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Science Day 2022
Ashraya's first offline Science Day since the pandemic! Digging a little deeper into our history, Science Day is celebrated as a tribute to C.V Raman and his discovery of the Raman Effect. This year's theme was ‘Integrated Approach in Science and Technology for Sustainable Future' which is synchronous with our goal of creating sustainable, empowered communities. An opportunity for our little innovators and future scientists to come up with their own form of experiential learning, focussing on zero waste and all the while enjoying the process. 
Ashraya's Trailblazing College Girls!
Ashraya's college girls conducted a need assessment in their basti's to identify concerns which were potentially hampering the progress of the communities. They observed that education was now an integral part of the communities perceptions of development and that there was a positive shift in their perceptions towards gender roles in the household, employment and social mobility. However, there was still a long way to go in acceptance of gender equality with regard to accessing education, employment and delaying marriage. Alcoholism and gender based violence, although now reduced, is still very prevalent, and the girls have taken it upon themselves to be agents of change. They have spearheaded two campaigns targeting awareness and prevention of early marriage, early pregnancy, inequity in education, hygiene and socio-economic security for girls within the basti. This campaign also ensured 20 families signing up for Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, a scheme designed to promote education and financial security for girl children. 
Community Entrepreneurs in the Making
The Waghri and Sikligar families are steadily moving towards sustainable employment initiatives post the pandemic. Ashraya facilitated an advanced tailoring course with the community women, who expressed interest in skill building for livelihoods, in association with Pune Connect and Mann Deshi Foundation. We have a total of ten women who are accessing this opportunity, along with two Sikligar single mothers. This is a milestone in itself, as women in the Sikligar community have limited social mobility and taking up employment is frowned upon. 
A moment of pride for Ashraya, a Waghri family in the basti, started their own  venture (a general store), by accessing a bank loan via a student who is also enrolled as a part time teacher at Ashraya. Previously being pressured into early marriage by her family over a college education, her financial independence today could ensure livelihood security for them. 
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Saying goodbye with this illustration done for a book by Ankush Khakhordiya, 7th Grade, Hamari Shala