Monday, August 18, 2008


BASHA: afternoon meal
Originally uploaded by dalbhat
Today I visited Basha, which means "nest" in Bengali. This school was named to suggest that this is a place where children can get the protection and education they need to eventually take off and fly for themselves. The school started up about one year ago to provide basic primary education and health facilities to very young children from families who live in the nearby area. The students' parents work for very low wages as domestic help, drivers, rickshaw wallahs, mechanics, etc. and often find it hard to manage education for their children.

While going over the school budget and wish list with Saswati-di, the principal at Basha, I decided to use up the money that has been sitting with me from the last collection by Calcutta 100 Club. I added a little to make the amount we needed. Every evening, the children are served a meal of rice and dal, along with some other item like chicken or an egg, etc. This ensures that the child gets one nutritionally balanced meal each day and is an important part of the school program.

Thank you to our Calcutta 100 Club! We donated Rs. 4,800 (US$ 110) to pay for the rice supply for one year at the school. Basha uses 20 kg per of rice per month at Rs. 20 per kg for a total of Rs. 400 per month. To me, rice seemed like an essential – and something we can truly feel good about helping out with. I hope that next year at this time, we can raise that money again to keep this project sustainable.

Basha has also asked for help with teacher salaries. At the moment, the two teachers earn Rs. 600 per month (US$13.75). To show our appreciation for their important work and give them incentive to continue at Basha, we would very much like to increase this to Rs. 800 (a raise of $4.57) from the Puja festival season so let me know if you have any good fundraising ideas. Their raise would cost the exact same amount as the rice for 12 months.

I was given a breakdown of all food expenses for one month at the school:

Item Monthly need Rs./kg

Rice 20 kg 20

Wheat 10 kg 18

Milk 24 l 20/l

Cook.oil 7 l 95 l

Eggs 60 pc 2.5 pc

Chicken 6 kg 110/kg

Dal 3 kg 50

Sooji 4 kg 25

Kidney beans 2 kg 50

Dalia 10 kg 28

Channa 2 kg 35

1 comment:

All Rileyed Up said...

As always, I am awed by the cost of living in other parts of the world. Congrats to the Calcutta 100Club. Great work.