Whilst India is emerging as a power on the world stage, the contrast between rich and poor is still profound. According to a study published in 2016Citation, India is the second most unequal country in the world, with just 1% of the population owning over 50% of the total wealth. For those at the bottom of the heap, life is tough. Figures are endlessly disputed, but probably around a quarter of the population – an estimated 300 million people – still live below an extremely low poverty line.
What are the challenges?
Grinding poverty and illiteracy. Hunger. Limited job opportunities. Lack of access to health care, good sanitation and clean water… and more. A recent studyCitation of poverty in Kolkata’s slums showed households with children suffered significantly higher levels of deprivation than those without children, putting children at particular risk
Calcutta Emmanuel School (CES) is an English-medium school with a reputation for academic excellence. Admission is reserved for the poorest children of Kolkata’s slums, and there are no fees. Students receive a free meal at lunchtimes, uniforms and shoes, and a free annual health check. Global Care sponsors more than 70 children at CES, helping them access a top-quality education, and all the life opportunities which education brings to a child and their wider family.
The school’s vision is to create ‘a transformed community of underprivileged and marginalised children, who, in turn, will bring about change and development in their own communities’. For almost 30 years our partners at CES have seen this come about, again and again.