff from the 6 creches. This year the New Year party was held on the 17th of January 2014 at Ashraya.

We had 185 children and 17 staff attending the program; vehicles were arranged to ensure that all of them were picked up from and dropped back to their respective crèches.

OWC sponsored the New Year gifts for all our children and Ms. Katia Major from OWC was the Chief Guest.

We had organized different programs such as Magic Show and Jumporee for the children . Lunch was also arranged for the crèche children and the staff.

The children from each crèche put up wonderful performances.     Individual crèche teachers put in a lot of effort to make the children practise for the program and were thrilled to see the tiny tots perform. Overall it was a great program.

In January parents were informed about school admissions and information regarding the process of applying etc was shared with them. Crèche teachers also helped the parents fill the forms. Quite a few children have got admission in regular schools for academic year starting in June 2014. Parents were very grateful to the teachers for their timely guidance and help.

The crèche at Yelahanka , a construction site crèche was closed on the 1st of February 2014 as there were very few children attending.

The teachers explained the significance of an important festival celebrated in March –Ugadi. This is celebrated as New Year in Karnataka and A.P. Special sweets were also made by one or two teachers and distributed among the children.


All the crèches have regular doctor’s visits. The children were advised to take Vitamin A drops, their polio immunisations were updated; the teachers instructed the children on the importance of cleanliness and personal hygiene. The teachers made sure the children and parents understood the importance of washing their hands before eating etc.

The regular health checks of weight and height show that the children are healthy and developmental milestones are normal. If the children are found to be undernourished then the crèche teacher advises the parent to include more nutrition in the food.

Play and study activities.

The teachers at the crèches use innovative play and teaching methods to explain various concepts like different colours, shapes, sizes, numbers, names and nutrition values of vegetables and fruits are all taught to the children; various methods like colouring with particular colours, drawing objects and bringing vegetables and fruit of a specific colour are used. Games and pictures are also used to help the children understand better eg make a circle.

Concepts of opposites- eg - fat thin, tall short etc and different forms of transport- bus, auto etc were explained through pictures and the children were encouraged to draw as well.

Parent Teacher meetings are held at regular intervals- this quarter Ms. Shoba a volunteer used this occasion to explain to parents about “good touch and bad touch and encouraged them to help their children understand the same as this is an important part of growing years for the children.

Sports activities

On 21st of March we celebrated Sports Day at one of the crèches followed by a photo session- group pictures of the children and staff. All the children were beautifully dressed.

All the children participated in the Sports Day. The teacher had organized 4 different sports program- running race, sack race(rug race), musical chairs and object relay race. All the children were energetic and did a great job. It was a pleasure watching them play with such enthusiasm. At the end of the program each child was given individual gifts. The gifts were distributed by the President of Ashraya, Ms. Shanthi Chacko. The teacher had arranged for some snacks for the parents and the children.


On the same day we had Parents Teacher meeting. The parents gave good feedback about the teacher and the staff of Ashraya who monitor   the crèche program. The parents were very happy and appreciated the great work . Since most of the children will also be going to a regular school this year, the parents thanked us for helping their children grow in a safe and clean environment, with good values and stimulating education.

Apr 7, 2014

Ashraya Neelbagh School - (Jan to March 2014)

Activities of Ashraya Neelbagh School
Activities of Ashraya Neelbagh School


The New Year was warmly welcomed by students of Neelbagh with enthusiasm and gaiety; a lovely campfire and a variety entertainment program was accompanied by a delicious meal. Everyone enjoyed the day, a rare occasion for all to say thank you for all that has been and a fiat for all that will be.

The first preparatory examinations, for the 10th batch of SSLC students were held during the month of January from 3rd to 9th. The second preparatory examination were held from 3rd Feb – 8th Feb 2014. The State preparatory examinations were held from 3rd - 8th March 2014. All the students have shown considerable progress in their studies as they are gearing up for the public board examination, which is scheduled to commence from 28th March and will conclude on the 10th of April 2014. The monthly tests for class 1 -9 are conducted regularly.

Sports Competitions:

18th January 2014: The monthly sports competition was organized. In the Volley ball competition held for boys Yellow house stood first and in the Throw ball held for girls Greenhouse stood first.

21st February 2014: The monthly sports competition was organized. In the basketball competition Yellow house stood first and in the Kho-Kho held for girls Greenhouse stood first.

22nd February 2014: Quiz competition was organized for Juniors and Seniors. In the junior section Blue house won 1st  place, Red house won second place and in senior group Blue house came 1st and Green 2nd place.

Cultural events:

31st December 2013: On New Year’s Eve the school had special cultural programs and students performed splendidly.

24th January 2014: The folk songs competition was organized and in the junior section Blue won 1st place, Green 2nd place and in senior section Red won 1st place and Green 2nd place.

Other Events:

26th January 2014: Republic day was celebrated. The Headmaster hoisted and saluted the National flag. Students were briefed about the significance of Republic Day.

11th March 2013:The Farewell function for students of class 10th was organized and Mr. Amara Narayana (Gram Panchayat, President) was the Chief Guest. He motivated the students to do well in their future as they were fortunate to receive their education in Neelbagh with all the facilities provided by Ashraya. Conduct Certificates were handed out to all 10th class students. Ms. Shanthi Chacko, Mrs. Nomita Chandy, Mrs. Evalin Christabel and Mr. Manjunath, the Head Master counseled the parents and the 10th grade students on choosing the right career path and encouraged the parents of all the girl children to support their daughters through their college education.


  1. Career guidance Workshop

Career guidance plays a very important role in the lives of all individuals, as it helps in setting future goals and enables choice of careers. Career guidance is a much needed service for those children who do not plan for their future at an early stage; more should be done to assist the younger generations in personal career development. When high school students have a clear understanding of the best career choices for them, the end result is better planning, more college enrollments, and a more productive society for the future. To facilitate this on 16th and 17th of January Mrs. Mamata Mutt (Corporate Trainer) conducted a career guidance workshop for 10th and 9th Grade (around 60) students along with their parents / Guardians at Ashraya Neelbagh School. The aim was to help every individual student understand the importance of one’s academic potential, attributes, personality, talents, interest, expectation, resource, strength and weakness while choosing a course of study for a suitable career at the right time for a bright future.

In this workshop students were made to understand different career opportunities, process and procedure to prepare for those careers, different competitive exams, and the importance of setting goals and showing passion and hard work to achieve the desired goal.

  • Introduction activity: In this game we involved the students to make them aware about the importance of networking. Students were actively involved in this activity and they understood the basic theme of the activity. This activity helped facilitators to build a rapport with the participants and also get active attention from them.
  • Career Interest Test: As we explore career options, we should know what skills, talents and personality traits one brings to the table. This assessment helped students to understand and discover what they like and what they dislike, what they’re good at, and how well their interests and ability match up to different careers.
  • Printed Materials: After the session the printed reading material was provided to all participating students. It contained detailed information about of a variety of careers and different competitive exams.
  • Individual Career Guidance Interactive Session: This was the core part of the workshop, this session was mainly handled by Mrs. Mamata Mutt and she was accompanied by Mrs. Dechamma Bannerjee , Consultant - Ashraya, Mrs. Evalin Christabel , Project Coordinator - Ashraya, Headmaster and the 10th grade Class Teacher. The session was very interactive; students and their parents / guardians were very attentive and asked questions and clarified their doubts. In this session resource persons covered courses available for each stream in Arts, Science and Commerce. Many career options were also discussed.

Overall the workshop was constructive for the students. Activities and presentations were effective, students / parents interacted and gained much knowledge by clarifying their doubts with the resource persons.

2. Sex Education Workshop

Adolescence is a period in life when relationships are defined by physical and emotional interactions; but the age does not ensure maturity and understanding of the risks involved eg. HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Girls are more susceptible as they face the risk of unwanted pregnancies and danger to physical safety. In such a scenario, sex education is an important component to ensure that all adolescents have a greater awareness of their own bodies and sexuality. These workshops are mandatory at Neelbagh. Hence on 29th of January 2014, a Sex Education Workshop was organized for Grade 9th and 10 students Dr. Uttara Vidyasagar was the resource person. She is a qualified Counselor and Trainer and is the Founder Trustee and Director of 'VIVEKA', Centre for Emotional Support, a not-for profit counseling organization.

Sex education gave an insight to adolescent students about their own bodies. The basic components of the module were anatomy and physiology of the genital organs, conception and contraception, menstruation, masturbation and teenage related problems. 

During the orientation Dr. Vidyasagar explained that the process of adolescence is a period of preparation for adulthood during which time several key physiological developments occur. Besides physical and sexual maturation, these experiences include movement toward social and economic independence and development of an identity, the acquisition of skills needed to carry out adult relationships and roles and develop the capacity for mature reasoning. While adolescence is a time of tremendous growth and potential, it is also a time of considerable risk during which social contexts exert powerful influences. She also emphasized that for girls, adolescents is a unique phase, different both from childhood and adulthood. Specifically, that they are not mature enough to understand complex concepts eg. the relationship between behavior and consequences, or the degree of control they have or can have over decision making including that related to sexual behavior. This inability may make them particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation and high-risk behaviors. Hence they need to know how to protect themselves and understand their emotions and vulnerabilities.

The orientation was practical and necessary for the students. The pictorial and interactive presentation was beneficial for the students and staff. Dr. Uttara Vidyasagar was accompanied by Mrs. Dechamma Bannerjee who also facilitated the group discussions.

3. Science Workshop – Phase II / A STAR FILLED NIGHT with CURIOUSCITY:

Curiouscity is a Bangalore based organization working with the aim of promoting creativity in science amongst children. For the last couple of years Dr. Shonali Chinniah has been involved in creating science modules to teach children science with a “practical” rather than a “theoretical” approach to learning and has been conducting science workshops for children at Ashraya Neelbagh School.

Most of the rural children are not exposed to one of the oldest of all sciences, the science of Astronomy. While one cannot get away from a syllabus which has also its own place in learning, what we can do is to supplement the learning by helping to fill the gaps left by structured learning and offering the kids an opportunity to explore and experiment on their own.

The Neelbagh Star Gazing event was an incredible experience and well organized on 1st and 2nd of February 2014. The interactive presentation on introduction to astronomy and star gazing was very interesting and enabled all students to participate in the learning experience. The students got involved and asked some very interesting and thoughtful questions during the presentation. Dr. Utpal Chattopadhyay enthusiastically answered all queries and made the presentation an exciting one. The late evening and early morning star gazing sessions were just amazing. We were very fortunate that the sky/weather conditions were perfect for this experience, aided by Dr Utpal's and Dr Shonali's explanations and pinpointing the stars and constellations.

Best Moment - early morning roof top star gazing experience with Hot Chocolate from Dr Shonali and viewing the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia with explanations from Dr Utpal!

Some of the exciting topics covered were:

·       How to spot the major stars and constellations in the night sky

·       Get a sense of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, and our location in the universe.

·       Spot the largest planet in our solar system and see its moons.

·       Watch a nebula where stars are still being born.

·       Understand how stars are born and how they die. Watch red giants, something our

       own sun will be in about a billion years.

·       Look at the pole star, and ask the question: will it always be there?

Overall, it was a great experience for all participants from 9th and 10th Grade and by the end of the workshop they were all more knowledgeable about stars, planets and galaxies. The whole sky exploration activities helped the children to create their own little moments of scientific discovery, their own little moments of WOW.

4. Dance and Theatre workshop

Students from 6th to 10th grade were encouraged to participate in the workshop. Mr. Balu and Mr. Tousip Basha are professional dance teachers who conducted the workshop on 20th of Feb 2014. They taught senior students who were well accustomed to classical and folk dance, the Classical Indian musical theatre, which is like mime – mukabhinaya, in which the performer had to present a narrative via stylized gestures, an array of hand positions, and mime illusions, to play different characters and actions. Like in Yakshagana, stories from Indian epics are told with facial expressions, hand signals and body motions. Performances are accompanied by songs narrating the story while the actors act out the scene, followed by the actor detailing the story, without any background support or narrative song.

For juniors’ traditional folk dance, small skits and pyramid dance forms were taught. It was a source of fun and entertainment for the students. Both girls and boys were equally enthusiastic and actively participated and thoroughly enjoyed the workshop.

5. Science Field Trip:

Field trips can be considered as one of the three avenues through which science can be taught – apart from formal classroom teaching and practical work.  A field trip for the students of grade 8th and 9th was organized on the 22nd of Feb 2014. The students visited Sir. Vishveshwarya Museum, The Planetarium and Cubbon Park located in Bangalore

Dedicated to Sir M. Vishweshwaraya, the science museum is a wonderful museum for learning and having some educational fun too. It has working models of scientific applications in real life. These models cover quite a variety of topics on electronics, mechanics, magnetism, energy, properties of materials, physics, optics, biology, biotechnology etc...

The museum has displays covering different aspects of technology. The galleries have been classified and arranged on different subjects Electronics, Science Gallery, Children Gallery, and Engine. The field trip to Nehru planetarium was an effective integration to their unit of Inquiry “Our Solar System”. Students correlated to the information they had gathered on night sky, solar system, usage of sundial (Jantar Mantar model) from the second phase of Science workshop conducted by Dr. Utpal and Dr. Shonali before going for the show “Yeh Tara Woh Tara”. During the 3D show, the children absorbed a lot of facts on constellations and light pollution. Children saw a model of a satellite launcher at the entrance. They examined carefully the space shuttle and the astronaut suit of Sqn. Ldr. Rakesh Sharma (India’s first astronaut).

Cubbon Park in Bangalore is a historic park. It is located in the heart of Bangalore; The Park covers an area of 300 acres. Abundant flora, exotic botanical species and various indigenous trees and plants are found in this park. The public park also houses numerous impressive and aesthetically located buildings and statues of famous personalities. The landscaping of the park creatively integrates natural rock outcrops, with thickets of trees, massive bamboos, grassy expanses, flowerbeds and monuments. Many naturalists come to study plants and trees in this park.

A feedback session on returning to school proved that the students had not only learnt many facts, but had enjoyed the trip a great deal. All students and accompanying teachers thanked the school administration and the sponsors for their support during the field trip.

Ashraya Neelbagh School
Ashraya Neelbagh School

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