In early September, members of the CRS core team travelled to the UK to visit London, Derby, Oxford and Cambridge. Among them were Rig David, Director and Secretary, and The Rt. Revd. Dr. Paritosh Canning, Bishop of Calcutta and Chairman of CRS. The visit was intended to strengthen links with the Church of North India (CNI), raise awareness of the work being done in the Diocese of Calcutta and increase valuable support of CRS. Look out for more about the trip in the next Friends of CRS newsletter update, coming soon.
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.
With a second strain of COVID-19 spreading across India at a worrying pace, a shortage of vaccines and an assembly election in West Bengal, please join us in prayer during these challenging times.
- Pray for those who have contracted the virus. May they recover to full health in Jesus’ name.
- Pray for their families as they face worry and uncertainty over their loved one’s health.
- Pray for health care in India as cases continue to rise.
- Pray for a resolution to the vaccine shortage.
- Pray for CRS as we continue to support and empower women and children during this time, with the added challenge of lockdown restrictions.
Thank you and God bless.
Thanks to funds raised through St Peter’s Church and Derby Diocesan Schools, CRS are in the process of building a new combined school and community centre in one of our most deprived project locations, Brace Bridge. With children in this area frequently falling victim to exploitation, abuse and violence, projects such as this are key in providing education and opportunities for the younger generation. Read more about our work in Brace Bridge here.