Palok at work

Palok at work

Special Events

Based on individual member references, Palok began its journey with several philanthropic initiatives. These helped the nascent group to get a feel of the conditions prevailing in the areas that Palok was looking to serve.

  • Palok’s first initiative was to provide food and stationery items to about sixty children at Piyali, near Canning, South 24 District, West Bengal in July 2021.
  • In the following month, Palok ventured into the red-light district of Sheoraphuli in Hooghly District, West Bengal and served a sumptuous lunch to about sixty children.
  • In October 2021, Palok visited Ghoramara, an island that is sinking, and provided books, sweets and clothing to students. More than four hundred students were assisted. The visit was timed with the advent of Durga Puja and served as a Puja gift for the beneficiaries.
  • Clothes distribution among children at Goragacha slum during Durga Puja 2021.
  • Palok was at the forefront, again helping the inhabitants of Ghoramara battle the extreme winter by distributing twelve hundred blankets as well as winter clothing, in December 2021.
  • In January 2022, Palok was at Pakhiralay, South 24 Parganas, to distribute two hundred blankets to families of poor fisherfolk, tiger widows and tribals.
  • In a kind gesture, Palok provided lunch to about one hundred twenty-five children at Shafalya Shiksha Niketan, a privately run school at Dharmatala Panchuria Village in South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, Additionally, full scholarships were provided to eight of the neediest students among them, mostly from Adivasi and the minority communities.
  • Later in September 2022, again with the advent of Durga Puja, Palok was back at Ghoramara with clothes and sweets for around three hundred eighty children. On the same day, another team visited GPlot in the Sunderbans, to similarly provide sweets and clothing to another three hundred children.

Strategic Projects

Palok Pathshala

Unit I - Dakshin Angadberia

The Dakshin Angadberia Pathshala is the pilot project of Palok Foundation's educational chain that came into being in 13th June 2022 with twenty two children from economically poor and distressed families. These students belong to different age groups, ranging from nine to fifteen, studying for classes from five to ten. To impart lessons and guidance to these students, four local teachers were appointed on monthly salaries. Classes are held in the mornings/evenings at the class room identified at the village. The programme has been enthusiastically received locally and the strength has now grown to thirty five students.

The Pathshala provides free education and study materials to children dwelling in and around the village. In the last academic session, Palok’s effort came up with visibly positive results, including a record of hundred percent promotion. Some students even improved to the extent of scoring higher marks and one of them secured the third position in his class. The students are given a grounding on value systems, ethics as well as hygiene. The Pathshala also holds cultural events that highlight environmental consciousness as well as help to commemorate national events and festivals. Celebratory banquets are often organised too.

Unit II - Barpara

Palok's second Pathshala was established at Barpara, near Newtown, in South 24 Parganas District, West Bengal. While classes started on 4th December 2022 with fourteen students, the number has grown to twenty nine. The students ranged from ages ten to fifteen belonging to classes five to ten. Three local teachers were appointed on monthly salary, to impart lessons and guidance to the students. Classes are held in the mornings/evenings at the class room identified at the village.

As an ancillary activity, Palok conducted a free medical camp for the students of the Pathshala as well other children of neighbouring families, successfully providing proper health supplements.

As at other centres, the students have been involved in other activities, celebrating various events, including Christmas.

Unit III - Gobardhanpur

Gobardhanpur, in G-Plot, is a part of the Sunderbans Delta, in South 24 Pargana District, West Bengal. It has a large tribal population that is battling large-scale poverty. Palok has conducted a few programmes where clothes/books have been provided to the needy here.

As a next step, in the most challenging project yet, Palok has set up Unit III at Gobardhanpur. Classes started on 14th January 2023 with 41 students. While some students dropped out, we still have thirty six attending these classes. The students ranged from ages six to fifteen, belonging to Classes one to ten. As elsewhere, three local teachers have been appointed on monthly salary, to impart lessons and guidance to the students. Classes are held in the mornings/evenings at the class room identified at the village.

As an ancillary activity, nutritious tiffins are being provided to the students as breakfast. This has been enthusiastically welcomed as the students are generally malnourished. Furthermore, on specials occasions, like Durga Puja, new clothes and special luncheon programmes have been organised. Similarly, during the winter, children of the area have been provided with warm clothing like sweaters/pullovers.

Recent special initiatives –

Special classes for students of classes IX and X at Units I and II have been organised, to help the students bridge gaps in their studies and to equip them to better negotiate the coming board examinations.

Going forward……

Some of the initiatives planned -

  • Medical support to students of the Pathshala if they fall sick
  • Financial support to the poorest students for study materials, stationeries, clothes, etc.
  • Computer literacy programmes at the units
  • Vocational training after appropriate aptitude assessment
  • Drawing and painting activities, etc.