Calcutta Rescue

Focus: Children and Youth, Education, Health, Livelihoods

HEALTHCARE saves lives and education transforms them – and Calcutta Rescue provide both.

They have three outpatient clinics, plus two on wheels, treating hundreds of patients every day, programmes to prevent illness and two educational centres 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 centres provide 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 two Street Medicine ambulances which visit different slums in Kolkata each day and treat more than 9,500 patients every year.

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 fair trade 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.

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Street Medicine

ON the road six days a week, this clinic on wheels stops in different neighbourhoods to provide treatment and health education to street dwellers. Food and clothing are also handed out, along with vital mobility aids like crutches. This programme has had great success in early detection of leprosy and TB, allowing for crucial medical intervention at the first stage of the diseases. In 2016, Street Medicine served more than 8,000 patients.


AROUND 600 children from local slums are given coaching and support designed to help them thrive in mainstream government schools – the monthly cost per child is Rs 1,600. They are enrolled between the ages of four and six and admitted into state schools when ready. CR continue to hold computers, drawing, dance and singing classes for them, as well as give two meals a day and medical and dental support. Transport is also provided to ensure children attend school regularly.

Handicrafts Unit

THE Handicrafts unit works like a rehabilitation centre for patients, including the differently abled, burn survivors and those too sick to find employment elsewhere. Widows, women deserted by their husbands and school dropouts also attend classes to learn new skills. Some of the products available include cards, bags, cushion covers, table linen and other quality products sold both within India and abroad. They also make clothes for patients and students in CR's care.

Safe Drinking water

AROUND 14 districts in West Bengal suffer from high levels of arsenic in the groundwater. Its constant consumption can lead to arsenic poisoning, which causes skin cancers, skin lesions, internal cancers cardiovascular disease to name a few of the health problems. Calcutta Rescue aim to provide safe drinking water and create awareness on the dangers of arsenic poisoning. To date 12 filters have been installed supplying 20,000 litres of clean drinking water per day helping 15,000 families.


THREE primary healthcare clinics treat hundreds of patients every day. The team of doctors and health workers also run specialist programmes to treat TB, leprosy, cancer and HIV. Plus, they provide support for the disabled, including mobility aids like crutches and wheelchairs. A total of 6,000 patient were treated in 2016 at the three clinics. Rs 850 a month can supply medication for a diabetic patient requiring insulin. Rs 2,600 per month will treat cancer patients requiring chemo.

About Calcutta Rescue

Calcutta Rescue are doing a wonderful job whether of tending to the sick (including HIV+ patients) or kindergarten students or coaching Class 9 and 10 students for Board exams, mid-day meals, rations to poor patients and students.

Ashesh Ghose, Kolkata

Now I know that beneath the smiles often lie pain and uncertainty, the impact of Calcutta Rescue on these children’s lives will stay with me long after I leave. I hope more children are given the chance to find there is more to life than simply surviving.

James Fox, volunteer child psychiatrist, UK

  • Jaydeep Chakraborty CEO
  • Alakananda Ghosh Deputy CEO, Medical
  • Ruby Sen Finance Manager
  • Ajit Karar HR & Admin Executive