What comes to mind when you hear or say ‘Santa Claus’? for some it maybe joy, for others it maybe care or unconditional love, but for all it is a symbol of hope above all. The logic defying hope that there exists atleast someone in this harsh world who ‘cares’.
Now we may defer in our beliefs of the existence of santa, but we are proud to present to you some hidden gems of Kolkata— the real life Santas in the city. People who love unconditionally, care without the expectation of any returns and most importantly are beacons of hope.
Dr. Fuad Halim
This man has been Santa for the past 8 years, how? Well, he provides low-cost dialysis and even free treatment to the needy. Read on to know more:
How did you begin with this initiative?
What we know and what actually a patient can have access to ultimately depends on what economic capacity the patient has. One of the greatest poverties of health is that the knowledge and requirement gap can’t intersect just because of money; to know that someone can have a normal life expectancy if he/she gets adequately dialyzed is the saddest knowledge point to hold for a doctor who can’t deliver on it just because the patient can’t pay. Thus we started with low cost dialysis and the proceeds of it goes to the next needy person.
How long have you been doing this?
We began with this initiative approximately 8 years ago and thanks to the wonderful team we have it has been going good so far.
How many patients are treated in a month?
We are doing close to about 600 dialysis in a month.
Somak Chatterjee & Titas Mukherjee
Meet the super awesome human beings who’ve turned their own home into an animal shelter to take care of distressed stray animals.
How and what inspired you to have an animal shelter of your own, taking care of stray animals?
Like humans, animals too have the basic rights of treatment shelter, safety n food but our government and most people are least bothered about their needs and some people are always ready to make their lives hell. For serving them better and on time we started this shelter of our own.
Since when have you been doing it?
I have been treating distressed animals with the help of my vet for the past 5 years. After meeting Somak, who agreed to give his house, we started this shelter for the extremely critical cases who need continuous observation, since a year back.
What is your driving force behind this cause?
The main driving force behind our work is to give a better life to as many animals as possible, to give them their basic rights is what we strive for.
Balaram Karan founded Antyodoy Anath Ashram in the year 1995. The orphanage is located in the village of Paushi, in the district of East Midnapore. His journey started with a single destitute child whom we found by the roadside. With time the number of children that he took in, grew and he was bound to leave his own house and shift to the ashram with his wife and daughter.
Currently parenting 76 children (36 boys and 40 girls), the ashram has helped improve the lives of all the villagers and many other village children by establishing a school, improving the infrastructure of the village and arranging for regular medical check-up facilities, among others.
The children of the ashram attend regular school, and they also continue with higher education. They are also given training for fine arts, yoga, and computers so that they can be vocationally independent later in their lives.
They say education is the best gift one can ever give, if that is true then this man is Santa Claus in the truest sense. From basic education to going beyond the syllabus for the holistic development of his ‘children’, this otherwise humble teacher is walking on a path seldom chosen by most.
“The objective is to make good human beings out of these lesser fortunate children”, says the man who not only imparts education but also tries his level best to ensure that his students are fit for the world with respectable jobs. From teaching basic etiquettes to vocational skills and showcasing the power of love by taking all his students to old age homes often, this man is schooling his lucky students way better than any hi end school in the city.