The Stronger Kolkata Initiative was started by Mr. Ankit Pal, student of NUJS, Kolkata, and Mr. Sayan Bhattacharya, student of NALSAR, Hyderabad. The initiative is a student collective which started off with the objective of reaching out to individuals, families and communities affected by the Covid 19 pandemic and the Super-cyclone Amphan, Bengal`s dual crisis.
The initiative started with a targeted attempt to deliver relief to a small slum community in Beleghata which consisted of 14 families. This community was adopted by Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer during his time at NUJS, Kolkata. Both, Ankit and Sayan have been Deputy Team Leaders of IDIA at their respective law schools.
The student collective consists of an active volunteer network that has thus far sought to respond to two majorly disruptive occurrences: i) Destruction caused by Cyclone Amphan; ii) COVID-19 Lockdown-related loss of livelihood and/or employment.
The Stronger Kolkata Initiative has reached out to 755 families in and around Kolkata with essential rations, sanitary napkins, clothing and drinking water. In this process, we have reached out to slum dwellers, maids, daily wage earners, rickshaw-pullers, etc. We decided to extend our operations beyond Kolkata, in recognition of the even greater quantum of damage and loss suffered in the rural hinterland of West Bengal. With this in mind, we set up Stronger Bhangor, Stronger Sunderbans and Stronger North 24 parganas campaigns. Thus far, we have reached out to 175 families in Bhangor, 1760 families in Sunderbans, as well as 380 families in North 24 Parganas. Our deliveries consisted of essential rations, tarpaulin sheets, sanitation items and medicinal supplies.
We have reached out to affected people in Kolkata, in Bhangor and Sonarpur which are located in the suburbs of Kolkata as well as in Shritopinagar and Hashnabad which are very close to the Bangladesh border. Our targeted relief effort in Shritopinagar was funded by NALSAR for Migrant Workers. We reached out to 900 families in the Shritopinagar island with the help of an IDIA Scholar, Mr. JiyarulHoque who is currently studying in NLU, Orissa and is a resident of the same island. A number of lawyers like Senior Advocate Mr. Shyam Divan, Additional Solicitor General of India, Mrs. Madhavai Divan and Ms. NandiniKhaitan have supported our initiative. We thank all the people who have donated to us and helped us reach out to the affected communities.
For more details, refer Stronger Kolkata Initiative