A visit to Calcutta is incomplete without going to Flury’s- a tea room which was founded in 1927 by Mrs.&Mr.J Flury’s. Ask anyone, including the cabbies and they know where Flury’s is. It’s a landmark; a hangout for the upmarket executives to the college lovebirds… it’s the place to be! Though recently renovated, for me, the place still has a bit of the old-world charm (though most of the locals believe otherwise!), which includes a service which dates back a few decades. No, I am talking about their speed but their uniform which is topped with a nice big turban! Every visit of mine is incomplete without a visit to Flurry’s, either for breakfast, lunch or even a quick desert like today! A chocolate Truffle. Yum!
I was picked up from Flury’s by Cr.Yogita, who is the current chairperson of Ladies Circle No.65. Of the many projects the circle does, they took me to Care and Counseling Center at 4B Gopal Banerjee Lane, a school for the hearing impaired. The Centre believes that each and every disabled person is a potential human resource rather than a burden to the family and the society. They work towards detecting the impairment at the right age and give proper treatment to the child as well as counseling to the parents. Their motto is “Let these very special and most wonderful flowers unfurl all their petals in due time”. This is Ladies Circle’s long-term project, which has approximately sixty children. The circle organizes an annual Talent Hunt, which comprises of drawing, acting and even dancing. The circle provides the centre with prizes and medal apart from sponsoring the salary of the vocational teacher.
Apart from the centre, the Ladies Circle also supports an old age home and an orphanage, where each year, they spend time with the inmates burning crackers and sharing the festivities. LC65 has also organized a sports event called Hip Hip Hurrah, which is for special and underprivileged children. Around three to four schools participate in this event. Apart from organizing the event, they also distributed 120 pairs of shoes for the participants. They are currently working on making a library for Gandhi Vidyalaya plus donating a fan and a water purifier. This project cost is Rs.150,000. They raise their funds through an annual event called Coffee Mornings, which takes place in a 5-star hotels. More than 200 participants attend this event!
Not all projects are successful. LC65 once tried to educate a daughter of a sex worker. The mother had approached the Ladies Circle to educate her daughter so that she can learn something and stay away from her mother. The circle adopted the girl, educated her and even got her married. But after this 7-year relationship with the circle, she eventually went back to the mother and became a sex worker herself!
I had a great visit to the Care and Counseling Center. All the children had a smile on their face and I was so happy to see that. All the children were well-groomed and there was an instant connect with the ones in the picture. A special mention her to the children to Cr.Kajal, Ayush and Kavya, who were also showing a lot of interest in the project. Ayush had a lot of questions to ask and I could see the making of a good civilian in him! Good going kids!
My parting gift from the centre was a terracotta sculpture made a local craftsman. I will cherish that for years to come!