Project #1564

Provide computers for high-risk children in India

by ASSET India Foundation
New Emergency shelter for 100 girls
New Emergency shelter for 100 girls

Last week in Hyderabad, I was thrilled to meet Puja whose story (below) I have shared with you.
Here is the story of Puja, who benefited from your past generous donations:

Puja at age 9 sat outside in the cold when her mother had a client inside the hut in the slums of Hyderabad. I was horrified when she said she had to hide under the bed on rainy nights!. When her mother died, Puja's uncle sold her to a wealthy doctor who raped her daily. She escaped and fell into the hands of a trafficker. Puja was finally rescued by our partner Sunitha Krishnan of Prajwala, who has rescued nearly 15,000 victims. (

When I met eighteen year old Puja, she told me ASSET India Foundation's English and computer training makes her equal to everyone else out there and she had just spoken in front of 150 delegates at a social work conference. When I asked her what kind of job I should get for her, she replied "I don't want a job, I want to do my MBA"!
I wept.

Puja has since finished college but did not do well in the MBA entrance exam but finished her MSW degree. Now she works with Sunitha Krishnan helping girls like herself.

Sunitha runs the largest shelter for trafficking survivors in the country, feeding and clothing more than 1,400 girls. The youngest one I met was 6 years old and it took therapists 18 months to help get her speech back!

We are presently setting up digital classrooms in five elementary schools

Prajwala in Hyderabad is ASSET India Foundation's partner organization, providing education and computer literacy to girls rescued from sex trafficking and children of sex workers.

Under the leadership of Dr. Sunitha, a new campus including emergency shelter, training rooms, class rooms, computer room was just completed. ASSET India Foundation contributed $45,000 towards the construction and helped raise an additional $200,000 through a crowdfunding campaign.

Honorable U.S Ambassador to India visited the campus last week and offered his support to increase awareness about global sex trafficking.

Dr. Sunitha will be visiting the U.S later this month to participate in the Global Women conference in California. 

Sujata , daughter of a sex worker has been supported by ASSET India Foundation in her engineering education in Mysore India. In addition to paying her college tuition, ASSET is also supporting her living expenses.

ASSET India Foundation participated in the Nobel Peace Prize Forum (NPPF) in Minneapolis, June 5-8 honoring Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and his work of freeing children from slavery.

in partnership with Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation (KSCF), we are actively engaged in creating child friendly villages where children are totally free from all forms of slavery including sexual slavery.

Efforts are underway to provide English and computer literacy to children in these villages.

A mobile freedom caravan will reach more than 150 villages, where nearly 100,000 people will be taught the dangers of sex trafficking and the importance of their children staying in school. Children rescued from sex trafficking travel the caravan.

Printed material explaining the biology of menstruation and proper hygeine will be distributed to girls in all these villages.

A new shelter to house 100 girls rescued from sex trafficking has just been completed in Hyderabad in partnership with Prajwala.


"Why are girls in rural India vulnerable to sex trafficking?"- a question from my daughter Nita, (co- Founder of ASSET India Foundation) sent me on a search, resulting in a discovery of startling facts. Girls education has become a cliche- money raised for building schools, libraries, books and computers. No one ever stopped to ask why girls are missing school ONE WEEK every month, fall behind, get ridiculed and bullied and eventually drop out of school in rural India.

The answer to Nita's question is Menstruation and the lack of availability of sanitary pads. It became clear that if I made sanitary pads available and kept the girls in school, they get educated, dream of a bright future and escape the attention of sex traffickers.
My search for a sustainable, scalable and environmentally friendly sanitary pad manufacturing operation took me far and wide. The solutions I came across did not meet any of my selection criteria.

After searching for more than a year, I finally found a passionate group of young engineers based in Mumbai who are dedicated to producing and distributing sanitary pads to keep girls in school and not drop out. Saral Designs was founded by Suhani Mohan and her friends all of whom are IIT grads.

My conversations. with Suhani have helped Suhani understand our need to scale and  to be able to serve girls thousand villages in partnership with the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation. She and her team have thought through the entire manufacturing and distribution processes and I am very impressed. To start with, I have proposed that the Saral Designs pads be distributed among girls in 150 villages in Assam that are reaching through our school bus Mukti Caravan anti trafficking education program.


English language instruction and computer literacy programs continue in six centers in Hyderabad, one center in Delhi, one center in Kolkata and one center in Forebesgunj. There is great interest among the girls in learning both English and computers.

As we continue to expand into villages in rural India with our English and computer literacy programs, we came acroas a major hurdle. Girls were dropping out of high schools in record numbers making it impossible for us to recruit them. As we investigated the reasons for the drop out, we discovered that the lack of availability of sanitary napkins was a major reason.

Girls used dirty rags, newspapers and due to poor hygienic conditions fell sick. The lack of toilet facilities in schools created embarassment for the girls. To address this problem we searched for a manufacturer of inexpensive sanitary pads using locally available materials. We found a very reputable social entreprenuer Swati Bedekar in the city of Vadodra making these machines as well as brick kilns to dispose off the used napkins.

we have partnered with Swati Bedekar and I will be visiting her on December 26th. Our plan is to set up one machine in each community, train the women to operate the machine and employ them. The pads will be sold to the girls by this community wnterprise to generate income to offset operating expenses.

After the successful implemwntation of the pilot project, plans will be made to install the machines in each of the 150 villages.


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Organization Information

ASSET India Foundation

Location: Tucson, AZ - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Ray Umashankar
Tucson, AZ United States
$213,732 raised of $287,000 goal
1,600 donations
$73,268 to go
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