Author: Tished

Educate Destitute Girls in Kolkata, India.

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This project empowers girls from very poor families to avoid early marriage and a life of extreme poverty, illiteracy, childbearing, abuse and drudgery. A sponsored girl remains in school and goes on to further education or vocational training. Educated and with financial independence she can delay marriage, is empowered to make decisions for herself and to support herself and her family.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

To be born poor and female in India is to have a very bad start in life: between ages 1 and 4 girls have a 61% higher mortality rate than boys; the school drop out rate in adolescent girls is 63.5%; and 45% of girls in India marry before the age of 18. These 15 girls are from very poor families and all are in danger of dropping out of education and being married off early – only to perpetuate the cycle of drudgery, childbirth and illiteracy suffered by their own mothers.

How will this project solve this problem?

To be a sponsored girl means she will remain in education. She’ll receive all the necessary additional tuition to help her gain qualifications. Her books, uniform and stationery will be supplied. She’ll have health care, computer training, dance lessons and educational outings. She will have access to our own girls’ library and resource centre and she’ll be monitored and mentored by our staff. Her family receive a small monthly stipend. She’ll be proud to be a sponsored girl.

Potential Long Term Impact

By staying in education a sponsored girl gains the qualifications she needs to become financially independent. With economic power comes the ability to make life choices for herself. She can delay or even decide against marriage. She can earn a living and build up her savings. She is in control of her health and can make informed and healthy choices for her own children. Our sponsored girls from the last 20 years are pillars of the community and a shining example to the rest.

A Weekly Meal For 450 Ragpickers In Kolkata India

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This project provides a nutritious hot meal every Saturday lunch time for 450 people in the Topsia squatter community in Central East Kolkata. These people live in makeshift shelters beside an open sewer; they live by collecting, sorting and selling waste from Kolkata’s streets. They are illiterate, malnourished and live, shunned, on the margins of society. A weekly meal not only provides nourishment, but also shows that there are some beyond their world who care. It is a happy occasion.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
The 1500 families in this community share two drinking water taps – and the water runs just twice a day. They have no private toilet facilities. The well water is contaminated from the open sewer that runs alongside the settlement. These people earn a meagre living through rag picking or working in exploitative chappal (sandal) factories. Few of the children attend school and all are vulnerable to disease, child labour and abuse.

How will this project solve this problem?
Providing clean safe drinking water and dignified toilet facilities are a priority for Tiljala SHED and we are working towards this. Meanwhile we can make life just a little easier for the most vulnerable individuals in this community by providing safe and nutritious food once a week.

Potential Long Term Impact
By bringing these vulnerable people in once a week and providing a nutritious hot meal, we are establishing relationships within the community and a level of trust which will enable us to make long term and permanent improvements. Clean water, toilet facilities and a health centre are planned. With good health and education these children will have the opportunity to make more of their lives and leave the squatter camps to engage fully in India’s growing economy. This is the first step.

Funding Information
Total Funding Received to Date: £3,598
Remaining Goal to be Funded: £1,602
Total Funding Goal: £5,200

A Weekly Meal for 450 Ragpickers in Kolkata India

Back to School Campaign

Who we are?

A community based voluntary organization of social activists. We began in 1987, registered as a society in 1993, are permitted under government rules to receive foreign contributions and those who donate money to us get income tax exemptions under section 80G of the Income Tax Act (50 per cent tax exemption on their donations).

What we do?

We are focused on uplifting the lives of those who live in the slums, unauthorized colonies and pavements of the mega city of Kolkata as also its peri urban areas. Another focus is the city’s rag pickers and their families who mostly live in unauthorized colonies and on pavements. By empowering rag pickers who live by segregating and helping recycle trash, and seeing to ensure they live with dignity, we feel we are turning trash into gold.

We educate rag pickers’ children and mainstream them into regular schools. We also help the families with grants for starting their businesses. We basically take care of the overall development of the rag pickers’ community and also other ultra poor marginalized communities.
Where we do our work?

We began our work in Tiljala, a particularly deprived area of east Kolkata. Our footprints also cover other deprived areas of the city like Park Circus, Topsia, Tangra and Narkeldanga. We have also taken an initiative in Bhangur, South 24 Parganas.

Why School fund raising?

Tiljala Shed has formed a core team for the purpose of School Fund raising. In our lives, the formal education start from schools and young children are energetic and it is at this age they start learning all the values which will take them ahead in their lives. In fact, they start learning philanthropy at this very young age. In this unique campaign, children compete with each other for raising more funds from their family, relatives, neighbours, friends and from other sources. Each child raises an amount and in total the entire children of the school together raises a large amount which can make a difference in many people lives. In return the children get attractive prizes, certificates, accessories and recognition. The top three collectors in a school get special prizes and the class teacher with the highest number of collectors get a special prize. The school also gets a special recognition from our side.

The school fundraising involves a rigorous campaign in all the big schools where children from well to do families come to study as there is a target to raise a particular amount of money for a number of development projects.

The funds will be raised under following categories:

  • Children fundraising from their family, relatives, neighbours and friends.
  • Birthday Pledges from the children (the parents will pledge a cheque for the birthday in support of the projects of the organization)
  • Parents Appeal

Media coverage

We are talking with different media houses for helping us in this unique fundraising campaign. Once media comes in the picture, it becomes very easy for us to go ahead in this campaign.

Tiljala Shed is raising the fund for the following purposes:

  • Awareness generation and workshops with these school children on the topic of development of the rag pickers community and safeguard of our environment.
  • Sponsorship of destitute and vulnerable children. Currently there are around 600 children in the database of the organization which needs to be sponsored for a longer term. These destitute children come from different pockets of Kolkata living in slums, squatters and pavements. Most of them are rag pickers, child labourers, children selling balloons in traffic signals, orphans, children in difficult circumstances, children in need of care and protection.
  • Recurring cost of Gyan Azhar Library for destitute girls in Tiljala Slums.
  • Maintenance of our five educational centres for rag pickers children at Tiljala, Topsia, Narkeldanga, Tangra and Bibi Bagan.
  • The funds will also help those families where there is a situation of health emergency. For example a family in Topsia- Nargis Khatoon is suffering from serious Tuberculosis and is unable to work. Her husband has deserted her and she is the only earning member of the family. She has two children and the family is in starving condition. She has been recently admitted in a hospital. We pledge to help families like her.
  • We plan to start livelihood generation programs from this money and will be invested to create programs for livelihood and job creation.
  • Emergency medical expenses and critical case will also be covered under this fund, depending upon the availability of the fund.
  • The remaining funds will also be utilized in other development projects of Tiljala Shed as per the requirements.


Tiljala SHED will regularly update the schools, guardians and students regarding the utilization of fund which was raised under this campaign. We will also release regular newsletters and will be circulated electronically to all the donors.