Since 2009, all children in India have had the right to free primary education. However, one million children in West Bengal do not go to school. Without an education, these children have little chance of escaping the poverty trap.
Calcutta Rescue provides education for over 670 children from the ten poorest slums in the north of the city. Many are from illiterate families; some are orphans; some are already working; some have been abused; all are growing up in extreme poverty.
The youngest children at the Calcutta Rescue schools learn basic alphabet, maths, and hygiene. Older children are taught to read and write in Hindi/ Bengali, maths, general knowledge and basic English. All the children are supported with fun extra-curricular activities they lack at home: music, art, sport, dance and yoga.
The children at our schools receive two good meals a day, healthcare, and clothes alongside their education, preparing them for formal schooling. We aim to provide everything needed which children cannot access at home.
In 2018, our schools were awarded the School That Cares award for the most caring school in West Bengal at the Telegraph School Awards for Excellence.
Older children who are successful at their studies are sponsored to go to formal (government or private) schools. Calcutta Rescue continues to provide them with meals, healthcare, school uniforms, and support with their studies.
Some of the brightest children are now going to university.