Darjeeling: Ex-students of St Paul's join hands with RKM to provide ration for elderly ladies
Darjeeling: With the noble intention of giving back to the Hill town, a group of ex-students of St. Paul's school, Darjeeling, has joined hands with the Ramakrishna Mission to provide monthly ration to elderly ladies without families and are from the economically backward strata.
The Ramakrishna Mission Nivedita Educational and Cultural Center (RKMNECC,) Darjeeling provides monthly rations to 63 such elderly ladies. A group of former students of the class of 1986 (ISC) of St. Paul's school, Darjeeling from different parts of the globe have extended a helping hand to make this a success.
"Darjeeling has given us a lot in our formative years in schools. We love the place and the people. We always wanted to do something for Darjeeling in whatever small way we could. Since long we were toying with the idea. We also had to select an credible organisation who we could work with," stated Shantanu Chakraborty, a professional banker working in Philippines.
Taking the lead Chakraborty formed a group with his batch mates who were interested. "I then came to know that RKM had a centre in Darjeeling. As there was no questions whatsoever about the credibility and dedication of RKM and as they have a foolproof survey system of identifying the beneficiaries,
there we a quick nod from our boys. We then got in touch
with the RKMNECC asking them in what way we could be of assistance," added Chakraborty.
Two options were open to them, scholarship for needy girls and ration for elderly ladies without families. "We decided on the second option. Every month we sponsor ration for 20 such ladies. My batch mates from Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Guwahati, Patna, USA, Kenya and Rumania along with me pool in money for the outreach programme and send it to RKMNECC, Darjeeling," stated the Banker.
The 62 beneficiaries are from different areas of Darjeeling town and surrounding tea estates including Singtham, Kanchen View, Phubshering, Tukvar and Bannockburn.
"Out of the 42 beneficiaries, the St. Paul's old boys support 20," stated Swami Nityasatyanandaji, Centre Head. On the 20th of every month each beneficiary receives 7 kg rice, 1 kg dal, half kg chickpeas, 1 kg soya chunks; 1liter mustard oil; 1 liter refine oil; 2 packets biscuit along with packets of different spices; shampoo pouch; bathing soap; dish wash soap. For each beneficiary the cost comes up to Rs. 1000.
Other that this, the RKMNECC is involved in a host of charitable activities. 10 girls from the economically backward strata receive Rs. 500 every month as an education stipend.
Tying up with ITC, the RKMNECC provided garments to 21,397 families in 32 tea estates and 24 non tea garden locations in the Hills at a cost of Rs. 32,09,55,000. Each family was given clothes worth Rs.15,000.
1470 families were given Covid-19 relief in the form of rations and other necessary items costing Rs. 921 for each beneficiary. 70 students under the Gadadhar Prakalpa are being provided online tutorials. They are not being allowed into the center owing to the pandemic but are being provided ration and toiletries.
RKMNECC is housed at Roy Villa in Darjeeling town. This is the house where Sister Nivedita had breathed her last on October 13, 1911. On July 10, 2013 the Government of West Bengal had officially handed over Roy Villa to the Ramakrishna Mission.