1. Hold My Hand:
Hold My Hand is a non-formal education project which commenced in 2008 and focuses on strengthening the educational base of first generation learners. It is a flagship project of SI Calcutta. Tutorial classes in English and other subjects are conducted for underprivileged children to supplement their formal education. Till March 2015, these classes were conducted for the children of classes III and IV of a Kolkata Municipal Corporation run school in Chetla, Kolkata . From 2015-16, the programme is being conducted for students of Sujata Devi Vidyamandir High School, a girls school under the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education . Along with a teacher,SI Calcutta members give inputs in reading /soft skills through story telling , quizzes and other activities.
From the academic session of commencing from 2018, Bengali has also been included in the syllabus. Children are encouraged to express themselves. Special attention is given to weak students. Prizes are also given to reward merit and sincerity.
The children also participate in activities on special days such as World Environment Day , World Literacy Day etc , which helps to build up awareness regarding the subject in focus.
We are grateful to our sister club SI Olympic Rainforest, who have supported this project.
2. Assistance to Society 5O:
Society 5O, a women’s organisation founded in 1989 runs a preparatory school for children called Shishu Theertha, a medical clinic, and vocational training for women in the outskirts of Kolkata. SI Calcutta has been associated with the school since inception, and contributes to the teachers’ remuneration in the primary section.
3. Digital Literacy Programme
Digital literacy refers to the ability to perform tasks effectively with the help of technology. In view of the relevance of the subject in today’s computer and technology driven world where banking, money transfers, retail purchases etc , are all encouraged through online methods, it was felt necessary to educate & empower women to deal with these complex transactions which are still difficult to understand for many people.
SI Calcutta has therefore commenced a Digital Literacy Project in 2017 in collaboration with State Bank of India, at their Learning Centre in Kolkata. The focus of the programme is on increasing awareness regarding various digital modes through which money transactions could be conducted in everyday life, including use of ATM cards, virtual wallets, online banking, & most importantly, awareness of the security measures necessary when using the internet.
Participants are introduced to safe computing & procedures for online banking. They learn about useful apps for their phones designed by banks to keep track of accounts, & how to report loss of debit/credit cards. The project thus bridges the gaps in knowledge resulting from continuous technological upgradation in banking and cashless transactions, thereby empowering the participants with tools for financial planning.
2 successful Programmes have been held in November 2017 and February 2020. The target group of participants comprised of girls aged 17-25 years, who were computer literate & use mobile phones.
We are grateful to State Bank of India for their collaboration in the Project.
Construction /Repair of Toilets
SI Calcutta celebrated the completion of five years of their on-going project DIGNITY by handing over two toilets for girls in July 2019 at T.S.Sanatan High School , in Gocharan , South 24 Parganas , West Bengal. A Sanitary Awareness Workshop was also held for the girls, to educate them about proper sanitation for maintaining good health and hygiene.
Sanitary Awareness Programme
April 2018: Workshop for middle school children of Garfa DMN High School , Kolkata where the purpose was to motive the children to think about their role in improving sanitation through personal hygiene.
No Plastics Please
Plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic objects and particles in the Earth’s environment that adversely affects wildlife, wildlife habitat, and humans. Since plastic is such a persistent material, the ecological, economic and eco-toxicological effects of plastic pollution are all long-term in nature.
The problems created by the use of plastic bottles, bags containers etc, are primarily due to the shortcomings in waste management systems. SI Calcutta has therefore started the ‘No Plastic Please’ Project , through which cloth/paper bags are sold /distributed by members to family members, friends and neighbours as well as vendors. The project was in collaboration with New Alipore Association.
Ratna Dutt Memorial Grant
This project is named after Ratna Dutt, a senior member of SI Calcutta who passed away in March 2018. As per the wishes of her daughters , 2 physically challenged girls conducting undergraduate studies at Jadavpur University, Calcutta have been sponsored under the Grant. The 2 students have been identified by Jadavpur University Alumni Association, and are studying History and Bengali respectively.