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Summer 2011


Lord Forsyth Railway children mural The dark face of developing India


Child In Need India

3 Appeal

4 Lord Forsyth

Director’s news

5 Railway children produce mural

From the Chairman

Welcome to the new look “Cini News”. Without doubt, CINI UK’s most noteworthy news It has been just over a year since I joined CINI UK, during which period, I have been working with a fantastic team of supporters and volunteers. We are very excited to announce that CINI has been accepted by the BBC Radio 4 charity appeals on Mother’s Day next year (18th March 2012). To leverage this opportunity, we will soon be launching a new campaign to raise public awareness of the vital role CINI is playing in the lives of the poor in West Bengal. Earlier this year, I visited Kolkata and witnessed this for myself. I was struck with the range of projects CINI is running to address issues of health, nutrition, education and protection. The key is the empowerment of women through our Child & Women Friendly Communities programme. I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the kids in the Education Camps to recite poems and show me their drawings. I also visited CINI Asha’s new Drop In Centre which provides food, shelter and education to the children from the slums or squatter colonies and witnessed the difference the centre was making to their lives.

recently has been Lord Forsyth’s epic climb of Mount Vinson in Antartica in the New Year and the funds he has so successfully raised will allow CINI to carry on with more vital projects in Kolkata and West Bengal. Equally praiseworthy is Scottish Supergran Ros Jarvis who bravely cycled the length of the British Isles, to fund a climate change related project in West Bengal. Young artist and film maker, Lucy Pawlack, was so taken with the CINI’s cause that she spent a month in Kolkata prompting deprived ‘railway children’ to design a journey through life mural in order to boost their confidence. I am very grateful to all our British supporters who are valiantly raising money for CINI, in difficult financial circumstances. Despite India’s sharp economic rise, malnutrition is still very prevalent among the very poor who desperately need our support. Our current Appeal deals with the very core of CINI’s work-in the Emergency Ward and the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC).

Thanks to all our supporters who make this possible.

Odile Slynn, Chairman, CINI UK Padma Moorjani, Director, CINI UK

Contents 3 Appeal 4 Lord Forsyth 5 Railway children produce mural 6/7 CINI’s Case studies 8 The dark face of developing India 12 How to support CINI

Appeal 3 In India ‘malnutrition’ is more than just a word. Malnutrition. We’re so familiar with the term most of us don’t think about its meaning. Does it mean hungry? Starving? Or a lot more…? • Malnutrition inhibits the development of the brain, accelerating cognitive decline • A malnourished child stops learning: as the brain can't process knowledge • Malnutrition increases the risk of infectious diseases and early death • A malnourished child fails to benefit significantly from education • Malnutrition is a treatable condition

Children who suffer from malnutrition live shorter and less productive lives than those who are adequately fed early on. Malnutrition shrinks a child’s chances in an already difficult environment. It condemns them for life.

The need for CINI’s services While government services for primary health exist, intensive support needed to address severe malnutrition is not available. CINI is the last hope of treatment for many of those suffering from malnutrition.

CINI treats malnutrition: In the Emergency Ward CINI’s Emergency Ward provides specialist care to children suffering malnutrition with complications. Children are treated by doctors until they are strong enough to be cared for at the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre. (NRC).

In the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre Here we nurture back to health undernourished children. We take the opportunity of giving poor mothers life-saving lessons in cooking nutritious meals – on the tiniest of budgets. This gives their children a fighting chance for the future. Please donate now and help with our work. See appeal box page 11

Our Appeal £10 will buy immediate treatment for a malnourished baby e.g. antibiotics. £40 will pay for medicines for 30 severely malnourished children admitted into the NRC for one month. £200 will provide one child admitted in the NRC with food and treatment for one month. Please help — just go online: or pick up the phone: 020 7582 1400



Lord Forsyth scales Antarctic peak Lord Forsyth, Patron of Child In Need India, successfully climbed the highest mountain in Antarctica, Mount Vinson on 4th January 2011.


ount Vinson, located about 750 miles from the South Pole, is 4,982 metres from base to summit. It is arguably the coldest and most remote of the ‘seven summits, requiring excellent mountaineering and glacier skills, strength and stamina, courage and sound judgement. High winds, blinding sunlight and average daily temperatures of minus 30°C make it one of the toughest challenges – even for the most experienced climbers. But Lord Forsyth is an experienced mountaineer, within the past five years, he has successfully climbed two of the other seven summits in each continent – Kilimanjaro in Africa and Aconcagua in Argentina. Yet, despite having undertaken a gruelling fitness regime beforehand, he found the climb extremely challenging. A combination of the high altitude, extreme cold, carrying a 25 kg pack and having to scale 45-degree slopes using crampons left him exhausted. Nevertheless, he reached the summit in an impressive five days!

The descent, however, presented new challenges. “Walking down a steep snow and ice covered slope with the camp a sheer drop of 3,000 ft below was tedious and a little unsettling. The big pack just added to the stress of it all,” he says. “It has been a terrific challenge which certainly took me out of my comfort zone”!

This epic challenge has, to date, raised over £412,000. The money will be shared between Child In Need India and Marie Curie Cancer Care. To find out more about Lord Forsyth’s climb read his blog. blog.php

Supergran cycles the length of the UK


ixty two year old grandmother Ros Jarvis completed a 22-day Land’s End to John o’Groats cycle ride on 2nd April, having raised £23,000 for Child In Need India. With little fitness training before her ride – she admits to never having been near a gym – Ros averaged 30-40 miles a day, increasing to an impressive 60 miles a day towards the end of her journey in Scotland. The idea for her challenge began to take shape two years ago after the death of her husband Geoffrey – an indefatigable campaigner on the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable people. “As I enjoyed cycling, I suggested to my sister that I should do this marathon in memory of Geoffrey and, at the same

time, raise money for a climate changerelated project of CINI,” says Ros. Her sister heartily supported her and volunteered to come as vehicle backup. To raise sponsorship money, Ros sent a leaflet to around 1,000 contacts. The donations soon started pouring in, the biggest amount being £800 from a school friend. But not all of those were from friends and family, as along the route she met complete strangers who donated as well. “One anonymous supporter handed me £20 on my arrival at John o’Groats. The generosity of people has been overwhelming.” commented a delighted Ros. Read her blog at:

Events 5 Journey through life mural Lucy Pawlak, a young artist and film maker, spent a month working with the ‘railway children’ near Sealdah Station on a mural for the drop in centre, a small building set up by CINI ASHA, only a few feet away from the railway tracks. Prompted by Lucy, they designed the railway tracks and the surrounding landscape.

“The railway track represented various potential journeys through life, starting at the train station and moving through cities, villages, markets, jungles and fields with possible stop off points such as home, school, university”, explained Lucy. The workshop proved to be a very useful exercise in confidence building, helping the children to determine their own future. Thanks to Lucy, for raising £1,745.77 through her Knacker Cracker Run on New Year’s Eve 2010.


Case studies A narrow escape

Village children of Kolkata likely to be targeted by trafficking

Trafficking in human beings, especially in women and children, has become a matter of serious national and international concern, especially in India where the volume of trafficking has increased over the past decade.


n May 2011, a Bengali newspaper ran a story explaining how children were saved from trafficking by a Child In Need Institute worker from our newlyopened unit office in Uttar Dinajpur, North Bengal. The CINI worker had boarded a private taxi going to Dinajpur and noticed seven children huddled in the back accompanied by an elderly man. After talking to

the children, his fears were confirmed: they were the victims of trafficking. When the taxi stopped for a break in the journey, he acted quickly by telephoning the district administration and giving them the car number. The district authorities immediately informed local police stations and, as the taxi was waiting at a level crossing, a police force encircled the taxi, rescued the children and arrested the trafficker. All seven children were below 12 years of age (in India it is illegal to employ children below the age of 14) The trafficker was planning to pass them on to employers in other states and the parents of the children had been promised high paying jobs by the traffickers. The children were returned to their families the same night.

Case studies 7 Somnath’s journey from rail station to college When she left his father, Somnath’s mother had nowhere else to go but Kolkata station. For the next three years little Somnath lived on or around the platforms, facing all the dangers and vulnerabilities that plague all India’s railway children. It should have meant a future of exploitation and ill-health for Somnath. Instead life changed when he was taken to CINI ASHA’s new Drop In Centre. For the first time in his short life he had food and shelter – and the chance for education. Slowly his life changed in ways he could barely have dreamt of a few weeks before. After staying in the centre for one and a half years, Somnath went to to Mass Education High School, a residential school in North 24 Paraganas of West Bengal. CINI ASHA continued to provide support for his education. Somnath later passed his school exams with flying colours. A dedicated student, Somnath went on to take a diploma course in Electronics and Communication. He’s now studying Engineering from the Institute of Technology and Marine Engineering in Sarisha, West

Bengal. He will complete his course this year and looks forward for a job in the field of Communications. His mother Swapna, who luckily survived her time on Kolkata’s platforms, is now a staff member of the infirmary at Amader Bari. Today she has a house of her own in North Kolkata. She’s proud of Somnath and what he’s become. Against the odds, and with CINI’s help, the small child on a station platform is now playing his full part in India’s future.

Sujan’s journey – from rubbish dump to classroom Sujan Bose, aged 9, lives in Khanaberia near a rubbish dump on the outskirts of Kolkata. He used to work alongside his mother as a rag picker, working in unhygienic conditions sorting through rubbish. Attracted by the free meals, in June 2008 he began attending a CINI bridge course centre. The food served at the centre largely offset the money he was earning on the rubbish dump. The community teacher at the bridge course centre noticed that he was unable to read or write properly. He was confused with the letters of the alphabet and often wrote them the wrong way round. It became clear that Sujan had dyslexia. Within about six weeks, with intensive support from his teacher, he was able to identify letters and gradually improved. After doing much better in his studies, he gained confidence, began to

take a greater interest in doing his homework, and started to make an effort to come to classes neat and tidy. At the end of the academic year, Sujan took the admission tests for the local school and was accepted. Now he is looking forward to starting school, making new friends and continuing with his studies. He is no longer exposed to the daily health hazards involved in sorting rubbish - though he does still help his mother carry her bags back home at the end of the working day. Sujan has the makings of a very good student, and is expected to do well at school. Asked what he wants to do when he is older, he says he would like to be a teacher. In time he too may be able to help children from deprived communities break free from the cycle of poverty through education.


CINI in Kolkata The dark face of developing India

Dr. Samir Chaudhuri. Director and founder of CINI in Kolkata, reports on the alarming treatment of Indian women.

In 1974, when I set up the Child In Need InstituteCINI- to provide support for poor mothers and children by helping to prevent malmutrition and infant mortality, one of my concerns had been the low status of females in the poorest areas of India and the sharp decline in the sex ratio of girls to boys under the age of six. At the start of life, there is a preference for baby boys. We have seen how families celebrate the birth of boys and go into mourning when girls are born. In many parts of India, families pay more to midwives delivering boys and less when delivering girls. And in. It is very common for families to neglect the illness of girl children, whereas they will always give the best affordable treatment to their boys. Pre-natal sex determination is illegal in India. However, with the tacit compliance of medical professionals, sex determination soon after pregnancy is easily available for a price both in large cities and in small towns all over India. The high cost of providing a dowry for their daughters often results in families having to sell their meagre land holding and then migrate to city slums to eke out a living. What can be done? First of all attitudinal change has to take place. Then action is needed. Through CINI I have been striving to ensure that expectant and new mothers are provided with education and treated with the best medical care available and that

women are given the status they deserve. Some state governments have introduced positive discrimination for girls in poor areas. Job opportunities for young women have opened up in many newly launched central government-funded, health and child welfare programmes all over the country. Hundreds of thousands of young women are being provided jobs in the villages and slums, bringing in a second income for poor families. Most notable is the ASHA workers programme, funded and run by CINI, which provides basic training to young women in health, hygiene and basic communication skills. Such women then confidently begin to tackle many types of gender violence, such as wife beating or sexual harrassment, which they used to suffer in silence earlier. In my field visits to remote villages in West Bengal, I now come across women members of local self help groups, who come together to set up income generation activities, with loans easily available from banks, under micro-credit schemes. This regular income has also bolstered their self confidence in a big way and slowly their menfolk are realising that “woman power” is a force to contend with in their day to day lives. Once this realisation grows stronger, hopefully gender discrimination against girl children will diminish over time.

Developments 9 The City Hindus Network

Welcome to CINI Australia


ounded in 2005 and with over 1,000 members, the CHM is a network for Indian professionals and its work involves networking, education and mentoring, serving the community as well as promoting understanding of Hindu philosophy and representing at local and national government levels. It has hosted many successful events over the years – including a reception with the then Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. It works in close partnership with leading city firms, such as Deloitte, Ernst Young and Barclays Capital and community organisations such as the Hindu Forum and Hindu Council UK. It also introduced a mentoring system in 2007 to provide newly graduated professionals with support, extending it recently to target individuals from less privileged backgrounds. Recognising that the ethos and objectives of CINI align closely with those of the City Hindus Network (CHN), they have started raising the profile of CINI among young Indian professional working in London as they believe that second and third generation of British Indians can effectively give back to their ancestral nation through supporting the work of CINI. In order to meet this objective, the CHN and CINI are working towards organising a Charity Dinner for its members towards the end of 2011. For more information on the CHN, please go to

Dr Samir Chaudhuri, Director of CINI in Kolkata, is delighted to report on the launch of CINI Australia, the latest member of CINI International, which he attended in April 2011. “CINI Australia was launched in Perth, on April 12th 2011, at the scenic Royal Perth Yacht Club. Dr Jenny Connaughton, Chairman of CINI Australia, recalled how, as a medical student in 1974, she worked as a volunteer for CINI which was just starting its activities in treating malnourished children from the slums of Kolkata. She emphasized that it was this experience which prompted her to devote her life to working with the aborigines of Western Australia. Visiting Kolkata, a few years ago, she was delighted to see how CINI had grown and was now covering 5 million people across West Bengal and Jharkhand. Jennie was motivated by CINI’s present concerted approach of working in partnership with local communities, especially the women, in order to improve nutrition, health, education and protection in their respective villages. Jenny also introduced Sister Pauline Prince, a Loreto sister and nutritionist, who helped to set up the CINI’s rehabilitation centre in 1974 and with whom she worked as a volunteer. Australian born, Sister Pauline recounted her experiences of working with the poor in India and drew parallels with her involvement with the aborigines in Australia. A distinguished group of concerned individuals promised to help the newly formed Board of CINI Australia to take their mission forward and raise funds in order to further the activities of CINI in India.”


Spotlight Quillcards team up with CINI UK Tamara Colloff-Benett writes “I first became involved with CINI UK five years ago when I began editing material for them as a volunteer. I stopped volunteering when I started Quillcards with my husband but I am still very much in touch with CINI. I was delighted to be able to help with the Mother’s Day Campaign.” Quillcards took the opportunity to create a series of ecards to help support the work of CINI in Kolkata. Visit the website at

Fashion business adopts CINI as official charity A newly launched fashion accessories business has adopted Child In Need India as its official charity. This exciting venture offers a range of fashion accessories such as shoes, bags, scarves, belts, gloves and hosiery to purchase online. Louise Woodhead, the founder and creative inspiration behind the company, is a former City marketing executive turned entrepreneur. “I picked Child In Need India as a partner because the charity embodies my values of empowering women and helping them to lead inspired lives.” Louise explains: “The charity’s tagline: ‘Help the mother, Help the child’ complements Femme-Enfant from a brand and visionary perspective.” Visit the website at

Dancing for Wales Congratulations to CINI Wales for raising £400 towards the work of CINI, at their Tea Dance on 19th June in Llanelli. Julian Murphy and his wife Yolanda, who had already held a tea dance last year, reported that the event had been a great success. “We had more people than last year”, writes Julian, “and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. During the three hour event, we had a dance display from a very talented young couple who enter competitions all over the UK and beyond.”

Help us 11 About CINI UK

How to donate

Child In Need India – CINI-helps mothers and children in India break free of the inter-generational cycle of poverty, malnutrition and ill health. We work with local community groups, local services providers, and local government bodies to bring about lasting change. We are a leader in our field, having won the Indian Government’s National Award for Child Welfare in 1986 and again in 2005, in recognition of the quality of the work done and the numbers of children helped.

For more information about our work, recent achievements and new challenges, please visit the Project Reports section of our website at Alternatively, please send the form below to : CINI UK 11 Mowll Street, London, SW9 6BG

✂ Name________________________________________________________ Address_ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ Tel/email______________________________________________________

Yes, I am a UK income or capital gains tax payer and would like to make all donations I have made to CINI UK worth 28% more at no extra cost to me through Gift Aid. Date_________________________

Stay in touch Email us:

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Or phone us on:

To help — give online at: 11 Mowll Street, London, SW9 6BG 020 7582 1400

I enclose a donation for £_________________________________________


CINI in India

West Bengal 1

1. Darjeeling 2. Jalpaiguri 3. Cooch Behar 4. North Dinajpur 5. South Dinajpur 6. Malda 7. Birbhum 8. Murshidabad 9. Bardhaman 10. Nadia 11. Purulia 12. Bankura 13. Hooghly 14. North 24 Parganas 15. West Midnapore 16. Howrah 17. Kolkata 18. South 24 Parganas 19. East Midnapore

2 3 4

5 6

8 7




12 13 14



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CINI Newsletter Summer 2011  

Child In Need India (CINI) works at the grassroots with local community groups and government bodies to bring about sustainable improvements...

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