Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

Helen Keller, U.S. author, educator, and disability rights advocate

A month long activity for the students of SOGG Learning centres – that comprised of indoor and outdoor sports, and co-curricular activities came to an end in Chibbo on the 5th of February. Ms. Lee Geok Boi and her friends from Singapore sponsored the Winter Camp this year too. Together with Taekwondo Association of Chibbo village, the event was organized for the children of SOGG centre Chibbo. The primary aim of Winter Camp is to keep the students engaged during the long winter break and help them pick an interest in the field of sports or arts. Healthy competition was held in various categories for both senior and junior students. The finale was held in the SOGG Learning centre premises, wherein prizes were distributed to the participants. The chief guest for the event was Mr. Paul Simick, a prominent figure in the field of Taekwondo in West Bengal. Mr. Saom, GFF Helps Representatives, interns too attended the finale. The managing committee and the guardians too supported the finale, which was executed in an organized manner. It was observed that students have been making progress in their own way. Some have become excellent football players, while other have learned how to play chess, while the rest have picked interest in writing, singing, dancing and debating. GFF Helps will henceforth be taking up initiative to help students form groups based on their own interest viz., debate club, literary club, fine arts club, sports club etc. The finale ended with a warm fellowship over which beautiful memories were relived and progress of the children assessed.


On the 7th of February, the Winter Camp finale was held in the SOGG Learning centre of Bong. The chief guest of the event was Mr. Nereus Mukhia, President of Kalimpong NGO Network- with whom several projects have been implemented in the past especially during the pandemic. After the welcoming of the guests, the students performed a welcome dance, which was followed by friendly games that were organized for the students as well as the parents, who showed their support with their participation. Mr. Saom provided words of encouragement to the parents as well as the students. Mr. Nereus shared the past collaborative work with GFF. The Prizes for the activities that were held in the previous month were distributed to the participants. 4 students who performed well in the previous academic year were also felicitated, to acknowledge their hard work and efforts. A friendly football match between the parents was held, followed by lunch, which marked the end of the finale. Overall, the students showed active participation in various sports and arts. It has been observed that the students of Bong Learning centre are excellent badminton players; hence, GFF Helps will be working together with Badminton Association of Kalimpong to hold workshops so that students understand both theoretical as well as practical implications of the sport.

“The winter camp
kept me engaged.
Since I do not have any siblings (I have two elder sisters and no brother) at home, I used to visit the centre and take part in various activities that helped kept boredom away while at the same time helping me realize my interest in badminton.”

Aven Rai (Student)


On the 7th of February, an awareness program by Indian Postal Department of Kalimpong was held. The program was organized by GFF Helps India. The resource person was Mr. Dipankar Pradhan, inspector of Kalimpong sub-division post office. The primary topic was Sukanya Samridhi Account, which is a Government of India backed saving scheme targeted at the parents of girl children. The scheme encourages parents to build a fund for the future education of their female child, which can be opened at any India Post office or a branch of some authorised commercial banks. The parents as well as students who had gathered for the Winter Camp Finale took part in the program, which provided useful information and emphasized the importance of female child education. Many parents today, have realized the importance of educating their daughters because of which they are working hard to send them to school.


On the 10th of February, GFF Helps Representative visited Debanjan Share Girls’ Academy for the 3rd round of Mobile library. 15 girls were present, wherein a reading session was held. The girls were also asked to share stories from the books that they had borrowed from the library. The beneficiaries have been making the most use of the books that is helping them improve their vocabulary as well as reading skills. In the next visit, GFF Helps Representative will be conducting fun filled activities for the students of Debanjan Share Girls’ Academy.

“These books have kept me engaged during winter break. I can now read better than before and my grammar has also improved.”

-Pinky Rai, Debanjan Share Girls’ Academy


One-Stop Centre scheme is a sub-scheme of the National Mission for Empowerment of Women. One Stop Centres (OSC) are intended to support women affected by violence, in private and public spaces, within the family, community and at the workplace. Women facing physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and economic abuse, irrespective of age, class, caste, education status, marital status, race and culture are facilitated with support and redressal. Aggrieved women facing any kind of violence due to attempted sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, trafficking, honour related crimes, -acid attacks or witch-hunting who have reached out or been referred to the OSC are provided with specialized services.

The objectives of the scheme are:

  • To provide integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces under one roof.
  • To facilitate immediate, emergency and non-emergency access to a range of services including medical, legal, psychological and counseling support under one roof to fight against any forms of violence against women.

Although crime rates against women in Kalimpong is almost negligible according to statistical data, there are victims who have been silently suffering. Some of the cases are reported while many are unreported. Therefore, organizing such an awareness program was considered necessary to make the villages aware of the facilities and support that are available for them and their family. 10 women of Pudung took part in the event which was held in the office of Self Help Group- Pudung Dara. The key resource person, Ms. Salina Thapa provided words of encouragement to the participants and shared the objectives of the Scheme.


On the 10th of February, GFF Helps India organized an awareness program in Pudung on Mental Health and tobacco. The key resource person of the event was Ms. Sarah Ralte and Mr. Bibek Pradhan, representatives of DMHP and NTCP.

The Government of India launched the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in 1982. The District Mental Health Program (DMHP) was launched under NMHP in the year 1996 (in IX Five Year Plan). The main objective of DMHP is to provide Community Mental Health Services and integration of mental health with General health services through decentralization of treatment from Specialized Mental Hospital based care to primary health care services. The team of workers at the district under the program consists of a Psychiatrist, a Clinical Psychologist, a Psychiatric Social worker, a Psychiatry/Community Nurse, a Program Manager, a Program/Case Registry Assistant and a Record Keeper.

Government of India launched the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in the year 2007-08 during the 11th Five-Year-Plan, with the aim to (i) create awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco consumption, (ii) reduce the production and supply of tobacco products, (iii) ensure effective implementation of the provisions under “The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003” (COTPA) (iv) help the people quit tobacco use, and (v) facilitate implementation of strategies for prevention and control of tobacco advocated by WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control .

10 women from Pudung attended the program which was interactive, informative as well as engaging.


The 11th of February marked the closure of Winter Camp 2023 in Pudung Learning centre. The chief guest was Mr. Anand Pradhan- Secretary of SBI Pensioner’s Association Kalimpong. Along with Mr. Pradhan, Mr. NT Lepcha and several prominent members of the Managing committee, parents, Mr. Saom, GFF Helps Representatives and interns also took part in the finale. Succulents were given to the guests so as to minimize the usage of non eco-friendly materials like khada or traditional scarf.

The students performed a welcome dance and sang beautiful songs- which reflect the confidence that they have built over the years. One of the parents sang a beautiful Nepali song that kept the audience engaged. A game for the mothers was also organized that made the event fun. Students who had participated in various events of the Winter Camp were given prizes and their talent acknowledged. The team of Pudung expressed their gratefulness to Ms. Lee Geok Boi and her friends from Singapore who has been supporting the event since many years now.

Mr. Anand expressed his willingness to donate a table tennis board to the students of Pudung. GFF Helps will henceforth collaborate with Table Tennis Association of Kalimpong to organize a workshop on Table Tennis so that students get oriented about the game from a theoretical perspective. The finale ended with a fellowship over lunch that was prepared by the villagers who volunteered to prepare lunch for the students as well as guests of the finale.


After the commencement of new academic year of 2023, GFF Helps Representatives visited SOGG Learning centre of Bong for Mobile Library Project on February 2023. New set of books which were donated by Ms. Lee Geok Boi on her visit to Kalimpong, was also distributed. The students were happy to receive new books which included comics, fiction, biographies, and puzzle books. The participation of the students in Grassroots Comic that was held last month has boosted the children’s interest in comics, which will help them look at comics from a different perspective. A reading session too was held followed by spelling competition. The students of Bong have made a lot of progress since the start of Mobile Library Project in 2020. GFF Helps Representatives will be visiting the centre next month.


On the 17th of February, GFF Helps Representative visited the SOGG Learning centre of Pudung for Mobile Library project. Books that were donated by Ms. Lee Geok Boi were distributed to the students who were excited to read books. A reading session along with spelling competition was held to assess the progress of the students. GFF Helps Representative will be visiting the centre next month for the mobile library project.