National

Charity Alliance work in Murshidabad

Charity Alliance extends resources for relief, development, welfare and progress of the downtrodden minorities in India

In early 2005, news came almost daily about starvation deaths in some parts of West Bengal. The majority of these deaths were reported from Jalangi, a part of Domkal subdivision of Murshidabad district. This was the time when Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, Editor of  The Milli Gazette, decided to help.

In addition to mounting an international awareness campaign and legal intervention through a PIL in the Supreme Court of India, help in the shape of weekly ration packets to affected households was quickly organised and it continues to this day.

To formalise this work, a trust called Charity Alliance was registered at Delhi. To meet the urgent needs of the people of the affected area in Murshidabad, Charity Alliance first made a list of persons in need of immediate help after a physical survey, and started distributing rice (2 kg per person per week) to 365 persons every week, who were in immediate need, most of them being widows, elderly people and other destitutes. Charity Alliance also gave cash for medical treatment for minor and major ailments to those in emergency. 108 children of erosion-affected-people were admitted to schools with full fees paid by the trust and some of them were also given textbooks, exercise materials and uniforms. Charity Alliance maintains a branch office at Ghoshopara Panchayat at Jalangi with a full-time representative since May 2005. Later another person was employed when vocational training was started two years ago. Initially, many national and international organisations came to help, but today only Charity Alliance remains in the area.

Ration distribution in Murshidabad’s Jalangi area

Pix: Ration distribution in Murshidabad’s Jalangi area
 

Ration, Medical, financial & Educational Assistance in Murshidabad

2005-06: During the financial year 2005-06 Charity Alliance distributed 17,749 kg of rice, that is about 8,800 packets to an average of 170 persons every week. All these were starvation-affected people, mostly widows and elderly. Charity Alliance admitted 95 students to local schools and distributed study materials among nine poor students taking the total educational aid at Rs 10,289. It also helped 47 persons with Rs 27,471 towards immediate medical aid for minor/major treatment. Charity Alliance also helped many elderly widows and other persons in enrolling into or get benefits of different social programmes of the local government. Financial aid of Rs 11,171 was also donated for income-generating activities to 19 people who lost their means of livelihood.
 
2006-07: In the financial year 2006-07, Charity Alliance distributed 20,464 kgs rice worth Rs 2,24,209 among an average of 195 heads every week. These were extremely poor, aged people and widows. Medical aid of Rs 42,593 was provided for minor/major treatment to 93 persons. Educational aid of Rs 27,970 was offered to 173 children including full tuition fees of students admitted to different schools  and colleges besides textbooks and study materials provided to some of them.
 
2007-08: During the financial year 2007-08, Charity Alliance distributed 20,850 kg rice worth Rs 2,75,320 to an average of 200 widows and old persons every week. Educational aid of Rs 23,804 to 130 pupils in the form of admission and study materials were also provided. Medical aid of Rs 33,577 was offered to 130 needy people.
 
2008-09: During the financial year 2008-09, Charity Alliance distributed 21,350 kgs rice worth 3,20,017 among 200 widows and poor persons on an average every week. Educational aid of 46,686 rupees was provided to 174 students as admission/tuition fees, while 43 students also received free textbooks and exercise materials.  Charity Alliance provided medical aid of Rs 29,666 to 42 persons for minor and major treatment during the year.
 
2009-10: During the financial year 2009-10, Charity Alliance distributed 15,805 kgs rice worth Rs 2,32,812 among 150 widows and poor people on an average every week. Charity Alliance provided Educational aid of Rs 1150 to 2 poor students who do not study in Alliance School as they were of higher standard than currently offered at this school run by Charity Alliance. The trust provided Medical aid of Rs 20,531 for minor and major treatment among 41 persons during this financial year.

 

Vocational Training Centre

It was found that the area lacked the means for normal economic life as only some people had adequate land. As there is no business activity, providing financial help to a few will not help. It was felt that people should be trained in some skills to enable them to engage in income-generating activities. For this reason, in March 2008 a vocational training centre was started in rented premises. The training was free while lunch too was provided by the Center as an incentive for them to attend the training sessions regularly. The response was overwhelming and the first batch of 78 trainees, 22 in tailoring and 56 in embroidery, mostly women, successfully completed six-month-long free training of tailoring and nine-month-long free embroidery (zari or zardozi) course. Many of the trained hands are now engaged in income generating activities taking care of their families. In the second tailoring batch, 28 persons successfully completed the course in December 2009. Currently, in the session which started in March 2010, 35 trainees are enrolled in six-month free tailoring course. Charity Alliance spent Rs 1,32,740 on vocational training during the financial year 2008-09 and Rs 1,97,862 during 2009-10.

 

Alliance School

Charity Alliance started Alliance School in May 2009 in response to local people's continuous demand, as the capacity of an existing school in the area was not sufficient and one  government primary school was washed away due to Padma river erosion (which is the main cause of all the problems in the region). Alliance School started in a rented premises with eight teaching and two non-teaching staff and 175 students from KG to standard III. Charity Alliance contributed  Rs 1,66,883 as initial setting up expenses and it regularly pays about 30,000 every month to meet the current monthly deficit which will rise as one higher class is opened every year. The school is mainly accepting the children of the river-erosion-affected people of the area who have lost all their land as a result of river Padma changing its course in the area.  In the current academic year, the school has 12 staff and 245 students from KG to Standard IV. One class will be added each year. The school still runs in a rented premises  but, alhamdulillah, 1.5 bigha+2 decimal land  for school premises has been bought costing rupees 261,410. Construction of the school buildings will start as soon as finance is secured.

Outside Murshidabad, Charity Alliance spent Rs 82820 during 2009-10 which is as follows:

To cyclone Aila in West Bengal: Rs 50000
To student fees: Rs 10,000
To hostel fees: Rs 7500
To medical treatment: Rs 12820
To medical aid: Rs 2500

Charity Alliance is registered under 80-G of I.T. Act which allows 50%  tax exemption to donors. Donations (zakat, saqadah, bank interest, fidiya) may be sent to the central office: Charity Alliance, D-84 Abul Fazl Enclave-I, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi 110025; Tel.: (+91-11) 26942883, 26947483 or paid online at our website: www.charityalliance.in (email:  info@charityalliance.in). For more information, please visit the website.

 

Distribution of certificates to successful vocational trainees

Pix: Distribution of certificates to successful vocational trainees
 

A glimpse of the vocational traning centre at Murshidabad

Pix: A glimpse of the vocational traning centre at Murshidabad
 

Alliance school Murshidabad during a morning assembly

Pix: Morning assembly at Alliance School, Murshidabad
 

Chairman of Charity Alliance with the staff of Alliance School

Pix: Chairman of Charity Alliance with the staff of Alliance School
 

Our website: www.charityalliance.in

D-84 Abul Fazl Enclave-I, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi 110 025 India Tel.: (+91-11) 2694 7483, 2695 2825
We prefer cheques to bank drafts. Cheques/Drafts should be crossed / marked account payee.
Individuals are welcome to pay cash in our office or send M.O.
If you want to contribute through credit card or internet-banking visit www.charityalliance.in for secure online payment.

The full list of donors may be seen on Charilty Alliance website (www.charityalliance.in).

Zakat, Sadaqat and bank interest accepted

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 August 2010 on page no. 7

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