Daughters of The Cross:
The Daughters of the Cross purchased St. Vincent’s Home Premises, situated in Kolkata, India on 18th October 1873. On the 22nd of February 1894 a decision was taken to build a hospital there for those affected by incurable diseases and for the physically and mentally challenged. Thus a hospital named St. Catherine’s Home was built within the premises of St. Vincent’s Home. The Hospital could accommodate 100 patients. As years passed by, gradually St. Catherine’s Hospital was converted into St. Catherine’s Home, a home for the retired and the aged. A home where the sisters listen patiently to the tales of woes of the aged and the deserted and give them emotional support they require.
Almost 120 years have gone by since the St. Catherine’s Home was built. Even today, St. Catherine’s home still caters to the needs of almost 80 inmates despite having inadequate basic facilities and a poor infrastructure. Therefore an urgent need was felt to renovate/rebuild St. Catherine’s Home for which a committee was formed to carry out a thorough study. As per the committee’s recommendations, it was necessary for St. Catherine’s Home to be rebuilt with all the facilities needed to make a home where, the senior and helpless citizens would be able to spend their sunset years in comfort.
This is where IPM Commodities stepped in to contribute generously towards making of a new building for the inmates, providing for doctors and nurses round the clock to take care of any emergencies and regular healthcare for the inmates. Through its regular contributions to the Daughters of the Cross, IPMC is able to do their bit towards the society and get the blessings of the lonely and aged inmates who just need a hand to hold on to during the last few years of their lives.
The Calcutta Emmanuel School :
In 1978, in the backroom of a dilapidated building on the western fringes of Kolkata was founded The Calcutta Emmanuel School with a few slum and street children and children of labourers, with just one teacher. For over 20 years, the school struggled without any basic facilities and proper classrooms.
Within 3 years of its inception, there were 300 children studying there, all with the poorest of poor economic background.
The school was born out of love and concern for children who wasted their time playing marbles, fighting and generally getting into trouble because their parents were too poor to give them a formal education. It all began in a small way when Mr. Vijayan Pavamani made provision in the Calcutta Samaritans office for these children to be taught for two hours each day by Mrs. L. Saha on the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic along with stories and songs.
The vision caught on, the Lord’s own love for these under-privileged children being the main motivation. The response from the children themselves provided the greatest encouragement.
In 1982, Mrs. Premila Pavamani as Project Co-Coordinator began to restructure and organize the school by appointing two new teachers and grading the children according to their ages and capacity for studies. This was not easy since some of the older children had never been to school before and had to start with the little ones in the Nursery. But it was well worth the effort.
It soon became obvious that the children were finding it difficult to concentrate on studies because they were hungry. This was brought to the notice of the Chapel members who sanctioned Rs.300/- per month from the Chapel towards one hot meal for around 35 children.
Today this humble beginning has turned into a full-fledged school having about 500 students housed in a beautiful, new 4- storied building.
The vision of the school is to see these children who have no rights, no voice, and no hope to have the opportunity to obtain high school level education, holistic development and the nurturing of their talents and skills to make them know they are special.
The school is different from most other such educational institutions in India as the rights of admission are reserved for the poorest and regular English medium education is provided free of charge. The school believes in overall development of the poor children and provides uniforms, free tuition, a hot meal, spiritual input, social skills and vocational training opportunities as well as medical assistance.
Seeing the sincerity of purpose of the people involved in the project, IPM Commodities decided to come forward and contribute generously by sponsoring a full class of students each year from the nursery level upto standard XII, taking care of their education, books and one square meal. This we do with the only expectation that this school may inspire others to reach out with compassion to the poorest of the poor children from the streets and the slums, and help them have hope again in life.
That would be a sacred offering to God and a fitting tribute to those who built the school.