Chief Executive Officer at SVKM
Founder & CEO I Independent Director
Director – Resource Mobilisation & Strategic Initiatives
Head – Santacruz (W) Municipal School
Dr. TRISHA SEN
Head – Pali Chimbai Municipal School
Head – Finance
In June 2020, when the academic year started, we wanted to ensure that our children were engaged and that their learning continues. However, since education institutes were shut, it was difficult for teachers to contact the students. To overcome this barrier, we decided to start virtual classes. In order to achieve the task of conducting remote learning classes we introduced our “Back to School” campaign to purchase devices for our students and teachers.
We distributed stationery kits containing text books, notebooks, art and craft materials and stationery items twice during the year.
In a phased manner, with the support from our donors we were able to distributesmartphones, laptops, accessories and data packsbenefitting more than1300 students from Pre-Primary to Standard X in Mumbai and Igatpuri.
We have also strengthened our back-end IT infrastructure by providing laptops, tabs and computersthereby benefitting 106teachers.
“Learning was always fun for me and I liked to study but due to this pandemic I felt I would not get an opportunity to learn further but, my school made it possible for me. They began online classes through WhatsApp and later through Google Meet. They also taught us how to use Google Forms. Online learning was also fun. I did not miss my school as much because I got to see my teachers through live classes on Google Meet. I would like to thank all my teachers for helping me & clarifying my doubts. I would also like to thank my school for helping me to enhance my knowledge.” – Pranita Mogare, Student at Aseema
With your continued support, we will be strengthening our IT infrastructure in the next academic year by providing smartphones, laptops and accessories to many more of our students and teachers.
In March 2020, we started with identifying 600 families who were in dire need of food supplies and basic household items. We then raised funds through our campaign ‘Together, We Can!’. With support from our donors, we were able to provide dry grocery kits to all our children in Mumbai and Igatpuri.
Each kit comprises of 25 kgs of provisions including rice, pulses, sugar, salt, oil, soap, etc. Our social workers along with School Management Committee (SMC) members set up efficient supply chains in light of lockdown restrictions.
Till date, we have concluded 5 rounds of dry grocery kits distribution, reaching out to approx. 1800 families and nearly 10,000 people in each round.
“After my husband died a few years ago, I returned to my parents house. And started working as a domestic servant to make ends meet. But when the lockdown was announced, I lost my job. We have no savings. My father works as a ward boy at Hinduja hospital but his income is not enough to sustain our family of six. We are unable to ask friends, neighbours or relatives for help as everyone is affected by this situation. Aseema has been our ray of hope since the pandemic began. They have provided us with dry ration kits with which we are able to eat healthy and nutritious food. My children also received books and stationery and they are very excited to continue learning.”– Parent
With your support, we will continue providing ration kits to our children and their families thereby ensuring that the families have nutritious food to eat to help build immunity and stay healthy in the midst of a pandemic. We will also be distributing clothes and sandals as part of humanitarian aid to our marginalised communities in Mumbai and Igatpuri who have been adversely affecteddue to the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns. Resulting in loss of livelihoods for many and resulting in lack of access to food, housing, health care facilities and other necessities.
We are creating a Medical fund to help our children, their families and our staff members tide over these uncertain times.
During the year, our social workers and teachers have conducted virtual sessions with parents, students and staff educating them on the symptoms of COVID 19, precautionary measures, measures to be taken in case a family member is infected and post-recovery care. They were also regularly reminded about the importance of building strong immunity and ways to do the same.
Our counsellors too conducted sessions and discussions to help everyone cope with the crisis at hand. The counsellors had regular one-on-one calls with the students throughout the year which acted as an outlet for emotional problems they were facing at home.
Providing regular emotional support has benefitted our students who face various difficulties at home. In the upcoming academic year we will continue to provide our students this support to ensure emotional and overall well-being.
We have temporarily suspended acceptance of foreign contributions. This is in compliance with the new amendments in the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA). Apologies for the inconvenience. Do come back later!
White Fence by Zannatunnisa Churihar
This painting made by Zannatunnisa Churihar (age 15) shows a snowy white fence with brightly hued flowers growing all over the fence. At first, Jannat found the scene to be difficult to paint as water colors are a tricky medium, and it is difficult to strike the right balance. But, with encouragement and motivation from her teachers, she managed to create a masterpiece.
SIZE : A3
Available Editions: 48
To purchase this print, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Crane and the Peonies by Aaliya Qureshi
Aaliya Qureshi (age 16) attended a workshop where she was asked to quietly listen to music and drew what came to her mind directly with a black pen.The painting depicts a crane flying home.The bird is in such a rush that fragments of peonies are trailing along with it, unnoticed. The use of shading and strokes makes Aaliya feel the birds and flowers are dancing.
SIZE : A4
Available Editions: 49
Gerbera Daisies by Saba Qureshi
Saba Qureshi (age 14) was fascinated by these beautiful and brightly coloured flowers. Originating in South Africa, these flowers come in a variety of colours. Painted with oil pastels and water colours, the blooming flowers are refreshing to look at!
Shikara by Ashish Jaiswar
Ashish Jaiswar (age 13), the artist, has painted the serene surroundings of Kashmir with the Shikara as the cynosure. The Shikara is central to the people of Kashmir and is used as a tourist attraction. The use of colours is magical and transports the viewer to a land of peace.
Available Editions: 47
Lighthouse by Balakrishanan Arundhudiyar
This artwork is the product of Balakrishanan Arundhudiyar’s (age 17) brilliant imagination. With the use of glossy paper and paper collage techniques, Bala has created a colourful sunset scenery. The lone standing lighthouse is covered by overgrown shrubs and bushes. The boats are merrily bobbing on the choppy waves. The seascape is a sight to behold.
Available Editions: 46
Women at Work by Sradha Singh
This stunning painting by Sradha Singh (age 13) shows a glimpse of life in a village in Madhubani style. The unity among women can be seen as they sift and sort through grains. While some grains are stored as whole grains, the others are collected in a large wooden jar to manually grind them to a fine powder. The painting is also significant as all these activities are happening under the shade of the tree. It signifies that trees are essential for life and they are central to our existence.
Zebra by Sohail Shaikh
Africa is famed the world over for its wildlife sanctuaries and safaris. It is the one place on Earth where man and beast live in harmony. This painting by Sohail Shaikh (age 15) captures the essence of man and beast’s friendship. Made on plywood using acrylic paint, the painting is an epitome of perfection and equilibrium. The colour scheme and the choice of figures show a deep understanding of the environment we live in and the balancing act between humans and nature.
SIZE : 8×10″
Purple Mountain by Deva Achari
When Deva Achari (age 16) started this painting, he did not imagine the outcome to be so beautiful. A quaint countryside complete with a house, a field full of blooming red flowers and purple mountains with bright blue skies in the backdrop create a captivating view.
Mr. _ Mrs. Giraffe by Geeta Jaiswal
This painting is Geeta Jaiswal’s (age 14) imagination of an African safari. The shades of orange and green in the background paint an image of a vast grassland land at during sunset. The couple is enjoying an evening walk before retiring for the day.
Available Editions: 45
Birdie by Hitesh Kadam
This bird painted by Hitesh Kadam (age 16) looks so soft and fluffy as if it were made of cotton! Skillful shading and use of cake color brings out the captivating black eye and the colorful plummage of the bird.
Savior Doctors by Ayesha Prajapati
The pandemic gave Ayesha Prajapati (age 17) much to think about. While doctors have always been consisdered to be saviors, the pandemic has shown them to be warriors, too! They are the ones selflessly guarding the gateways and saving us from the deadly virus. Hats off to them!
Loner by Khushi Jaiswal
A bird symbolizes freedom. With this thought, Khushi Jaiswal (age 11) has painted the “Loner” in soft shades of white and blue.
SIZE : A5
Backwaters by Shahnawaz Shaikh
The artwork, done by Shahnawaz Shaikh (age 18), is a scene from Kerela’s famous backwaters. In the picture, once can see a boatman gently rowing his boat down the stream. The reflection of the shrubs and trees in the narrow canal creates a realistic impression of the actual landscape.
Scenic by Aditya Singh
This painting by Aditya Singh (age 10) is a reminiscence about the quiet life of his village. The pandemic has forced him and his family to isolate themselves in a tiny house whereas he would rather be in his village, which is surrounded by animals, trees and beautiful valleys. The painting shows Aditya’s longing to go to his native place and enjoy his summer vacations there.
Vallam Kali a.k.a Boat Race by Seeta and Geeta Jaiswal
Seeta and Geeta Jaiswal (age 15), the artists, studied the significance of the Vallam Kali or the festive Boat Race held in Kerela. In the painting, a group of oarsmen, dressed in their best clothes are seen energetically rowing a cannoe in their aim to win the race. The boats are decoarted by torans (or garlands), umbrellas and flags.
Mormugao Dock, Goa by Sumit Kotiya and Prachi Jaiswal
A serene sight, Sumit Kotiya and Prachi Jaiswal (age 12), the artists have captured the essence of the Mormugao Dock situated in Goa. Done with paper collage, the artwork is a beauty. It captures the calm ocean, the clear waters and the intricate ropes and masts of the boat. The small houses and the mass of rocks in the background provide a context to the anchored boats.
I’m Handsome by Sumit Kotiya
This handsome bird made by Sumit Kotiya (age 15) is proudly sitting on top of a branch, posing for passersby to admire its beautiful feathers!
Walk-a-thon by Seeta Jaiswal
The artwork, made by Seeta Jaiswal (age 14), is like poetry in a picture. One can almost hear the drumbeats reverberating in the background. And in the fore, a group of indigenous African women are walking, along with their children, adorning traditional jewellery and colourful apparels. Their legs seem to be moving in sync with the thuds of the drumbeats. The orangish-yellow sky reflects the warmth of the native people.
Kingdom by Ramesh Ghayhal
This artwork by Ramesh Ghayhal (age 26) is a gem of a painting. The tree is a sanctuary for the animals of the forest. Notice how real the pair of peacocks look! However, this painting has more than meets the eye. A quick flip shows us the head of an elephant. What an ingenious idea!
Violin by Sunitha Gaddam
Like all other paintings in this collection, this painting by Sunitha Gaddam (age 21) is a pictorial representation of musical instruments. Sunitha heard the melodious tones of the violin for the first time during this project. She has used muted colours in her work so the sound of the violin would rise above all else. The black instrument is prominently positioned over other elements, giving it a place of dominance.
Cutie by Vaishnavi Yadav
This colorful bird by Vaishnavi Yadav (age 10) seems like a colorful ball of fluff!
SIZE : 14.5 x 27.4 cm
Three is Company by Amisha Varma
Amisha Varma (age 15) has used water colors to paint a group of cute birds resting on a tree. The eyes and beaks captivate the viewer.
Mahabalipuram by Pranit Bhosle and Shubham Mali
This artwork by Pranit Bhonsle and Shubham Mali (age 12) shows the beautiful scene of the Mahabalipuram beach. By painting a triangle temple at the banks of the river, they have dented the monotony of the horizon. The brown temple and the stones are punctured with moss that grows on their wet surface. By using the technique of paper collage, the children has made the artwork an interesting one.
Autumn Tree by Ganesh Achari
Ganesh Achari’s (age 14) love for lonely trees inspired him to create this lone autumn tree which bears dried-up orange leaves. The beautiful painting made in watercolors captures the essence of the autumn season when leaves shed to give way to new life.
Tree of Life by Ashish Gaikwad
Ashish Gaikwad (age 21), the artist, has carefully woven the tall tree branches and leaves to create a vision of the tree reaching for the skies. The birds and owls perched on the tree are its guardians. They protect the tree from adversaries and keep its soul intact.
Good Evening by Ashish Jaiswar
This landscape created by Ashish Jaiswar (age 13) shows a tranquil evening at the base of a mountain range. Using watercolors, the painting is multilayered, getting richer as it comes to the fore. The painting is like a dream – clear blue skies, snowcapped mountains and a field of blooming flowers.
Meet my Family by Ashish Giri
Stomping across the earth, elephants roam in tightly knit groups of old and young, not unlike a human family whose members protect and caring for each other and mourning the loss of their significant other. Ashish Giri (age 12) illustrates his favorite animal – the elephant – through this artwork. Here we can see three elephants which seem like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle – perfectly fitting into each other. The trees, leaves, flowers and grass make up the forest in which they live and are also a part of the animals who survive on nature’s bounty.
Hitch Hiker by Mohan Gaddam
The artwork, by Mohan Gaddam (age 19), is a soothing sight. It shows two Deers evidently distinct by the intricate detailing on their bodies. To add a unique element to this otherwise simple sketch, Mohan popped a bird on the back of the second Deer. This bird has a barren body which brings a balance to the painting and circumvents the possibility of a camouflage.
Blue Lotus by Balakrishanan Arundhudiyar
Balakrishanan Arundhudiyar (age 15) has used his favourite colour blue to bring the Lotuses to life. The closeness of the flowers and leaves creates an illusion that they are whispering to each other. The shades of yellow and green are used to bring light to the painting and create the perfect balance.
Antelop by Niyaz Shaikh
This painting by Niyaz Shaikh (age 14) is set in the African Savannas. The Antelopes, painted in the backdrop of the famous orange skies of Africa, are alert and watchful, least any beast interrupt their leisure time.
In Charge Primary – Aseema Bal Shaikshanik Kendra
Education Head & Coordinator – Kherwadi Municipal School
Head – Finance
Head – Operations
Mirage by Huzef Momin
This beautiful painting by Huzef Momin (age 13) has been made using water colors. The painting depicts a field of neatly laid-out blooming orchids. The vast colorful field is a bewitching mirage.
Dawn by Saraswati Kanojiya
Saraswati Kanojiya (age 15) throughly enjoyed making this alluring painting using water colors. She let the water colors mix with each other and saw magic right before her eyes. Named “Dawn,” the painting depicts the picturesque mountain range as the first rays of the rising sun touch the sky, mountains and the flowers that grow in the valley.
Raptor by Neha Gupta
Neha Gupta (age 15) realizes that some species of birds and animals are going extinct rapidly. And thus, she has made an attempt to keep them alive through her painting. The “Raptor” is a bird of her imagination, and she hopes she can spread awareness about different species that have become extinct due to loss of food, habitat, hunting and other means.
Fly Me Home by Neeraj Yadav
This artwork by Neeraj Yadav (age 15) has been made using a black pen. The oriental bird and the flowers are composed in a manner that makes the bird and the flowers one. By using a skilled technique of shading and strokes, Neeraj has managed to bring the oriental bird to life.
Nation’s Pride – Peacock by Kaseem Shah
In the artwork made by Kaseem Shah (age 16), the royal peacock is standing in a pond and is surrounded by iris flowers and leaves. A gigantic flower is poised on the head of the peacock. The feathers of the peacock create a delicate flowing effect. Kaseem has mastered the use of lines which make the art appear to dance.
Better Half n’ Me by Aaditya Wankhede
Inspired by the look-alike Matryoshka dolls, Aaditya Wankhede (age 12) has created this mesmerizing painting. The painting shows a penguin couple, in hues of blue and yellow that represent the endless sky and the setting rays of the sun. The foliage, which is the penguins’ natural habitat, is an integral part of their world necessary for their survival.
Dumbo by Sunitha Gaddam
This painting is made by Sunitha Gaddam (age 16). After studying the Terracotta Elephant, she decided to place the Elephant in a boat, to travel down the stream. This has given the Elephant a unique setting. Sunitha has covered the back of the Elephant with multi-coloured frills and laces, making the Elephant glamorous and alluring.
Champa by Mousumi Mondal
This painting is made by Mousumi Mondal (age 14). The Champa tree is a staple in every Indian backyard. It is often worn as jewellery and hair accessory. Its fragrance is subtle and sweet. With pure and modest shades of white across swash of green, the flowers are radiant and sunny. Mousumi has painstakingly stroked each petal to give the flowers a realistic look.
Purple Shower by Hiteshree Bamaniya
In an impressive use of the royal purple, Hiteshree Bamaniya (age 17) has painted soul to a still life. The purple flowers, bunched together, create a grand spectacle like twinkling stars in the midnight sky. Hiteshree has brilliantly portrayed the use of water colours while painting the transparent blue vase.
Day and Night by Avinash Pekade
The painting, done by Avinash Pekade (age 20) is a masterpiece. One look at the zoomed-in painting will leave any person wonderstruck! Avinash has turned the tails of the Rabbits into branches which are homes to different animals. No two animals are showcased in the same position nor do they have the same design on their backs. Such is the intricacy of the artwork and the creative imagination of the child!
Harp by Muskaan Shaikh
Like all other paintings in this collection, this painting by Muskaan Shaikh (age 14) is a pictorial representation of musical instruments. Using coloured paper and glue, the child has created an artpiece that has been inspired by melody tunes of different musical instruments. The other elements in the artwork are a form of expression to convey the soft and mellow tones of the Harp.
Parakeet by Zamil Sayyed
Zamil Sayyed (age 13) has portrayed a family of Parakeets in their natural habitat through this painting. Their happy chatter and colourful plumage inspired Zamil to create this beautiful artwork.
We have temporarily suspended acceptance of foreign contributions. This is on account of the the new amendments in the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) and pending the release of the rules by the government relating to the same. Apologies for the inconvenience.
Do come back later!
Bouquet by Zeba Shaikh
Created by Zeba Shaikh (age 15), this painting is a beautiful sight -the fully bloomed white lotus, a few delicate buds and the brown dotted seeds. Set against a light backdrop, the folds of the leaves have been rendered beautiful shade of green.
Bamboo by Deepak Kawde
In this painting, Deepak Kawde (age 15) has shown great attention to detail while painting the gigantic blue leaves. The use of blue, purple and pink are in stark contrast to the white of the lilies. The grandeur of the bamboos, the fresh green leaves and the dark red background come together to create a magical rainforest scene.
Aster by Yasmeen Shaikh
This painting by Yasmeen Shaikh (age 14) shows a bunch of flowers splashed across the canvas. The brightly hued flowers in shades of pink and yellow are painted using oil pastels and water colours. The fantastic balance of colours, the arrangement of the flowers and the detailing of the petals and leaves shows Yasmin’s determination to portray the flowers as in their true form.
Airawat by Ashish Gaikwad
Ashish Gaikwad (age 15) has made an interesting depiction of the Terracotta elephant. By using colourful lines and shapes, Ashish has made the Elephant bright and colourful. Taking the “U” from the body of the Elephant, Ashish has used it as a backdrop to give the feeling of “flow”.
The Road less Travelled by Mukesh Prajapati
The painting by Mukesh Prajapati (age 14) is inspired by Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”. In the poem, Frost is trying to decide which path to travel on and he weighs the pros and cons. He finally decides to take the road “less travelled by”. This road seems to be depicted in the painting, showing its exquisite beauty, untouched by humans. Between a vast expanse of trees, shrubs and flowers a small path leads the traveller into the woods.
Strum by Rubina Khan
Like all other paintings in this collection, this painting by Rubina Khan (age 19) is a pictorial representation of musical instruments. She made this artwork after listening to the music of a guitar. The use of flowers and sun adds a Spanish twist which inspires the viewers to dance. The proportionate size of elements and space gives the artwork an appealing look.
Not without my baby by Rubina Khan
Rubina Khan (age 14) has created this mesmerizing depiction of the Terracotta Elephant. Mohan has used oil pastels to brightly colour the body of the beast. After painting the Elephant, he felt it to be incomplete. Thus, he used a black marker pen to sketch outlines of Elephants, giving an impression that several Elephants are standing in a line. The baby Elephant is with its herd and is well-protected from any predators.
Merman by Manmohan Halwai
Like crystalline waves sifting through sand like a brush upon canvas, Manmohan Halwai (age 14), the artist, has depicted the sound of the flute. Inspired by the technique of Henri Matisse, paper cut out forms were used to bring together an image of the flute player. The balanced use of colours and the proportions of the elements bring out the artistic marvel of the painting.
Writer, Traveller & Filmaker.
Former Editor-in-chief & Executive Director, Knowledge@Wharton , The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Former Vice Principal, College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai
Director, Sakhya, Anti-Dowry Cell, College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai
Former Head of Dept, Sociology, University of Mumbai
Chairperson and Trustee
Former Legal Officer for Asia and the Pacific, International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Geneva, Switzerland
Dilbur trained as a lawyer and spent her early years practicing law in the Bombay High Court. She championed the cause of women’s rights at SNDT Women’s University before moving to Thailand where she worked with the Union for Civil Liberty. For the next five years she was the Legal Officer for Asia and the Pacific at the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva.
A strong advocate of Human Rights, the fact that prevalent laws, both International and Indian did not filter down to society’s most vulnerable deeply disturbed her. Determined to bridge this gap between laws and policies on the one hand and grassroot reality on the other, she, along with two like-minded friends, founded Aseema Charitable Trust in 1995.
Along with a group of dedicated volunteers she began teaching a small group of children from the slums and pavement communities. Her journey to empower the future generation had begun and there was no looking back.
As Chairperson, she has led from the front guiding Aseema from its humble beginnings to partnering with three Municipal Schools in Mumbai and building and running a school for tribal children at Igatpuri – a project very close to her heart.
What really defines Dilbur is her humility and simplicity. “Keep it simple” is her constant refrain.
Former Lecturer at American University at Sharjah
Former lecturer at University of Toronto
Co-founder & Trustee – Pratham
Former Vice Principal, College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai
Senior Advocate, High Court, Mumbai
Former Additional Solicitor General of India
Head – Finance
Education Head & Coordinator – Kherwadi Municipal School
Advocate, High Court, Mumbai
Experience in Human Rights Work
Advocate, High Court, Mumbai
Former Ambassador of India to UNESCO
Former Ambassador of India to the Netherlands
CFO & CHRO, Tata UniStore Ltd.
Head of Brand & Communications for South East Asia BNP Paribas
Chairperson – Prerna Foundation
Preeti Kundalia is a Psychology major and a Human Resource professional. To her, recognizing and developing a person’s potential, especially at the grassroots level, is both challenging and fulfilling. Aware that education is the most powerful tool for change, she is determined to ensure that every child, especially those from marginalized communities have access to quality primary education and learning. Preeti has been a dependable supporter of Aseema from its inception.
She is involved in a ‘Train the Trainer’ project which aims to upgrade a tradesmen’s skills to enable better profitability.
Preeti enjoys music and languages are her forte. She is currently learning Dhrupad music and Sanskrit.
Director – TUNI Interiors
Sharvari Dhobale, a French Language graduate with a diploma in Travel and Tourism, spent five exciting years working in the travel industry until marriage prompted her to relocate to Bhadrachalam, a small town on the outskirts of Hyderabad. Once there, she joined Bhadrachalam Public school, initially as a teacher and subsequently as a member of their advisory committee. As President of the Bhadrachalam Mahila Samiti, she impacted the lives of numerous village women in the surrounding areas through effective health care, education and computer literacy programs. Sharvari actively supports the Poona School and Home for the Blind: an institution founded by her grandfather.
A warm and affable person, Sharvari loves travelling and is an avid reader.
Photographer, Documentary Film Maker
Ms. Neela Kapadia is a development communications professional. Her media of exploration are still photography and video. Her narratives highlight the humanity of the underprivileged and the marginalized. She is partial to children and women and frames their struggles and achievements with power and positivity.
For the past 35 years, Neela has partnered with local, national and international organizations that work in the areas of education, health and women’s empowerment. A quiet empathy, a strong sense of justice as well as a practical approach to life and living inform all her commitments.
All Aseema Schools have a dedicated science lab. This lab is well-equipped with all the materials required for various experiments. The Activity Based Learning approach encourages children to conduct experiments under close observation of qualified teachers and note observations and come to their own conclusions. The children also participate in inter school science exhibitions where they apply their theoretical knowledge and convert them to practical models.
At Aseema, we understand the importance of hands-on experience. Work experience classes introduce the children to life skills such as sewing, gardening and non-fire cooking skills. We believe these skills will aid children in understanding concepts such as dignity of labour, appreciation of surroundings, importance of working independently, health and nutrition etc. The work experience classes give the children visual, tactile and other sensory experiences while learning.
In Mumbai, our mid-day meals are an important source of nutrition for our children. Since their parents are daily wage earners, it is often difficult for parents to cook and provide packed lunches to the children. The children rely on hot-cooked meals served by us and often, this meal is often a substantial part in their daily diet.
In Igatpuri, our children are provided 2 meals whilst they are at school – breakfast and lunch. For our children coming from impoverished families these are wholesome meals which fosters their physical and mental growth.
Our in-house nutritionist prepares a balanced menu incorporating all the essential nutrients. During the meal breaks, our teachers are busy teaching children the importance of not wasting food and following table manners. Height and weight analysis of all the children is done twice a year to keep a tab on the child’s physical growth and development pattern.
Medical check-ups and health camps are organized for all children in Mumbai and Igatpuri. Children who are found to have any medical conditions are referred to a doctor and our social workers help the family understand the illness or disease the child is suffering from. They also assist parents for tests and routine hospital visits.
In Igatpuri, our in-house nurse treats and tends to those who need immediate and regular medical assistance during school hours.
Field trips give a welcome break to the children from their normal class routine. The children always look forward to exploring new opportunities and new surroundings. Visits to museums, planetariums, post office, railway stations etc. open the children’s minds and moreover they acquire knowledge that take them to high degrees of independent learning.
At Aseema, the children enjoy celebrating all festivals such as Holi, EID, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Christmas and many others. These cultural events and celebrations form an integral part of joyful learning. They are introduced to the essesnce of the festivals through stories, music, group discussions and a variety of other engaging activities. Through every celebration the children learn the history, importance and significance of the festival.The children learn values such as unity, brotherhood and also learn how to respect various cultures and traditions.
A Community Work Centre (CWC) has been set up at Aseema to link the school with the community. A team of Social Workers liaison with the parents building strong ties with the community and working towards creating an environment that supports education.
All Aseema School libraries are well stocked and equipped with books of different genres. The children can select from fiction, history, biographies, science, etc and read to their heart’s content! Various workshops are also organised to inculcate the habit of reading, improving vocabulary and grammar usage.
In Igatpuri, the children from Standard IVupwards learn the delicate art of stitching and tailoring. The children make beautiful designs and patterns using colourful threads. They also learn how to use the sewing machine.
In Igatpuri, the children come from a family of farmers thus, it is crucial to teach the children the science behind agriculture. Children from Standard IV upwards learn about types of soil, seeds, seasons, etc. As part of their practical classes, they sow seeds, tend to plants and learn ways to naturally increase yield. Using our compost shed, the children also learn how to make compost using kitchen waste and cow dung. Armed with this knowledge, the children are able to take home some valuable information to share with their parents and act as a helping hand in the farms.
The Counselling team consisting of Clinical and Counselling Psychologists is well-equipped to deal with a variety of challenges our children may face at home. Using techniques of group and individual counselling, our counsellors’first gain trust of the children and slowly encourage the child to open up about his problems. The team makes use of several therapy techniques that addresses the psychological, educational, developmental and social needs of the children.
The team also conducts workshops and awareness sessions on topics such as child sexual abuse, emotional hygiene, menstrual hygiene, bullying and teasing, handling peer pressure and motivation.
Monday mood ‘check in’ activity is carried out to understand the scenario at the children’s homes and any adverse effect on the child.
The colourful ‘Children’s Box’ at every school assures each child that there is someone to listen to their apprehensions, to help them through their difficulties or just have a casual conversation to lift their spirits. It acts as an informal platform to reach out to the children and encourage them to share their feelings and emotions.
Keeping up with technology, our children learn how to operate a computer and to use different computer applications. While learning basics such as MS Office and internet searches is a part of their curriculum, the children also have the opportunity to learn advanced applications such as Movie Soup and Logo by being part of Project Ringtones. Project Ringtones teaches children to use special applications and create videos, movies, animated games and songs. Over the years, our children have made creative teaching aids in the form of presentations and songs to help their teachers on various topics.
Aseema children are full of energy and enthusiasm. They enjoy dancing and performing on stage. While dance improves co-ordination and flexibility, it also increases the confidence of the children to perform in front of an audience. Our children train relentlessly and take part in multiple competitions.
At Aseema, soft, soothing music is played in between two classes. This helps the children calm down, recollect their thoughts and assimilate their studies. During their weekly music class, the children learn English and Hindi songs and poems. This helps improving vocabulary and usage of new words. Weekly music classes are fun filled and a time for children to relax and enjoy.
At Aseema, art is incorporated into every child’s routine from a young age. Art stimulates creativity and encourages our children to express their thought, feelings and emotions. It channelizes their dreams and desires and is a beautiful reflection of their imagination.
Aseema is one of the only 2 centres in India where the international Room 13 Art Programme is adopted to teach children art. The children who form a part of Room 13 get the opportunity to study national and international artists. They work with a variety of mediums and techniques and create beautiful artworks which are then replicated on a range of products from coasters to handbags.
With one hour of the much loved sports every day our children get the much needed exercise which benefits them both physically and emotionally. Our children learn techniques to play games such as kho-kho, basketball, handball, volleyball, etc. They train hard and participate in inter school, district and national level competitions. Along with building a healthy physique, sports teaches children important values of team-work, concentration, sportsman spirit and discipline. Through a focused all-year-round training, our team of sports coaches build in agility, strength, stamina and flexibility in our children.
Sana is a soft spoken and a sensitive girl. She comes from a family where the mother is the only earning member. She was a below average performer in academics due to her illness and then the health issues in her family. Her attendance at school was poor and coupled with a disturbed environment at home, Sana fared poorly in Standard IX in the first terminal examination.
She only started attending school regularly from the month of December. To help her improve her performance, the teacher decided to nominate her for extra tutoring which she took very positively. Whether it was the Sports class or even after school hours, whenever asked to wait back, Sana did so and focused on understanding the concepts taught in class. She also tried to answer questions and participate in class activities having realised that if she didn’t put in the effort, she would never achieve anything.
Sana has learnt the important lesson that mistakes are opportunities to learn and overcame her fear of failure. This brought about a massive change in her attitude to school and studies. Ever since, Sana attempts to try and solve questions on her own and approaches teachers without hesitation if she needs clarifications or help. Sana is now a student with a strong motivation to learn and grow.
Sana Shaikh is a student in Standard IX in Santacruz Municipal School adopted by Aseema.
Sohail’s nonchalance affected his studies adversely and he had to stay back in Standard IX this year. His future looked rather bleak. He began the new academic year too on the same note, with indiscipline, non cooperation and defiance, until the first unit test examination. After the examination, the teacher had a session with him and took him on a review of his performance. She discussed his chances of passing the class this year.
After the session he started to change and be more serious about his studies. Coupled with the efforts of the teachers who supported and guided him in their respective subjects, Sohail began to improve. He actually managed to pass in all his subjects in the first semester examination. This was a joy for both Sohail and his teachers. Having realised his potential there was no looking back any more.
Today he is a new person. Each day he works hard to improve and also guides and helps other students to understand concepts that he has grasped. With this, his discipline and class participation have both improved tremendously. The success boosted his confidence, which further encouraged him to participate in school activities. Recently, Sohail even participated in the ‘Earth Mela’ held in National College. He also won a prize in the eco –friendly Rangoli competition which was a Team event in school.
Sohail Ahmad Shaikh is a student in Standard IX in Santacruz Municipal School adopted by Aseema.
Ali is a new student and joined Aseema’s school this academic year. He is hardworking and diligent.
The class teacher’s observation was that the new child lacked confidence in his studies. On questioning him it was noted that his family has a lot of financial difficulties, that the child travels to school from where he lives- Vakola, to Bandra everyday with his sibling and that his mother is a heart patient. In spite of all these difficulties, the child came to school in the hope of learning and acquiring knowledge.
Taking in the situation, and moved to help Ali, the class teacher started working with him – explaining the concepts that he had not grasped. Several subject teachers joined her and took extra classes with him to bring him up to the level of the class. Most commendable were the efforts put in by Ali himself, which went a long way in helping him achieve little successes at first and then bigger ones.
The child was given an opportunity to participate in the Science Olympiad examination conducted by the BMC. After a lot of hard work Ali cleared the Olympiad examination.This boosted his confidence so much that he was motivated further to participate in the exhibition at school and role plays in class.
Ali Maaz is a student in Standard VIII in Pali Chimbai Municipal School adopted by Aseema.
Sometime right in the middle of this academic year Prem Kumar Mahto was one of the less fortunate whose house was gutted in a fire at Lal Mitti. The family lost their home and all their belongings.
Traumatised but extremely resilient, Prem however appeared for his exams the very next day in the Aseema Uniform (which was the only clothing that wasn’t lost in the fire) and he also secured very good marks. The teachers helped him with a set of text books and notebooks. Notes were shared with him and he managed to catch up very quickly. Prem has always been quiet and well behaved. Secure in the knowledge that he had the complete support of his family, even though they did not have adequate financial resources and of the support of his other family – the Aseema family, Prem has blossomed and gained in self confidence.
He takes an active part in classroom discussions, performs extremely well in academics, he is a gifted artist, is good in Sports and takes part in all the competitions and events in school. He is kind and helpful, has a cheerful optimistic personality and is popular among his peers and teachers.
Prem Kumar Mahto is a student in Standard VIII in Pali Chimbai Municipal School adopted by Aseema.
This 22-year-old graphic designer exudes confidence. Sumant Bej was a student at Aseema from Std 8 to Std 10, which is when he graduated from school in the year 2013. He completed his junior college in the Commerce stream and graduated with a BMM degree in 2019. Sumant lives with his parents and a sister who is studying for her B.Sc degree.
For him Aseema is the origin and start of the many good things that he has accomplished. In the field of Sports, he won various medals and trophies. He was head of the student unit in college. Academically also, in comparison with the other school that he attended and his observation of other schools, he believes that Aseema offers an environment of learning backed by the personal interest of every teacher for every student.
His friends from other schools seem to lack the very valuable training that Aseema gave him. This equipped him during his college life with the knowledge and skills to hold his own among fellow-students who came from more affluent backgrounds.
Sumant’s ambition was to join R. D. National College for Commerce where he finished his junior college studies. He then went on and acquired a Bachelor degree in Mass Media. Since January 2020 he has been working at his first regular job, as a graphic designer with a start-up advertising agency. As compared to the freelance assignments that he had undertaken earlier, he finds the flexibility and the mentoring of this new job tremendously satisfying.
Eventually Sumant would like to complete a professional VFX course. His ambition is to make a career as a VFX artist.
Sushmita Agrawal, is a 26 year old brimming over with positive energy. Her first contact with Aseema was in 2005 when she was admitted to Standard V. She was nominated ‘Best Student of the Year’ the year she joined Aseema and again in 2010 when she graduated from school.
The family shifted to Goregaon thereafter, so she finished her junior college at RBHS in Goregaon. She graduated with a B. Sc at National College in Bandra in the year 2015. Yet another achievement was her success in encouraging her mother to start a Tiffin service.
It was always Sushmita’s dream to study medicine however due to the lack of finances she decided to compromise and do a course in Clinical Research. This however requires that she give up her job, which is something she cannot afford to do. So this plan is on the back burner as of now.
Meanwhile, she is applying her knowledge of science at Suburban Diagnostics where she is a Star Executive and Medical Coordinator. In June 2020 she will have completed 4 years at the job. Sushmita was and continues to be inspired by a teacher at Aseema, Sharmistha Kont. The teaching at Aseema promoted an environment of learning and was so good that she never needed additional tuition.
While finances continue to be a challenge, Sushmita still manages to support her mother and her two younger sisters. She enjoys kick-boxing and considers it as a way to stay fit. She leads a full life – aspiring to study further and to keep in touch with former classmates. Among the achievements that she treasures are her graduation and the awards she received when at Aseema.