Cathedral Relief Service (CRS)
Cathedral Relief Service (CRS) is based at St Paul’s Cathedral in Kolkata, north-east India, with project work in slum areas throughout Kolkata and in rural areas in West Bengal and Jharkhand states.
CRS was established in 1971 by Canon Subir Siwas of St Paul’s Cathedral in Kolkata, India, to respond to the thousands of refugees pouring over India’s north-eastern borders as a result of the civil war that led to the creation of Bangladesh. These refugees either increased the population of existing slums, or started new ones.
After the end of the war, CRS focused its attention on the ongoing needs of people living in the slums. This included daily distribution of food and clothing, mobile medical units, schools, and craft classes for children and adults.
Over the years CRS has evolved from being a relief and charitable organisation to one of the leading development agencies in West Bengal.
The Bishop of the Kolkata Diocese of the Church of North India, the Right Reverend Ashoke Biswas, is Chairman of CRS.
CRS works with marginalised people in slum and rural communities to help them develop the skills to take control of their own lives and futures. The goal is self-sufficient communities.
Their work includes education projects for school-age students, employment, education and training programs for women, healthcare and health education, training and support for people with disabilities, and more.
CRS also undertakes programs to educate women about their rights, particularly around violence and abuse.
Anglican Overseas Aid supports CRS’ Ashakiran (Ray of Hope) project that provides skills training for more than 300 women in slum communities so they can set up their own small businesses and provide for themselves and their families, along with education about their health and rights.
Funding: This project is funded by donations from the Australian public.