December 8, 2020, Kolkata
Dear Friends of Calcutta Rescue,
The main festive season has just ended in India and we now enter the Christmas and New Year period. It is a time to reflect and to be thankful. Back in March when the government here announced a lockdown we had to close our clinics and schools overnight and had no real idea how we would be able to safely continue to care for all our beneficiaries during the pandemic.
In what felt like quite dark days, you stood shoulder to shoulder with us, sending messages of encouragement and donating money so we could buy PPE to protect staff, buy extra food & medicines for families in need, as well as provide them with sanitation kits so they could maintain minimum hygiene standards.
When devastating Cyclone Amphan struck we were on the frontline helping people rebuild their homes. And as the virus spread through the city we learned how to operate safely, reopening all our clinics and tracking down patients who we had lost touch with, while continuing our high-quality online teaching of our students. Tragically, we lost two of our own to the brutal virus – our UK supporter, Kavi Varsani, and our colleague in Kolkata, Uttara Bhuiya.
News of a vaccine breakthrough this month has given us a ray of light that life will return to normal in 2021 – though we all know the economic impacts will last much longer. Already many people in the slums are surviving on just one meal a day after losing their livelihoods because of Covid. And with the country’s meteorological department predicting one of the coldest winters in many years, our beneficiaries are bracing themselves – yet again.
You have already done so much, and it may be unreasonable to expect you to continue to help, but your kindness so far suggests that you will carry on standing with us, and with them, over the coming months.
All of us at Calcutta Rescue want to express our deepest gratitude to you for your support. Together we have prevented serious crises from occurring in tens of thousands of lives over the last 8 months.
As a Thank You to you all, I am hosting an online Christmas concert on 13 Dec with some fabulous musicians from across the world. Details are below. I hope you can join