The main objective of this initiative is for Asha volunteers to know closely the existing socio-economic status and dreams of the children supported by our projects. Currently the only way this happens is through the abstract metrics used in our project forms such as '% of families below poverty line'.

Getting to know 'who are these children', is prerequisite for solving 'how we can help them'. Asha's goal is to serve children and not projects.
Today, we (Asha volunteers) mostly have superficial information about these children and we trust our project partners to do whatever is needed to help the children. We have proved in several cases with our own projects (ex: Mathru), that Asha can go well beyond acting as a simple source for channeling money from donors to projects in India. The key to several such success stories has been our ability to know the project and children well.
The perspective we gain by knowing real problems even for a single child is immense and can be applied to many projects/children we have the opportunity of serving. The way to scaling up and catalyzing socio-economic change in society is by deep diving and making sure we know well what is the change that has to be brought (as given by the particular socio-economic conditions of that society) about and knowing the children who will eventually bring about this change.

Some example information we may want to know about a child.
1) Family: how many people. what does father/mother/siblings do? what do they want their child to become? what problems do they see in achieving this goal?
2) child: what does he/she want to do after growing up? what does he/she enjoy most doing now? (study/play/other hobbies etc). does he/she like studying? favorite subject/least favorite.
3) teacher: what does the teacher think about the child? is he/she a 'good' student? if not, why not? can the child become who they want to become? if not, why not? how's the child's academic/extra-curricular performance over past 2 years?
4) other kids: do they like spending time/playing with the kid?
5) society (if relevant): role in society.. are they fit for that role.. etc

Knowing more information about the children can be done in two ways, and we may have to experiment and find out what works best for our chapter/projects. A combination of both may be what works.

1) Ask the project partner: Include a question in our half-yearly/yearly evaluation forms to project partners, or in regular email/phone correspondence, to tell us about a child's background/story.
2) Asha volunteer finds out: Make it part of our site-visit questionnaire. The person/volunteer doing the site visit will find out about a child's background/story.

Precautions:
1) Essential that privacy be respected. Parent's consent must be obtained. And the name/identity of children be kept anonymous.
2) We need to discuss with project partners and mutually agree it is a good idea worth spending time on.
3) Volunteers must be interested to pursue this idea, and make use of the information in best possible way.