Asha General Body Meeting-1st July 2006
Minutes by Agomoni
Attendance: Priyanka Belawat, Shyam Chikatamarla, Nitesh Gandhi, Agomoni Ganguli, Vishweshwara Herle, Baiju John, Simmy P. Kuriakose, Chidambaram Narayanan, Chanda Raj, Gregory de Souza.
Outgoing President of Asha Zurich Gregory de Souza welcomed the attending members and gave an overview of Asha Zurich’s (AZ)’s work over the last year. He gave a brief overview of the two projects Akshardeep and Vishwa Mandal Sevashram, which AZ will continue to fund over the coming year. He also mentioned the third project Parivaar, which will no longer be funded by AZ. Further details on the project can be found in the Annual Report. He then went on to talk about AZ’s flagship event, Notes of Hope(NoH), which was organised for the second time in 2005 but was not as successful as the concert organised in 2003. He welcomed beginning of a closer relationship between AZ and the Indian Association in Zurich (IAZ) and extended his warm thanks to the IAZ committee for their support.
Finally he encouraged the members of Asha Zurich to further strengthen their volunteer base in order to adequately organise fundraisers and support AZ’s education projects in India.
Outgoing General Secretary Vishweshwara Herle gave a brief overview of the events which AZ organised or took part over the last year: (details can be found in the annual report)
28 May 2005 NoH Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and Rahul Sharma
12 July 2005 Asha GBM
25 September 2005 Baden Sports Events
21 January 2006 IAZ Food Festival
4 February 2006 Indian Disco Nach Baliye
25 March 2006 IAZ Indian Ball
Feb-March 2006 Photo Exhibition Brugg & Baden (now at Hotel Seehof Zurich)
20 May 2006 Indian Evening at the Geminde Grunau
30 June 2006 Talk by Ms Ragini of Dhan Foundation (Tsunami relief work)
A member asked whether the money that was channelled by IAZ through Asha Zurich to the Tsunami relief work gave Asha any further responsibilities. Asha Zurich will only take the responsibility of transferring the 1,200 CHF. Because relief work is not the main focus of Asha, the IAZ will be in direct contact with the Dhan foundation in the future.
It was noted that the event at Wettingen must be added to Asha Zurich’s list of events. Gregory made a presentation at the Kantonschule in Wettingen. 1,000 CHF were collected and were used for a project in Bastar area of Madhaya Paradesh which is to provide nutritional food to school children. The money has just reached the Bastar Project. Asha Zurich will inform the Kantonschule that the money has reached. A thank you letter from Bastar will also be forwarded to the Katonschule.
Treasurer Shyam Chikatamarla gave an overview of the Financial Report 2005. Full details can be found in the Annual Report. It was noted that NoH 2005 incurred a loss of 778.05 CHF.
He mentioned that the most regular source of income was Charity as you Hobby (CAYH) which has been bringing over 9,000 CHF every year since 2003.
One member asked whether Asha had a well-formulated advertisement for CAYH that could be used to approach some companies and businesses. It was decided that more work needs to be done to push and advertise CAYH.
The treasurer then went on to explain that in 2005 there was a total donation of 13, 234.90 CHF. However, from the statements that he receives from the UBS, he cannot tell who has made the donation (only from certain donations). Various ways of getting more information on donors were discussed, so that AZ may send them a thank you letter.
The treasurer then presented the current balance, which is just over 35,000 CHF as of May 2006. CAYH and donations make up 80% of the total funds. Currently AZ is disbursing 16,000 CHF for the two projects in India.
It was noted that the Treasurer’s address has to be changed in the Asha. Letters and correspondence will continue to be sent to Priyanka Belawat’s address.
A large portion of the discussion was then devoted to NoH 2005: why it failed and whether AZ should consider continuing to organise such a big event. A comparison was made with NoH 2003 to see where the weakness lay:
Bad timing and Clashes with other events (Indian President‘s visit and a large event in Baden)
Artist costs were high
Lack of nanpower (Motivation)
Sponsorship drive started late
Ticket sales (NoH 2003 made almost twice the amount in ticket sales/tickets were also more expensive)
* 2003, in Musik Hochschule of 300 capacity ; 2005, in Volkshaus of 600 capacity
** Others – Sound system, Printing and miscellaneous
In both the events number of people attended were around the same (320)
What should be done in the future:
It was suggested that Asha Zurich should first try to minimise risk as far as cost was concerned. It was suggested that the team should approach sponsors who may fund the travel and cost of the artists or organise an event jointly as in 2003. Asha Zurich should also visit various associations who might be interested in bearing some of the expenditures of the event. Only if a large part of the expenditure seem to be met, should Asha consider organising another NoH. Selling more tickets will also of crucial importance.
The new committee will meet towards the end of July to discuss how best to go ahead with organising another NoH.
A quick project update was given. The Akshardeep and Dhule projects are going very well and will continue to be funded. Parivaar will not be funded by AZ anymore. However there are still 70,000 Rps. lying in India which need to be sent to Parivaar. Kirtimalini Gadre is currently following this up. It was noted that members need to concentrate on projects and project updates at their meetings in the coming year. It was also noted that Asha Zurich has a good datastore that should be used by all for minutes etc.
Election of the New Committee:
President: Vishweshwara Herle (8 Yes, 0 No)
General Secretary: Ravi Chikatamarla (8 Yes, 0 No)
Treasurer: Shyam Chikatamarla (8 Yes, 0 No)
Project Coordinators: Baiju John, Agomoni Ganguli, Kirtimalini Gadre Battacharya (overall coordinator)
Editors: Srinjoy Mitra and Chanda Raj.