Provide computers for high-risk children in India

Feb 18, 2009

ASSET Progress Report

1. All the seven existing ASSET centers have been brought under the management of SMILE Foundation( which has an all India presence. SMILE's regional offices will be involved in the recruitment and retention of students as well as the monitoring the performance of teachers and program coordinators. 2. An ASSET center has been opened in Mumbai, in the heart of the Kamathipura red light district in partnership with Prayog and managed by SMILE. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been requested to provide volunteers to meet with students on a regular basis.

3. Students from ASSET/SMILE centers have been placed with Nokia, Cafe Coffee Day, Fun Cinema and HDFC Bank.

4. ASSET just received a $20,000 grant from Dell Foundation for additional computers and teacher salaries. The Purpose Prize award of $10,000 as well as the SHG Foundation grant of $10,000 were received in December 2008. Won the Globalgiving contest first prize of $10,000 by raising the largest amount in a 4 week period

5. At the request of one of our major donors, I have been investigating entrepreneurship models similar to the ones implemented successfully by Grameen in Bangla Desh. I have done due diligence on many of them but none of them was a good fit until I found one successfully implemented by Hand in Hand, a very reputable NGO in Tamil Nadu. ( They are a large Microfinance organization and have set in operation 1,400 computer Citizen center kiosks in rural Tamil Nadu.

ASSET adviser Kunal Garg will be meeting with the director of the HiH Citizen center program in order to conduct a focus group among ASSET trained girls and their mothers working in teams.

1. HiH will provide full training, hardware, e-learning tools and all access to various services

2. ASSET will explore providing loans of Rs.30,000 (~ $600) at 18% interest to each mother/daughter team to start these kiosks

3.The monthly income ranges from Rs.1,000 ($20) to Rs.10,000 ($200) depending on location and services offered.

4. The Rs.10,000 per month locations offer banking, passport, photoshop and numerous other services.

Why HiH model may be a good fit for ASSET:

1. Girls trained by ASSET who cannot take up employment for any reason can use their computer skills and work at home with their mothers.

2. HIH is very interested in partnering with ASSET to assist the mother/daughter teams.

3. HIH will bring the best practices to the ASSET partnership

4. The Rs.10,000 per month income is above what sex workers earn in a month and will be a strong deterrent for the mother to get out of the flesh trade and keep the daughter out as well.

5. ASSET will consider starting a pilot project with two or three centers.


1. For the pilot projects, ASSET India Foundation will consider providing the funds for the loans.

2. Global Giving Foundation is trying out a new fundraising platform developed by and wants to do a pilot for the ASSET computer kiosk project for a $50,000 fundraising campaign. Global Giving will pay give2gether and will not cost ASSET anything. The money raised will be used for microfinance loans through HiH for ASSET girls and their mothers.

Project MILLEE – Mobile and Immersion Learning for Literacy in Emerging Economies

I serve as an adviser to the MILLEE project which uses mobile phone game technology for teaching English to students in rural India. ASSET is involved because of the challenges in finding good English teachers and keeping them.

ASSET would like to provide inexpensive mobile phones to its students so that they can continue to learn and practice English usimg the MILLEE technology. ASSET's request for 30 used laptops has been approved by Infosys.

Dr. Matt Kam, my colleague at Carnegie Mellon and Project leaders will use the 30 laptops for MILLEE field work in India in the summer of 2009.

Dec 10, 2008

Ray Umashankar awarded 2009 Purpose Prize

I am pleased to report that Ray Umashankar, Executive Director of ASSET India Foundation was awarded the 2008 Civic Ventures Purpose Prize for Social Entrepreneurs over the age of 60. The cash award of $10,000 will be donated to the ASSET India Foundation for hiring additional English language and computer teachers for the centers in India.

Since the Prize money will not arrive before the Global Giving fundraising challenge ends (Dec 15, 2008), Ray is working hard to meet the goal. He will be leaving for India on December 17th on ASSET work and return on the 31st.

Two newspaper articles about the award are attached:

1. “UA Prof Wins $10K Prize for Positive World Impact,” by Stephanie Innes, Arizona Daily Star

2.“UA Dean Helps Kids Break Away From India’s Sex Trade: Ray Umashankar awarded national prize for his work,” by Renee Schafer Horton, Tucson Citizen

Jul 29, 2008

July 2008 Progress report

1. Based on the recommendation of ASSET-Chennai advisory board, ASSET will be advertising for a full time administrator to manage the India operations. Ideally the administrator will be a senior level retired executive with a serious interest in social issues.

2. At ASSET-Chennai more than 20 students who completed the training opted to pursue higher education rather than accept a job immediately.

3. There is strong evidence to show that the ASSET training has helped all the students in their confidence, overall academic performance and desire to work hard towrds a better future.

4. The demand to join ASSET classes is much more than the capacity we have. It is clear that both the students as well as their parents are seeing the potential benefits.

5. STRiVE ( which has successfully trained and placed students in several verticals has agreed to partner with ASSET and provide the necessary training for the retail management vertical.

6. ASSET is working a recruitment plan and also a student fee payback plan.

7. ASSET obtained used computers from IBM-Bangalore for AWWA( Affus Woman Welfare Association) in Hubli, Karnataka. In addition ASSET is helping AWWA with the computer literacy curriculum.

8. ASSET introduced its NGO partners in Bangalore to the NASSCOM Foundation to facilitate hardware and software donations.

9. ASSET is assisting with hardware and software donations as well as curriculum. Save the Children works with girls rescued from trafficking in Mumbai.

Apr 11, 2008

ASSET Progress Report March 2008

ASSET Center-Hyderabad-Photo 1
ASSET Center-Hyderabad-Photo 1

ASSET REPORT March 2008 1.ASSET has partnered with for ASSET students to be trained in BeyondCore’s Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.

2.SaaS automatically measures business process error rates and identifies the root causes of errors. Rooted in the Toyota Production System and Six Sigma, BeyondCore's solution can be deployed in days, pays for itself in weeks, and requires just 30 minutes of training.

3.BeyondCore improves the quality of outsourced and in-house back-office business processes like applications / claims processing, General Ledger, coding and billing in the Financial Services, Healthcare and other industries.

4.As the Indian IT industry gets ready for the next big wave in e-publishing and healthcare tourism, ASSET students will be ahead with their IT skills supplemented by BeyondCore’s TCE reduction solution.

5. One of ASSET's major donors wishes to fund technology based social businesses for ASSET and then introduce microcredit for business development. ASSET has been introduced to Grameen Founder and Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus to explore this further.

6. Catalyst Pharma Group Inc., a pharmaceutical research company based in Pasadena, CA wants all its Data management work done by ASSET students in India. Negotiations are underway.

7.ASSET has completed discussions for opening a center in Mumbai in partnership with Pratham, one of the most reputable NGOs in India.

8. ASSET has been invited to Cornell to meet with Professor Stu Hart and his staff at the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, Johnson Graduate school of Management. Cornell is interested in using their Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) business model for ASSET for social businesses that Nav is willing to fund. The Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad is involved as well.


ASSET India Foundation is a finalist for the Stockholm Challenge award

---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Ulla Skidén <> Date: Fri, Mar 21, 2008 at 4:04 AM Subject: You are a finalist in the Stockholm Challenge Award 2008 To: Cc:

Dear Mr Umashankar,

We are very pleased to inform you that the jury has selected your entry of Achieving Sustainable Social Equality Through Information & Computer Technology, in the Stockholm Challenge Award 2008 to be a finalist with a chance to win the Stockholm Challenge Trophy.

The winner in the Education category will be announced at the Gala Dinner and Award ceremony in the Stockholm City Blue Hall (venue of the Nobel Prize banquet) on May 22. The winner will receive the Stockholm Challenge trophy and certificate of achievement and a cheque at that event. <snip> Once again, congratulations on your success in becoming a finalist in the Stockholm Challenge Award 2008, we look forward to greeting you in May, during Challenge Week! Kind regards Ulla Skidén Director and Earl Mardle Chairman of the Jury

The Stockholm Challenge is an ICT for development programme at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). It culminates in the Challenge Week Event, May 19-22, 2008. KTH offers a broad range of masters programmes taught in English. More information *************************** ASSET India Foundation has been nominated for the Tech Museum award in the Equality category.

Jan 22, 2008

Life Skills intsructors hired for ASSET/Chennai


I am pleased to inform our donors that after a meeting with the parents and obtaining their consent, 26 students students from the first batch at ASSET-Chennai will be joining NewGen Imaging in Chennai as interns.

The ASSET students joining NewGen are 18 years are older and legally eligible to work. Parental consent was obtained only to seek their support for the project and to recruit future students.

Formal discussions are under way with the HR manager at NewGen to complete all the necessary formalities.

Two additional instructors are being hired to teach the General Electric Foundation's Life Skills modules to the ASSET/NewGen interns. Special emphasis will be placed on money management, saving for the future, opening savings account, financial responsibility, and philanthropy.

In addition the STRIVE program developed by ICICI will also be taught to develop entrepreneurial and interpersonal skills.

University of Arizona Honors College students are using the ASSET project for their senior thesis and are also exploring ways to implement the ASSET model in Central and South America.

ASSET India Foundation has been invited to partner with Parade Magazine/Case Foundation for their fundraising challenge.

The Contest is managed by Global Giving and ends at 3 pm EST on January 31, 2008 Global Giving link for donating: (minimum $10) -- see link below to donate!

(only one donation per credit card will be counted towards the contest) Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.


Ray Umashankar


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Project Leader

Ray Umashankar

Tucson, AZ United States

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