Asit Dutta

We are saddened to announce the death of Asit Dutta, better known to all at CRS as Asit Da, which means ‘elder brother’. Asit Da served CRS for 42 years, with a particular focus on improving the health of disadvantaged communities. He was involved in setting up health projects for the children, women and wider communities where health facilities were previously minimal or non-existent. Most recently, he helped establish the Bosekati health clinic at St Luke’s Church, which has already provided over 500 people with life-changing health check-ups and medication.

Rig David, Director and Secretary of CRS, said: ‘Asit Da was extremely organised and methodical in his work. He was always ready to help anyone in need of medical assistance. He always wore a smile and tried to do his best lovingly, even in the most difficult situations. He was an extremely strong-minded person who came back to continue his work at CRS a week before he left us for his heavenly abode.’

Asit Da performs a health check-up on a woman from one of the CRS health projects.
Asit Da performing a health check-up at the Bosekati clinic.

CRS core team visit the UK

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.

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.