Our Story

A registered Trust, Ek Tara began its journey in 2011 with a small group of children and women from impoverished families in the slums of Topsia and Tiljala with a vision to provide high-quality holistic education to enable 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 minority groups.
  • 64% of the minority population are illiterate with the proportion being even higher for women.
  • Only 16% of girls from minority low-income households go to school.
  • 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 70 USD.
  • A room of 120 sqft., average 7 members, no water supply, shared toilets between 12-15 families- is home.
  • Priority for boys in education.
  • Women are abandoned by the husband who has the right to multiple marriages.
  • Only 10% of the youth complete class 10 and the rest are trapped in the cycle of unemployment and substance abuse.

West Bengal shares borders internationally with Bangladesh and locally with three states – Bihar, Jharkhand & Odisha.

Most of our beneficiaries are migrants from the neighboring 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 labor in make-shift leather shoe sole units.

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

Challenges the Community Faces

Our children are all first generation learners, which makes the challenge bigger as they face:

  • Poor quality teaching in Government school / NGO school etc
  • Negligible access with poor quality of after school support
  • Lack of study space at home
  • High cost of private schooling
  • Lack of awareness amongst the parents
  • Lack of opportunities for school drop outs
  • Lack of skill building opportunities for children

Organization Ideology

Our children are all first generation learners, which makes the challenge bigger as they face:

  • Complete focus on children with emphasis on the girl child
  • Allocating 80-85% funds to programme costs that are directly ploughed back into the projects
  • Provide for a positive long term societal impact leading to mindset changes
  • Allow full transparency and accountability
  • Formulate partnerships that go beyond monetary commitments

Organization Ideology

Our children are all first generation learners, which makes the challenge bigger as they face:

  • Complete focus on children with emphasis on the girl child
  • Allocating 80-85% funds to programme costs that are directly ploughed back into the projects
  • Provide for a positive long term societal impact leading to mindset changes
  • Allow full transparency and accountability
  • Formulate partnerships that go beyond monetary commitments

Ek Tara Focus Areas

Educate

Educating the children right from their formative years through college.

Engage

Engaging with the community and making them partners in the process.

Empower

Empowering the families and giving them the ability to make informed choices.

Testimonials

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 minority 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 minority 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

Latest Events

CRPF Parade

CRPF Parade

CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) celebrated Martyrs' Day and invited our children to watch the parade. They were also given food packets by the police personnel at the end of the show. The children were thrilled to watch the parade and meet the brave police...

Diwali Celebrations

Diwali Celebrations

Ek Tara celebrated Diwali with the children. Rangoli and crackers were the highlight of the day.

Ek Tara

31/1 Topsia Road (South)
Kolkata 700046 | India
+91 81006 53335
info@ektara.org.in