This is to provide basic human needs (food, clothes, sanitation, education material) for children and old people living below the poverty level in Kolkata and surroundings through a Small NGO called Parashmani. The impact on these very poor people are even more severe now with the COVID crisis and the cyclonic storm Amphan which has devastated Southern Bengal leaving people homeless and struggling to live.
The objective of this project is to enable people to live.
Problem We are Trying to Solve
Help people live in Kolkata – the city that probably has the lowest urban standard of living in the world. Sadly, over 70 percent of the population of Kolkata lives at or below the poverty line. Making them all the more vulnerable to the COVID-19 crisis and climate disasters such as the Cyclone Amphan. In addition to the economic struggles and many deaths due to the virus, many people have now been displaced due to the cyclone, that had Kolkata flooded and left its 14 million people without power.
Through this project I want to provide financial support to Parashmani Welfare Society, a NGO founded by a few retired personnel, including my parents, in India in 2007. I, Shilpi Ghosh, and my two European friends, Sandrine and Nicole, visited India in October 2019 and decided to start a crowdfunding project in order to support the most vulnerable in Kolkata’s society. Now, given the recent events, it is all the more important to provide basic needs and sanitation to homes, Ashrams and schools.
How We Are Going to Do It
The funds reached through this project will be directly transferred to the Parashmani Welfare Society. I am personally attached to this NGO, and will be present to carry out the activities in the second half of 2020.
In particular, we will provide clothes to very poor elderly people in homes, provide food and clothes for poor tribal children, install basic sanitation (e.g. winding machines for sanitary napkins) for girls in schools where underprivileged children study and provide educational (e.g. bags, pencils, pens, notebooks) and sports material for poor children through their schools.
All these activities will be carried in and around the city of Kolkata from October 2020 to June 2021. Direct material will be provided to various homes and schools, which are then regularly visited and monitored by my dad, a retired India government official and founding member of the NGO.
As already mentioned, the beneficiaries will be the most vulnerable in the adjoining rural districts of West Bengal – meaning children and elderly people. Support is given to six schools, one home for elderly people, two homes for children/orphanages and other institutions that we haven’t chosen yet.
In the following you can find some of the places we are going to support:
Kalinagar High School (winter clothes); Ganti Rural Primary School, Village Ganti (study material); Gopal Sarala Sishu Sikha Niketan (study material); Ram Thakur Bridhabas Old age home (clothes); Maa Sarada Shishu Niketan, (study material); Boys home at Village Dokra (clothes for tribal children); Rakhal Chandra Sebashram – Orphanage (food, clothes, and necessary materials).
Long Term Impact
With this project we hope to increase awareness of living standards amongst people so that the more privileged help out the poor.
Through our activities we are looking to support the spread of education amongst the poor, including tribal kids. When children can continue their education, they will be able to provide for themselves in the future, making sure they do not end up on the streets. Furthermore, we would like to establish permanent solutions for hygiene in schools. Sanitary provisions at schools do not only improve the health of students, but also disburden the parents, most of whom are not able to afford basic medical care. In addition, making sports materials available for schools, will allow children to practice sports and live a healthy and joyful childhood. Finally, food and clothes for old age homes are life-sustaining measures for the poor elderly people.
What We Need to Do
In order to realize our work we need CHF 2’000 (Swiss francs). For many Westerners reading this, it might seem like a small amount. In Kolkata, however, it is a small fortune, as the average earning of a family of five is INR 2600 (approximately CHF 32).
With this being our pilot crowdfunding project, we would like to raise funds for the Parashmani Welfare Society on an annual basis. The goal is to support the same set of homes, schools and shelters that serve the poor in India. If we can sustain this for a number of years, children will be able to get an education, become self-sufficient and hence, capable of helping their society.
Please help us, help the most vulnerable of Kolkata.
Thank you for your time and consideration –
Shilpi Ghosh, Sandrine, Nicole and the Parashmani Welfare Society
In the following you will find further information on the NGO:
Parashmani Welfare Society, 13 Priyanath Ghosh Road, Santoshpur Kolkata 700075
Registered Number: S/IL/48383; Established on: Nov 2007; Number of official members of the Socitey: 20