Published: 14th June 2020
How ASWA is making every mother's hope of educating their child a reality
Sreenivasa encourages more volunteers to join in and take the lead in ASWA's various initiatives. The objective is that he encourages every one to dedicate one hour a month for volunteering work
After completing class V, Sreenivasa Prasad Sarvaraju had to leave his home, his village in Perimidi, Andhra Pradesh, to complete his schooling. He went to Nellore to stay with his babai (father's brother) where he studied till class X. And finally, to Chennai, where he completed his Master's in Financial Management from Annamalai University. "My mother is the driving force behind it all," Sreenivasa begins to tell us, "She has always been passionate about education." In April 2008, he felt the time had come to give back and so, he started the Amma Social Welfare Association (ASWA), dedicated to his mother. "We want to serve the society selflessly, just like a mother loves her child unconditionally," states the 38-year-old.
During a session | (Pic: ASWA)
Though ASWA started by conducting competitions in schools, they quickly understood that first, they need to work on students' language, literacy and numeracy levels through their Vikas intiatives. Currently, Sreenivasa and his wife Haritha Vemulapalli — both of whom quit their jobs in 2015 to dedicate themselves to this cause — along with volunteers, spend time in four schools — Mandal Parishad Primary School in Ramnagar Colony, Shadnagar, Mandal Parishad Primary School, Chatanpally and two other schools. While Haritha does the teaching, Sreenivasa and the volunteers conduct learning-based activities through memory games, comprehension through storytelling, role play and so on to focus on language development.
"And all we ask from volunteers is to dedicate one hour every month," says Sreenivasa, adding, "We chose to work in Shadnagar schools because there are many NGOs focusing on schools in Hyderabad already. We wanted to concentrate on rural schools as well. In the future, we want to expand our operations to ten schools." Sreenivasa and Haritha are also Wipro Fellows.
They conducted several three-to-seven-day workshops in engineering colleges
Through Vikas Career Guidance, ASWA offers a 24-page booklet to tenth graders to help them navigate career crossroads. With the support of other NGOs, this booklet has reached over one lakh students till date. They also offer scholarships to meritorious students and support them till their graduation. They have done so for 54 students under their programme called Cheyutha. Their latest initiative that started in 2018 with IIIT Hyderabad's Human Values Wing is the Centre for Holistic Development of Human Consciousness. "It is all about living in harmony with self, family, society and nature," says Sreenivasa. They have conducted five online sessions in the last month and have had 700 participants in total. They also conduct capacity building workshop for their volunteers.
Well, one thing is clear from all of this, ASWA's primary focus remains to be education but they are ready to serve the society in any way they can.
Students at work | (Pic: ASWA)
There's more to ASWA
- They initially started by spending time at orphanages and old age homes
- Through blood donation camps, they have donated 11,973 units of blood
- They have planted 70 trees in Mysamma Guda
- They have helped 181 families on a need-based basis during the lockdown
Glimpses of their work
For more on them, check out aswa4u.org