CRS has added a new urban location to its portfolio of projects: Brace Bridge. Beside the railway tracks at Brace Bridge station is Naya Bustee, a slum community of about 700 predominantly Muslim families.
CRS is partnering with a community based organization called Right Track to support this community. So far an education and women’s programmes have been started with the plan to add a health programme in due course. Find out more
CRS has been working in Mahamaya, a small village in the 24 South Parganas district of West Bengal about two hours’ drive south from Kolkata, since 2012.
A training session was held recently on garment making, giving women who attend the CRS women’s empowerment programme in the village, new skills and the chance to practice making clothing items on sewing machines.
A group of women subsequently travelled into the city for a day’s training on quality control. At the Nari Dana Production Centre they learned how to sew and embroider products with precision, and how to ensure conformity of quality and style.
CRS is currently raising funds to complete construction of a multi-purpose building in Mahamaya and expand activities there.
The ground floor is already in existence, used as a school in the morning and by women’s groups the afternoon.
The vision is to have three floors to accommodate the school, a medical clinic, and a workspace for the women to make products
Larsen & Toubro, the company that supports women’s skill training as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility programme, conducted an annual audit in April, speaking with beneficiaries and examining their work.
Revd. Loraine Mellor, who has been elected President of The Methodist Church in Britain for 2017-18, visited Kolkata to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Kolkata’s historic Wesleyan Methodist Church (now under the jurisdiction of the united Protestant denomination, the Church of North India). On 14th October, Revd. Mellor spent a day visiting CRS centres at Topsia, Bibibagan and Pally Mangal where she learned about the opportunities provided by CRS for children and women from slum communities. She also spent time at the new Nari Dana Production Centre in the grounds of St. Paul’s Cathedral. At the end of her visit she said, “I am inspired by the work CRS is doing especially the women’s empowerment programme”.
Over the last few years, the Indian multinational, Larsen & Toubro, have supported a variety of CRS activities through their Corporate Social Responsibility programme. Earlier in 2016 they donated three new sewing machines to the CRS women’s empowerment programme which offers courses in tailoring, embroidery and knitting. The most talented graduates of these courses have been selected for the Nari Dana project. These women are learning to produce very high quality products to be sold both locally and on overseas western markets. Through employment in this small business, they will earn a secure living. Some of their products were put on display at a special event at the Larsen & Toubro corporate office on 26th September.