Warm welcome to Gumla

In February, CRS Director, Rig David, together with two members of the CRS Executive Committee, the Treasurer, Kevin Roberts, and Member, Probir Ghose, visited Jharkhand.

The multipurpose community centre in Gumla, funded by a donation from the UK Friends Legacy Fund and completed in 2014, is used for a variety of activities to benefit about 250 families in the area. They were met by nearly 150 children from the Swarwagin school and their teachers, who were so excited to receive visitors from so far away.

Rig says “It was wonderful to see the new building put to good use. It is made from concrete and has multiple rooms, as well as toilets – a vast improvement on the two-roomed hut made of bamboo and mud that was used before. The children clearly enjoyed playing in the safe surroundings around the centre.”


Major bequest received

We are very pleased to report that a substantial bequest has been left to the CRS under the will of Mrs Patricia Payne, who passed away on 15th July 2015. Pat and her husband John, shown in picture attending a wedding, lived in various cities in Pakistan and India over a 17 year period. During their posting in Calcutta, Pat worked as a teacher at the Cathedral School. They both retained an abiding love for the two countries and Pat kindly remembered CRS in her will. The UK Friends of CRS are managing the bequest. To date, an initial payment of £107,000 has been received with a further amount of around £40,000 expected when the estate has been fully wound up. The bequest is being treated by the Trustees as a capital sum to be invested in the long term and ensure the future viability of CRS. Read the full press release.

Women’s products on sale

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.

All sewn up!

Larsen and Toubro, the Indian multinational conglomerate which has been supporting CRS activities for some time, donated three new sewing machines. They were formally handed over at the end of April by a senior member of the company’s HR Department. The machines will be used as part of CRS’s empowerment programme which offers skills training to adolescent girls and women. CRS instructors offer year-long courses in tailoring, embroidery and knitting. The women are also taught financial and business management skills so that they can set up their own small enterprises. Khatiza Begum, an instructor at CRS’s Bibibagan centre, said “I am very excited on receiving the new machine and this is going to help more women to take the tailoring course”.

Pennies make pounds

Naresh and Rashmi Gelani have been faithful supporters of CRS for several years. They are newsagents in Chesterton, Cambridge, and recently added a CRS charity collection box to the counter in their shop. When the box was handed over in early April, the staggering number of coins took 4 hours to count! In just a month they had raised £267. Donations like this from Naresh, Rashmi and their customers make all the difference to what CRS is able to achieve in Kolkata. Thank you!