The foundation stone of a day-care centre for the mentally and physically challenged was laid by mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya on Wednesday. The centre, to be located on the premises of Tollygunge Cheshire Home, will be a joint venture between Cheshire Homes and Rotary International.
The Cheshire Homes were started in England in 1948. There are 24 such homes in India. Wednesday was the birthday of the organisation's founder Leonardo Cheshire.
The day-care centre will have a workshop and will offer vocational training. Advanced physiotherapy facilities will also be available.
The centre will network with other NGOs to offer self-employment opportunities to its members.
The Cheshire Homes provide residential accommodation to people from all classes, who are chronically ill, mentally or physically challenged or permanently disabled.
'We want to help deprived people find a new meaning in their lives,' explained P.C. Laha, chairperson of the Tollygunge Home.
'We already have 50 such people staying in our two branches, in Serampore and Calcutta. Those in need can visit our day-care centre for treatment, rehabilitation and training. We are grateful to Rotary International's Calcutta Metropolitan District 3290 for providing us with support for the project. It donated Rs 1 lakh today,' he added.
The mayor promised to extend all possible help to the home during the foundation-laying ceremony.
'We have a moral responsibility towards the disadvantaged people. Very few people care about them. It is unfortunate that the Calcutta Municipal Corporation has precious done little for these people. This is due to our meagre financial resources. I will try to improve things on that score,' promised Bhattacharya.