New appointment at Nari Dana

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.

Teachers’ Day celebrations

Teachers’ Day has been an annual celebration in India since 1962. It is held on 5th September, the birth date of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the second President of India. Children attend school as usual but, instead of normal classes, hold celebrations in appreciation of their teachers. Children at CRS’s 8 urban slum centres and four rural village schools celebrated in the day in their own ways. The students of CRS’s Training Center for Differently-abled Persons also held a celebration, enjoying a sing-a-long with their carers and teachers. In addition CRS organised a small get-together at the office headquarters to thank the teachers who make such an important contribution to the lives of children from poor and underprivileged backgrounds.

Teachers plan for coming school year

With the children on their summer break, 17 teachers from CRS’s Education Centres gathered together on 17th, 18th and 20th May for a three-day programme of review, discussion and planning. Led by the CRS Director and the Coordinator of Education Projects, the group reviewed the teaching syllabus for different age groups, discussed the setting of test questions for each unit, and presented ideas for enhancing the students’ experience. CRS Education Centres prepare children for enrollment in mainstream schools, with a focus on core skills of Bengali, English and maths. There are currently Education Centres in 8 urban projects and 4 rural projects catering for almost 900 children across pre-primary and primary ages from 2 to 12 years.

Celebrating the three Rs

All CRS staff gathered in the main office in mid-January to celebrate three birthdays: Ratna, Rig and Rao. Ratna works as an assistant on the women’s empowerment project, Rig is the Director responsible for the overall management of the organisation, and Rao is the office helper. Together they have contributed decades of dedicated service to CRS. The birthdays were celebrated in the traditional way – with singing, cake and gifts!