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Reports & Stories

Ashayein Graduation

Calcutta Kids 2023 Annual Report

Dear friends of Calcutta Kids,

The December graduation ceremony of Ashayein, the Calcutta Kids Adolescent Girls Program, was a true celebration. Ashayein means hope, and at this event honoring the first cohort to graduate, the sense of hope was palpable. At the end of the ceremony, graduates danced and sang “Ashayein,” our program’s theme song, borrowed from a famous Hindi movie. We’re so lucky we could be there in person to share in the joy.

The ceremony signaled the power these young women hold and the promise of what lies ahead. For some, like Tanisha, this event also marked how far they’ve come.

When Tanisha was born in 2007, postpartum depression and a breast complication left Tanisha’s mother with little breast milk for her baby. The family supplemented with infant formula but only had unclean water to mix it with, and Tanisha got a diarrhea infection. She lost so much weight that she became severely emaciated. Her family feared she might be cursed.

Tanisha’s parents brought her to Calcutta Kids, where our medical team took emergency action to save her life and coached her family on how to support her nutrition and growth. With our intervention, Tanisha quickly transformed into a healthy baby.

Did we perform miracles? No. We provided a few simple things: basic medical care, nutrition counseling, supplements. But, in Fakir Bagan, that’s often all you need to save a life.

So yes, when Tanisha graduated from our adolescent girls program, we got a little emotional. She’s now a thriving teenager, excited to pursue a career as a police officer.

As always, we loved getting time in person with colleagues and beneficiaries during our trip. We’re also delighted that more and more friends, old and new, are choosing to visit Fakir Bagan to see Calcutta Kids in action. Our brilliant, committed local team takes great pride in showing visitors what we do and the impact our programs have.

We hope you’ll consider visiting Fakir Bagan, too. In the meantime, you’re there in spirit — strengthening Calcutta Kids and improving the lives of so many.

With gratitude,


Evangeline and Noah

Evangeline Ambat & Noah Levinson
Co-Directors, Calcutta Kids

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