There’s a new production manager at Nari Dana, CRS social enterprise: Mr Sankar Das.
Sankar is a Master Weaver who ran a small family weaving business for ten years before being appointed as the production manager of a business unit set up in Murshidabad to manufacture woven and sewn products for export. It employed 48 women, many of whom were trafficked into prostitution in Kolkata.
The Murshidabad centre closed in 2019 as part of a business restructuring but Janet Roberts, who originally set up the venture, recommended Sankar to CRS.
Currently the CRS skills training programme for women and the production of items at Nari Dana focuses on sewing and embroidery, but there are plans for Sankar to introduce weaving training and a new line of woven products. To this end, we are going to purchase some of the looms and equipment from the Murshidabad business.
The photo shows Sankar (left) and Janet (third from left) with some of the women from Nari Dana.
There were grand celebrations on 30 January 2020 for the inauguration of the multi-purpose centre at Mahamaya.
The ceremony was presided over by the Bishop of Calcutta, Rt. Revd. Dr. Paritosh Canning.
He was accompanied by guests including Revd. Anita Matthews, one of the Trustees of the UK Friends of CRS, Mr. Peter Routley, a long-time associate of and donor to CRS, teachers from Scargill CofE Primary School, members of the CRS Executive Committee, and visitors from Derbyshire.
There are still some finishing touches to be made to the upper floors but this building will soon be in full use for a variety of activities supporting residents of Mahamaya and surrounding villages.
Naresh and Rashmi Ghelani, who run a newsagents in Cambridge, have been loyal supporters of CRS for many years.
As well as the collection box on the counter in the shop, Rashmi makes everyone empty out loose change from their pockets and purses whenever she goes to a family gathering!
In the past ten months these collections have amounted to £360, mainly in small silver and copper coins, all of which makes an appreciable difference for CRS.
In October, a group of sixth-formers from Derby High School visited Kolkata. They spent time at various CRS Education Centres teaching English and doing fun activities with the children.
Watch a video that they made about their trip and read about their impressions of Kolkata and CRS in an article published in the Derby Telegraph.
Kolkata’s new bishop, The Right Reverend Paritosh Canning, who started his tenure in the summer, has already seen the work of CRS first hand in the city, but at the end of September he made a day trip to see some of the work in rural areas.
Exterior construction work on the expanded building at Mahamaya is complete, although the interiors still await finishing. Nevertheless it is already well used for activities for children and women.
Children filled an entire floor to welcome the guests, who were entertained with song and dance, and a meal. The Bishop was offered flowers and blessed the work being done by CRS in this village.