ACTT is a Kolkata based organization located at Lake Gardens, registered under “Indian Charitable Trust Act, 1961. They operate residential shelter homes and a school for destitute & street children from economically deprived or broken families. Their funding comes from many sources and sponsors – some of them being GLOBAL HUMANITARIAN (SPAIN), ACTION POUR LES ENFANTS (FRANCE & BELGIUM), RAJNI NIJHAWAN CHARIATABLE TRUST (INDIA), and many more individuals across the globe.
Meet Tapas Acharya
He was found at the age of 4, near Sealdah Railway Station in a very bad condition. He lost his mother to the dreadful yellow fever and his father had been a drunkard who was killed when Tapas was very young, and he had no one to call family.
Tapas is a very calm boy, orphaned at a very young age, who met the right people to bring him where he is. He has called the Boys Shelter his home since 1999 and he did feel depressed when his friends’ parents came to visit them while he had none. From those unfortunate times and with the support of ACTT, he completed his B.Com degree and presently works in the front office of a law firm. He thanks Chandan Das, the head of the Lake Garden Office for being his guardian throughout without whom he wouldn’t have been where he is today. Today I spoke to a shy, young man who communicated with me very well and he wishes he could hang out some other time as well. His hobbies include playing, and saving up to watch films. Tapas did not hesitate when he spoke about his past saying, “We all should accept our own reality. This makes us happy and calm in life. I did too. I think that I am sorted, now.”
Meet Balram Gouda
BALARAM GOUDA was found at the age of 6 at Odisha Railway Station. Early in his life, as a resident of Andhra, living near the Andhra Border, he went to visit his father who worked in Odisha along with his mother. One such day, he got lost at the platform and his fate took a different turn. ACTT gave him a new life and he tried to forget his past to move on. By the grace of God, life gave him another chance in Class 8 when he visited Andhra for an excursion trip, and miraculously when he was roaming there, he found the place that used to be his house once. With the bleak memory he had, he went there in a search for his parents. He found his father and a few other relatives. His mother was nowhere in sight. Upon this chance encounter, he got to know that the day he went missing, his mother too went missing and has never returned. It has been 14 years since that unfortunate day they set out to meet his father, his life took a turn. What do you think happened to his mother? Did she leave him intentionally or was the guilt of losing her child amidst the crowd too much to take? This guy’s story gave me goosebumps, like any reader reading this, imagine sitting next to him and hearing it!
With the help of ACTT, he completed his B.Com Degree and presently works for an NGO that deals in helping children like him. His enjoys merrily in the company of children and he wishes to continue working for them.
Meet Raja Das
He was found at Howrah Station who lived on the station with his parents and sister. In the year 1996, they were spotted by Uncle Thierry, a frenchman who founded ACTT. He was 3 years old and his sister was 4 years old. Raja’s parents are physically challenged.
The year 1996 was critical time of child trafficking, and Raja and his sister could’ve been victims. Uncle Thierry rescued them, giving his parents a shelter and his sister and he a roof over their heads along with an opportunity to stand on their own feet. His sister is happily married today, living with her husband, and Raja is doing B.Com from Gujarati Education Society. Raja is young, and full of life, and in fact I spent more time talking to him because he wishes to be an animator. He is a bit confused, since he mentioned he also wants to be an actor. Isn’t it what we all go through? He has a flair for drawing, and as an animator and multimedia student myself, it broke my heart to see that there are undeserving candidates occupying the seats in costly colleges like mine, just because they think studying multimedia is cool; while deserving candidates like Raja, cannot be there because he isn’t so privileged. I assured him that I will teach him whenever he needs me to, and with this I had to leave ACTT with a smile, only to assure them that I would be back soon.
I feel extremely fortunate and happy to meet ‘The Curious Three’ and being able to communicate with them. I was pleasantly surprised to hear them converse in English which holds in glory the quality of their education and background. I wish them the best in life, fighting back against all of life’s odds, they have emerged as wonderful human beings.
To get in touch with ACTT, contact Mr Chandan Das at +91-9433152715 / 9830556781/9836611673 or
Arpita is pursuing her Bachelors in Multimedia and Animation from St. Xaviers, Kolkata. She is a trained fine arts artist as well as a photographer, who finds joy through her lens. She loves street photography but is versatile and likes to explore genres. She capture what she sees and tries to tell a story through the pictures she clicks. Owning costly equipment cannot make a photographer, but a sharp eye and clear soul definitely will.