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August 2021

We've had a busy summer here at Asha Seattle! Our projects in India celebrated Independence Day in style! Our COVID relief efforts are slowing, thankfully, as COVID cases have dropped dramatically in recent months, but one of our projects continues to provide aid to government hospitals. And our Team Asha Biking and Team Asha Climbing groups each had a fantastic season of fun and fundraising. Pictures and details below!

As always, we welcome your support of our efforts to improve the lives of underprivileged children in India, primarily through education. Whether you would like to donate, volunteer, or follow our work, we appreciate your help.  

Best wishes,
The Seattle Asha Chapter

August 15 - Indian Independence Day!
Pabal, Maharashtra

Vigyam Ashram hosted their annual Independence Day celebration, including a cultural program with singing and dancing, sports activities, and Vigyan Ashram's traditional flag hoisting ceremony.  

Here some students are pictured singing a song.

Website | Ashanet | Facebook
Jaipur, Rajasthan

The whole organization took part in the celebrations at Digantar's main campus and satellite campuses. Together they sang a song: Ham log hain aise deewane duniya ko badal kar maanenge (we are the people who are crazy about changing the world).

Here a teacher is pictured raising the flag at Digantar's main campus.

Website | Ashanet | Facebook
COVID-19 relief effort UPDATE 
Thiruporur, Tamil Nadu

Rural Development Trust (RDT) has continued its COVID-19 relief work. Here they are pictured providing masks, gloves, and other medical supplies to government hospitals in Manapathi and Srunkondaram villages, in Chengalpattu District.


Team Asha RUNNING update

Team Asha Running held a 5k/10k run in June and sold out the event!  

We hosted our run on June 19 at Marymoor Park, in Redmond, and had 92 in-person participants and 15 at-home participants! Our in-person runners were spaced in small groups to keep with COVID safety guidelines. We also had over 20 volunteers who helped make the day run smoothly. It was a blast and we were overwhelmed by the response. Thank you all who participated!

We donated our raised funds to support COVID relief efforts in India.

To learn more about Team Asha Running, please visit:

Team Asha CLIMBING update

The 2021 Team Asha Seattle Climbing Program is going strong!

The Team Asha Climbing Program officially started in 2012 supporting climbers on their mountaineering pursuits with volunteers leading them on training hikes and preparatory climbs, and the climbers committing to raise funds for Asha for Education. As part of the program, many of the volunteers' time is also matched by their workplace, and we train our leads to acquire new skills. Our volunteers have been climbers from previous years, and the community and camaraderie we create, with a common love for the mountains, keeps us motivated to enjoy these passions together while supporting a great cause and staying fit.

In 2021, we offered climbs in Washington State covering the 5 Washington volcanoes; and the Rim-to-Rim hike in Grand Canyon, Arizona. For the Washington climbs, we had 21 climbers making their summit bids to one or more of the 5 Washington volcanoes. Mt Rainier (14,410ft), Mt Adams (12,277ft), Mt Baker (10,777ft), Glacier Peak (10,541ft) and Mt St Helens (8,363ft). All of these are active, and have some of the most amazing crevassed glaciers. They are a great test of physical fitness, mental fitness and require technical skills to climb. 

We started our 2021 training in March to help climbers prepare for these climbs, physically and mentally. Some of them had hiking experience while others were pretty new to long hikes.  Our volunteers prepare the climbers with weekend training hikes to condition their bodies. Climbers gradually add mileage and pack weight to improve their endurance and conditioning. In addition, we organize snow skills, and snow climbs to help them prepare for hiking on snow and glaciers. Finally, we also help them with tips on nutrition, gear, packing and mental readiness. 

The remainder of our season:
  • Most of our Washington climbs are done for the season, with our last group heading out in early September.  
  • For the Rim-to-Rim hike, we have 7 climbers, with 2 leads. 
  • The training hikes are still going on and the group will attempt their hike in October. 

Find more details here: Climb with Asha | Asha Seattle ( and connect with us on Facebook to follow our climber’s progress and summits!
Team Asha BIKING update

Team Asha Biking has one more successful year under its belt!
We have officially wrapped up our featured biking event for the year - Cascade Bicycle Club’s 2021 Seattle to Portland bike ride (STP)!! Due to the continuing Covid restrictions the traditional outdoor biking event was replaced with a virtual one this year (vSTP). Participants were required to complete 200 miles of indoor or outdoor riding over a period of 3 weeks, July 17th to August 8th, 2021.
With social distancing and local regulations in mind, this year our team focused on training participants for indoor riding. We used smart bike trainers which created a real-world experience in a virtual setting. It was an experience like never before, to train on routes far flung around the world. We rode virtually in California and New York. We also went international to Japan and even conquered some tough rides and hills in Europe, UK, and Germany!! It was equally
fun and exciting to achieve all training milestones virtually from the first 50-mile ride to the first century ride, and the famous "Carbo Load" dinner which we did as team over zoom this year. Our Carbo Load dinner picture caught attention of the Cascade organization and they featured Team Asha in their vSTP newsletter as being the largest team participating this year!
Asha biking team members kicked off their vSTP on July 17th and most of them finished their rides on the first weekend itself. Team members took the "virtual" aspect in stride and completed the vSTP ride in various formats of their liking. Most participants completed their ride indoors, some outdoors and some did a combination of both. We also celebrated some special milestones this year. For the first time ever, we had an all women group of 5 who trained and finished the ride in one day!! Jyoti Gawade our veteran rider and longtime Asha volunteer celebrated her 10th STP ride this year!! The team cheered, supported each other through the rough parts and celebrated each rider's finish virtually, just as they would have in person. Sangeeta (one of our veteran rider and Asha Biking volunteers) puts its perfectly “There was no finish line or bells or beer garden at the end this year, but this amazing group made it special for everyone by cheering throughout, making the best of the virtual/digital celebration!! That’s the best part of being an Asha team member."
Success continued to manifest itself in many ways. We started as a team of 25 riders at the beginning of the season, but the contagious positive energy spread fast and the team grew in size, including some kids who decided to join in to ride the vSTP and raise funds and awareness for Asha for Education. There are multiple success stories among our fundraising efforts as well, and some of our riders have raised funds that are double or three times their goal amount. As a result of the fundraising efforts of our rider Asawari Sathe, we have been invited to talk more about the Asha organization (at her workplace) and its programs, providing us an excellent opportunity to raise awareness for Asha for Education!!

We cannot wait for the next year, and hope that things are better and we can train and ride at the traditional event. However, this year has taught us to adapt. So, even if the format changes next year, we will adapt again, get creative and persevere.

Sometimes when life gives us lemons, we don’t just make lemonade, we can also make a lemon pie or a tart or a cake or all of them. 😊 The opportunities are endless!
To learn more about the Asha Biking program please visit:

Please consider supporting our efforts with a financial gift. We are entirely volunteer-run and 97% of every donation goes directly to projects in India - rest assured, your gift is going exactly where you would like it to go.  

Your support enables us to provide life changing education opportunities for marginalized children in India.  Thank you.  
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about the content written here, please contact us at
Thank you for your continued support and generous contributions.
- Asha for Education Seattle Chapter -
Copyright © 2021, Asha For Education. All rights reserved.

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Asha For Education Seattle Chapter · PO Box 2407 · Redmond, WA 98052 · USA

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