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Dec 12, 2018

Purnima puts daughter through nursing college

Purnima's Tea Stall

A case study from the field:

Purnima, 45 yrs old, was a rag picker in Topsia canal side settlement (Mazdoorpara). Life was difficult and full of struggle and hardship. She was involved in rag picking with her husband and used to earn an average of Rs.200-250 per day. ( $2.80 - $3.60 or £2.70 - £3.00 a day)

She has 2 daughters & 1 son. She took a loan of Rs.10,000/ initially to start a small tea stall where she used to sell tea and biscuits with her husband. She successfully repaid in 10 months without any delay. She earned the respect and also the chance of getting another loan. She took another loan of Rs.20,000/ and time she had extensive plan to expand her business. She introduced Paratha, Googni (popular traditional breakfast in India), along with fruits. Since her tea stall was close to bus stand, many of the bus and truck drivers came as her valuable customers. Tea and snacks was already giving her profit. She is repaying on time.

She is now earning an average of Rs.800 to 1000 per day. With the money she earns she admitted her daughter into a Nursing institution where she got her training as a nurse. She completed her training successfully and is now working with Flaming Hospital as a nurse and contributing to her family.

Since this very successful project began in April 2016, 371 small loans have been made to rag pickers and other destitute women. Of these 33 have been so successful that, like Purnima, they have been able to take out a second loan to expand their businesses further.  

Over the entire project the repayment rate is 98.7%.  This is a tribute not only to the beneficiaries themselves but also to Mita and the rest of the Tiljala SHED staff who are managing the project so well.

There are 100 women waiting to set up small businesses of their own.  All we need to be able to help these 100 women is the funds to lend to them. Please consider a special donation this holiday season.  £200 would help a woman like Purnima set up a small business and enable her to keep her children in education.  It is almost unheard of for a rag picker family to be able to send a child to college.  A small loan helps a family to help itself and to transform its future.

Wishing you a very happy holiday season

From all the staff and beneficiaries at Tiljala SHED

Nov 7, 2018

Giving Kolkata's poorest children a chance


Education is the single most powerful way out of poverty. 600 of the most vulnerable children from the squatter camps of central Kolkata are enrolled in Tiljala SHED’s education programme. It costs just £11 or US$15 per month to give a child the chance to lift him or herself out of destitution, abuse and hopelessness. Thanks to your generosity we are able to help Tarannum and hundreds like her...

Report from the field...


Tarannum is a very bright girl, 14 years, from Topsia Canalside squatters is now studying in class V. Her father is an alcoholic and drives a rickshaw. He seldom contributes to his family. The change maker is her mother who is a maid servant working in two different houses and earns an income of Rs.6000 per month. One of her sisters has been deserted by her husband, she also stays with her two daughters in this house.
Tarannum is a very ambitious girl and wants to become a teacher and support her family. She lost few years in school as she was in her village. She is now studying hard to reach her goal. She regularly attends our coaching centre and is very much motivated to continue her studies as once upon a time she wanted to quit from her studies. Her mother has also taken a loan and has purchased the rickshaw for her husband but her husband drives only intermittently


About the project
600 children of rag pickers, rickshaw drivers, maidservants, vegetable sellers are enrolled on Tiljala SHED's Education and Child Protection programme. They are required to attend their local government school but in the afternoon they attend remedial classes in T SHED's 5 centres, one in the heart of each community where we work. Here they play, sing, complete their homework, attend remedial sessions and child protection workshops. They love the classes and attendance is very high. Their parents are also closely involved - after all it is only with the parents' consent that the children remain in education and avoid dropping out. Tiljala SHED works very hard to persuade the parents that a proper education is worth the sacrifice of anything a boy might earn rag picking or working in a factory. And infinitely better than marrying off a daughter as soon as she reaches puberty.

Tarannum at home
Tarannum at home
Nov 2, 2018

How you are feeding Kolkata's most vulnerable

Mansur and family
Mansur and family

This project provides regular rations of dry food to some of Kolkata’s most vulnerable families. Each family receives rice, dal, chick peas, oil and soy protein.  This means that the family does not go to bed hungry and that the children are better able to study.

Thank you so much for your support. We desperately need more funds to help more families. It costs just Rs1200 (£13 $US25) a week to keep a family from starving.

A report from one of our field workers:

Mansur  is 60 years old and is residing with his family members beside the railway line at Park Circus. Mansur cannot walk properly. Sometimes he works in Muslim burial ground (cemetery). His wife Saburjan is a beggar. She is 35 years old. She is handicapped and also has heart and liver problems. She earns Rs.50/ per day. There are five members in the family.

Rijabul  is the elder son of the family. He is 12 years old. Now he is in Metiabruz and works as a labourer. He contributes small amount to the family. But this income is not enough for running the household expenses. Sometimes the family goes to sleep without food. Raju  is the second son of the family and he is 10 years old. He studies in class I in a government primary School. He is average in his studies but trying to do better. Sometimes, he also begs for the support for his family. Khadem is the third son of the family. He is 5 years old. With this dry ration food support, the family will not have to starve now for a month. This emergency food support has fed the hungry from the city’s most vulnerable area and who are deprived of the basic facilities.

This emergency food support has proved to be of immense help to all these families. With your support these children can avoid child labour and remain in education.

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