Monday, May 2, 2011

The tea party fundraiser

Along with a few buddies, I am heading over to the Grand Canyon this weekend for a trail run. We start at the South Rim, find our way down to the Canyon floor, and up to the North Rim and back all the way. 48 miles of it. Or as much of it as fun, pleasure and camaraderie will allow. The whole thing should be a fascinating experience, visual treats along with extremes in temperature differing by 70F, and elevation changes in many thousands of feet.

This is a simplistic course profile here, but it looks simply beautiful. When I first saw this profile a month ago, I thought it looked like an old tea cup made of clay or of china whose handle had broken off. That simple imagery continues to be a symbol of pleasant anticipation for our trip to the Canyon. So that's what we're headed out there for - we've had all our little parties here, and now it's time for a grand old tea party at the grand old canyon.

photo courtesy: Maneesh Pandey
I got into running several years ago primarily to raise funds for the wonderful schools run by GSK in Rajasthan, India. That was when they had 65 children in thatched structures for classrooms. Today, they have 300 kids with great infrastructure and all of them enjoy spending time at what increasingly feels like a successful movement to restore the joy of childhood. The school's revolutionary alternative methods that attracted much opposition and criticism a few years back are now bearing some fruit - graduates excelling in public examinations, passionate buy-in from impoverished rural communities and more collaborations with mainstream schools.

There's a long haul ahead still for GSK, and funding continues to lag requirements - the Strides of Hope program from Asha for Education is a critical part of fulfilling this need for several such initiatives. My Grand Canyon run and tea party and a $1000 target are all part of this program. Donations made through this fundraising page go to the Austin chapter of Asha for Education. Asha for Education is a completely volunteer-run organization, and all donations are tax exempt in the US.

Thanks for sharing your time; now all you have to do is pay for your cuppa by 5/15 ;)


  1. Donation page
  2. Grand Canyon National Park
  3. Gramin Shiksha Kendra (GSK)
  4. Austin chapter of Asha for Education
  5. Strides of Hope program