IIMC, the Institute for Indian Mother & Child,
is an Indian non-governmental organization committed to promoting literacy, maternal and child health to the poorest people in West Bengal. IIMC hopes to improve the lives of people living in the rural villages of West Bengal where millions live below the poverty line.
IIMC has it's mission campus (pictured left) in Tegharia, Sonarpur, south of Calcutta (Kolkata).
More than 50 percent of the population in West Bengal are illiterate.
IIMC provide poor rural villages with health care, support for children’s education including the building of schools and the chance for women to benefit from different community development initiatives.
IIMC started off with one clinic. In 1989 Dr. Sujit Kumar Brahmochary, a specialist in paediatrics, opened a clinic to meet the need for medical help in West Bengal. (Today IIMC run 8 clinics -- most of them in rural villages where medical help is scarce.)
After the first clinic was opened it became clear that medical help alone was not sufficient to improve the lives of the very poor. The majority of villagers who visited the clinic were unable to read their prescriptions nor understand basic health and hygiene matters. Most rural villagers could not afford to send their children to school. The few schools in rural villages were also often very far apart making it difficult for children to attend. In 1993 IIMC launched the Education and Sponsorship programme which builds schools in remote rural areas and sponsors children’s education.
Mortality rates of children and babies in poor, rural villages were high. Babies were dying in the hands of their mothers from common treatable illnesses and diseases. Many of the deaths would not have happened if mothers had access to information about diseases and hygiene.
Women in rural villages play a pivotal role in improving the lives of their family members. IIMC believe that when the woman is educated the whole family gets educated. The Network Programme, Microcredit Lending, Womans Peace council are some of the Empowerment programmes IIMC organises to provide women with opportunities for education, financial support and social and cultural development.
IIMC is supported by groups in many countries including Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Belgium and Japan.