Impact takes years…

Mahasweta & Saleha

On the outskirts of Kolkata, a long, winding, narrow road, just wide enough for one car to pass through at a time, opens into a small village called Khaskhamar, Howrah. Rahima Khatoon, with a warm smile and an even warmer hug, welcomed the Rebuild team to the office of Nari-O-Sishu Kalyan Kendra (NOSKK). 

Over the past 4.5 decades, NOSKK has worked with women and children from Muslim communities as well as members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Pal, Jele, Kumori) population. NOSKK also works with mill workers and migrant workers. What began as a library in Khaskhamar with just 13 books in 1978, has evolved into an organization dedicated to women’s empowerment. Their efforts span across various domains, including education, livelihoods, family planning, health, rights, legal aid, mental health, and child welfare, and are spread across 10 centers in neighboring villages. 

As a proximate leader, Rahima ensures the representation of the community. The community’s active involvement in identifying needs and designing programs is visible, a testament to NOSKK’s 24-year presence. Through Self Help Groups (SHGs), NOSKK has achieved deep community engagement and program adoption. 

While NOSKK primarily focuses on women and children, due to demand from men in the community, they expanded their program scope in 1998. This expansion includes diverse initiatives such as zari embroidery training, sanitary napkin production, financial literacy, counseling services, legal support, women’s rights advocacy, sexual and reproductive health awareness, access to services, anti-trafficking efforts, support for domestic violence survivors, and immunization programs.