Focus: Children and Youth, Education, Health, Livelihoods
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IN the first weeks of being born, a baby is vaccinated against serious diseases like polio and measles that can maim or kill. But not in Kolkata's slums where child immunisation rates are dangerously low.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Jaydeep Chakraborty CEO
- Alakananda Ghosh Deputy CEO, Medical
- Ruby Sen Finance Manager
- Ajit Karar HR & Admin Executive