Our Story

A registered Trust, Ek Tara began its journey in 2011 with a small group of marginalised children and women in the slums of Topsia and Tiljala with a vision to provide high-quality holistic education and livelihood skills to enable positive community transformation.

Starting with just 20 beneficiaries Ek Tara now has 950 children as a part of its programme and projects. All beneficiaries including those in the vocational training unit have access to support programmes on health, hygiene, nutrition and skill building opportunities.

Why We
Started?

  • 30% of West Bengal’s population are marginalised community.
  • 64% of the marginalised community population are illiterate with the proportion being even higher for women.
  • Only 33% of the state’s population live in 3500 registered and unregistered slums.
  • Community comprises of migrant unskilled and seasonal workers with an average monthly income of Rs. 4000 or 70 USD.
  • Only 10% of the youth complete class 10 and the rest are trapped in the cycle of unemployment and substance abuse.
  • A room of 120 sqft., average 7 members, no water supply, shared toilets between 12-15 families- is home.

The Community

West Bengal shares borders internationally with Bangladesh and locally with three states – Bihar, Jharkhand & Odisha. Most of our beneficiaries are migrants from the neighbouring state of Bihar who settled here for better job prospects when the tanneries were fully functional. However, the government crackdown on tanneries operating within city limits, and with most getting relocated outside the Green Belt, resulted in mass unemployment and poverty. Today, these workers earn a paltry living as either daily wage laborers or by working as cheap labour in make-shift leather shoe sole units.

The cycle of poverty and lack of education has thus prohibited this community from any development and it is our aim to at least make sure that future generations can break out of it.

Our
Challenges

  • Absence of English medium Government Schools and High cost of private schooling
  • Poor quality teaching in schools with no after school support
  • Lack of study space at home
  • Lack of opportunities for school drop outs
  • Lack of skill building opportunities for children

Our
Ideology

  • Complete focus on children with emphasis on the girl child
  • Creating community leaders
  • Provide for a positive long term societal impact leading to mindset changes
  • Allow full transparency and accountability
  • Formulate partnerships that go beyond monetary commitments

Testimonials

Sarah Symons

Her Future Coalition has been proud to partner with EkTara since its inception in 2011. Every year we strive to do more to support EkTara because we are so deeply impressed and inspired by the high quality of education and care they have brought to the slum communities of Kolkata. The team strives for excellence in everything they do – and they achieve it! They listen to the expressed needs of people in the community, and respond with outstanding programs to meet those needs. They have literally transformed a community by elevating its most neglected members – girls and women.

— Sarah Symons

Founder, Her Future Coalition

Sander Degeling

Ever since the first contact with EkTara in 2016, the organization proved constantly to be one of our most dedicated partners. Leaded by an inspirational management team, and relying on a large team of young and highly motivated staff, the organization uses a holistic approach to create educational opportunities for women and children. During multiple visits to Kolkata, I was able to witness first-hand their endless energy in delivering high-quality and creative interventions to the communities they work with. Therefore, I’m extremely delighted to have this great bunch of people as one of our mobile school partners.

— Sander Degeling

Partnership Coordinator Africa & Asia – Streetwize

Mr. Aashish Kishore

My experience with Ektara is amazing. I have seen many NGOs my friends are working with but Ektara’s infrastructure is far superior to other organisations… Most of us who volunteer from TCS, feel that it is not unidirectional flow of knowledge, but bidirectional. We too have learnt a lot from students.

— Mr. Aashish Kishore

TCS

Ms. Devi Kar

Ektara has been doing exemplary work in a slum area of Kolkata which has a dominantly marginalised community population. I cannot say enough about the way Ektara educates and nurtures the children in their care. Modern High School for Girls’ partnership with this organisation has been mutually enriching and we at MHS would love to garner as much support as we can for Ektara in the years to come.

— Ms. Devi Kar

Director, Modern High School for Girls

Mr. Shakil Ahmed

It is wonderful to see what Ektara has been doing for the development of marginalised community in  Topsia. I specially congratulate them for running a quality educational institution for weaker section of the society.

— Mr. Shakil Ahmed

Joint Secretary to the Government of West Bengal
Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education Department

Greenply Foundation

Ektara has its unique presence in Topsia, Kolkata, proactively engaged in providing English medium education to the children living in this area. Greenply Foundation supported the ‘ Nutrition Programme’ for the last 3 years. We were extremely happy to be a part of Ektara family and wish them all the best for future endeavours.

— Greenply Foundation

Give a Little.

Help a lot.

Give a Little

Covid-19 Relief

Donate Ration kit to an underprivileged family for 1 month

Give a Little

Support Children in Mainstream Schools

Sponsor books and uniform for 30 mainstream children @ Rs.90,000/- for 1 year

Give a Little

Relief & Rehabilitation Project

Support our Covid-19 Relief & Rehabilitation Project

Give a Little

Sponsor Tele-classes for children

Donate to support tele-classes for children for Covid-19 Project

Give a Little

Relief & Rehabilitation Project

Support our Covid-19 Relief & Rehabilitation Project

Give a Little

Sponsor Tele-classes for children

Donate to support tele-classes for children for Covid-19 Project

Latest Happenings

Events, workshops & festivities at ek tara

Relief Highlights

Relief Highlights

Ek Tara has started a 3 month relief and rehabilitation plan for its 800 families/5000 pax living in the slums of Topsia and Tiljala, a timeline for…

read more

Our Supporters

  • Hyatt Regency Kolkata

    Hyatt Regency Kolkata

  • Kolkata Foundation

    Kolkata Foundation

  • Birla Academy Of Art & Culture

    Birla Academy Of Art & Culture

  • Bombay Gow Rakshak Trust

    Bombay Gow Rakshak Trust

  • Her Future Coalition

    Her Future Coalition

  • Indian Political Action Committee

    Indian Political Action Committee

  • Indian Oil Petronas Private Limited

    Indian Oil Petronas Private Limited

  • Indus Valley World School

    Indus Valley World School

  • Kajaria Ceramics

    Kajaria Ceramics

  • Modern High School for Girls

    Modern High School for Girls

  • Slum Jam

    Slum Jam

  • West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation

    West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation

  • Kathleen Confectioners

    Kathleen Confectioners

  • Keventer

    Keventer

  • Mobile School

    Mobile School

  • 300 million challenge A Katha-led initiative

    300 million challenge
    A Katha-led initiative

  • Connect For

    Connect For