How It Started
1971 was a difficult time for the people of Bengal. The freedom struggle in East Pakistan was at its peak, and it brought with it casualties of war in the form of poverty, hunger, and a huge influx of refugees who were entering into India on foot. The humanitarian crisis that it triggered led to a huge number of children who were left destitute or orphaned. Maitreyi Devi, renowned writer, poet, and social activist of Bengal groomed by the ideals of Tagore, was one of the many people involved in myriad relief work. It was during that time that the Social Welfare Department of the Govt. of India approached her to set up a home in Kalyani a border district of West Bengal that would cater to these children so deeply affected by the war. Once Bangladesh was officially formed, these children were then handed over to the Bangladesh Government.
It was while working so closely with these children of war that Maitreyi Devi was convinced that there was a growing number of marginalized children in our state that were more and more in need of a safe, caring, and empathetic environment to foster their growth and development. Children from impoverished minority and tribal communities are denied opportunities for health, education, and social mobility with each passing day. The direct experience of working with such children enabled Maitreyi Devi to envisage an alternative environment that could create a positive difference in the lives of such children and provide an opportunity for their all-round development. This is how Khelaghar came to be what it is today.
Started in 1972 (and registered in 1977) at its present location at village Badu near Madhyamgram, around 30 Km from Kolkata, Khelaghar was modeled on the philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore, who Maitreyi Devi was greatly inspired by. Initially nurturing both boys and girls, Khelaghar has gradually evolved into a girls’ institution, catering to underprivileged children mainly from tribal and minority communities from various parts of the state and around. It is a residential home that nurtures these young girls through their elementary education years (classes I to VIII). Khelaghar also liaises with other schools, colleges, and training institutes in the state to further their dreams of higher education.
Khelaghar is a residential institution and training center that caters to children from marginalized communities in and around West Bengal.
Shri Ashis Kumar Ray
Khelaghar, Dhalipara Road, Village & P.O.- Badu, 24 Parganas (North), West Bengal, 700128 India.
(91)-983-001-0345 (M) / 7764081795-Chaitali Chakraborty -
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