RESPONSIBLE CHARITY IN INDIA
by Carl Kruse
During a 2008 trip in India, my friend Hemley Gonzalez volunteered with a world famous charity in Kolkata and experienced first-hand the deplorable conditions that people were subjected to under the care of this well-known organization. Disheartened and shocked by the experience, he started working directly in the Kolkata slums where he felt his efforts might directly change the lives of the disadvantaged families he came into contact with.
After returning home to the U.S.A, he began a campaign to raise awareness on what he had experienced and thus Responsible Charity was born. A homegrown network of friends, family and volunteers provided the backbone for this new nonprofit organization.
Unlike some groups that have no realistic plans to empower people out of poverty, Responsible Charity strives to make advances in areas that have a significant impact on people in poverty: education, planned parenthood, self employment.
I invite you to join and support this humanist charity founded by Hemley. His vision is fueled by compassion and guided by Gandhi’s famous maxim that together we should be the change we wish to see in the world.
Responsible Charity, Corp is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit corporation and donations are deductible to the full extent of U.S. tax law.
Responsible Charity focuses on the following areas:
EDUCATION: Offering children a preparatory curriculum in their center and once graduated, guaranteeing private school enrollment for children living in the slums. Responsible Charity pays for tuition cost, books, uniforms, shoes, bags and supplies.
ENGLISH CLASSES: In addition to a regular education program, Responsible Charity also offers dedicated evening English classes to young adults and their parents as well as special tutoring sessions for children already enrolled in its schools.
FAMILY ASSISTANCE: Homes rebuilt in slums and villages; stoves, fans, trunks, home repairs and more.
NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT: Mothers who are not producing breast milk are observed by Responsible Charity’s volunteer nurses or doctors, examined and then trained to handle baby formula which is provided to them on a monthly basis if needed. Government hospitals usually rush mothers out the moment their babies are born as these facilities are understaffed, overcrowded and short on beds. People line up outside waiting to be admitted, sometimes lying on the street for days. There is no postpartum consultation about nutrition, no examination of a mother’s well-being, or follow up visit scheduled; many new mothers consider themselves lucky to have given birth in a hospital in the first place.
BIRTH CONTROL AND PLANNED PARENTHOOD: One of Responsible Charity’s commitments is to educate young mothers on birth control. Both husbands and wives receive information and decide what is appropriate for them. Parivar Seva Sanstha is the medical NGO with which Responsible Charity currently works with. They are professionally managed, highly reputable, in existence for more than 30 years. The organization provides a range of quality, affordable reproductive health services and products in 21 states.
MEDICAL RESPONSE: Responsible Charity brings volunteer nurses and doctors to the slums for regular and basic check ups and diagnosis of common ailments such as fevers, stomach infections and minor issues; R.C. also refers patients to hospitals for consultation and further testing and or treatment which the organization covers financially when available funds permit it to do so.
SPECIAL MEDICAL CASES: Responsible Charity has several special medical cases which are evaluated on an ongoing basis and assists as funds are available, as well as emergency cases which are brought to its attention. In the past R.C. has successfully assisted in the financial coverage of complicated as well as regular and less invasive procedures for children, women and men in dire need of these services.
CLOTHING DONATION PROGRAM: Responsible Charity teams up with students from different schools, colleges and universities in Kolkata and collecting any unwanted clothes and other items from them, their friends and families and bringing them directly to the children, women and men living in the slums. It’s one of the many ways we’re trying to involve Indians directly in our efforts to bridge the gap of caste and social difference, leading ultimately to the ongoing commitment of Indians helping Indians out of poverty.
MICRO LOANS: Responsible Charity often authorizes and issues micro-loans for families who are looking to establish small businesses to sustain themselves with dignity. These involve the initial investment necessary for small shops or vegetable/fruit stands, common income generators throughout India. Additionally R.C. develops a co-pay program for items which aren’t affordable for many families.
SUSTAINABLE LIGHTING: Responsible Charity is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to bring sustainable lighting to families living in poverty in places where electricity is either cost prohibitive, inconstant, or in some cases not available at all.
Carl Kruse Dot Org encourages everyone to have a look at the work of Responsible Charity ( http://www.responsiblecharity.org) and the good they do in improving the lives of the most needy in the slums of Kolkata, India. In our small ways we help as we can, such as the Carl Kruse Blanket Distribution In Kolkota and with raising money for Hemley’s annual charity event at the Kruse residence. Just a little done by many makes the impossible possible.