Pancha Kanya

Amrita Gupta

Asst.Teacher Delhi Public,Secretary-Aranyaj Society

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Anasuya Saha

Scientist, California, USA

“I live in California, USA, but I was raised in Kolkata, West Bengal, in India. Still, Kolkata is very close to my heart, where I spent most of my teenage and college life. I went to the Holy Child institute for schooling. It was a Christian missionary school, and since childhood days, we have learned to love and care for others and give back to the community. As a child, I always wanted to be a doctor to serve humanity. In the end, I ended up having a bioscience career as a scientist at Merck. As I grew up, I observed my surroundings, and I understood how fortunate I am to have everything around me. Throughout my life, I waited for the day when I could help someone in need. The goal was to help the less fortunate.

The year 2020 was an unprecedented year for everyone, but I got blessed with Amrita’s friendship. I found her on Facebook through one of my very close school friends Anindarupa. Incidentally, I realized that Amrita also went to a Christian missionary school, and we nurture a similar perspective in life. She founded Aranyaj society back in 2008 with a vision to make this world a better place for underprivileged kids. Aranyaj’s mission and vision touched my inner soul, especially the “Pathsala” project. I decided to assist her in her journey to help as many kids to make their everyday lives better.

Around the world today, 16% of people are underprivileged kids.
Gandhi once said, “If we want to reach real peace in the world, we should start educating children.” Education is the key to success. Education is the most meaningful tool you can receive. It can also bring you the most success in life. It lessens the challenges you will face in life. The more knowledge an individual has, the more opportunities are opened. These allow an individual to grow their career and carve their future.

Underprivileged kids experience the harshest realities in life. Most do not have their right to emotional, physical and social development. Through the “Pathsala” project, we can educate the younger generation and help our society become a better place. Though I cannot help every child, I know I can help many by supporting Amrita in her endeavor. Join us in our journey to carve a better future for them. “

 

Anindarupa Chunder

Scientist, California, USA

I was born and brought up in Kolkata, West Bengal as a Bengali. My schooling was at a Christian missionary institution. I must say that it was the learning from my school and also a part of my family, which kept me connected and resilient to every phase of my life when sometimes I had things, sometimes not. By things, I meant small materialistic pleasure as a child and as I slowly matured as a teenager and an adult, those things were, sometimes, a high course fee, travel, or even a book. I was blessed since my ‘not having’ phase was transient; but my surroundings and the excerpts of my readings, made me completely aware of the privileges that I had over others. I realized that I had 

enough to prepare a short runway for myself. At the same time, I could also prepare myself to be on my toes always to take on the unknowns that might change the course of my life very quickly from the haves to have-nots. All these helped in the long run. I pursued higher studies at Calcutta University, worked for a couple of years, and then came to the United States for Ph.D. Today I work as a technical staff member in the research division of a company. I joined Amrita in her endeavor with Aranyaj and the project ‘Pathshala’. 

French poet Victor Hugo once said: “He who opens a school door, closes a prison,” meaning education is the key to success. However, for the people of Sundarbans, there is little cheer about the opportunity, the children get there in terms of education, food, and other basic rights. Pathshala is pledged to lift the barrier. I am fortunate to be a small part of it. I wish all success to Amrita and thousands of others like her, who are working all over the world with millions of underprivileged children and adults. Although I will always remain connected to Bengal and parts of India, the country of my birth, I truly believe in ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. Today, we live in a globalized era. Amidst boundaries of countries, we are all connected through the internet, Social media. So, I feel, it’s my duty as a global citizen to reach out to all the corners of this big space, wherever our fellow dwellers would need help, as per my capacity. As an individual, I try to contribute to the development of society and human welfare everywhere, in various forms, whenever possible.

Paromita Sarkar

Program Manager, Paypal, California, USA

“Every avalanche begins with the movement of a single snowflake, and I desire to move a snowflake”. – Thomas Frey.  

I am Paramita Sarkar, a bay area-based technology professional and a life-long advocate for human welfare and upliftment of the underprivileged. I contribute to this cause by providing them continued love & compassion, care, education, and monetary support.

I live in California, which is a beautiful place with beautiful people and is the land of infinite possibilities. Before that, I have spent all my life in Mumbai, and thanks to Mumbai, the essence of empathy, friendship, and caring for the community are instilled in me. Mumbai is the city of dreams, the city that has something for everyone who lives there. But some people do not have the privilege of exploring their dreams due to restrictions in their social upbringing or financial situation.  

This journey started during my MBA days when I traveled on a bus that passed through Dharavi (the biggest slum area in the world) and my eyes caught some little kids sitting along the pavement trying to do their homework while their friends played in the nearby fields. One day, instead of taking the bus, I decided to walk that stretch and observe them closely. The gleam of hope in their eyes the minute I struck up a conversation with them, was unbelievable. At that very moment, my heart decided that I will help out kids like these and help them reach their dreams. A strong desire, to do whatever possible from my side to help underprivileged kids became my motto of life. After a couple of months, when I got into a permanent job, I took full responsibility for my maid’s son to help out with his education monetarily and supported him through his 10th grade with teaching subjects, he needed help with. He blossomed into a confident youth who qualified to get higher education and stand on his own feet.

After I moved to California, the desire for the cause of helping out little kids kept growing in my heart. I wanted to keep looking for ways to help out. And then one day I found a little girl in Midnapur (through Children’s International) and adopted her virtually by fully supporting her in her education. Now she has completed her education and is working as a teacher at a primary school. This experience opened a bigger desire in my heart, to do something more on a larger scale. But something was missing during this experience. I needed a personal touch to my cause. I needed to interact with the kids directly so that I could find out how else I can help so that I could mold my support as per their needs. 

I was looking for an NGO which would give me the liberty to reach out to these kids and help out in their needs. I also wanted to work on empowering women with education and hygiene so that they can establish their place in this man dominated world. I wanted to lend my hand in pulling the girl child out of the darkness of self-pity and social restrictions so that they can build a better future for themselves, instill confidence in them and make them believe in themselves.  

I came across some videos that Amrita from Aranyaj Society had posted on Facebook which highlighted all the above aspects of my desire. I saw the beautiful smiles and gleam of hope on the little faces of the children in the schools that were established by Aranyaj and it reminded me of the day this cause had made space in my heart. I wanted to reach out and lend my support to each of the kids out there in Sundarbans and allow them to learn and grow. The desire to help these little minds in being independent, strong and educated individuals who can face the world with confidence became very strong in my heart and I decided to be a part of Aranyaj. 

I believe that although I cannot improve the lives of all the underprivileged kids in this world, I can certainly lend a helping hand to some of them and bring in a change that might make a difference in their lives and help in progressing our country. And I know I can achieve this dream of mine with the help of the Aranyaj Society. 

“Every individual can bring in a change if the desire is strong”. So, I invite you to join me in this journey and bring on the change this world needs.

Upasana Bose

Social Activist, Folk Singer & Classical Dancer

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 Aranyaj-"Aranyaj Society For Educational And Environmental Development" is a registered non-profit making, non-political and non-governmental organization, founded by Mrs. 

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