COSMOS, a budding consortium of grass-root groups of squatting populations from various slums along the suburban railway and metro pavements. Our organization aims at mitigating impoverishment threats among these unfortunate people, who are driven by society’s socio-economic compulsions, forced to settle down in slums or modern day ghettoes, leading ignoble life. The children of these areas are classical example for deprivation, segregation and stigmatizations. COSMOS chose to stand by them.
Working since 1972, COSMOS has grown into any organization with strong grass-root links. It has believed on participation, local or decentralized leadership and sharing of responsibility both with outside organizations and inside workers, right from its onset. Other than regular development activities initiated through self-generated voluntary actions, it managed to evolve a development initiative in relation to rehabilitation of squatting population in urban and semi-urban areas. Our outlooks have been to educate, organize and link up the disadvantaged population in such a way that they are able to lead a reasonable secured lifestyle, away from the degrading environment of slums. The endeavors are planned in consultation and participation of host community, where initiations pivots around drawing the related departments of the government, in cost sharing and deliverance.
Our activities, thus covers multiple fields of education and awareness, social mobilization, health, organization of poor women and children in particular, through drop-in-centers and linkage with mainstream education set-up, self-help groups and micro entrepreneurship development and encouragement, preventive health and referral services and networking in case of natural calamities. All together 1087 children are being nurtured in 11 centers along with railway tracks, three villages covered in west Bengal- Orissa borders, and islands of Sunderbans in South Bengal.
A highly competent team of professional forms the core advisory group of our organization, professional in the fields of education, rehabilitation, organization, micro-enterprise, general and financial administration, which work as an auxiliary to our regular elected governing body. The field implementation depends on sincere and self-less actions of our 36 social confidants working under projects initiation in “Sampurnata” in Eastern railway suburban railway tracks of Sealdah-budge budge section, “ Samarpan” at New Jalpaiguri station in North Bengal, “Sanchalan” at Siliguri town & junction station, Darjeeling station in North Bengal. Recently Sishayalaya Prakalpa (elementary education for DUC) has been started under support from UNICEF at Siliguri & Jalpaiguri Municipality. The Child Labour Special School under assistance from Grant-in-aids are one of the prime project at the gate way of states and countries. Like that another most required project for the street and platform children is Night shelter, which is first in the North of Bengal. Women Labour project under assistance from Grant in aid is also addressing the issues of rights and duties of unorganized sector labour force. While taking care of these group we have also taken up project for Consumers to project their rights and awareness under assistance from Grant in-aids. The field is placed under leadership of two field Coordinators, one Zonal Officer, One Deputy Director, who are supported by one Senior Executive and one Social Mobilizer. Our total staff strength (including 5 core staff members) consists of 77 heads of which 90% is women. Similar premonitions are represents our governing body, which has 4 ladies out of nine executive members.
Today, COSMOS is poised for a big leap in Eastern part of the country, as the area and its people are precariously placed among the international borders of two Third World states of Bangladesh and Nepal, having considerable problems of rehabilitation and addressing its social and economic infrastructure needs. Such interventions are likely to come-up city of Siliguri, hills of Darjeeling, Sikkim and Assam besides hinterlands of Jalpaiguri district. Cosmos has planned to cover more districts after gaining experience, knowledge and skilled staffs. The projects are planned after huge study, research and deliverance at the grassroots level. We are confident that, these projects will not only address the needs of the services required for the poor, neglected and down trodden community but also lead the youth and women to be self-reliant. We have been assured of considerable support from local administration and our partners like Railway Children, UNESCO, UNICEF, Railways, and Government other than local community, Institutions, Corporate, international and national donors. We are always grateful to them.