IIMC, a non-government secular organisation was founded in 1989 by Dr. Sujit Brahmochary, a paediatric doctor who began the organisation to provide free primary health care to families experiencing poverty.
IIMC now has three full-time doctors, a midwife, up to 30 nurses and 120 caregivers. In addition to full-time local volunteers IIMC has up to an extra 15 physicians and 20 international volunteers who rotate between clinics and hospitals every day.
The large hospital, The Indoor Clinic, is located adjacent to IIMCs headquarters, training center and Disability Center in the district Sonarpur in Kolkata. The hospital predominantly cares for children and mothers with skin diseases (burns, fungal, parasitic and bacterial infection). They also deal with children with malnutrition, respiratory diseases and perform some surgery. In complex and emergency situations IIMC sends patients to the university hospital in Kolkata.
IIMC has six outreach clinics known as the Outdoor Clinics. They operate 1 – 2 times a week and treat 200-800 patients per day. The largest clinic, located in Thegaria, has x-ray, pathology unit, a ophthalmologist, dentist and gynaecologist who do ultrasounds. The clinic in Thegaria receives 600-800 patients twice a week. In total approximately 3,000 patients visit the clinic every week.
Whilst access to good health care is important, Dr. Sujit Brahmochary soon realised that providing medical assistance alone was not enough to help children achieve long term health and improved quality of life. A more holistic approach that included education was necessary.
IIMC began educating children in 1993 and saw immediate results. The children who were given access to good education were healthier, happier and increasing their literacy – the critical step needed to gain employment and break the cycle of poverty.
With the success of the education program, IIMC set out to find sponsors from all over the world willing to fund a child’s education. As more sponsors came on board, IIMC began building schools for the children to attend. To date, IIMC has built 32 schools – for both primary and secondary level students. All the sponsored children attend these schools, as well as other children who can afford to attend.
The key goals of the education program are to convince parents of the importance of education and provide good quality education to the child. The program has been extremely successful and while some students finish high school and gain employment or start their own business, meritorious students who wish to pursue higher studies enter university.
It soon became clear that to assist the whole family IIMC needed to help parents to become financially stable. Therefore IIMC founded a micro credit scheme and began providing mothers of the sponsored children small business loans for their small enterprise. IIMC has had nearly 30,000 women benefit from the scheme and this has led to IIMC initiating a range of income generating projects for mothers including a program making school uniforms, school bags and handicrafts. There is also a small trading shop run by the women.
Although IIMC has successfully grown the education program, micro credit scheme, enterprise projects and numerous other initiatives, the organisation is still committed to providing free primary health care, treatment and medicine to those who most need it.
In summary, IIMC is a large and busy organisation that provides health care, education, counselling, financial aid and support to children and their families. All of these projects and services are funded and supported by local and international volunteers.
If you would like to Get Involved or Sponsor a Child, please contact us today as we value and appreciate your kind support so we can continue to increase child and maternal health, literacy, peace and solidarity in India.