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Community · 02:17

Loksakha Welfare Society

  • By Banalata Sen · Global and Europe Head Office (GHO/EHO), Europe

 

Loksakha Welfare Society

Main aim of the charity

Taking care of underprivileged children and women in the local community (Krishnamohan, West Bengal, India)

How the employee got involved and why

Our NGO Loksakha Welfare Society (Friend of people) was established in 2011 by my parents solely from their retirement funds. I have been involved from the start mostly working on project basis. After my father passed away in 2017 this has become my purpose of life- while I am physically based out of Bonn but my heart remains in India with our NGO team and our children. I spend atleast 1-2 hours daily talking to the team, the locals, our supporters and ensuring day to day operations work. When I visit India in December every year I work there directly. So, in a way along with our NGO team I manage running the organization. I am also responsible for the Facebook page of the NGO. You can visit us here: https://www.facebook.com/Loksakha-Welfare-Society-871764363165286/

What work does the employee do for charity?

We have a small non formal school where we take care end to end of 15 underprivileged children currently (those whose family income is less than 50 euros a month- yes you read it right) in the age group 2.5 years to 5 years. ~30 other children have already graduated from this school and got into formal schooling. We ensure every child who comes in gets 1 healthy and nourishing meal- we ensure protein rich meals including milk, egg, fruits, nuts, dalia, khichri- kind of rice and lentil porridge which take care of the nutritional needs for this age and also common deficiencies. In this day school, along with food we provide basic education to these children-and ensure that they are ready for formal school and at par which other children. Our efforts don’t end there- we also try to get them admissioned into formal school and track their continuation of education- we take care of their entire education cost for 10 years through our scholarship program. While doing this another dimension unfolded infront of us- the societal issue. We had an instance of a child called Rubina(name changed) whose father remarried and abandoned the girl and the mother. The mother remarried in order to support herself and the child stayed with the grandparents. Our NGO team learned about this family and when approached, the grandfather mentioned that they would get her married off –at 4.5 year old since he cannot afford to make ends meet. After hours of negotiation we could convince him to send the child to our school and that we would take care of her needs- she continues to be with us today and is a very bright child who enjoys studying and dreams of being a police officer. She is set to join formal school in January next year and for us at Loksakha that’s a dream come true. Incidents like this are unfortunately neither exceptions nor rare –in fact this is the sad and cruel reality of existence of these people who struggle to make their ends meet. Apart from this we also do half yearly free health camps for the community providing free medicines and health checkups.

What impact would winning have on the charity?

All our activities come with a cost. Till now most of the funding comes from me or the family, few friends pitch as and when they can. In order to make a visible change at this grassroot level we need to do much more- get more kids into the school, have better teaching staff, invest in basic play equipment like swings etc, involve their mothers (who often face abuse themselves) and uplift the economic base of the family by creating self help groups (SHG) for them – Our plan is to start a small SHG for 4-5 women who will make jute bags- with the aim to make these women self sufficient. This would need investments like sewing machines, raw materials, training, wages etc. With your help and funding we can ensure that we provide opportunity to the children and the women to lead a normal life- with access to food, education and healthcare- something we often take for granted.. because every one deserves a chance.

What impact would winning have on the employee?

I am a woman and a mother. Causes related to children and women fill up my heart. This for me is not a volunteering activity nor a hobby--this is my way of life. I strongly believe we all have a responsibility towards our society-to make it better and curb social evils. If I win, it will be very meaningful for me that we are able to do our bit and strive harder with much more enthusiasm to leave this world a better place for people around us and for our future generations.

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