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Changing lives in India

709. Dipankar Datta

Dr Dipankar Datta, 84 from Glasgow, is the founder and chair of South Asia Volunteering Enterprise (SAVE-UK).

The charity, originally set up to support members of the Indian diaspora in Britain, supports projects alleviating poverty across India.

With programmes concentrating on education, healthcare and female empowerment, SAVE-UK funds 26 initiatives across nine states in India and has reached over 3000 people, including disabled children in need of rehabilitation, women escaping abusive relationships and youngsters living on the streets in need of education.

In a personal letter to Dipankar, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“The projects you support through ‘SAVE-UK’ are helping those in need across India to build a better life for themselves and their families.”

Dipankar said:

I feel both honoured and humble for the recognition of our work amongst the poorest of the poor in the Indian subcontinent. We work in the spheres of primary education, primary health care. mother and child care, women’s rights and empowerment, nutrition and sanitation and in protection of environment. SAVE-UK was registered in the UK 23 years ago by member of the Indian diaspora settled in the UK to do voluntary charitable work in the above spheres in collaboration with local grass root NGOs in all the SAARC group of countries and in Myanmar. At present we are working in 5 states of India and in Nepal and Afghanistan running altogether 12 projects. SAVE-UK also gives substantial donations to Macmillan Cancer support and to different Hospices every year in the UK. We are hoping to increase our work substantially from this year.

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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