Mahaveer Seva Sadan is a charitable organization that is working towards providing good quality limbs to the needy at affordable prices. They have already completed 25 years of service and currently working towards opening a diagnostic and pathology centre which would be equipped for CT Scans, Ultrasound, Digital X-ray, Sonography and other tests. The medical check ups would then be completely free of cost or at affordable prices. Ladies Circle 46 donated 42 limbs on their charter day. Knowing it can be herculean task to organize money for such donations, they requested other clubs in Calcutta to come forward as well. While LC46 donated 31 limbs on their own, the balance came from LC3, LC37 and LC65. They have also donated 100 pairs of slippers to the inmates of the Bengal Women Union.
My next stop was at Joyjeet Das Memorial School on Golf Club Road, Tollygunge. The school was set up by Shimanti Das, a former principal of a school in Salt Lake, Calcutta. She lost her only child, Joyjeet, to cancer. Joyjeet was only 13 at that time. In his memory, Shimanti started the school on 29th April 2003, exactly a year after he passed away.
Today, 370 children are on the school roll. These children, who come from nearby slums (Kalabagan, BoroBagan, Khas Mahal, Bristipara, Jhorobasti, etc), can hardly afford 2 square meals a day, let alone education. There are 23 volunteers and teachers, who come and spend the day with the children. The costs of the school are now supported by Ecole de la Tesra (a Swiss school), IFCAI Business School, Smita Foundation, Ladies Circle India, and many more. The school also has vocational training for young adults and women. I was here to shoot the ladies (not literally), who had been given sarees by the Ladies Circle. All dressed up with jewelry and matching shoes, they happily posed while I captured them in my camera. The 63 sarees were given to celebrate Mother’s Day!
The school is operational from a permanent establishment which has been provided by the Shantiraksha Commitee of Prince Alwar Shah Road. The main focus of the school is on Education, Health Care, nutrition and Vocational Training. The children, who come here are trained for education in formal schools, and through various affiliations can also be admitted in some schools. JDMS also gives supporting coaching classes as most of these children are first generation learners with no support at home. Apart from a mid day meal and a dinner, the school also organizes health check ups every 3 months. And all this for free!
One man can make a difference.
And that man is Dr.Ashis Mukhopadhyay. He was born in a village of Oorgram in Burdwan district of West Bengal. He topped his MBBS and also completed his DCH from the reputed B.C.Roy Hospital for Children. Thereafter, he went on to finish his M.D. from Pune, Maharashtra. He, then, attained his Fellowship in Oncology from the nationally reputed Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai and gained considerable experience in Leukemia and BMT. He then joined Kothari Medical Centre in Kolkatta. He rose to National fame by performing the 1st BM tranplantation in Kolkatta and the 1st Cord Blood transplantation in the country.
Wow! That’s some CV. To cut an even longer story short, he gave up everything to start his own Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Cancer Research Institute, where he spends his time research on cancer treatment and treating the poor. Because of his humane touch and a missionary zeal, he received the Mother Teresa Award, amongst many other important awards. The Ladies Circle came in touch with him a few years ago and since then have been sponsoring the treatment for young children suffering from cancer.
Apart for the cancer project, Ladies Circle 3 have what they call ‘The Star Project’. This project is their Terre Des Hommes project, which they started six years ago by sponsoring 3 children. After six years, this project now has 110 children which are being sponsored every year. This project would not be possible without the funding coming from Denmark.
In a span of a few hours, I had seen so much in Calcutta. I still havent reached the sights, which are very beautiful, but then I had already seen so much beauty.