Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How to apply for a disability certificate in Calcutta

This from Suchismita Majumder, an informative post. If any reader knows the process for other cities please do write in:

For those of you who do not know how to get a Disability Certificate for yourself or a loved one in Calcutta, here's the process:

1. Go to Ganesh Chandra Avenue near Income tax Bhavan / Khadi Gramodyog Office-cum-shop and look for the Transport Department building. On the third floor of this building is the Social Welfare Department. The Social Welfare Commisioner who sits here will give you a form, and tell you whom to approach at a government hospital. You have to take this form and the person for whom you are seeking the certificate to any government hospital (such as NRS, Chittaranjan, Calcutta Medical College etc.) and approach the doctor/ medical personnel named by the Social Welfare Commissioner or Officer. They will conduct an examination of him/her, and duly stamp and authenticate the form. Then one of you has to take the form to the Social Welfare Department again and submit it to the Social Welfare Officer there. In 21 days from that date you should get the certificate. If possible, please check the Telephone Directory for their number and call to find out what other documentation might be required and what time would be most suitable.

2. Another way to go about this is to take the person to the IICP office at Taratalla on any Thursday by 8.30 am to register her for a check up. They will provide all the information you might require and often a referral from them can speed up the process for obtaining the certificate. Please note that the IICP checks new patients only on Thursdays. Their phone no. is 033- 24013488 and they are available at P35/1 Taratalla Road, Kolkata 700 088. You can also email them at <> .

To get the disabled I-card one has to approach the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of one's jurisdiction with relevant documents and can be issued a card on the same day if the papers are in order. In either case, the papers to be submitted are:

1. Application form duly attested by a Gazetted officer.
2. Attested photocopy of first three pages of ration card showing proof of three years residence in the city
3. Attested photocopy of medical Certificate in respect of disability from any government hospital such as CMCH etc.
4. Two passport size photographs. One should be attested from Gazetted officer.
5. For issuance of duplicate identity card, Rs. 10/- to be deposited with the cashier of District and the receipt should be attached with the application form.
6. Original Ration Card is required at the time of submission of application form.
7. Identity card will be given to the applicant only after getting his/her signatures on the Card.

Please note, that even with a high degree of disability, it is absolutely mandatory, that the person for whom the certificate / card is being issued. This is to prevent some people from faking their disabilities to get the benefits of the certificate.

I hope the information helps. This is only about Calcutta though, and it would be helpful to know the procedure in other cities.

Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Update on Shabira Khan

This from Serendipity:

Just spoke with Abdul, Shabira's son. It is officially been 6 months as of today from 26/11 but Shabira has still not recovered (26/05/09). The family's condition has not improved one bit, in fact it has worsened if at all. The operation (bypass) which was delayed constantly due to Shabira's bout of severe Jaundice was finally done last week at Saifee hospital. The complete cost of the surgery was about Rs 2 lakhs… out of which Rs 80,000 was put together by the family by mortgaging a small room that they had in Gowandi, Rs 22,500 was from us, another Rs 50,000 from other sources…Currently everything they have has been mortgaged, and now they have nothing left to put together any more money. All the siblings are now home and Abdul told me they're reduced to skipping meals sometimes.

Shabira is scheduled for another operation - one in which they will be replacing one nerve in her leg (back-leg) with an artificial implant (or so I understood - Abdul said a 'plastic nerve' is going to be put). This surgery wil be in a few days, which costs another Rs 3-3.5 lakhs. Other than this, the cost of admitting her in hospital (Saifee) itself is a few thousand rupees a day, which they culd no longer afford and she is home since the past three days. This is the first time she's been home since 26th of November 2008.

A lot of media visited her house today, abut 7-8 channels will be running her story on television today… lets hope something good comes out of it.

The need of the hour - collecting funds. For her hospital bills and general maintenance of family.

If you would like to help, please do write in at or

Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Thank you

Revathy Sreekumar from Delhi, thank you for your cheque.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Appeal for school kits

Sorry, Gunjan, this appeal clean slipped my mind, but better late than never.

This appeal from Gunjan:

Following are the items that will be in the 'School Kit':

Ten Note Books (4 books of 100 pages, 5 books of 200 pages and 1 drawing book)One Pen, One Pencil and eraser One Geometry box, Bag We believe that the kit would be a good motivational factor for the children to get a better education.

Since the schools normally start in June, they are keeping end of May as the last day for contribution, so that the amount can be delivered to the organization.

Each donor would receive receipt of Sewa International. Digital copy of 80 G will be provided which can be given to donor if required. - Gunjan

For people living in the U.S. and wishing to donate to this cause, please visit:

Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Aahana and Purnima: Update from Kolkata

This from Sunayana:

Yesterday evening Baisali and I went over to Aahana's place. My first visit. We stayed and chatted with Purnima for about forty minutes during which time A's physiotherapist dropped by so we got to see him at work a little.

Purnima, touch wood, is looking and sounding far more relaxed and confident now that she's surrounded by her family. Her daughter, son-in-law (who live nearby) and her son and daughter-in-law (who have just come from Ranchi on a visit) all seem very supported and eager to do the best they can. The flat is in a quiet and apparently friendly locality, so that's good too. Purnima's husband was feeding Aahana through her stomach tube when we went and looked most enthused at being able to do his bit.

The Niigam's are sending in the monthly sums and it's all entirely used up for Aahana's care. Purnima said she maintains accounts of that. Aahana herself seemed a little unsettled when we went into the room to see her. It could be discomfort around strangers or it could be the change in position since she was lying comfortably in her physiotherapist's lap. Anyway, we didn't stay long there.
An ayah is expected to come for an interview today. With photographs and references.

P says LIC is refusing to pay up until something or the other matures. We've asked for more details on receipt of which B and I can approach LIC folks we know. Currently she's also a little worried about what is entailed in getting the disability certificate – B's brother-in-law is a legal eagle and will be asked to provide vishesh tippani on that.

Over all, things seem positive. Paperwork hassles abound but grandmother and granddaughter are doing better than when they arrived. Of course, Anindita's death is seeming harder to bear in the familiar surroundings. P asked after Rahul (that's my son) so I guess I'll take him over some time.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chennai chapter

Welcome aboard IBH. IBH is taking charge of the Chennai chapter of
India Helps. If any reader in Chennai would like to be part of this
chapter, or knows of any cases where we could help out, please do
write in at or

Thank you

To my dear, dear friend, Sunita Venkatachalam from Bangalore who sent in a cheque for Karuna.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Update on Shabnam, Cheetah Camp Fire Victim

Shabnam just visited my office to pick up funds for her next month's
living expenses. (Thanks Rohini). She is off to her village on May
21st to try and stop her grandfather from making four parts of their
ancestral propery and selling it off. She wanted legal counsel on this
issue, as to what her rights were and what she could do to prevent
this from happening. I have recommended she speak with Aparna from the
India Helps team who would be able to give her advice on the same. All
she has to prove her father's disappearance is a copy of the NC she
had filed at the time he went missing.

She has three months rent balance from the amount we had sent across
initially (Thanks Sangeeta). Now for the main thing, school reopens in
a bit, school fees, school essentials and such like are required for
the rest of the girls.

Also, job is on priority. She has not been able to find a job despite
her best efforts, and I am sad to say that we have all reached a dead
end too. If any kind reader knows of any opening on the central line,
which requires a graduate with no special additional qualification
please do let us know on


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Update on Shabnam (Cheetah Camp fire victim)

This from Serendipity:
Just spoke to Shabnam right now. The poor family seems inundated with problems, she was saying she's feeling like things just keep going from bad to worse.
Here's the thing. She needs to go to her village in Bihar (Basti) since her grandparents are planning to sell off the land that they have. Her father is one of 5 siblings, and instead of dividing the money among 5 people, they're planning to distribute it only among the 4 siblings alive.

Shabnam wants to go to the village and file a complaint to at least halt this temporarily. Her uncle is going on the 21st so shes planning on going with him (taking her younger sister) and will be there for around a month.

She's not yet found a job and stressed how she feels bad about taking money from us, and wished she just got a job soon.

Edited to add: If anyone would like to help Shabnam with either a job or funds please do mail us at or

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Update on Momina

This report in on Momina from Aparna:

I had gone to see Momina this Saturday. I was accompanied by Rahul
form TISS who is hopeful about helping out. (Edited to add: Rahul is
associated with the team from the Taj Public Welfare Trust, which is
handling 26/11 relief work and had accompanied Aparna to clarify a
case of mistaken identities.) Things seem to be just going bad to
worse with her. The entire family was unwell and she was mentioning
that the younger son had to be taken to the hospital so she has spend
about Rs 3000-5000 for that. She also looked very unwell and in fact,
at a point, said that she doesn't know how long she will live.

Rahul was asking her a lot of questions regarding how she got to know
about her husband death and what are the amounts she has got as

Also she has given an amount of Rs 9,000 to some random guy who has
promised to get her birth certificates of her children. She needed the
birth certificate because some one want to open a Jeevan Bheema for
her kids.

Rahul has said he will try and help. Lets see what happens in that front.

Update on Karuna Waghela

This update on Karuna from Serendipity:

Karuna just called me. She's back from the village as of yesterday. She had gone to her village in Gujarat (I cannot recollect the name of the village). Yash (the youngest) who was with her on the trip had fallen sick due to the heat, but he's doing a little better now. She will also begin work today.
All three kids go to Karmaveer Bhaurao school. The youngest, Yash is in the English medium of the same school while Roshni and Dhaval are in the Marathi medium respectively.
The kids fee structure per month is - Dhaval Rs. 160 per month, Roshni - Rs 160 per month and Yash Rs 310 per month.
I don't think this covers stationery/uniforms etc.
Karuna checked with the school authorities if there's anyway she can get a concession for the fee, but the authorities said no. Apparently 26/11 was in the past and they cannot make any exceptions (is what she was told).
I will meet her this weekend.

If anyone would like to help out, please do email us at or

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thank you

Dr Rati Godrej and the Godrej Hospital at Vikhroli for your kindness in having a physiotherapist and an ambulance visit 26/11 victim Poonam Singh for physiotherapy sessions. We hope, with your help and Gods grace, Poonam Singh will regain normal leg movement again.

Thank you Shai Venkatraman at NDTV who referred Poonam's plight to Dr Godrej. Your kindness has given us hope in a situation that, at that point, seemed hopeless.

From all of us at India Helps, a big heartfelt Thank You.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Update on Ahana

This report just in from Mamma mia!! Me a Mamma?:

Just spoke to Purnima.
Her Bombay nurse has left. She is on the lookout for a replacement. She had spoken to my contact who had promised to send her someone. Unfortunately, that person said she would not be able to look afterAahana as she has no experience with special needs. So right now the search is still on...
Ahana has been very ill for the last two days. She was screaming in pain due to stomach cramps. She seems to have calmed down now and was sleeping peacefully when I called.
The wheel chair has been put to use. The people from OttoBock have not sent the hood. They said it they will send it in ten days time.
I received the cheque for Purnima yesterday (Thank you Panchtatva!). Shall visit her next week to drop it off.
I also managed to speak to Mrs. Ranu Banerjee (who used to head the Indian Institute for Cerebral Palsy in Kolkata). She has asked us to take an appointment on a Thursday and inform her in advance so that she could contact the concerned personnel there. When I informed Purnima about this, she said that she was planning on taking Aahana there next Thursday itself. Keeping my fingers crossed about this...
Sonu and Madhurima Niigam have sent in contributions and have asked Purnima to check. They said that they would be depositing the money on the 6th or 7th of every month. (God bless them both!)

Edited to add: If any reader can help Purnima with a nurse who is experienced in handling a child with special needs, please do write in to us at or

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thank You from our Street school kids

This from Priyanka, who has been holding the fort at the Pavement Schools, what with me being AWOL for the past few weeks:

Hansa ben for providing biscuits in both the schools almost on a regular basis!

N.N Chaturvedi for Rs.1,000/-

Nidhi Chaturvedi for Rs.1,000/-

Mrs. Agrawal for Rs.500/-

Namita for Rs.500/-

Ratna Dhanda for Rs.500/-

C.K Chaturvedi for Rs.500/-

Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
A new scholastic year is coming up and the children will now need new books, stationery, bags and the like. We request kind souls to step forward to contribute these.

More Thank Yous

To kbpm and the wonderful folk, (Prasanna Mukti, US and Rama Janardan, Mysore who contributed to her fundraising efforts for the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon), who have sent in some funds through her.
God bless you all!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Thank you...

... To John Gray of Australia who has transferred funds directly to Karuna.

It is also time for fee paying for the next scholastic year for Karuna's and Momina's children.

We appeal to kindhearted folks to help these children out with fees paid directly to their schools or contribute towards uniforms, books and school essentials. If you would like to help, write in at and we will supply you the details.

Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel