In March 2023 Connie returned for a short trip to Kolkata. The works on the junior classroom roof were finished the whole building and the adjoining library had a full re-paint. Based on the quality of work seen there, it was decided to have the senior classroom false ceiling replaced and a full re-paint of the building done.
We purchased two new computers for the computer room and did a good clearout of the library, removing old furniture and replacing it with solid metal cabinets, lots of new books and some fun new lighting. We have also ordered for some trestle tables to be made to measure so that in bad weather the kids can sit inside the library and read and in warmer weather they can easily be set up under the trees. In addition we are experimenting on a basic level with mini sewing kits for women in the villages to see if a) they are interested in them and b) they are useful.
Now that the work on the junior classroom is finished, in March we finalised contracts for work on the seniors classroom. The false ceiling is falling down, the walls are cracking, the paint is in a terrible state.
Work is now ongoing (April 2023)
In December 2022 and January 2023 AidforAll’s co-founder Connie and filmmaker Charlotte went, for the first time in 3 years, to Kolkata to the Jhalak school that AidforAll has been supporting for several years.
They were treated to a drawing competition (which revealed some serious talent in 3 or 4 students) and a beautiful dance show. They gave out gifts and prizes to the top students and urgently needed supplies to everybody.
After touring the property it became clear that a lot of urgent work needed to be done. But the kids are enthusiastic and keen to learn, the new teachers are dynamic and full of ideas. After touring the property it became clear that a lot of urgent work needed to be done. Take a look at the photos below of the condition of the ceiling and roof of the youngest kids’ classroom - it is completely falling down. We look forward to making a difference, with your support, to these kids’ lives.
Jhalak school, Kolkata
Visiting Kolkata for the first time in 2014, our main focus in India is helping the Jhalak school for Underprivileged Children in Baruipur. This school is owned and run by the De family, based in the US, offering classes in the morning before school, as well as a hot breakfast and after school computing classes to ~100 very poor children.
In 2014, AidforAll renovated a building that was to become the Computer Room and filled it with a range of computing equipment. The following year, a new library was built (Chris putting his excellent DIY skills to good use), painted and filled with books - rather than the estimated 6 weeks this took just over 1 week!
Some of the graduates of this school have gone on to college, with tuition kindly paid for by the De family. AidforAll also give backpacks and school supplies to whomever needs them and award special prizes to the top students from each year. Many have aspirations to become a teacher, some want to join the army and 'defend their country', others to become a female police officer or architect.
The Coronavirus pandemic meant that nobody from AidforAll was able to get in to India since early 2020. In fact co-founder Chris was just finishing a visit in Vietnam to one of AidforAll’s projects as the borders around him were closing.
Jhalak school kids get new backpacks
School founder Prof. Kaushik De and his son Nikhil distributing fruit and milk to the Jhalak school community
Dynamic new teacher (and also lawyer) Susmita, matching backpacks to boys - she knows them well!
Wonderful new Jhalak school teachers Sujan and Susmita look on as Connie gives out prizes for students with top marks over the year
Susmita one of the two new teachers, arranged a special dance performance from the children. They had never done it before, Mums worked hard on some beautiful outfits.