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Scholarship Fund Empowers South Asian Women

Rao Chalasani

The sole inventor of a patent-pending enterprise risk management system for Merrill Lynch in New York, NY, New Jersey resident Rao Chalasani is an established senior-level executive in the financial services industry. Now Rao Chalasani is working for the rights of South Asian women by establishing the Swarna Chalasani Economic Empowerment Fund. He named the fund after his late sister Swarna, who was a volunteer for Sakhi, a group that provides aid to South Asian women.

Sakhi supports women whose economic lives have been disrupted by domestic violence. The women it has assisted come from areas such as India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and the South Asian Disapora in the Caribbean.
The fund offers the opportunity for these women to pursue additional education. Covered expenses include tuition and fees, certification and exam costs, child care, and transportation. Jobs obtained by grant recipients include certified nurse assistants, lawyers, and bankers.
Sakhi funds grants up to $1,500 during spring and fall periods. Survivors may apply each period an unspecified number of times. In less than ten years, some 100 women have received awards from a pool of some $88,000.

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