New parents, two-year birthday celebrations and more summery capers

MAY every month be as wonderful as the month gone by. MAY we have as much adventure and fun filling our coffers. MAY this be a very happy month for all of us.
1) Larsen & Toubro Ltd adopts our Santacruz and Bandstand centers

Larsen & Toubro, engineering and construction giant and one of the most respected private sector companies has adopted our Santacruz and Bandstand centers. This follows close on the heels of Welspun Renewable Energies Pvt Ltd taking charge of our Andheri East center.It feels wonderful to be supported so warmly by corporates who are genuinely intent on making a difference. If this stokes your desire to start an Angel Xpress Foundation center in your neighbourhood as well, let us know. 

2) Our Founder’s Day celebrations across centers enthrall one and all

We turned two last month on our Annual Founder’s Day. Juhu’s early celebration coincided with L&T adopting our centers: which doubled our happiness. An impressed L&T audience thoroughly enjoyed the performances and appreciated the confidence and talent displayed by our kids. On the Founder’s Day, 30th April, Bandstand enacted the story of how the first center was born capturing the essence of transformation that many a student has experienced since. 

3) Summer vacations become a talent mine among our students

Come summer, and all our centers are putting up camps to encourage kids to use their imagination and innate creativity. The newly launched Lokhandwala, Andheri West center used this as an approach to garner interest from kids in the vicinity. Starting with ten kids on the first day, the center soon flourished to 50 kids at the end of Summer Camp. We have loved how this hot season has thrown up some super cool talent, which promises to shine bright in the future.

4) Knock, knock! Is there a teacher out there?

With the new academic year round the corner, we're looking for trained teachers for BMC schools. Our InSchool program employs teachers at Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) schools to bridge the gap that students face with English Language. Last year we impacted nearly 1700 children. This year we plan to employ 25 teachers across vernacular medium BMC schools and impact the understanding of English to reduce dropout rates. Write to us:

5) Grab some Good Karma

Angel Xpress Foundation’s Good Karma goodies are getting incredibly popular by the day. They're now up for grabs at special rates. You can drop in a message on Facebook or Twitter or simply call. Because happiness now comes at a small price!

Tweeting to the world: Alongwith Sir Rajnikanth’s recent entry in the twitter-verse, an inspired Angel Xpress Foundation has made its rather demure appearance on twitter. Follow us on @angelxpressorg to stay connect with the latest news!

So long for now, see you on the other side of another awesome month.

Music, Merchandise and more Mish-Mash

1) Our first-ever Benefit Concert rocked
Come 23rd March 2014 and Angel Xpress team had a palpable energy. The first ever benefit concert was amongst many firsts that we have had this year. And the events that led to the concert signaled good times that lay ahead.

A chance meeting with the Blue Frog team saw them generously offering their space for a charity fundraiser. Swarathama animatedly laid out their plans and Ayush Shrestha said yes to open the show with his buoyant, peppery tunes. Union Bank of India and Jay Bhatia of Tulsidas Khimjee helped with the air travel for the band. And our fundraiser concert was born. Friends, family and Swarathama fans came in large numbers to lend support. A surprise addition of Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy as a guest artist transported us to an enchanting land.

The delightful event on 23rd March coincided with the birthday of our dear founder Anubha Sharma and made the evening more joyous and memorable.

Check the album here >

2) We enjoyed Happy Meals, of a different kind
When Team Bhooka Janta also picked 23rd March for their Project Meal for Happiness, the same day as Swarathma’s gig and our founder’s birthday, we knew angels up there were up to some round-the-clock celebrations!

The event began with a science show by Science Utsav. Chaavat Boys from India’s Dancing Superstar took over the stage soon after for some full-on entertainment. Lilan Mendis taught some superstar Rajni Sir moves with Lungi Dancing. For 250 of our kids, this was one Sunday morning with happy times and happier tummies.

Visit to know more >

3) We made a friendly appearance on a superhit TV show
The team of Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashmah chanced upon our work through our Santacruz Evening Center Manager, Meenal Sata. They loved the thought behind our NGO so much that our vision and volunteers got featured in a prime time episode on Sab TV, 5th March 2014.

This was a perfect coming together of two initiatives that cut across society to spread the message of peace and joy. Now phones keep ringing and people drop by our centers with a desire to volunteer. With word spreading through shows like this, here’s to more children getting a chance to grow up in a more sensitive society.   

4) Our kids got expert coaching from Tata Consulting Engineers
Tata Consulting Engineers Ltd (TCE) connected with us with a desire to volunteer but had limited time on hand. We thought why not take up the offer and let them guide our children one-on-one for their upcoming final examination.

No sooner, 25 TCE employees were eagerly answering every curious question, patiently solving each problem and importantly helping children focus on conceptual-learning rather than dashing straight to answers on two consecutive days.The children were simply delighted to receive individual attention and special guidance right before their finals began.

 As TCE would tell you, and we hope more corporate houses will soon do too, there is nothing quite as stress-busting and fruitful as involvement with kids and seeing them flower under your tutelage.  

5) Our trendy merchandise is up for grabs
Woohoo! We have been invited as an NGO partner at the Style Cracker Borough exhibition which is the most stylish curated popup market. The event promises to be an epic day (and night) of fun, fashion, eats and treats.

So why not plan the weekend and drop by to see us at Palladium, Lower Parel, 5th April, Saturday, 10am - 12pm. 
6) A good thing must get wings
With the Andheri East and West centers starting this April, we hope to reach out to nearly 700 children through our open air centers. Our Andheri East center is being supported by Welspun Renewable Energy Pvt. Ltd. 

While that's a wonderful thing, we'd like to see many more corporates involved in working at a grassroot level to make the impact. There are more children waiting for a chance to better life. Let us know if your corporate or community wants to support and nurture an Angel Xpress center.  

Until then, make merry. 

Running Fabulously in Feb

1) Big News! We are now a Section 80G NGO: Your generous donations to Angel Xpress will now help you save on tax as well. Section 80G allows for Deductions to be claimed for Donations made to approved Charitable Trusts – and now we too are one of them.

You'll be happy to know that we got this prized approval in 8 months, with no money exchanging hands but just 10 minutes of personal interviews with an IT officer and the Director of Income Tax. Sure enough, when you do good work, the universe(and tax officers) conspire to help.

2) Good News! Angel Xpress now in Andheri East: 
When Amrita Pai from Welspun Group expressed interest in starting our center in Andheri, we knew this was another landmark in our history. Our center teachers scoured areas and found a delightful park managed by Mahakali ALM in Andheri East. The park is so easily accessible for children living in nearby pagodas that it seems like this was waiting to happen. The residents too have come forward with crackling enthusiasm.

Though the Angel Xpress-Welspun-Mahakali center will officially launch in July 2014, we intend to set summer camp activities for children as an enticing precursor. 

3) Anubha Sharma awarded the Vocational Excellence Award: Rotary Club of Bombay Airport bestowed a rare honour on our founder Anubha Sharma early this month. She received a Vocational Excellence Award for establishing Angel Xpress Foundation. Our humbled founder shared how Angel Xpress was one of her cherished dreams which found a way to materialise.

The Rotary Club has always been an immense support and a great sounding board for all our ideas. An award assures of their continuing presence and encouragement. 

4) A good thing must go on: Of the 4.5 lakh children from slums of Mumbai who attend BMC vernacular schools, a startling figure of 70-80% children are near illiteracy level even after 5 years of schooling.  This inspired us to reach out to children at vernacular medium schools by employing competent teachers.

Today, we have 600 children at the open centers and 1700 students in our in-school program studying and improving their chance at a better life. We aim to scale up this program and reach a greater number of children for which we need support. Do keep the contributions coming in. Even talking about us will help. Your one heartfelt conversation might lead a donor to us. After all, a good thing must go on and generate more goodness. 

5) Swarathma is here to chase your blues away: 
We're delighted to announce the First Ever Angel Xpress Benefit Concert by Swarathma, one of India's leading folk rock acts. The Bangalore-based band is becoming increasingly synonymous with inspiring a rush of kaleidoscopic energy with its live performances and this time, they will be playing only for us, and you! Come get your friends and family for an unforgettable evening that’s going to make history for Angel Xpress. Woohoo!

Venue & Details: Blue Frog, 23rd March, Sunday 
Entry: INR 500 / person 

Block your diaries now!

Do keep the love and support coming in as well. Spread the good word. 

Showers of Grace all January

The New Year goes Dhoom
We started January with a Dhoom as 400 of our kids got not just their first multiplex experience but got to see a movie in a hall for the first time in their lives. The experience was made complete by pop corn and cola. The showing was courtesy Sanjay Bhattacharya, Meenaal Sata’s distributor friend, with contributions from Yash Raj Films and Singapore Round Table 1. L& T generously provided buses and food packets for the kids.

Day of Grace dedicated to Mumbai’s volunteering spirit
We celebrated two years of our birth as a simple thought under the cool clear skies on a delightful Saturday evening studded with music, dance and endless joys.

Thanks to everyone who made it possible: Bandra Bandstand Residents Trust’s (BBRT) faith in our vision gave us the early encouragement to spread our wings. Ever since, the body has been there gently steering us at every step. For Day of Grace 2014, the trust simply decided to gift us the grand Bandra Fort, Amphitheatre as the venue. With a picturesque backdrop, the tone was set for a memorable event.

Thank you, Robin Nath and Arup Sarbadhikary and their respective large-hearted wives for supporting us at every step. Benedict Soares Albert, our vigilante and crusader, who even allowed us that extension of event time despite of possible serious consequences.
Much appreciation goes to Mr.Akshay Raheja of the Kamla Raheja Trust and his team especially, Mr. Krishna Bhat- our Santacruz center is only possible because of the space they continue to offer. For the Juhu center we are grateful to the Rotary club of Bombay Airport. With magnanimous hearts such as these, our future can only flourish.
When intention, goodness and magic came together – Day of Grace’2014

Wings on the angels, Help them fly high,
Dear Angel Xpress, All the way to the sky!!!

These lines crafted by Ayush Man Shreshtha set our already jubilant spirits soaring to the sky, quite literally at the event. Conceptualized with a humble idea to celebrate the beginnings of Angel Xpress, the event was a coming together of kindred hearts that care for a common cause, looking through the lens of a year worth of joy, hard work and fortitude. Indeed, what was once a distant vision is now reality!

So on 25th January’2014, we opened our gates and hearts to 500+ audience amidst resounding claps and cheers. We were bestowed with love and encouragement in hundreds, and large numbers continue to come forward to enlist for our cause.

Our talented presenters Sunny Hinduja and Shijini Raval warmed the audience for brilliant musical performances. Ayush Man Shreshta, the ebullient artist won our children over with his playful tunes. Geetu Hinduja, with her spunky spirit and vivacious music revved up the energy. When the fascinating Sunita Bhuyan played her tunes, the audience was beguiled. Later the artists jammed and a thrilled uproar went through the audience.   

The screening of the documentary on Angel Xpress titled “Be the Change” by the talented photographer/screenplay writer duo Payal Kumar- Anand Sivkumaran struck a deep chord with the audience. 
You can see it here:

Just when the mood was somber and time scarce our, our kids decided to step on the stage and entertain all. Such was their unbridled energy and sheer talent that volunteers were surprised despite of being present through practices.

Someone surely gobbled up time that day because the event ran an hour longer than planned and we yet couldn’t have a closing speech. Thank You’s couldn’t be made to BBRT or even to Indriyaji Sethi of Tata Sons, thanks to whom Tata Coffee generously sponsored yummy treats for children. A day full of grace, it felt ordained and blessed, for how else do we define the undulated success. View more pictures of Day of Grace on:
Anubha Sharma’s heartfelt speech on how Angel Xpress Foundation was designed to happen in her life:

Anubha says: “It’s like this, I am a tigress in every aspect of life but you put me on stage with a mike in my hand and I'm a nervous wreck. On the evening of the 25th of January, during the Day of Grace Concert that had been successful beyond my dreams, with the crowd exceeding even the numbers I had prayed for when in truth I had expected only half; the musicians after having completely wowed the crowds, put up a tough act for me to follow, and there, scheduled to give one of the more important talks of my life, I was left fumbling between the sheet in my hand and the glasses on my face because with my reading glasses on, either the audience was a blur or the sheet was. 

I finally gave up and just told the story as I remembered it, hoping that the truth of it would still reach out and my friends tell me it did. Here is the prepared speech that my sister Anjali Sharma and my best friend Tejas Datta were wishing they could have worn my body and delivered :-)

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s not every day one gets to live their dreams; often, it is only after that dream is materialized, that we even realize that we had dreamt this once… My early influence stems from reading an article in the Telegraph magazine about a French national staying in Kolkata who had adopted 5 street children and turned their lives around.

This had given rise to a desire to do something similar but life moved on and that dream got buried under the cuts and thrusts of the corporate world. 4 years ago, while writing my life-story for a workshop, a lot of you in the audience know what I’m talking about. I wrote about building a home for street children; only that was planned for 10 years hence. But here I am today, and I am not going to apologize for being early. 

Angel Xpress for me has been a magical journey; where life took over plans. For what was in store for me, was far more blissful than anything I could have asked for. A year ago, I was up against a wall, seriously questioning the sense in continuing with Angel Xpress, given the ups and downs in the support I received. I even appeared for a job interview and came out feeling miserable and guilty; even at that point I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I can tell you from my experience that you know you’re on the right path when every other path fades away.

20 years of a corporate life was exacting, but I enjoyed what I was doing and of course the benefits that come with success. I can also tell you that not all earthquakes are bad. Sometimes, the ground beneath our feet shakes to land us in the right spot. In 2011, I had decided to take a sabbatical and experience things I had been missing out on. One of the activities I took up during this time was volunteering and eventually I landed in a street school where some industrious morning walkers taught slum kids from around the locality for an hour every day.

My first class here brought me face to face with the sad reality of school going children struggling to be able to read or write. Here I was, someone who adored reading, teaching kids for whom every word was a war. To imagine someone going to school not being able to read simple words was painful. I was concerned “how would a child with no knowledge of English, the most basic math or the ability to apply logic, fare in the job market in a city like Mumbai? I was determined to try and fill this gap while I could and was at this school every day to spend an hour with these kids.

In January 2012, a facebook message I posted requesting clothes for these kids who came wearing t-shirts and shorts on chilly mornings, resulted in 3000 calls in a week. I was stunned to learn that so many people out there actually wanted to help. Soon after that a party for kids that I had organized on the 26th of January had a surprise guest, the actor Mr.Jackie Shroff, who incidentally was among my first 10 callers. 

His presence of course was fodder for conversation, if you are my age (and of course female), you had to have had a crush on him, sometime in your growing up the topic came up in my next conversation with my teacher and guide Prasad Karmarkar, this handsome looking dude back there. The story of the 3000 calls came up and suddenly he turns to me and says “Anubha this is your calling, this is what u have to do now”. And when I protested he said - Try leaving Bombay or doing anything else… 

According to him, it seemed I must abandon a 20 year old career; where I had reached a certain position and market value, to pursue something I knew nothing about, and which would have no monitory return. It might have seemed illogical but I had seen him being uncannily right on too many occasions, so I took my leap of faith.

It had become obvious that in a city like Mumbai where millions of kids go without guidance of an educated adult, there were thousands willing to contribute with their time and resources; slums, high rises and parks exist side by side across Mumbai. I started out, partnering with Beenaa Advani, one of the early callers who had stayed in touch and our first center came up on Bandra Bandstand with blessing of the bandstand trustees with 18 kids and a few volunteers who were mostly wives of the trustees.

Due to lack of consistent support in the earlier days (which was less than a year ago) there were times when Beena and I were found teaching 100+ kids all by ourselves in Santacruz, but this year has turned things around, the number of people present here is a testimony to that fact. Today with your help ladies and gentlemen, we now support 1700 children with English lessons through appointed teachers inside BMC schools and another 500 with FREE Math and English lessons at our centers with help from 75 + regular volunteers.. Shall we give the people sitting next to you who have made this possible a big round of applause?

I am proud to be associated with all of you who are willing to do something to make things right. I dream every day. I dream that that there is an Angel Xpress center in every park across Mumbai. I dream that by 2020, we will fill a stadium with our volunteers; and I believe in my dream.”
When we travelled across the world thanks to Kumar Bhaya’s gumption
Inspired by his daughter Trisha’s innocent questions, "Papa, what do we do with all our paintings? Can we sell them and raise some money for a charity?" Kumar Bhaya set series of event in action which led to creation of Angel Xpress calendars. When he initially ran a print of 200 calendars, he didn’t expect the numbers to quickly rise up to 800 copies. Willing hearts came forward from several continents. The simple art calendar project is now cheering homes and offices across Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, San Francisco, Yangon, Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi, Jaipur and Kolkata

With one incredible idea Kumar Bhaya and his zealous team has added a whopping 2.3 lakhs to our kitty. Thank you Kumar Bhaya for being the driving force for this project, Laxmi Kaul for the idea, Bhairav Chopra for the impressive design, Ravi, Suresh and Meghana Bhaya for pushing the sales. Not to forget the talented Trisha and Ranvir Bhaya, the artists and innovators. It is always the magic in small ideas that go on to make a big difference.  
Finally! You can visit us from anywhere at
We now have a website and we are proud of it. You are invited to drop in and learn more about our cause, vision and plan or maybe just smile along as you read our volunteer stories.

 Write to us with you suggestion, idea or if you can support us in any way possible. And lastly, do remember to the share the link with your circle of people. Your simple gesture can create a magical ripple effect of goodness for us. 

The website is a gift to us from Gunjan Pai our honorary head of communications of , Tapan Parekh of who has donated time and space to host us and Payal Kumar of our very own photographer extraordinaire.

An Eventful December (2013)

As we wish you a wonderful beginning to 2014,
here are some moments of a beautiful ending of 2013 at Angel Xpress

Parties, preparations and positivity by the tons

We could not contain the excitement this month in words, so we’re letting
the pictures do the talking in a unique photo album newsletter.

Click on the pictures to continue to the stories. 
Xmas XcitementChristmas spirit continued through Art and Craft workshopsTeam Bhooka Janta brings yummilicious Santa cupcakes for our Juhu centre
Jewellery WorkshopChristmas WishesWishing Tree
Everyone is a Santa at SantacruzSanta faceVisitor
Camera ClassesThe Juhu teamDhoom 3
2014 CalendarAXF T-shirtDay of Grace 2014

Celebrating our Day of Grace 2014

You are invited to warm your heart on a wintery evening.

Event: Angel Xpress Day of Grace Concert
Date: 25th Jan, 2014
Time: 7:00 pm onwards
Venue: Bandra Fort Amphitheater

A 15-min Dance Extravaganza by our Angel Xpress Children will be followed by music from awe-inspiring artists like:
Sunita Bhuyan
Geetu Hinduja
Ayushman Shrestha

January 2012 One Facebook post asking for clothes for slum children had 3000 people calling to offer help. The intent behind Angel Xpress Foundation was born.

Every year since, we salute the people who created this movement, by acknowledging and appreciating our volunteers and donors, who have been supporting this cause.

About us

Angel Xpress Foundation provides a platform for educated adults, to fulfill the education needs of underprivileged children; and nurture a better future where they can make responsible choices. We currently reach out to 500 children through our 3 centres, located in public parks and promenades across Mumbai city. Here, children from slums find access to their affluent educated, neighbors who care to spare 2-3 hours / week to teach them English and Math.

We also conduct English classes for over 1000 children at select vernacular-medium Municipal (BMC) Schools, and promote extra-curricular activities with the help of volunteers, trained teachers, and educationists. We see our work as one step to shape the future of first-gen learners, who tend to stray in the absence of appropriate adult guidance.

To know more or join us visit

Please watch