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About the NGO
They have five free clinics, including two on wheels, treating hundreds of patients every day, programmes to prevent illness and a school where a different kind of medicine is handed out – large doses of hope.
Former pupil Priti Thakur puts it this way: “Calcutta Rescue is my temple where all my dreams and wishes are heard and fulfilled.”
She came to the charity's school aged six after she and her mother had fled to the slums to escape Priti's abusive, drunken father.
The school provides two meals a day, educational support and extra coaching for its 600+ young, underprivileged students in a bid to get them ready for mainstream schools.
Priti flourished with Calcutta Rescue’s support, aced her way into a government school where again she shone. She graduated and went on to do a bachelor's degree in business administration at college. Now she has completed her MBA and is working in a private company in New Delhi.
Big-hearted Calcutta Rescue donors in Switzerland supported her through her MBA, costing Rs 4.5 lakh.
Smaller donations can be just as useful!
Any amount can play its part in keeping another Calcutta Rescue innovation on the road – the familiar Street Medicine ambulance which visits different slums in Kolkata each day and treats more than 8,000 patients every year. It has recently added a second street medicine ambulance to its fleet.
Calcutta Rescue are also there to help those who are ill earn a livelihood. A handicraft programme that started as a supplementary employment opportunity for former patients now creates Fairtrade products which are sold around the world.
The charity's safe drinking water programme was set up to try to cut down the cases of arsenic poisoning in areas with groundwater contamination in rural West Bengal.
This now provides safe drinking water to 12 villages in the Malda district. Plus, in Dakineshwar, to stop children risking their lives to fetch potable water, Calcutta Rescue have dug a tubewell, provided electricity and are in the midst of immunising all the children of the community.
Calcutta Rescue were named best medium-sized NGO in India in 2009 and now have their sights set on bigger premises to allow them to improve infrastructure and provide better services to their beneficiaries.