CONNIE RAO, runs an NGO for slum kids
sindhoor. And Connie’s big goal in life is to help underprivileged Indian children in Varanasi, where she runs a school, Asha Deep Vidyashram, for slum children. But it wasn’t an easy decision. She got married to Rajeev, her US University sweetheart, and moved to India to look after his sick father in Hyderabad. “After his dad died, we went to Varanasi for a trip and decided to make it our home. However, I would see slum kids smoking, drinking, and sniffing glue at the age of 10, and this disturbed me. So, I decided to start a small school and today we have over 250 kids, and a computer room too,” she says.
Fate took a fortunate turn and she met Chandra Mohini Chaturvedi, who was running an NGO in Varanasi. Soon, Connie joined hands with her to help those who had no means get primary education and ensure they get their next meal. “Coming from a privileged background, I felt motivated to do something for them and I am fortunate God gave me this opportunity to feed and teach the poor,” says Connie. She’s a blonde, blueeyed American who goes to work wearing anklets, a sari, red bangles, and
Asha Deep is lighting the lives
of young slum children