Gadadhar Abhyudaya Prakalpa (GAP), an integrated child development project is conducted by Ramakrishna Mission Calcutta Students’ Home, Belgharia, Kolkata – 700056, a branch Centre of Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Howrah – 711202. Initially this project was started throughout the country on the occasion of Swami Vivekananda’s 150th Birth Anniversary in the year 2010. This being a four years’ project was supposed to be terminated in 2014. But considering the positive impact upon the children of the underprivileged families, we are carrying it eyeing to a much better implementation so far as substantial growth of these children is concerned.
Children (ranging from 6 to 12 years old) of the economically backward families are included in the project. 100 Children (Mostly first generation learners) from Kamarhati Slum area and Adarsha Nagar, Belgharia, are brought by two buses of Ashrama in every five days in a week. They come at 4 p.m, take tiffin, play for a while and then attend the classes till 7:30 p.m.. Our buses drop them down back to their places after they finish their dinner at 8:15 p.m. Intense care is taken for their health & hygiene. Apart from regular study, children are encouraged to learn music, drama, drawing, recitation, taekwondo, physical training etc. Special grooming is provided for the slow learners. In a nutshell, to help them grow physically, mentally, academically and to infuse in them some of the moral values is the sole purpose of this project.
We usually conduct three types of relief works in different parts of Bengal. They are as follows:
- Distress relief : Inspired by the great idea of Swamiji – ‘To worship Man is to worship God’, our Ashrama extends its helping hands those who are in abject poverty and living in utterly distressed condition. The people are normally served with all types of garments, dry food, medicines etc. All these reliefs are done after getting a proper survey.
- Winter Relief : Winter terribly hurts those who lack enough warm-clothing. We provide them winter garments, blankets etc.
- Flood Relief : Sufferings caused by natural calamities take ample time to ameliorate. We stand beside those victims. As flood being frequent in Bengal we conduct flood relief. We try our best to reach the remote place where people get trapped and hardly get any relief. Our boys amidst these adverse condition serve them with cooked food, medicines, garments, water packets and other necessary things with great zeal and action.
A homeopathic dispensary is regularly held in the Students’ Home campus on every Sunday . This dispensary has been doing a yeoman’s service to the local people. It treats more than 100 patients weekly. One more unit on every Wednesday is also conducted in the Vijnanananda Smriti Mandir, the ancestral house of Swami Vijnananda, a monastic disciple of Sri Ramakrishna.
Another aspect of charity is that the Home has been serving khichuri to the poor people of the locality every Thursday morning. An average of 40 people comes to have the khichuri.
We have a Dairy that yields sufficient milk for the consumption of the inmates. At present the total number of animals in the dairy is 54, of which 28 are milch cows, 8 male calves, 4 female calves 8 heifers and 3 bulls 1 dry cow, 2 adult heifers. The average daily production of milk is about 184 litres.
We have a long jheel (Lake in size 100 X 1000 feet) along with five ponds where Psici-culture on a large scale is continuing.
We have about 40 bighas of agricultural land where paddy, potatos, mustard seeds and all seasonal vegetables are cultivated for the consumption of the inmates. The orchard, kitchen-garden and farming in general do provide a good return.
On Every Monday and Friday afternoon Scripture Classes are arranged in the Temple for the local devotees. More than 50 peoples attend to this where discussions on the life and teachings of the Holy Trio along with Vedanta and Indian culture are undertaken by monastic members. Of campus classes are also held two or three days in a week and twice in a month in the VijnananandaSmritiBhavan for the devotees.
Apart from Religious Class on every Sunday, weekly meetings are held on every Saturday of the Vivekananda Study Circle, a congregation of the inmates of the Students’ Home and the local interested youths under the guidance of the monastic members to cultivate and propagate the nation-building ideas of Swami Vivekananda.