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Our Initiatives

Utkarsh Educational Initiative

Children at different corners of the state are on the verge of renunciating schools despite having a strong desire to change their lives. Poverty looms large as the foremost cause; government school education stands far from igniting their minds while family, social and peer pressure is mounting on their naïve minds to eke out a living. And the girl child, affected the worst, often becomes victim of child marriage which is still rampant in rural India.

Obtaining education is still perceived as an optional exercise and implies extra financial burden on the already marginalized poor households.

Ambuja Neotia flagged off the Utkarsh Educational Initiative in January 2013 which is a scholarship-cum-mentoring programme targeting the girl child. 35 meritorious students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds are being supported to pursue higher studies and fulfill their dreams. It is in sync with PM's ambitious programme, "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao". Support is extended to aspiring students in the form of hefty scholarships, monthly motivational classes cum mentoring sessions, counseling, academic guidance, English tutorials, health awareness, educational tours, library, career guidance & other services.

Students enrolled for this project defy distance with merit in their armour as they come from as far as Malda, Baruipur, Midnapore, Raichak, Goghat, Mathurapur and Sunderbans. We have recently started a library service with knowledge books for them so they have their grip on popular English titles from all over the world.

They are doing their best to overcome hurdles of all kind; we stand by their side so that they emerge as worthy citizens of the country.


Supporting Madhyamik appearing students from Economically weak families

Financially handicapped parents often fail to afford good guidance for their children, especially when they are preparing for their first Board exams., and especially when it is required the most. Vivekananda Sewabrata Samity, our NGO partner for Rajarhat location, organizes full-day workshops every quarter for these students to make them exam-ready. It has been observed that students from vulnerable backgrounds face particular difficulties during their first Board exams. such as, proper way of attempting questions and writing answers, time management etc. Also they are less aware of the different tricks to score more marks. To overcome these, we hold the workshop sessions to deliver a total package emphasizing on subjects like English, Maths, Science and Geography. One comprehensive evaluation is held after every workshop covering all subjects. The teachers, who are in charge of the workshops, come from prestigious schools and are registered examiners of W.B.B.S.E. The students collected, span over the whole of Rajarhat, covering 8 schools.

Weekly English classes for students from Bengali medium schools

25 girl students from the surrounding locations of The Ffort Raichak have been inducted for special classes in English. Though they are meritorious and many of them fetched commendable marks in other subjects sans English; English continued to be the most neglected yet most fearsome of all subjects.

That's what all 25 of them has it in common, poorest marks in English.

That's also the reason for this CSR initiative, thorough English guidance for them - grammatical, written & spoken – so as to make them have a strong English base. We are fortunate to have KE Carmel School Sarisha by our side, they are providing technical as well as infrastructural support for the initiative. A senior English teacher from Carmel is taking the things ahead thus, fulfilling the dreams of many.

Students range from Standard VIII to college first year. They are coming from villages like Kalicharanpur, Raichak, Kankjole, Chalkloknath, Falta, Bhadura and adjoining places. Things began well with a concerted effort. Now their marks will ensure the sustainability of the initiative.


Infrastructure support for an ICDS Centre

Ambuja Neotia is closely working with 5 ICDS Centres surrounding The Ffort Raichak. We provide infrastructural, teaching & learning materials etc. support as and when required. Among them, rebuilding of the Chakloknath ICDS Centre (No.71) deserves special mention.

The Integrated Child Development Scheme - ICDS was launched by the Central govt. in 1975 with the target of giving nutritional, healthcare and pre-primary educational coverage to all Indian child. Today there is an ICDS Centre in every village providing cooked meal, vaccination and monitoring support to newborns till the age of 6.

In Raichak too there are a number of ICDS Centres functioning in the villages surrounding R-O-G. Some has their own land and own building; some has none and functions in the courtyard of some spacious household.

ICDS Centre No.71  in Chakloknath village of Raichak caters to 140 families. 84 children are getting nutritious cooked food from there to address malnutrition. Children as well as lactating mothers get immunized, health monitoring done by Asha workers and children reaching 4 years, start with their pre-primary education there. The Centre was a makeshift bamboo structure as the concerned govt. department had no funds to build a concrete structure.

But it was completely devastated by a cyclone (image below) and the Centre stopped functioning. All the above-mentioned services came to a halt and people felt helpless.

The villagers along with the Panchayat Pradhan applied to us to intervene and erect the ICDS Centre. We sprang into action and met the ICDS authority in the Block office and obtained their NOC. And finally we came up with this:

With the expertise of our Project team at Raichak, the CSR team executed this model ICDS Centre for the whole of the Diamond Harbour Block. It consists of a spacious classroom which also acts as an immunization point, a kitchen and a store-room. Today no child is left without full-course vaccination there. Malnutrition is under control. Children are getting started with their pre-school education from here. Needs mention, this Centre now records the highest attendance in the entire Block.


Ambuja Neotia Children Activity Centre

Sardarpara is a Scheduled Caste-inhabited urban slum location in Rajarhat’s Chandpur location. The men folk over there are habitual drunkards, mostly work as daily labourers and indulge in high-risk activity while the women work as part-time housemaids. The children living there are in an appalling situation where, there is no positive atmosphere to pursue education. The local Shishu Shiksha Kendra (govt. school) is popular among children as a food centre, as it remains preoccupied with the preparation and distribution of mid-day meal, education often takes a back seat. Majority of the children over there are first-generation learners and they severely lack guidance & hand-holding in the path of learning and growing up.

We introduced an evening schooling activity there targeting 50 slum children at Sardarpara and today it is a huge success. It is an everyday schooling from 5 pm giving lessons on good conduct, morality alongwith their academics - making the learning process joyful and interesting for the children. At the end of everyday learning, the children return home with books in one hand, and tiffin in the other.

Very recent, we added weekly drawing classes and singing classes for the children over there. Colour pencils, crayons, drawing book and water colours filled them with joy as they started painting their worlds using colours. Their teachers have been doing their best to uplift the quality of the students. Now, as childhood is restored, the children want to spend more quality time in the Centre than staying back home.


Support to 6 Primary Schools in & around Raichak

The CSR Department is closely associated with the School Committees of 6 Govt. primary schools near The Ffort Raichak. Extensive support is extended in the form of TLMs, art materials for students, wooden furnitures, cooking shade, cooking utensils, sports materials, educational paintings in classroom walls, cultural classes for children, distribution of fruit saplings et al.

The most visible intervention accomplished in 4 of the schools is providing high and low benches for the students to sit. Before our intervention they used to sit in the floor of the classroom and take lessons.


Targeted Maths intervention for 25 rural children

The quantitative aptitude of the children in the villages we work, were found to be abysmally poor. We conducted few maths games there for the high school students, obviously according to their standards, and shockingly all the prizes remained undistributed as none of the students could win any. The CSR team went to visit their schools to probe out the reason and there also we found extreme low marks in Arithmetic in subsequent standards.

This gave rise to our new targeted community intervention: special Maths classes for a selected few, particularly those who will be facing their first Board exams. on 2019. We started with students who are presently in their VIIIth standard, thus ‘catching dem young' and grooming them with calculating techniques and logical abilities so all of them come out with flying colours at the Boards at '19. And maths is such a potential subject which if remained unintervened, has to potential to ruin a whole career. We are hopeful our specific intervention will empower the students and boost their confidence in the right direction.


Cultural Classes for children & adolescents

We cater to 75 children & adolescents in villages like Chakloknath, Kankjole, Raichak, Kalicharanpur and Singhalgunge surrounding The Ffort Raichak and have weekly classes for them on traditional Indian music and physical education. Separate classes are held for children and adolescents on creative dance with Tagore and Nazrul songs, yoga, bratachari & other physical drills.

Suresh Neotia Fellowship (formerly Udayan Shalini Scholarship)

To bring higher education at the reach of all, especially the girl students, assistance in the means of scholarship is provided to 100 girl students. The initiative is being implemented by Udayan Care West Bengal, an established NGO.  Ambuja Neotia is committed to support the students continuously for 3 years so as to let them complete their respective curriculums. The Fellowship supports several needy girl students from in and around Kolkata from XI till P.G. Candidates are selected through an eligibility test called NAT (Need-Ambition-Talent).Ambuja Neotia is supporting this noble cause since 2007 and is also the chief partner of this noble endeavour, by supporting 100 students. It has given wings to many deserving students, who despite financial pressures have gone on to specialize in subjects like engineering and have been able to step into the corporate world. Through constant support, care and mentoring many young girls are able to fulfill their aspirations.

Rural Medical Camps

We organize and implement periodic healthcare camps in parts of Sunderbans and Raichak, where we provide quality health services at doorsteps of the poor. Our team of paediatricians, gynaecologists and general physicians are taken to remote villages where they give free consultations also free medicines including antibiotics to 100 patients per day. Till now we have actualized 178 such camps. The healing process is monitored through followup camps.


Currently we are giving our maximum thrust to this ambitious programme, which is in tune with the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan. With the aim to put an end to open defaecation, we have implemented 314 household sanitary toilets in villages of Sunderbans and Raichak. Work is on to cover 100% families with zero open defaecation in the villages we work for. We also promote smokeless chullah in these households to prevent carbon pollution.

Provision for drinking water

In order to solve the drinking water crisis in remote places in Raichak and Rajarhat, 9 deep tubewells have been installed so far. It has benefited 238 odd families who earlier had to travel some 1.5 kilometres to fetch potable drinking water. Water samples from the new tubewells has been sent to laboratory for water analysis for arsenic and other minerals, which has certified that the water is safe for drinking. Ambuja Neotia has implemented this facility in collaboration with Nurpur & Patharghata Gram Panchayats. But we are going slow on this project due to the depletion level of ground water.

Free Paediatric surgeries

Children from low income families are getting treated in the Bhagirathi Neotia Woman & Child Care Centre, our Group hospital, and getting rid of their birth defects. Its an entirely free exercise for children from 6 months to 14 years. Surgeries like Cleft lip, Cleft palate, Phimosis, Umbilical hernia, Undescended testis, Tongue Tie, Syndactyly, Appendixitis, Hydrocele, Inguinal hernia, Lymphatic cysts, etc. are regularly done by our eminent surgeons.

Holistic support to orphan children

We provide total support for education and overall development for a few children lodged with different orphanages in Kolkata. The orphan homes we support are The Refuge and Ananda Ashrama. We also organize a sumptuous lunch day for 100 inmates of an orphanage every month.

Skilling the unskilled

Ambuja Neotia facilitates skill training for the unemployed youth in Raichak and other places. Unskilled boys and girls are counseled and admitted to different trades viz. tailoring, beautician training, computers - hardware, software & networking, plumbing, electrician, AC repairing, mobile repairing etc., so as to make them self-reliant that they can establish themselves in the long run. Till now we have aided 72 youths coming from poor families with skill training. Some of them got absorbed in service centres of reputed companies; it filled us with joy to learn few of the boys got into entrepreneurship and started their own mobile repairing shops. Girls wholly got absorbed in beauty parlours.

Self-defense training for the girl students

To ensure the safety of girl students while they are pursuing education outdoors, Ambuja Neotia organizes weekly self-defense training for them. It trains them in body fitness, reflex, alertness and self-protection. Presently 50 students are undergoing training. Today’s society is increasingly becoming unsafe for women and learning of self-defense techniques is becoming mandatory. Particularly vulnerable is the plight of school & college-going students whose unpreparedness, hesitation & innocence easily fall prey to evil eyes. They lack the mental & physical strength to stay alert whenever they are outdoors.

We patronize higher education for 140 poor & meritorious girl students and many of them hail from different villages of Raichak location. We felt a moral obligation to make them self-protected, which led to our weekly self-defence training programme. The training is overviewed by lady self-defense trainers from Kolkata.


Patronising youth sports

In order to promote youth sports in this part of Bengal, we support youth forums with outdoor sports kit viz., football, cricket, volleyball, and in few cases, carom board too. Till date we have supported 24 youth forums with sports equipments. Rural Bengal has talent and immense possibility; they need to be identified, recognized, patronized and trained. We also organize inter-school, inter-location sports meet, winter sports competition to uphold & nurture rural sports.

Spreading Awareness

One of the most vital activity the CSR Department is involved with. We go all out to dissipate information about basic living amongst the masses - especially mothers and would-be mothers whose care, health and attention is required to make every baby survive and live healthy. Village-level meetings are held with different set of community people, segregated age-wise, to discuss different relevant issues viz, need for education, need for hygiene practices, adolescent mental & physical changes, childcare, immunization, breast-feeding, preventing diseases, family planning, promoting scientific practices against superstitions et al. Issues are selected keeping in mind the age group and sex of beneficiaries. Due to lack of proper knowledge, due to poverty and illiteracy, the masses indulge in unhygienic and unscientific practices which often lead to major health threats including gynecological complicacies paediatric diseases. Burning issues like personal hygiene, evils of early marriage, family planning etc are also taken up depending upon the nature of gathering. Issues like institutional delivery, sanitation practices, low-cost nutrition are given the maximum emphasis. Also taken up information regarding different benefits available from govt. schemes /projects at the panchayat /block/BDO level. Its our way of empowering the masses by providing the right information.

Relief mission for Medinipur floods

12 districts of West Bengal experienced unprecedented floods last month which rendered few lakhs homeless. At least 85 people died of which many have been washed away by the deluge and some of their bodies couldn't be traced. Floodwaters engulfed homes, agriculture produce, farmlands, embankments breached and the rural people lost whatever they had.

The damage and destruction was so intense that army need to be deployed for rescue and relief operations in the two districts of Midnapore. People could not save their near ones from Nature’s fury and when tried to rescue them from being carried away by the undercurrent, themselves submitted.

Government and non-govt. organizations immediately resorted to relief operations to arrest the situation and to reach out to those who are surviving in odd surroundings totally disconnected. At Ambuja Neotia we did our bid to stand by our fellow citizens stuck by Nature's wrath.

Truck-loads of relief materials were purchased from the open market and sent to Ghatal subdivision of West Midnapore one of the most affected districts, under the stewardship of Mr Narender Singh. Things sent consisted of tarpaulins, quintals of rice, dal, pulses, baby food, dry food, batteries etc.

At the end of the day a sense of satisfaction gripped us and we responded wholeheartedly to the call of conscience. Also we stood by the saying that Ambuja Neotia is held as one of the most responsible corporates of the country.


Gift of Vision

The villages in Raichak are slowly becoming semi-urban and signs of prosperity have started showing very lately, thanks to the Ambuja Neotia projects over there and its close proximity to Kolkata. But sadly enough the indifference and ignorance about healthy living has not changed even the slightest and villagers still avail services of ill-knowledged quacks for remedies. Eye problems like cataract, symptoms of heart blockage or angina or ischemia, early signs of diabetes etc. are unanimously neglected as trivia, especially with senior citizens who are virtually the victim of indifference, apathy, passivity and poverty.

In tune with this reality, Ambuja Neotia organizes Eye Treatment Camps every year in association with Susrut Eye Foundation & Research Centre.


Cloth distribution amongst the needy

BODHNA, a mental asylum for boys is situated just opposite to the gates of Ecospace. Young patients, mostly teenagers, suffering from mental turmoil are lodged there. On the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami, the CSR team went there and distributed 150 shirts and 70 trousers among the inmates.

Homage Trust - Restoration of Town Hall

To commemorate Kolkata's tercentenary, the project 'A Homage' was launched by Shri Suresh Neotia and Shri Harshavardhan Neotia in association with the Government of West Bengal.

The renowned painter Shri Bikash Bhattacharya was requested to portray 12 eminent sons of Bengal. In 1992, the paintings were auctioned and the city's corporates participated enthusiastically. All paintings were sold and a fund of Rs. 1.15 crore was created, in the name of A Homage Trust.

The trustees were happy to assign the entire fund to restore the Town Hall. The KMC agreed to the restoration proposal submitted by the Trust. The restoration was celebrated on Poila Boisakh, April 15, 1998, creating awareness for restoration of the city's cultural heritage. It was the first step towards a new paradigm for the city.


Jnana Pravaha

The Neotia family has also promoted a major cultural institute by the name of Jnana Pravaha at Varanasi where Smt. Bimla Poddar, is the Managing Trustee. She lives there to run the institute.

The Jnana Pravaha houses a very impressive art collection of Indian antiquity and also the library of Suresh Neotia comprising rare and priceless books on art and literature. The Institute is engaged in the field of preservation and dissemination of Indian heritage and culture. Suresh Neotia is the Chairman and Harshavardhan Neotia a Trustee of Jnana Pravaha.