Monday, October 9, 2017

To New Beginnings

Guru Nanak Public School, Khalsa has been a partner of AASRA for a long time. We’ve been teaching kids of neighboring slums at GNPS for quite some time now. A few of our alumni members had the idea of using GNPS’s infrastructure for teaching children of Sector-21 and OSAP colony, to maximize our efficiency and also to benefit other children in nearby areas who weren’t in our former workplaces.

AASRA’s members had a meeting with the school management body of GNPS in March, 2016. There were some obstacles during the initial phase, as some of the board members were skeptical about giving their infrastructure to be used for teaching kids of nearby localities, due to former issues with people of the naya bazaar area. With a little help from Mr. Kulwinder Singh from GNPS, who has been very supportive of AASRA and a series of discussions and meetings, we finally were able to convince the management. Now, you’ll be happy to know that we have formally begun teaching at GNPS to the underprivileged for free, helping them achieve their dreams.

The GNPS project aims to: 1. Effectively use our member strength to teach children of OSAP colony and Sector 21. 2. Use audio-visual aids to make learning experience very student friendly. 3. Focus on preparation for Navodaya exam and other scholarship exams. 4. Extend our reach to children of nearby localities. We sincerely thank everyone who has helped make this program reality, and hope that this becomes a success!

  Nikhil Vobbilisetty

Thursday, June 8, 2017


AASRA, the social service wing of NITR has been working from years to uplift the poor. Our volunteers go around Rourkela and teach underprivileged children. But success isn’t restricted to classroom scoring. Many of these kids are left without jobs after their 12th. Many are known to leave studies after their 12th, find petty jobs and work on a wage, or get married. That is when we realized that we needed something to help these kids secure a bright future.

The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana(PMKVY) is an initiative by the Government of India under the Ministry of Skill Development and Enterpreneurship. It aims to prepare today’s youth in Industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood. To help some children who had fewer resources, we at AASRA identified a few kids from our workplaces who could be potential benefactors of this program. Since we go around a lot of places in Rourkela, the search wasn’t difficult for us. We sat down with them and talked about the pros of this program, how they could benefit from this and get good jobs in the future. Trades under this program were discussed with these students, to help identify their interests or skills they could take up in the future as a career. Many children from Sector-21 and OSAP Colony fulfilled the necessary requirements
enlisted by the program. AASRA visited Chhend center on the 8th of April, because Chhend has been under PMKVY for a while now. After thoroughly examining the facilities, placement records, course curriculum etc. available, we came to a conclusion that the program would indeed benefit these underprivileged children in building them a fruitful career in the future. The kids we teach are no less than family for us, and we were ready to do anything for their sake.

On the 10th of April, 2017, the Central Manager of the PMKVY Center at Chhend visited sector 21 for the counselling and survey process for the project. In a brief meeting that was held with the children, they were provided the details of the whole program. A final list of students with their respective trades/courses of interest was made. The Central Manager promised to return in two days with the brochures and forms in order to complete the formalities necessary. A special mention to the zonal head of this program, who assured AASRA personally that he would take care of these children for us; thus supporting us as a collaborator in achieving our motive, to provide these kids the career they deserve. He praised us for our work, told us that what we were doing for these kids is noble. Such positive remarks get us going. They fuel our passion to work and serve for a better tomorrow. These children were all-set to have a successful career now, thanks to PMKVY.

With a lot of joy, we’d like you to know that on the 1st of May, 2017, the enrollment of the enlisted candidates was finally done for PMKVY and Skill Mission Program of the Government of India. This was just the first batch of candidates of AASRA enrolled under Placement based skill development programs. We at AASRA, along with the skill center wish to help many more children beyond our workplaces, in hopes of helping more children. We know that there are thousands out there in need of help and direction. Even something as big as changing the world begins with one small step at a time, and we had taken our first steps.

On 21 May 2017, a few of our volunteers visited the PMKVY center at Chhend with the selected trainees from OSAP and Sector-21. Some kids would be trained in Hospitality(Hotel Management), some as solar panel technicians and some as industrial sewing machine operators. The trainees seemed glad after visiting their classrooms, labs and hostel areas. A seminar was held on the 28th of May at NIT Rourkela, where the state head of PMKVY Centers and other officers were present. The attendees, mostly students of class 10, 12 and +3 or above were told of this program and its benefits. They learned the importance of skill development and were motivated towards achieving their goal. We’re pretty sure that these kids will now work hard to acheieve this goal. We hope that these kids follow the footsteps of their seniors and work hard in building themselves a successful career.

You’ll be very happy to know that a total of 4 people started training in their course on the 1st of June, and the rest will begin anytime now. AASRA thanks each and every one of its volunteers who made it possible for these lesser privileged children to train for a bright future. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


 Each year several thousands of patients during surgeries or transplantations require blood transfusions.Unfortunately a large chunk of this group succumbs to the unavailability of the compatible blood type in the blood banks. Hence the need for blood donation is of humongous importance. Not known to many,that the blood donated by a single person can be utilized for at least three patients, since three major components of blood can be successfully derived out of it. This shows the high relevance of blood donations in saving several priceless lives.

In an ingenuous attempt to provide assistance in saving the lives of patients in need of blood, AASRA organized a Blood Donation Camp on 18th March in collaboration with the CWS Hospital. The camp began at about 10AM, with volunteers swarming into the hospital premises on the basis of the information circulated amongst the students almost a week before.The volunteers were first asked to fill up a form where they provided certain basic information relating to their health status. On the basis of the data they submitted, the volunteers were cross examined by the doctors to make sure that firstly, they were fit enough to donate blood and secondly, whether the donated blood could be safely transfused when needed to do so. After the requisite health checkup the volunteers were called into the chamber where the doctors collected the blood. Disposable syringes were used and the collected blood was stored as per standard medical protocol.

Finally this noble step was a humongous success and we take pride in our attempt to provide a minuscule help in helping save a few more valuable lives. The current need of the hour is to encourage people to be a part of this noble cause through awareness regarding its inconceivable pertinence in medical treatments. It’s worth mentioning that a considerable portion of the educated mass is still not free from the clutches of the vintage archaic myths associated with blood donations which include “lessening of blood content”, “weakness”, “infliction with other diseases” and the list is unfortunately endless. It’s very essential to remove people from these messy superstitions at first. Only then can we rightfully ensure our blood banks to be self-sufficient in every blood group, even the rarest ones.