What it does, and how it helps - in many different sectors.
The annual cost of maintaining the operation is approximately 700,000 Euros, generated by Support Groups in different countries, and individual donors inspired by Jack Preger's story, plus impressed by what Calcutta rescue has become today - a compassionate, no-frills, cost-effective organisation, dedicated to helping the helpless.
If you wish to help, you can donate any amount, secure in the knowledge that your contribution will go directly to help the people described in this text, and not to maintain air-conditioned offices, pay salaries for executives, or support a costly administration. If you visit Kolkata, you will be able to witness this work happening for yourself - and inevitably be inspired by it. Inspection tours of the clinics and schools are arranged on a regular basis.
Locally employed Indian staff, including the doctors, work for a basic salary which
they often need to supplement by taking a second job.
For people in need in rural areas, Jack also pioneered scheduled visits to outlying villages
and communities in liaison with village heads and community leaders.
Calcutta Rescue's two educaional centres provide education for hundreds of children from the ten poorest slums in the city; children who would otherwise have little chance of an education. Many have parents who are illiterate, some are orphans, others do not even know who their parents are. Some are already working as child labourers, some have been cruelly abused; they only knowledge common to all is that of extreme poverty. Instruction for the youngest pupils includes the basic English alphabet, arithmetic and hygiene. Older ones study reading and and writing in Hindi/ Bengali, maths, general knowledge and simple English. They are loved by teachers and staff, something, alas, which many have never experienced.
Also of importance is constructive recreation, and all kids can participate in various
team sports, music, art projects, yoga lessons, singing and dance.
Successful older children receive sponsorships to attend government or private schools. Very bright students Calcutta Rescue go to university. All children are provided with uniforms, two nourishing meals a day, medical and dental care, plus individual support with their studies. Calcutta Rescue’s schools were awarded the "School That Cares" award in 2018 for the most caring school in West Bengal at the Telegraph School Awards for Excellence.
Learning a useful skill can make the difference between poverty and prosperity. Calcutta Rescue helps unskilled labourers to embark on courses or apprenticeships which will open the door to productive skilled and semi-skilled employment such as hairdressing, massage therapy, auto mechanics, plumbing, weaving and carpentry.
Foreign volunteers display handicrafts on sale to tourists at the famous Fairlawn Hotel in Sudder Street, Kolkata.
The Calcutta Rescue Head Office is located on the fourth floor of an old building, up narrow, well-worn stairs. There are no plush offices. No executive salaries. No high-tech equipment. No air-conditioning. No staff cars. No personal expense accounts. No entertaining. No nice green surroundings. Foreign volunteers pay for their own travel to Kolkata, accommodation, food and personal expenses.
Foreign volunteers provide varying degrees of assistance. Although those with some medical or nursing experience are particularly valuable, all skills and abilities can prove useful - including the design of posters and medical illustrations, such as this example. The young lady holding the poster went on to become a doctor, and is now active in Connecticut's street medicine programme in the United States.
“I don’t think anywhere in the world people are living in worse conditions than along
the filthy canals and rubbish dumps of Kolkata.”