NGO Series: Responsible Charity

Transforming lives of the underprivileged children

News - India & You

February 3, 2017

/ By / Kolkata

Through innovative and engaging activities, Responsible Charity is educating the underprivileged children across India.

Responsible Charity, a humanitarian organisation that primarily works to change the lives of underprivileged children through the medium of education, operates in Kolkata, West Bengal and in Pune, Maharashtra. Founded six years ago, by Hemley Gonzalez, who was initially in India to travel, the organisation came about as a response to a personal experience by Gonzalez who decided to make an impact. “When I was travelling around India in 2008, I took some time to volunteer at a reputable religious charity in Kolkata. However, even as the charity received large funds from international sources, it was completely mismanaged and the patients it looked after were kept in unhygienic and deplorable conditions,” Gonzalez remarks. On returning home to the US after his trip, Gonzalez decided to come back.

Responsible charity has been operating from different locations in Kolkata, where regular academic classes are supplemented with innovative and engaging activities for the underprivileged children who mostly hail from slums. “Some of our programmes are ‘Aim Game’ and ‘Slum Jam’. Aim Game is particularly designed to creatively instil values such as time management and discipline. Through a system of points and fair competition, the children are rewarded with gifts or other things such as clothes and toys that we receive from donations. Some children are also encouraged to go to private schools,” Gonzalez elaborates.

Slum Jam, primarily centred on learning instruments, is particularly exciting for the children. As Gonzalez points out, due to their economic background, this programme introduces instruments to children for the first time. As part of this initiative, an annual concert is also organised that brings together musicians and the children to perform at the same platform.

Aiming to end poverty

“The goal of every charity is to make sure that it eventually doesn’t need to exist. If we, as organisations, are doing a proper job, we wouldn’t need to function anymore at some point,” states Gonzalez, adding, “Keeping that in mind, I believe that education helps children from underprivileged backgrounds to stand a better chance in life.”

A charity made for the community and one that takes ideas from it, Responsible Charity is run mostly by volunteers, almost all of whom are Indian. The organisation hopes to break the vicious cycle of poverty, which its founder believes stands a better chance of being shattered by empowerment through education.



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