The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Learning to make a living
- Howrah group provides vocational vision to women, students

Almost a decade ago, a group of women had set up Sarada Seva Sangha at Shibpur, in Howrah, to instil the spirit of self-sufficiency, education, communal harmony and patriotism, on the lines of Swami Vivekananda’s teachings.

Since then, the seven women have imparted free coaching to more than 1,000 children and free training to about 200 women in different vocations, to help them become self-sufficient.

The Sangha, after functioning for about a decade, is currently hosting an exhibition of rare photographs of Swamiji, brought all the way from Ramakrishna Ashrama, Mysore, a branch of Belur Math. Swami Shantatmanandaji Maharaj of Ramakrishna Mission, Belur, inaugurated the exhibition, titled ‘Arise and Awake’, on October 2.

To popularise the teachings of Swamiji, the Sangha is carrying out several charitable activities, like free coaching camps, medical centres, eye camps and training for women in different spheres.

Subhra Banerjee, secretary of the Sangha, said the aim of the organisation was to create a sense of independence among the under-privileged.

“In our endeavour to make the students self-sufficient, we are conducting free coaching sessions for them up to Class X,” she said. “Presently, we have 120 students and 50 women, who are being trained in specialised courses, like making jute items. These students and women hail mostly from humble families. We feel proud when we see them earning on their own. Whenever a student does well in examinations, it gives us immense pleasure,” Banerjee said. She added that apart from academics, the Sangha also propagates moral education. “We want to make people conscious about value-based education,” added Banerjee.

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