In the year
1966, Rev. father Francoise Laborde, a French priest, along with
a group of people living in the slums of Pilkhana, which is located
not far from the Howrah station and in the very heart of the industrialized
city of Howrah decided to join together and to do something to
improve their living conditions and help their fellow men. They
formed a committee which would meet thrice a week and be called
“permanent committee” for listening to the needs and
requirements of the people who lived in Pilkhana. This committee
started meeting regularly and receiving lots of appeals from the
slum’s inhabitants, and help was given in a small way. Thus
the beginning was indeed very small.
In the year 1967, a French teacher,
Lawrence Souques who happen to be a friend of the father Laborde
came to Calcutta and visited Pilkhana. She was very impressed
by the patient work of the committee member and seeing the pintable
conditions of the people of the slums of Pilkhana promised to
help in whatever way it was possible.
In the year 1969 when she returned
to her country in France she formed an association called Les
Amis De SEVA SANGH SAMITI (Friends of Seva Sangh Samiti) to help
to raise funds for Seva Sangh Samiti in Howrah. Since then regular
flow of funds started coming in Seva Sangh Samiti.
In France the main aim of les
Amis de Seva Sangh Samiti is to have its members think of the
main problem of development, revise their own way of living accordingly
and share the beauty of Indian culture and of all the values which
can be found even in a slum, a place apparently which may seem
to have lost all values.
Actually Seva Sangh Samiti has
always tried to enhance the image the slums inhabitants have of
themselves and to underline the real values they cherish in their
day to day life, friendship, courage, hospitality, family ties,
fighting the worst.
Seva Sangh Samiti has since its
inception tackled the memerous problems to which Pilkhana inhabitants
are confronted and tried to solve some of them.
Since 2005 new sponsors from Spain
and Switzerland compromised with Seva Sangh Samiti and impulse
a new chapter than still nowadays is developing.