Provide computers for high-risk children in India

Oct 1, 2007

September report/CEOs metoring ASSET students


The ASSET Kolkata center in partnership with Apne Aap( is fully operational. Students from Aapne Aap's facilities in Topsia and Khidderpore (red light district) are enrolled in the classes.

Students from Aapne Aap- Subhash camp, Delhi will be attending classes in the two ASSET centers in Delhi.

ASSET has formed a working group of CEOs/Executives interested in Corporate Social Responsibility for each of the ASSET centers. Our ultimate goal is employability of our students and the following from the CEO team in Chennai is a good road map to follow for all the other centers.

Our centers in Hyderabad in partnership with Prajwala ( and Ahmedabad in partnership with SAATH ( will be starting very shortly. Ray Umashankar

---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Raghu Rajagopal < Date: Sep 17, 2007 10:01 AM Subject: RE: ASSET Meeting on Sept 12 To: Ray Umashankar , kunal Cc: "A.J. Hariharan" <>, Nitin , ANILKUMAR S G /RFGRM/IBANK/CHE , Srinivasan Viswanathan


Here is a model to think about which I am very positive in addition to the one given below that we discussed.


ASSET works with ICWO to train the students.

Training completely catered to a certain field – eg: retail, data entry (as discussed below in kunal's notes)

Some of us will promote a company that has a social angle (eg: rural bpo)

Get the funding from sources like IFMR Trust or elsewhere ( I have access to some)

This company will take the employees from ICWO trained students

This is a complete cycle that I was talking about.


Raghu Rajagopal

CEO, Energeate


Hi All,

I have summarized below the points we discussed in the meeting. Please add any points I may have missed.

The meeting began with a discussion on Vishy's September 10, 2007 email.

As Vishy very articulately put, the bottom line is that we want to increase the 'employability' of these students. Given that, Nitin pointed out that STRiVE model could be an ideal way forward.

Nitin discussed in detail the set-up of STRiVE and the IFRM Trust ( along with its model. The idea is bascially to provide employment opportunities to youth from the underserved segments of society, bringing them into mainstream economy by enhancing their inherent capacities and integrating their skill sets to the needs of the market in a viable and sustainable manner.

Under this, STRiVE has a demand led approach in which the corporates share with them their training material, this is taken to a training partner that has the ability to source students and has infrastructure. Since the students will be trained as per the same yard sticks that a corporate would, it can be expected from the corporate to give a placement guarantee.

This guarantee in turn helps the student to access loans to pay for the training. This is the STRiVe Model per se, how exactly it can be implemented with the ASSET students is something yet to be discussed.

STRiVE on its side can being in the corporate contacts, facilitate the access to finance, and content. ICWO has the infrastructure and the ability to get trainees.

Nitin also mentioned that STRiVE already has collaboration with the Retailers Association of India which has given their training material and access to employer database. And STRiVE has an ongoing training program in retailing in Hyderabad. Given that, we can think of bringing the vertical of retailing for the ASSET students (to begin with).

Additionally, organisations such as ICICI One Source (now First Source) need a number of data entry operators. We can think of training ASSET students in typing skills and linking them up with BPOs.

Retailing and ICICI One Source (the BPO industry in general), could be the two verticals that we can look forward to. We can divide the current group of students into two batches and train them accordingly.

Of course, meanwhile we can still think of other options or better employers. But again we must not forget that we should be primarily aiming for employers from the local industries. Also, it was agreed that instead of including programming languages like C in the curriculum, we need to focus on training to increase general computer 'awareness', typing skills, people skills and communication skills (most of which was covered in Vishy's email) which will be much more useful for their immediate job requirements. Regards

Kunal ******************** Dear Mr Umashankar, It is heartening know about the work being done by ASSET for the vulnerable children. I am asking my team to engage with ASSET and provide possible help. STM Eswar, who is head of HCL Education will work on this. Rajendra Kumar

Executive Vice President

HCL Infosystems Ltd.

E-4,5,6, Sector – XI, Noida – 201 301 ********************* Thank you for your mail and congrats on the good work done. the centres look like a wonderful idea. we are headquartered in gurgaon and should be able to help in some way in a centre in the proximity. would also like you to give some further detail in the kind of cooperation required. we are fairly active in CSR and tend to close in on our charities at the beginning of the fiscal. Thanks

Deep Kalra Chairman and Managing Director Gurgaon, India

Aug 30, 2007

CEOs visit ASSET center in Chennai

CEOs of hitech companies and the program manager for the STRIVE program visited the students and staff at the ASSET/ICWO center in Chennai on Wednesday August 29th.

Their observations and recommendations are attached along with the IFMR Trust's STRIVE program.

Aug 13, 2007

Observations from a project visit

Photo - children learning Microsoft office
Photo - children learning Microsoft office

In the greater Chennai region, many women resort to sex-work in order to survive. As a result, there are nearly 10,000 children of sex-workers that are ostracized from their communities, keeping them from acquiring the skills needed for gainful employment.

Ray Umashankar and Abishek Kumar founded a program to help train these children so they will be able to find employment. ASSET teaches these children valuable skills such as computer programming, accounting, and other skills useful in the IT and Business Process Outsourcing that are booming in Chennai. Currently, the children are learning essential Microsoft Office tools.

Once students complete the course, ASSET works with local placement agencies (i.e. Ma Foi) to find them jobs. Most of the IT and BPOs offer jobs for 4-5 hours per week where employees can earn an average of 5,000 rupees.

In order for the ASSET Center to be successful, the project leaders work closely with IT companies and BPOs to develop a curriculum that teaches the specific skills the companies look for in potential employees. Also, since all public instruction is taught in English, the ASSET Center is in the process of finding a volunteer organization to help find English tutors to help the students.

Currently, classes are 15 hours per week. Students take three classes, which run 4-6 hours each. To encourage students to attend, each student receives travel vouchers to pay for their transportation fees. Upon finishing the course, students receive a certificate of completion.

As a result of the success of the ASSET Center in Chennai, there are several plans for a major expansion of the project.

Project Goals: - Have one instructor in each center that will run three classes for three batches of students. - 3 centers established by March (two in Chennai, one in Gorapur) - Centers established in five cities by the end of 2007 - 10-15 Placement organizations for employment for each center - 5 NGO partners in each city to help with outreach and support - Make the entire program community-run - Hire country manager by 2008

Photo - teacher goes over some computer basics
Photo - teacher goes over some computer basics
Jul 2, 2007

Aptech training/Microsoft software-June Report

JUNE 2007 REPORT 1. English classes are in progress at the ASSET centers in Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Gorakhpur 2. Proposals have been submitted to Dell Foundation for DELL hardware donations for cities where Dell has a presence. 3. Microsoft India will donate software and the Unlimited Potential program to all ASSET's NGO partners. 4. APTECH (www.aptech-education) the computer training company with the largest market share in India and China is providing training in the ASSET centers in Chennai and Kolkata (see attached) 5.APTECH will also help with placements of our gradutes in internships/jobs. 6. I have been introduced to Rufina Fernandes, CEO of NASSCOM Foundation NASSCOM is India's National Association of Software and Service Companies, the premier trade body and the chamber of commerce of the IT software and services industry in India. NASSCOM is a global trade body with over 1100 members, of which over 250 are global companies from the US, UK, EU, Japan and China. NASSCOM's member companies are in the business of software development, software services, software products, IT-enabled/BPO services and e-commerce.

Jun 14, 2007

Progress report

Present enrollments are:

Chennai- 60 students Kolkata: 22 Gorakhpur-20 Delhi-60 Hyderabad-20 Bangalore and Pune are yet to start.

Mr. S.S.Krishnan, currently the Executive Chairman of Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited ( will join ASSET as its India Country manager in November 2007. Mr. Krishnan has over 36 years of banking experience with State Bank of India (SBI) where he retired as Deputy Managing Director and Corporate Development Officer. .

Firstsource ( has expressed interest in developing a plan for hiring ASSET graduates. Firstsource is among India's leading BPO companies providing business process management services to global leaders in Banking & Financial Services, Telecom & Media and Healthcare. We are working on the "ASSET Wireless Mesh Network" (AWMN) project. AWMN will allow data processing projects to be sent over wireless networks from Metro cities in India to interior and border towns where there is a large population of trafficking victims and children of women in prostitution. AWMN has immense possibilities, especially in reducing the migration form rural to urban areas which is the leading cause for the formation of slums. We are working on strategy for a pilot project with Rajendra Joshi, Managing trustee of Saath ( a very reputable Ahmedabad based NGO and Gagan Sethi, CEO of Janvikas in Vadodhra. The wireless network infrastructure plan (AWMN) is on the basis that if projects from the U.S can be outsourced to India, we can certainly do the same within India. The proposal is based on how technology can be used to outsource data entry projects from a major hub/metro city in India to the outlying remote interior and border towns.

This plan will engage the best technical minds in India and the U.S and also allow students to live and work in their own towns and earn a livelihood using modern communications technology.

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Project Leader

Ray Umashankar

Tucson, AZ United States

Where is this project located?