The Plight of the Poor In India and the Mission of the Greek Orthodox Church In Kolkata - National Hellenic Museum

The National Hellenic Museum will be closed to the public from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM on Friday, June 16 due to a private event.

NOVEMBER 12  |  2:00 – 4:30pm 

$15 Non-Members, $10 NHM Members, 

$5 Students

Kolkata’s slums and the surrounding poverty in West Bengal were perhaps made most famous to the “Western” world by the work of Mother Teresa. Her Nobel Peace Prize winning service helped millions who live in some of the worst poverty conditons in the world. Kolkata has 70,000 people who are homeless and hundreds of thousands more living in slums. “The girl problem” in India refers to the various social aspects that women, especially poor women, face in India. In Kolkata, there are only 899 females for every 1,000 males. Many families within the culture consider raising a daughter to be too much of a burden. Female infantcide, while illegal, contnues to be common practce and a large contributor to the female populaton defcit.
Today, the Greek Orthodox Church is contnuing to serve the communites that Mother Teresa had once served, and is specifcally working to address “the girl problem.” Reports claim up to 20 – 30 million orphans in India, with an higher percentage being female. Since 1991, the Philanthropic Society of the Orthodox Church (PSOC) has enacted dozens of humanitarian and educaton projects including: administering daily food programs for the residents of the slums, operatng orphanages for both girls and boys, establishing an English Secondary School, and investng in rural development projects. The Theotokos Girls’ Orphanage is commited to the empowerment of young girls through educaton.
NICOLE CAPSOPOULOS holds a BA in Politcal Science from DePaul University. She has worked at the Chicago Tribune in sales, advertsing and management roles, and has lived in Greece, and in China where she taught English and studied Mandarin. She is currently working as an Independent China Consultant, helping US based companies with their business ventures in China. This year, she spent 3 months living amongst the girls of the Theotokos Girls’ Orphanage in Kolkata, India, as a volunteer. She taught English at the school the girls atend, and did various fundraising work to support Fili, a US nonproft that aids the orphanage, and the overall mission of the Greek Orthodox Church in India.

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