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.
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1. High tech company in Chennai has agreed to employ ASSET- Chennai students as Interns/employees . The initial salary that includes training will be around Rs.3,000 and at the end of year 1 they can earn up to Rs.5,000 and at the end of year 3 the potential is to earn up to Rs.15,000 a month.
This was made possible by Raghu Rajagopal CEO of www.energeate.com who is on the ASSET advisory team in Chennai. Similar CEO teams are being set up at all the ASSET sites.
2. Received additional funding of $40,000 from Sooch Foundation towards
hardware purchase, salaries for English and IT instructors.
3. Received $5,000 matching grant for ASSET Hyderabad Center from Saxena Foundation
4.Received a grant for 20 new Dell PCs from Dell Foundation, Austin-Texas for the ASSET Chennai center to replace the 20 used PCs donated by TCS.
4. Received donation of NComputing X-300 for all ASSET centers. NComputing won the WallSreet Computing Technology award in October 2007.(www.Ncomputing.com )
5. Received used PCs from IBM-India for various NGOs in rural areas.
6. Received donation of Aptech curriculum ( www.aptech-education.com), textbooks for all ASSET centers
7. Job offer for 35 students from Delhi ASSET center
8. Deloitte consulting joins ASSET advisory board in Hyderabad
9. ASSET centers started operations in Hyderabad and Bangalore.
10- Innocentive Challenge has approved the Solar-powered wireless
routers development project for ASSET and it has just been posted on the Innocentive website with the award
amount of $20,000. Solar powered wireless router will make it feasible for outsourcing work using wireless mesh networks from metro areas in India to rural areas which are trafficking hubs.
The ASSET Kolkata center in partnership with Apne Aap(http://www.apneaap.org/activity.html)
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 (www.prajwalaindia.org) and Ahmedabad in partnership with SAATH (www.saath.org) will be starting very shortly.
---------- 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" < email@example.com>, 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.
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 ( www.thenetworkenterprisesfund.in) 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.
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.
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.
Chairman and Managing Director
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.
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.
- 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
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