Tailoring and embroidery is the most popular skill development programme for girls and women at CRS centres. Courses run every year from April through to March. On 17th March, 125 students from six different CRS centres in Kolkata gathered together in the portico of St Paul’s Cathedral for their end of year evaluation. Over four hours, the students had to complete a series of tasks to demonstrate skills they had learned during their course. This included embroidering a flower; demonstrating hemming, darning, and picot stitch along the edge of cloth; and measuring, cutting and stitching a shirt and a bag. An external evaluator from a government training institution reviewed the practical work completed on the day, as well as the portfolios of work completed throughout the year. The students were presented with their results and a certificate of completion by senior representatives from Larsen & Toubro, the company providing support for part of women’s empowerment programme.
Men, women and children in the slum community of Bibibagan lined up on 15th March to have their teeth examined and learn about the importance of dental health. The dental camp, offering free check-ups for underprivileged people, was funded by Larsen and Toubro, the Indian company that has been supporting a number of CRS activities as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme. After receiving a check-up and advice on improving dental health, participants were given an oral hygiene pack to take home. It is hoped that they will share what they learned about looking after their teeth with family and friends.
The portico of St Paul’s Cathedral in Kolkata was converted into a makeshift clinic on 15th March as volunteers lined up to donate blood and help save the lives of others. The event was organised by Life Care Bank in collaboration with CRS and supported by the Indian company Larsen & Toubro. In total over 100 people attended, 60 of whom were eligible to give blood. Donors rested on lines of beds and recovered afterwards with tea or glucose water; they were also given food packets and a small token of appreciation from Larsen & Toubro.