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The Calcutta Children's Permanent Fund was founded in 2005 by attorney Joseph Anderson, a 1989 graduate of Harvard Law School, immediately upon his return from Calcutta. Neelam Bhardwaj, who is of Indian origin and also an attorney (1984 graduate of Kingston Law School, England; 1989 graduate of Nova Southeastern Law School, Florida) has been actively involved in assisting Mr. Anderson with fund-raising activities since 2006.

The Fund's mission: to provide nutritional and medicinal support to pregnant mothers and young children in the "City of Joy" slum. Our goal is to increase birth weights, and decrease infant and child mortality, for the third straight year in a row.

The Fund is unique in that no contributed funds are used for overhead expenses of any kind; instead each and every penny contributed is invested in a permanent endowment, the earnings of which are used 100% for the benefit of the children. (When overhead expenses do arise Mr. Anderson pays for them personally.) As a permanent endowment, the Fund's principle is never spent; therefore, the Fund will sustain indefinitely. The fund is invested conservatively in a diversified mix of stocks and bonds weighted towards bonds.

The Fund's annual investment earnings buy nutritional supplements and medicines. Mr. Anderson personally oversees these expenditures, preventing any chance for fraud or waste. The Fund's on-the-ground supervisor is Noah Levinson, the founder of Calcutta Kids, Inc. He resides in Calcutta and works in the slum daily. Mr. Anderson returns to India on an approximately annual basis (at his own expense) to oversee progress; Mr. Levinson purchases the supplies from the generics market, to maximize the available funds. He provides Mr. Anderson with a receipt for every item purchased, down to the penny.

Monies contributed to the Fund have substantial impact. For example, $100 U.S.:

  • provides enough medication to save 100 slum children from death by malaria
  • deworms 300 children
  • provides material to drain 20 cysts
  • pays for the surgeries to correct three compound fractures
  • cures 2 children of tuberculosis (a nine month treatment)

    Mr. Anderson became interested in the children of Calcutta after exploring the city's slums on foot in January 2005. As described in his memoir, The Light Within, he was struck by the nobility, humanity and optimism of Calcutta's poorest inhabitants. He is a writer, musician and trial lawyer representing catastrophically injured victims and children with developmental disabilities. For more about his work, see www.josephanderson.com and www.andersonpangia.com.