Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Children of the Lesser God : Survey on Child Labour

Social Welfare Institute undertook a Survey on Child Labour in the District of North Dinajpur in collaboration with the District Administration under the National Child Labour Project (NCLP). Of the nine Blocks in North Dinajpur, SWI took care of the Blocks of Raiganj, Itahar and Hemtabad. The survey in the beginning of 2006 involved two months of hardwork on the part of the Assistant Labour Commissioner and SWI to build the data. The survey involved every household, from the District Magistrate's Office till the smallest tea-vendor on the street. The results were mind-boggling. These three Blocks alone had more than 4,300 Child Laborers under the age of 14 involved in hazardous and non-hazardous tasks. We are presenting you a part of the Report presented by SWI for your view. (The file is quite large --six mega-bites in its condensed form with details of the children alone, not including the details of the institution where the child works. Kindly click on the following to download : NCLP and SWI Child Labor Survey

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Agriculture Initiatives and the Needs

Social Welfare Institute has been working in some areas of Malda district. The project began in the year 2005 in a very small way and has involved formation of farmers' groups, involving women's groups in agricultural practices, training in some drought resistant crops etc. Most importantly, today we are glad to present you a Power Point Presentation on some of the key points on the Project supported by Catholic Relief Services and we also mention some of the important needs that require people's support, technical assistance and financial inputs from people like you! For further information visit SWI Agriculture Program.ppt

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Insurance for the Poor

SWI has begun an insurance coverage for the poorest people of the area in collaboration with Life Insurance Corporation of India. It is called Jana Shree Bima Yojana. According to this every poor person can pay a nominal premium of Rupees one hundred per annum and get the benefits in case of any death or accident. In case of loss of one limb, the benefit will be to the tune of Rupees 37,500; in case of loss of two limbs or permanent disability, it shall be Rupees 75,000 and in case of death, the nominee shall get Rupees 75,000. Although the benefit is small, it still adds value to the program. Well, there are many poor who cannot afford even the 100 rupees (about 2.5 USD or 2 Euro) as premium per year. If someone is interested in helping such poor for payment of their premium, you may contact us at my E-mail. On the part of SWI, Ms. Shivangi Gupta is coordinating the program. We have already supported 142 men & women from the poorest section of society. The list of which can be seen at :

Sunday, February 18, 2007

New Website :

Dear All,

Please make sure to visit to support the cause of the Children of the poorest living in the working areas of Social Welfare Institute. Support the poor... you shall never be poor!


R. Puthumai A. Nazarene

What is Social Welfare Institute?

During the Indo – Pak war of liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, nearly 2 million refugees from Bangladesh landed in North Bengal for asylum; government machineries were unable to meet the needs of the refugees. Due to heavy influx ofrefugees, basic needs such as food, shelter and medical care collapsed. People of North Bengal faced innumerable problems. At once, then diocese of Dumka, feeling the dire needs of the people rushed to help; as a result, Social Welfare Institute came into existence.

To begin with, it focused its attention on the welfare of the refugees, then after the war, seeing the poverty stricken lives of the poorest and tribals in the area, it continued its services in order to uplift the downtrodden especially the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Within two years (1973), Social Welfare Institute was registered under the Societies Registration Act. From then on, it has been carrying out various welfare programs for the weaker sections of society in partnership with several donor agencies. Since 1985 the attention shifted to community based programs, specially through integrated approach at the village level. The main objective of Social Welfare Institute is to improve the existing social and economic condition of the poorest, specially the tribal people, and eliminate the enslaving systems in society through a process of empowerment.

It is noted that Social Welfare Institute (SWI) undertakes many developmental activities in rural areas of the three districts : North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, and Malda in the State of West Bengal in India. Moreover, our efforts continue to empower every section of the people and bring them into the mainstream of life with dignity, access to resources and rights, peace, and freedom. This has called for a movement towards rights based approach to development. Social Welfare Institute does not hesitate to be part of this process in empowering people and taking the side of the poor and vulnerable. Besides direct implementation of some of the programs through its own staff, Social Welfare Institute operates through over 65 various partners : some of them are minority institutions and some are non-faith based organizations.

Financial Status of CRS Supported Projects

Dear All,

You may visit the following site to view the Financial Status of all private funded projects supported by Catholic Relief Services to Social Welfare Institute. The reports are as on 31 Dec 2006.


R. Puthumai A. Nazarene

Annual Report of SWI

Dear Friends,

I am glad to present to you the Annual Report 2006-07, of Social Welfare Institute, Raiganj. Please follow the link below to get access to it or to download it.

Wish you an enjoyable reading.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Beginning a School Scholarship for Tribal Students

Social Welfare Institute (SWI) will soon begin a scholarship program for High School and College going students from tribal and economically most backward families, in order to ensure retention of these students. The drop-outs, according to government records has been, between Primary and High School level is 45% and between Primary and College levels is whopping 84% Whereas this is the general record, the records among the tribal communities is said to be much higher, mainly due to economic reasons.

SWI and Gruppo India have come together to support 100 students upto a tune of Indian rupees 2000 to one hundred students for the next academic year starting from May 2007. The benefits will be extended from April 2007 within the three districts of North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Malda in the State of West Bengal, India (about 400 kilometers north of Calcutta). On review of the program, and on receiving more support, the program will be extended to more students in the coming years. Presently, Sr. Thankamma SDS has been asked to coordinate the scholarship program.