• 48 Ripon Street Kolkata 700016 WB IN
  • +91 9903219731
  • emcalcutta@gmail.com
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  • +91 9903219731
  • emcalcutta@gmail.com

New Market Community Development

Holistic Care of Children, Health and Education Support for Adolescent Girls

and Adult Literacy for Mothers from the slums.

New Market Community Development Project stared in June 1992. Prior to EMC’s intervention, living conditions in the slum were sub-human. The area was inhabited by a Dalit community who were primarily employed as municipal sweepers. Their home resembled a garbage site and was infested with vultures and crows which fed on rotting flesh. Practices such as black magic, child marriage, dowry and caste discrimination were common place and addiction and domestic violence were rife. EMC, in partnership with key community leaders, began a journey of regeneration initially persuading the municipal authorities to provide tube-wells and toilets for the community.

The early work focused on the children of the community, offering non-formal education, free uniforms, mid-morning snacks, primary health care, immunization and free medical consultations. Soon a weekly clinic was established for pregnant and lactating mothers. Adult literacy classes for women and girls were made available and were ultimately run by girls from the community itself. Eventually even the men from the community availed of the adult literacy classes!

An amazing transformation has taken place within this community. Caste discrimination has stopped and the community now live together in harmony. Child marriage has been eradicated and ongoing awareness has helped to vastly reduce the instances of addiction and domestic violence. Most importantly, today all of the children from the community attend mainstream school and they are free to make their own destiny in the profession of their choice.

The regeneration within this sweeper community has been sustained over the years as the people gained the dignity they were inherently due. The changes did not go unnoticed or unrewarded as the Ward Councilor showed practical support by providing a space for within the area, from the Prime Minister’s Fund, and the municipality leaders continue to actively cooperate in development initiatives for the community.

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