Ramakrishna Mission - Boys' Home, Rahara
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As wind removes the cloud, so the name of God destroys the cloud of worldliness.
- Sarada Devi

The Home has been maintaining about 600 orphan, destitute & adivasi boys entirely free of any charge. All expenses for their food, clothing, education, medical care, sports, games etc., are being met from the Home. The average per capita grant received from the Govt. for their maintenance, though somewhat enhanced recently in some cases, is not sufficient to meet even their basic needs fully, because of the continued rocketing rise in the prices of all essential commodities. Apart from the two principal meals the boys have to be provided with a breakfast and an afternoon tiffin daily. On school days they are also given a light tiffin during the break period. It is needless to state that the cost of the above meals even according to the minimum standard at the present level of prices will not be less than Rs. 600/- per month per head, whereas the money available for food from the Govt. is about Rs. 450/- only. There are similar deficits in the expenses on other accounts also. The Boys' Home has thus to deal with a huge annual deficit in the accounts every year, and to all appearances the deficit is likely to continue and increase. For the year 2006-2007 the total expenditure for the maintenance of these boys exceeded the total Govt. grant by Rs.29,92,812.38

The deficit were being met mainly with the help of donations received in cash or kind from generous members of the public, philanthropic and charitable trusts, commercial and industrial organisations, different govt, agencies etc., and from other sources. The Home is hardly left with any surplus money to effect any improvement in the standard of maintenance of the boys, or offer them adequate facilities for education, sports, co-curricular and recreational activities. The object of the Home is not just to shelter and feed the boys till they attain adulthood, and then send them back to where they came from. We want them to grow up with a healthy body as ideal citizens, with a strong moral foundation, inspired by a burning love and respect for their country, and also with capacity to stand on stand on their own feet when they go out into the world.

With the above objective in view the boys are offered as much facility as possible with whatever resources are available to us for free general education in our schools upto the Madhyamik standard. They are provided free with all textbooks, reference books, stationery etc., and also special coaching under competent teachers outside school hours. Those who do not show any aptitude for general education are offered opportunities to learn a vocational trade such as Carpentry, Tailoring, Offset-Printing and Composing etc. With very limited resources and best efforts it has been possible to prepare quite a few of these boys to appear in the Madhyamik Examination every year from our High School. Almost all the boys pass in the First Division every year, and some obtain 75% or even more marks in the aggregate. If the facilities can be expanded, their number is sure to increase considerably. A Book Bank with adequate stock of Textbooks, Reference Books and necessary furniture is a most urgent necessity for the benefit of these boys. The Government assistance for a boy is withdrawn as soon as he passes the Madhyamik Examination after which he finds no scope for continuing his studies and is required to leave the Home. Many bright careers are thus nipped in the bud. We propose to raise a Special Fund to help some of them to stay in the Home and continue their studies.

Many of the boys are quite intelligent and some have natural talents for music, histrionic art, and other arts. Many show special aptitude for sports and games. Given opportunities they are capable of marking their mark in different fields. The present facilities available in the Home for the cultivation and development of such talents need to be substantially expanded. But lack of funds is always the greatest obstacle in the way and very little assistance is received from the Government for such purposes.

The maintenance of buildings, the internal roads, the extensive grounds and the gardens, five big play fields, the water supply arrangements, the sanitary facilities etc., in proper condition involves a huge annual expenditure amounting to several lakhs, and the Home has to depend entirely on its own resources to meet it. For instance, for the year 2006-2007 the actual expenditure on the running of the Indoor Hospital and the Public Charitable Dispensaries, for which we received a Government grant of Rs. 2,08,000/- only, exceeded this grant by Rs. 1,50,042.91. A total expenditure of Rs. 10,46,879.50 was incurred in the same year for payment of Municipal Taxes and maintenance of water and electricity supply against a meagre Government grant of Rs. 8000/- only for the purpose.

The present facilities for Vocational Training need to be considerably augmented. The Hospital, and the Outdoor Charitable Dispensary for the public need to be further developed and provided with more furniture, up-to-date equipment, adequate staff and stock of medicines. Provision has to made for adequate residential facility for the Class IV staff. A suitable Central Store for storage of linens, kitchen materials such as rice, wheat, pulses, oil, vegetable etc. is an urgent necessity.

The Govt. of West Bengal has discontinued all financial aid to our Junior Basic School. The Home is, therefore required to find resources to meet all the expenditure to run the big school with a roll strength of about 824, of whom about 108 are orphan, destitute and adivasi boys residing in the Home, and majority of the rest belong to poor and middle income group families. The rates of fees are therefore, to be maintained as low as possible. The Home is always under great financial strain to meet the recurring deficit in maintaining the orphan, destitute and adivasi boys, and its other boys. It is, therefore, necessary to build up a separate fund of at least Rupees 50 lakhs, the income from which may be utilised to meet the bulk of the expenses for running the Junior Basic School.

About thirty Sannyasins and Brahmacharins of the Ramakrishna Mission are associated with the Boys' Home. With the help of other workers they bear the brunt of the entire work-load of the Home. It is their dedicated and selfless-service from early morning till late in the night which makes it possible for the Home to manage all its work, in the face of so many complicated problems and the great financial strain. Some of them are involved in hard outdoor work for collection of donations, visiting Govt, and other offices etc. Their entire service being absolutely honorary, no allowance in any form is due to them. The Home, however, has to provide to them all necessities of life such as food, lodging, clothes, medical expenses etc., at a reasonable standard for which no fund is available. The Home has to meet all such expenses from its meagre other resources. It is, therefore, proposed to set up a separate fund for the purpose, for which donations are invited.

For meeting all the above essential recurring expenses in the background of the spiralling prices, particularly for payment of salaries to the staff somewhat at the present market rates, it is also necessary to augment our Permanent Fund by at least Rs. 25 lakhs, so that we may be assured of a further annual income of at least Rs. 2.5 lakhs.

Our estimate of expenditure for meeting some of the most essentia) needs are as follows
1 Creation of a Corpus Fund for maintaining the minimum standard of food, health & education for the Orphan, Destitute and Adivasi boys. Rs. 30 lakhs
2 Development of the indoorHospital and outdoor Dispensary. Rs. 10 lakhs
3 Development of facilities for Sports, Games & Co-curricular activities. Rs. 2 lakhs
4 Fund for running the Junior Basic School and the Free Non-For mal School for local destitutes boys. Rs. 1 lakhs
5 Sadhu Seva Fund (for the monastics) Rs. 7 lakhs
  Total Rs. 50 lakhs

We therefore fervently appeal to all such people to help us with liberal donation to implement the above projects and to improve the standard of the helpless boys in our care, so that better services may be rendered to them. Any contribution however small, may be sent to the Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission Boys' Home (Higher Secondary) P.O. - Rahara, Kolkata - 700 118, West Bengal. Cheque / Draft are to be drawn in favour of "Ramakrishna Mission Boys' Home". All donations to Ramakrishna Mission Boys' Home are exempt from Income Tax U/S 80G of the Income Tax Act. 1961.

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