Dear Parents and Colleagues,
This Week’s Three Epiphanies:
Matkas & Indian Women: Last night my wife Lisa and I spent several hours walking through the crowded streets of Khar Danda (along with tens of thousands of others) celebrating Govinda, the 5228th birthday of Lord Krishna. It was an amazing night, as we watched dozens of teams smash Dahi Handis in their reenactment of the story of Baby Krishna stealing of his mother’s yogurt. The highlight was watching two female teams build their pyramids, and smash the Matkas. While watching the women, yet another dimension of complexity and intrigue was added to the India I am slowly trying to understand. Here’ s what I mean: A week ago, at the InspirED conference ASB hosted, I heard a speaker from India’s Human Resource Department say, “…only 1 out of every 1000 Indian girl will complete 12th grade in the public school system.” And last night “girls” were competing (this is the 7th year girls have participated), on the crowded streets of Mumbai, for a Dahi Handi prize. My epiphany: Craig, promise yourself you will never say, “I understand India.”
Dharavi and ASB: Earlier this week, I spent the afternoon with Alex Gustad, our CSR and CAS Coordinator, in Dharavi with Vinod Shetty, Director ACORN Foundation Dharavi Project. We visited the different enterprises, and met some of the people ASB works with in Dharavi. The photo below was taken with my phone from the roof of a four-storey-family-home-and-plastic-recycling-factory. Standing there on top of Dharavi I had this epiphany: ASB is super fortunate to have the connections, and to have built the relationships, that we have. Without them we would be lost, and unable to even begin some of the important work we aspire to do.
Teachers: Today is Teachers Day. This morning the members of ASB’s Leadership Team had the pleasure of garlanding 140 of our teachers as they walked into the school. Standing there I had my third epiphany: ASB teachers spend around 2000 hours a year with your children! As the Superintendent of the school, and as a father, I recognize and appreciate the faith and support you have in ASB. It is truly phenomenal. We, in turn, have undertaken a colossal responsibility to the teachers of your children. But in the end: We are partners; and together we have the pleasure of watching our 700 children grow and develop, and—as our Mission Statement puts forth—to pursue their dreams and enhance the lives of others. Thank you for believing in ASB.
Odds and Ends:
THANK YOU PTA for the doughnuts and other goodies that were waiting for us when we got to school today!
Recycling Program at ASB:
Next Tuesday is the kickoff of this year’s ASB Recycling Program. Student volunteers from elementary, middle, and high schools will collect all recyclable paper within the school every week and pass it on to our NGO partner, ACORN Foundation. This is the second year for this program and we are happy to work with the ACORN Foundation as they attempt to support the waste collectors in Mumbai who are essentially the kingpins of the recycling industry within the city. Great work students!
We have a million reasons to smile! We are proud and honored to launch the Operation Smile Club at ASB, on September 8 (Time: 7:15 to 7:50, Venue: MS-HS Library)
Operation Smile is a worldwide children’s medical charity that provides surgery for children with facial deformities like cleft lips and cleft palates. In 28 years, Operation Smile volunteers have provided free surgeries to more than 150,000 children and young adults across 51 countries. The club will raise awareness of these issues amongst the community, organize various fundraising activities, and be actively involved in helping Operation Smile missions in India. Come join us.
For more information, please contact Ms. Usha Hariharan at hariharanu@asbindia...
Have a great weekend,