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Data clearly indicates an ongoing gender gap in literacy rates, with females at 71% compared to males at 83%. This discrepancy sheds light on a larger national concern, underscoring the enduring educational gender disparities even within a culturally vibrant city like Kolkata. Girls in Kolkata encounter a multitude of obstacles that impede their educational pursuits, with economic limitations playing a central role in these challenges.
In 2007, the Udayan Care Kolkata chapter was established under the capable leadership of Ms. Kusum Bhandari, a renowned educator and visionary. Ms. Bhandari was joined by Mr. Parimal Chandra Das, a successful banker who was moved by altruism to leave his lucrative career and embark on the philanthropic journey with Udayan. Their efforts received invaluable support from Late Suresh Neotia, an industrialist and co-founder of Ambuja Cements, and Late Mr. BD Sureka, a respected philanthropist and industrialist, who served as cherished mentors and guides for Udayan Care Kolkata from its inception.
In 2016, thanks to the backing of local industrialists and well-wishers, the Udayan Care Kolkata Chapter secured its own office space at Shakespeare Sarani, Kolkata. This strategic move strengthened their ability to provide constant support to the Shalinis and conduct a variety of activities, including computer training. Centrally located, the Kolkata Chapter operates with a dedicated team of seasoned professionals, trainers, and benefactors. The state-of-the-art center, spanning 2600 square feet, includes an AV-integrated auditorium, a computer lab, mentoring rooms, and a conference room that facilitates training and workshops using modern techniques.
Since its inception, the Kolkata chapter has welcomed nearly 3000 Shalinis into its fold, with the Shalini family growing consistently by over 25% each year.