Climate change is exacerbating hunger in India, according to a report by the International Food Policy Research Institute. With levels in India considered to be ‘serious’ at present, it’s estimated that almost 74 million Indians will be at risk of hunger by 2030. Read the full article on the India Today website here.
CRS recently launched its nutrition programme, which aims to provide hundreds of children with a healthy, dietician-advised meal every day. The programme aims to combat hunger and a lack of nutrition among some of India’s most disadvantaged children.
With the initiative costing around £10,000 per year, the generosity of CRS supporters is vital. To find out more about the nutrition programme and how you can donate, please see our Fundraising appeals page.
Set up in memory of Gabrina Kaur Basra (Gabbi), a supporter of CRS, the Gabbi Bursary Fund will enable several students in Kolkata to further their education. This will happen through a holistic sponsorship programme that provides financial assistance to bright students who lack the resources to complete their education. The programme will also provide mentorship to prospective bright yet needy municipal school students. It serves as an incentive for parents to continue the education of their children and as a motivation for students themselves to keep studying.
At present, twelve students have been carefully selected from CRS schools to benefit from the scheme. They will each be financially supported through their primary studies in private and government schools. In addition, four former CRS students who have graduated high school have started a year-long diploma course in hotel management (a six-month course and six-month internship) at the Bishop Canning College of Management and Administration in Kolkata, accredited by City and Guilds.
It is hoped that the programme will run on an annual basis, offering many more talented students the opportunity to reach their potential and to find employment in the future. CRS is honoured that Gabbi’s family have chosen to remember Gabbi through this project, and is grateful for the significant generosity of so many at Derby High School who have made donations in her memory.
Gabbi visited Kolkata with a group of fellow sixth-formers from Derby High School in October 2019. They spent time at various CRS schools teaching English and doing fun activities with the children. You can watch the wonderful video the group made to commemorate their visit here.
Tragically, Gabbi passed away in 2021. An online fundraising page was set up by her family and friends in her memory, with proceeds generously going to CRS.
Gabbi was a beautiful, intelligent and kind person who was deeply touched by the people she encountered on her visit to Kolkata, and by the potential of the young people she met through CRS. This scheme seems a very fitting way to remember her and give thanks for her life, and we look forward to updating you in due course on the progress of the participants and their hopes for the future.
Thank you again for your generous donations! The funds were used to purchase 400 tarpaulins and 400 sets of cooking utensils for families whose homes were destroyed or damaged during Cyclone Amphan.
Distribution was delayed due to continuing pandemic lockdowns but, by the last week of August, we were able to hand out these items at our project locations at Bibibagan, Brace Bridge and Hastings. The intention is to deliver to a total of 11 CRS projects and Cathedral parishes over the coming weeks.
Last autumn we issued a fundraising appeal to extend the CRS centre at Pally Mangal. The tiny one-roomed building was a real squeeze for women attending empowerment and training classes.
CRS supporters Paul Stuttle and Jo Whitehead generously gave £2,400, which with recoverable gift aid, was enough to cover all the costs to build an extra floor.
Renovation commenced in March but had to stop when the coronavirus lockdown started. However, as of June, work resumed and good progress has been made on building a staircase and an upper floor.
Many thanks to those who have already responded to our emergency appeal to help poor communities during the coronavirus lockdown in Kolkata.
On Easter Sunday food packets with basics such as rice, lentils, sugar, milk and oil were distributed to over 200 families. On Easter Monday the CRS vehicle went to another location and distributed a similar amount to very grateful recipients.
If you wish to donate so that food aid can be extended to other needy communities, please visit http://www.cathedralreliefservice.net/donate/uk/ to find out how.