TRIBALS in Purulia in the eastern state of West Bengal experience extreme devastation such as not having food to eat for days, living in mud houses and barely making ends meet through their livelihoods. According to Quality of Life index research, the tribal populations in Purulia live in distress without access to adequate food, healthcare and employment. For these families, education is out of the question since their basic needs are not even met. But the parents in these villages desire to educate their children and see them living better lives than them – out of poverty and into brighter futures. 

Turnstone Global is an NGO tribal families have come to see as the answer to their long awaited dream to educate their children. The Kolkata-based organization has been working with local communities in Purulia for 23 years and has educated thousands of children, opening up doors and opportunities for better lives and improved livelihoods. Because of the NGO tribal children are benefiting from, families in Purulia have greater hope for the future and confidence that through education, their children finally have a firm foundation to build strong futures. 

How Turnstone Global helps tribal people in Purulia

“The tribal belt in Purulia is 100% illiterate and the tribal people have been illiterate for generations,” shares Dr. Kanchan Gaba of Turnstone Global. Extreme poverty has forced them to accept conditions that are insufficient and stunted their hopes for the next generation. But Turnstone Global is an NGO tribal populations in Purulia have responded to and are interested in engaging with because of their focus on what is important to them – educating the children in Purulia

Before Turnstone Global began their work to bring education to Purulia, the children in the villages had never before seen the inside of a classroom. Dr. Kanchan Gaba explains that because parents are working in difficult conditions to make ends meet, the possibilities of education for their children seemed like a far-fetched dream. But in the past 23 years, Turnstone Global has educated more than 4,000 children. This means that over four thousand futures are being transformed and are on their way to better futures. 

a tribal lady carrying a baby near a hut

An education NGO tribal children depend on 

The tribal children who come to the Turnstone Global school spend their time in their studies, eat four nutritious meals a day and explore their academic potential. Each day in the school, the children experience education as they never had before. The students are introduced to a wide range of subjects, learn about the world around them and discover their purpose through their studies. The teachers help them build their critical thinking skills, communication skills and open up a world of possibilities for them, through education. 

Dr. Kanchan Gaba shares that “we have around 250 children studying in our school at the moment. But the NGO tribal children have come to depend on needs help to reach out and educate more children. Dr. Kanchan Gaba goes on to share that “our mission is to educate 500 tribal children from Purulia and transform their futures too.” Furthermore, the school is in a dilapidated condition and requires refurbishment to plaster the brick-exposed walls and improve the classrooms for the children. To support Turnstone Global, you can donate here.

a row of children sitting on the floor and eating

Moyna’s journey to her first classroom

Moyna was filled with awe when she entered the Turnstone Global school for the first time. When Turnstone Global first met Moyna, she was huddled in a corner of her family’s hut and did not speak to anyone. Her life was characterized by suffering and toil and no one in her family had been to a school before. Her parents are both laborers and were hopeful at the prospect that their little daughter would be the first person from their family to be educated. Moyna attends school everyday, eats nutritious meals and is on a path to a better future, because of Turnstone Global’s outreach to thousands of children just like her.

a tribal man and woman standing in front of a small house

Dr. Kanchan Gaba’s visual impairment doesn’t stop her

From a small 10-square foot room, Turnstone Global has grown into an organization that works across eleven states. Under the leadership of Dr. Kanchan Gaba, the NGO has served countless downtrodden communities and empowered them by helping them access their basic rights. For Dr. Kanchan Gaba, her visual impairment did not stop her from this mission. When she was 8 years old, she suffered from a condition that made her lose her vision. 

Dr. Kanchan Gaba was always interested in social service and her dedication awarded her the President’s Award in 1994 and 2011 which she received from Shankar Dayal Sharma and Pratibha Patil. Her dedication to educating tribal children through Turnstone Global is a source of inspiration to her organization, the tribal communities and people across India.

a woman standing with a group of children

Help the education NGO tribal children in Purulia need

Turnstone Global has transformed the lives of thousands of tribal children, who now have multiple opportunities for the future because of education. Their parents had no choice but to work as laborers because of a lack of options. But because of Turnstone Global’s school, the children do not have to follow the same path as their parents. The NGO tribal families rest their hopes on needs support to improve the school and bring in 500 tribal children to its classrooms. To support Turnstone Global:

Donate Here

Support Turnstone Global’s Every Girl in School mission

Turnstone Global is also a part of Mission: Every Girl in School, an initiative to send out-of-school girls back to classrooms. Across India, girls are forced to drop out of school due to reasons such as domestic work, child marriage, menstruation and others. These circumstances mean that girls are denied the opportunity to build their lives and futures. With a donation of ₹1,000 per month, you can cover the cost of school fees, books, uniforms and other school related expenses for one girl for one month. With your support, we can educate more girls, build their futures and strengthen their lives. To support Every Girl in School, you can donate here.

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