AAIWO: Mission & History

The Association of Asian Indian Women in Ohio is an organization which attempts to reach out to Asian Indian women, in Ohio to promote education through scholarships and cultural outreach programs. The mission of the AAIWO is to empower, encourage, and enrich women in Northeastern Ohio.

AAIWO is an organization which attempts to reach out to Asian Indian Women either at home or in the professional world.

Its aim is to foster and support women for leadership through volunteer opportunities. The AAIWO promotes culture and education while establishing networks for women in society, it recognizes the contributions of women to our society with focus on Asian Indian Women. Contributions are made to the local society therefore enhancing the image of Asian Indians in America. AAIWO was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1989 in the state of Ohio. The first Board Members of this new organization were Usha Ahuja, Nilli Sawhney, Nirmala Shekar, Veena Bhupali, Rita Singh, Susan Karimpil, Uma Ganesan, Manju Rastogi, Vandana Marwaha, Mona Alag, and Nisha Jain.

Over the years, many successful seminars and fundraisers have been held to benefit the members of the organization. Past activities like "Stepping Out" covered topics on career and business development, Starting a Business on a Shoe String Budget, volunteering, and fashion shows.

For the first ten years, spectacular fundraisers were held, raising money for scholarship for displaced home makers and youth experiencing financial stress. 60% of the funds were distributed and 40% was saved and invested. These accumulated funds are now with the Cleveland Foundation. Each year a percentage of the funds are taken and distributed as scholarships in conjunction with the Cleveland Foundation.

The rich heritage of AAIWO is due to the contribution of our many dynamic and talented women. The Helpline was also started on the recommendation of a Board Member. Over the years it has helped many women in situations of domestic abuse and financial distress.