Name - Sirisha Tadepalli
Position - Principal Consultant and Founder President
Organization - The Aasra
DOB - 7th February
Place - Chennai
Sirisha was born to a humble family in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. She had an ordinary but wonderful life with her family. She completed her schooling and then proceeded to college for her undergraduate studies. While she was in college, her father passed away. The world turned upside down for Sirisha’s family during that phase. During such tragic days, they not only fought emotionally but also struggled financially in some aspects. One such aspect was her education. She was studying at Visakhapatnam and living in a hostel. The times were so harsh that managing the finance for her education, hostel fees, and even for household expenses back at home was difficult. Despite the circumstance, the family fought hard. They borrowed some amount from close relatives, worked part-time, mortgaged their house, and also applied for an educational loan. With an emotional setback and a hard paved road, Sirisha and her brother completed their education. The family not only faced the loss of an indispensable member but also realized that all the basic amenities in life like food, shelter, and education comes at a cost that is not affordable for everyone. Sirisha and her brother left no stone unturned to repay every single rupee that they borrowed.
Sirisha completed her Master’s Degree in Information Systems Management and started her career in the IT sector. She started volunteering for NGOs and saved some amount every month for funding a girl’s education. After she had sufficient money, she started with one girl at a time and funded her education. Sirisha firmly believes that education is the only resource that can liberate women from social and financial oppression. Education will also strengthen their morale, self-respect, and help them to lead a life that is emotionally, spiritually, and financially sound. She soon founded ‘Aasra’ an NGO with the intent to support Young Girls with their education. Her family, friends, teachers, school principals, and other members of the society started pitching in gradually. The thought process in this initiative was to help at least ten girls with their education that could have been either discontinued because of financial reasons or due to gender biasness. Her personal struggle in affording education motivated her to start Aasra for helping and counseling students with education options. With dynamic support and proactive response, they later branched into working on inclusivity, equal opportunities for women, and specially-abled.
There are hundreds of NGOs that are working for such a cause, but what makes Aasra different is that they are not competing. In fact, they are walking hand in hand with multiple organizations and individuals. Additionally, they are also helping willing people and institutions with guidance, directions, and networking to reach out to the right beneficiaries. Volunteers across the country support Aasra in different capacities like professional services, financial aid, and on-feet support. Mr. Amit Sharma, CEO, Dishah Consultants, is the prime donor and benefactor at Aasra. The end to end operations are managed by Mr. Mukesh Bajaj and Mrs. Sonia Bajaj. Her dedicated family and friends manage other campaigns and key roles. In their efforts to provide education to the deprived girl children, they have adopted three schools and supported over 200 girls. There each step is helping girls and women to end their silent suffering. They are providing them the platform of education through which all barriers can be eliminated. The team at Aasra are striving each day to provide their beneficiaries with one good chance at life that can lead to a miraculous transformation.
One of the toughest decisions in Sirisha’s life was to get started with the NGO. She had her mind occupied with things she lacked, like money, influential contacts, and a definite roadmap. She was even not sure how she would balance her professional and personal life. But, she was determined about the cause, which fuelled her enthusiasm and energy to give it a shot. Until today, they have funded education for 200+ girls and are striving to reach out to other deserving candidates. The strongest pillars of her life are her family and friends. Her motivation is fuelled by the girls and women who refused to suffer and empowered themselves for a better life. She does not compromise even a little with her professional life while managing a gigantic responsibility of an NGO. Her job is a breadwinner not only for her but for many other girls. She has learned handling critical situations, managing a team, coping up with gender biasness, and a lot more from her job in the IT sector. From the beginning of her career until now, she has climbed each ladder with complete dedication. This has helped her to grow from a technical analyst to a Principal Consultant in IT Operations and Management at one of the leading firms in India. She is also the co-author of the best-seller Sales Decoded. The book was written with the aim to infuse values into the reader's business. Values that can change things for their customers. Sirisha believes that when the lives of the people that they helped are transformed, then that is true success for her. If one girl child is educated and finds a well-paid job, then it will not only transform her life, but it will transform the lives of her family, children, and next generations. Additionally, she will also play a crucial role in the upliftment of society and towards the nation’s economy.
Start now with your initiative or tasks. There is no right time or specific juncture when you can start helping people. Contributing to the smallest initiatives will be a significant contribution to many. People will join you tomorrow, if not today. The other thing is that you must choose a cause before you start. This will help you in making a core difference and benefit the deserving people. If you try your hands at everything, then you will be drained emotionally, physically, and financially. Social service is social responsibility. Hence, this must be treated with priority, just like other responsibilities. There will be numerous roadblocks and challenges, but persistence is the key to overcoming it all. Sometimes you will feel low and sad while witnessing the injustice and disparity in society. You will have to detach yourself from that situation by talking to friends and family. Exercising self-control and taking care of your mental health will help you transform lives.