As a runner who truly believes in the cause, I pledge to match the donations of those who believe in the cause as well and in me as a person. I will match $1 for every $2 you will contribute upto $1000. Just send me an email with the amount you have donated. How much your dollar is worth ? Every dollar you contribute, pays for 6 days of a kid's education. If you would like to direct your money towards some specific projects supported by Asha's Austin chapter, let me know.
The wonderful thing about Asha as a charity organization (for you, me and those children who need us) is that almost 100% of the money we donate goes directly to Asha's project partners in India. Asha does not have paid members and has a minimal expense related to fundraising. That is why it has figured in the Top-10 charity organizations of Charity Navigator in 2004, an independent charity evaluator with a database of over 3000 charities in US. It still remains one of the highest rated charities in US with a score of 69.79/70.00. It definitely comforts me that my money (and yours) is directly benefiting those who need us most and not to the middlemen.
Why I am running a marathon for Charity ?
Every person has had his own struggle, his own fight against odds. There have been tough times and then good times for every one of us. Whatever we are today, you would agree is a result of what we have endured all these years. As I sit at my desk, in my luxury apartment in Austin, content with my own struggle, I wonder about those few hundred million children in India - what are they struggling for ? I can imagine some of them rabidly looking through their books, struggling to find answers to the questions on their homeworks - not giving up yet! Some others on the playfield, struggling to find the right rhythm and the swing on their ball to get that one wicket that will move them one inch closer to becoming the next Kapil Dev of Indian Cricket !These come instantly to our minds, since we can relate our childhood to them. But what does not come instantly to our minds, is the struggle of those children who commute miles on foot to school. Their struggle is not walking those miles to school everyday. They are used to doing it now; and that does not seem to be a struggle for them anymore. They are struggling with a question whose answer is not in their books - its the question of them being able to go to school tommorow ! There are about 27 million children in India, whose parents cannot afford their basic education according to MICS-2000 survery. And 2 out of every 10 have been dropping out after primary school because they cannot afford it. This does not come as a suprise to me, because poverty is widespread in India. But it does bother me - because I know how transforming a good education and a good childhood has been for me. What I am and where I am today, is purely because of my education and my parents. Without it, I would not have known what I am capable of ... without it I would not have dreamt big ... without it, I would not have had what I have today, ... and without it, I would not be at a position where I could help other children get what I got.It is with this emotion, I have joined a charity organization - Asha, and taken up the challege of running a marathon in an effort to raise money for underprivileged children in India. I as a runner for Asha, have pledged to raise $100 for every mile I run. Many of you would agree that running a marathon is not an easy task, but so is life without education ! If my every MILE puts a sMILE on those children's tomorrow, I am up for the challenge. I ask you too, to be part of this challenge. We are all at a postion now, where we can spend dollars to buy what we like, and often end up buy things we don't really need. If we set aside a dollar a day and help these children realize their dreams, we can only imagine the kind of impact it will have on our society. I can go on, but we are responsible people and grateful for what we have today. So, lets show our gratitude by giving it back to our society. Lets give so that those 27 million children are able to get the same opportunities that we got.