The Projects we Support in INDIA

Indian economy is the sixth largest in the world when measured by the gross domestic product (GDP, World Bank, year 2017). But it shows very poorly when distribution of the wealth is calculated based on per person (120th per capita). Moreover, the distribution is not uniform. About 83% of the wealth controlled by only top 20% of the population leaving very little for the rest. Only 1.4% belong to bottom 30% of the population. In last decade this disproportion considerably improved but an effective circulation of wealth is essential for a healthy and dynamic economy of India. Therefore, government as well as public involvement is crucial to minimize this disparity.

Over centuries poverty in India was always catastrophic. Social injustice, hunger, and disease caused tremendous tolerance to those who survived. Again, GDP in the states of eastern India is lower than other parts of the country. Poverty in neighboring country Bangladesh (GDP 42th, per capita 144th) also caused migration of poor people to the eastern India. Many villages remote from major cities still lack minimum requirements of living standard, like, public health and education. Still now many families have no first generation education even though education in government schools is free.

Atghara  – A beautiful and song and dance 

Bolpur  –  The children learning the rhymes

Manirtat – Our ride on an unpaved road

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Atghara, 24-Parganas (N)

  The project is managed by an organization named Society for Equitable Voluntary Actions (SEVA) based in Kolkata, West Bengal. It was established on 1985 with a slogan of “Together We Can”. Their project in the village of Atghara, North 24-Parganas, West Bengal is close to the border of Bangladesh. SEVA has three buildings in an area of few acres of land. One of the buildings is used for 19 resident girls of ages 1 month to 18 years, and 14 adult women of ages 20 to 36 years. These young girls and women were under extreme financial and emotional distress condition when SEVA offered them food, shelter, and healthcare. Unlike most orphan-care centers, this combination of children and adult women living together in Atghara created an outstanding family (symbiotic) environment that worked for both.

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BOLPUR, BIRBHUM

About 25.2% of Indian population are classified as either schedule caste (SC 16.6%) or schedule tribe (ST 8.6%). A large number of these groups live in the district of Birbhum, West Bengal, particularly around Bolpur, a tourist town in Birbhum. The town is known for cultural activities of Bengal. This group supports the tourist industry by providing low-wage labor and household services. Most of them are poor and do not have any first generation school education. This is another place Society for Equitable Voluntary Actions (SEVA) extended their services by offering pre-school education to the SC and ST, and other distressed children. Generally, SEVA gets the space for the education from local “Gram Panchayet” (village union) at no cost.

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BANAGRAM, BARDHAMAN

Banagram is a village south of city Bardhaman (formerly Burdwan) , West Bengal. Agriculture is the major source of income. But, like many villages in India education is not a priority among the farming people. Children often work in the field and has no basic education. Many farmers even do not have their own land and live below the poverty level. This causes extreme stress in their family life. Children either are neglected or become orphan. In 1978, few Swamijis (Hindu saints) with the help of some philanthropists established a center named Paramananda Mission to support the children with food, shelter, and education. At present, the Mission has a school (K to grade 10) and a residential place to accommodate 350 orphan boys of different social and religious backgrounds. Not all boys are local, some came from different geographic locations of eastern India. The school is also attended by more than 500 underprivileged boys and girls living around the village. The Mission also provides medical support to the children and villagers at no coast. To the members of IKP Foundation these activities are remarkable, making the mission an organization with ideal setup for caring underprivileged children.

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Manirtat, 24-Parganas (S)

Despite free education in public school in most parts of India, student enrollment improved in a low pace. Moreover, girls’ education is even worse considering social believe that they are born to be part of another family after marriage. To encourage education, State Government of West Bengal initiated a scholarship program for unmarried girls aged 13-18 years enrolled in class 8-12. While it is recognized internationally as an excellent concept to encourage education, it has some unintended drawback. In public school there are no examination for promotion to the next class from K to 8th grades. This applies to all students including boys.

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