Calcutta Rescue

Dr. Jack Preger - Calcutta RescueWHEN is proud to be the official US support group for Calcutta Rescue (CR) – **all WHEN donations unless otherwise specified go to CR. CR is a medical and educational charity in Kolkata, India that was established in 1979 by Dr. Jack Preger.  Dr. Preger was born in the UK and came here after graduating medical school, opening up a free street clinic for the poorest and most needy people living on the streets and in the slums of Kolkata. CR began as a simple street clinic under a tarp roof in the poorest neighborhood of Kolkata but it has grown into a million-dollar per year non-profit healthcare system.


Health Care Services

CR’s operations have expanded to provide primary and preventative healthcare to over 50,000 people per year, including vaccinations, vitamin supplementation, and health education. They have clinics for leprosy, TB, HIV, pre- and post-natal care, and special feeding programs for malnourished children. Learn more about CR’s healthcare initiatives. 

Educational Services

CR runs two schools with almost 500 children from the slums and streets. Students receive books, clothes, nutritious meals, and in-school medical and dental care. A graduate of CR’s school is currently applying to medical school and another is applying to law school. Other poor children attending public schools are supported with books, clothing, and food. Graduates of CR schools are often offered vocational training in their workshops. YOU CAN SPONSOR AN INDIVIDUAL CHILD OR AN ENTIRE CLASS OF 20 CHILDREN – click here for more information.

Safe Drinking Water Program

CR has installed five water filters in villages of rural West Bengal where arsenic and iron contaminate aquifers. These filters provide safe drinking water for over eight hundred people.



CR’s handicrafts, which are made by current patients and former students, were featured in the Guardian among the Top Ten Fair Trade items for the home. CR’s workshops provide vocational training and paid work for former patients and students. The workshops make clothes for CR’s students, bandages for CR clinics, and special shoes for disabled leprosy patients. Workers earn a fair wage to support their families, while at the same time creating something useful for another aspect of CR’s operations.  In this way, CR accomplishes two goals at the same time, and therefore is more sustainable. Crafts made in CR workshops are made available for purchase through WHEN and proceeds going to support CR’s projects on the ground. Learn more about CR’s Handicrafts initiative.


Additional Links

CR’s Budget Breakdown.

CR in the News


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