Two members of the 10x10 team touched down in India earlier this week. They landed in Kolkata on the east coast of India (formally Calcutta) at 2 a.m. After calling their hotel and waking up the driver (who should have already been there to meet them!), they arrived safely at their first stop.  The next morning they met a 4-year-old girl and her mother who call a little spot of pavement on Jadunath Dey Road their home. Though they live on the street, Pari is still able to attend school and practice her ABCs under her mother’s watchful eye. Like all mothers, she’s eager for her daughter to study and learn.

Pari learning to write in Kolkata from The Documentary Group, shot in the field by Gina Nemirofsky.

10x10 team members Martha and Gina met with 10x10 partner World Vision’s local project. The Snehadeep ( “light of love”) Street Children’s Project caters to families who live on the sidewalks and makes every attempt to keep them safe and in school - giving girls like Pari a chance to learn. The Kolkata Snehadeep street Children’s Project has been set up for prevention and control of child labor and child trafficking. More than 10,000 poor and disadvantaged migrant families live in their area of operation, including 5,000 working and street children. The slums, red light areas and other places where these children and their families live lack basic amenities in life: education and health facilities, safe drinking water, drainage and toilet facilities. The children are often forced to work hazardous jobs to supplement the family income or are trafficked into the sex trade.

World Vision Kolkata

These two sisters attend the program; both want to be teachers when they grow up!

Snehadeep focuses on the health and well-being of children with a package of vocational, microcredit, education and health programs. The organization sponsors children’s clubs, child protection committees, girls' basketball, vocational training in weaving and knitting, school supplies, and nutritional supplements.

10x10 spent a wonderful day with the staff and children at the program.  Many thanks to our new friends in Kolkata!  Up next:  Bengaluru!