The Sabars are mentioned in literature as old as the Mahabharatas. The people belonging to the Sabar tribe are found in Purulia district of West Bengal, along with a few other states like Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. The British listed them as a criminal tribe in the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871. Visiting the Sabar Villages is like taking a trip back in time. There is no electricity. Sabars live in huts with no toilets entire villages have a single tube well to draw water. Often to overcome the misery of an empty stomach, they catch tadpoles, snakes, mice, small birds, etc.
Arup Mukherjee is a 41 year old police constable in Kolkata (Calcutta), India. His family lives in Puncha village of Purulia district West Bengal. As a child Arup decided to help the Sabars when he grew up. A grand opportunity came, when a kind neighbor offered him a plot of land for this great cause. Arup took a loan from his work and built a group home for the Sabar children. He started bringing in children of the extremely impoverished families, this orphanage was started with 2 children and now accommodates 67 children. There are 3 care takers on board and two local teachers, who teach the children in a somewhat informal, homeschooling manner. The older children (between the ages of 10-15), go to the government’s primary school that happens to be in the next building. Arup has not been able to build a toilet or bathrooms yet, children go to the nearby pond to take bath. The monthly cost of feeding these children and that of building bathrooms and toilets, seemed to be his major challenges now. Please contribute generously in our efforts to support these children.