26 February, 2021

What Zana Briski Didn't Do

A home-grown social worker does: house them, feed them, school them, help them make a film

What Zana Briski Didn't Do
The stories of their lost childhood could well be from the pages of a Charles Dickens classic. Born to families below the poverty line and orphaned or living with single parents, these children of Madhyamgram, North 24 Parganas district, West Bengal, had to work in factories, tea stalls or beg to earn a living. Hope for them came in the form of a destitute children’s home run by the Centre for Communication and Development (CCD).

Swapan Mukhopadhyay, a diploma holder in social work from Calcutta University, set up CCD in 1978 for the economic and social development of the underprivileged. The body, which relies on public support and funding, works towards ensuring the rights of women and children, pursuing development programmes for the marginalised and providing prosthetic aid to the disabled. The home in Madhyamgram was opened in January 2001, intended as a shelter for boys whose childhood had been endangered. Starting with twelve boys, it now has fifty aged between 4 to 12.

Unlike other homes, CCD doesn’t just provide children with basic needs like food, clothing...

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