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Kolkata, IndiaKolkata, India
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

'Fun with Colours' and dance therapy a way to develop fine motor and cognitive skills of poor children with physical and mental disability.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if children written off as useless can be given a new purpose in life by being more expressive and resourceful.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Physically and mentall challenged chidren from poor families have very little opportunity to express themselves and do something creative. Art is a medium of self expression and it has physical and psychological benefit for persons with disabilities. Art provides a child, even a non-verbal child, an opportunity to express their emotions, creatively. Art can provide an outlet for a range of emotions from anger and aggression to joy .

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our disability program provides medical and educational support to the poor as well as opportunities for extracurricular activities. Recently we have started Dance and Drawing Classes. We have found that it is helping to boost their self-esteem. Art gives people with disabilities a chance to share their voice, their vision, and their skill through expression on the stage or on paper.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Pinki Sarkar's mother observed some unusual behaviour in her only child. She was diagnosed as a patient of empty sella disease (disorder of the brain). Pinki’s parents were poor and compelled to sell off their meager property to fund the cost of her treatment. They became destitute and even begged the doctor for mercy killing of the whole family. The doctor of government hospital treating Pinki referred her to CR. Since May 2007 she has been getting treatment from Calcutta Rescue. Now she is doing very well, and her seizures are mild. She has also joined our 'Fun with Colours' program where she gets an opportunity to discover her creative talents. She has also won medals in atheletics and high jump and enjoys her weekly painting seesions.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

'Fun with Colours' project has been started in January 2014 and dance therapy in May 2014. The impact till date is very positive. Patients are enthusiastic in joining both the classes. At present thirty patients aged 8 to 20 years are attending drawing class and 10 patients aged 5 to 25 are attending dance class.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Our beneficiaries come from different disctricts of West Bengal. In the future we plan to provide special education and vocational training to the students so that it would facilitate mainstreaming of these students.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We plan to introduce vocational training for these students, and in the long term hope that we can leverage the skills of our beneficiaries to generate some revenue for the project.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Many organizations are working with disability issues but our organization is giving holistic support free of charge for all disability related services. Here we provide free medical treatment in cluding physio and speech therapy , special school fees, instruments, dance and drawing therapy to poor patients with disability.

Founding Story

Calcutta Rescue was started 35 years ago to provide free medical help to the underprivileged population in Kolkata and West Bengal. The organisation has been funded and supported by volunteers from around the world. The Disability program was set up by one such volunteer in 2006.


Calcutta Rescue disablity project has two full time staff, a project Supervisor and project assistant. Four part time staff - Physio and Speech therapists, drawing/dance teachers. The disability program is part of our Medical program supervised by the Dy CEO medical who reports to CEO and Governing Council. As the project grows we will take on specific staff with required qualifications and experience.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name


How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

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Organization Country

, WB, Kolkata

Country where this project is creating social impact

, WB, Kolkata

What awards or honors has the project received?

Adjudged the joint winner of the BEST NGO (medium sized) in India by Resource Alliance and the Rockefeller Foundation in 2009.

Funding: How is your project financial supported?



Calcutta Rescue was adjudged the joint winner of the BEST NGO (medium sized) in India by the Resource Alliance and the Rockefeller Foundation in 2009.

Primary Target Age Group

6 - 12, 13 - 17, 18 - 35.

Your role in Education

Administrator, After-School Provider, Counselor.

Please specify which of the following best applies:

I am applying on behalf of a particular program or initiative.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with (if applicable)


Intervention Focus

Extracurricular, Community.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Actively Designing Space & Culture as Essential Elements for Learning: Creating cost-effective methods to infuse a school with habits, language, and materials needed for learning through play.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Lack of structures to facilitate meaningful community ownership in learning process: It is challenging to ensure parents and the broader community are involved as full co-owners in the learning process.


Occupational therapy


Our medical expertise in handling disabilty patients and counselling of parents to handle their problems

What key learning outcomes does your work seek to improve?

Improvement in communication skills, improvement in balance and co-ordination, improvment of fine motor skill

Secondary Form
PROGRAM DESIGN CLARITY: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Please succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details
INSPIRATION: What do you consider the most important trends or evidence that inspire you to believe the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? Please elaborate.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?
SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.
MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?
FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?
PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.
COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.
VISION: If you had unlimited funding, and you could fast forward 15 years to when your program has been able to achieve wild success - what will it have achieved?
IMPACT - KEY METRICS: Please list the key data points that you would cite as evidence that you are able to achieve lasting learning outcomes. Please also share one data point for which you most hope to see better results over time
IMPACT - REPORTING SAMPLE: Please attach any examples of your impact reporting. [optional]:
RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE: Please link or attach any research or evidence resource you are open to sharing more widely [optional]. Building research and evidence is a key aim of this initiative, and the resources you share may be chosen for listing in the Center for Education Innovations library:
SOURCE: If applicable - who created the research or evidence you are choosing to share? :
IMPACT - REACH: How many people did your project directly engage in programmatic activities in the last year?

STUDY: Has an external evaluation or study been conducted of your organization?

Other (please specify)
Number of Employees:

Number of Volunteers:

APPROACHES: Given the complexity of play, it is not surprising that there have been numerous research attempts to categorize the different types and approaches! Please indicate which of the following your project focuses on.

Other (please specify)
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.