Situated in the South Kolkata townsland of Thakurpukur, ‘Bhalobasha’ as one word means ‘love’ but it also has a most appropriate second meaning as ‘Bhalo’ means ‘beautiful’ and ‘basha’ means ‘home’.
Responding to the needs of the destitute elderly who were part of the FOKE Sealdah Station Food Programme, Bhalobasha was purchased in late 2003 to enable our first 4 members realise their dream of having a place to call ’home’.
We chose Valentines Day 2004 to welcome home our first members the inauguration followed the very next day.
A lot of work went into the total refurbishment of what essentially was an almost derelict property and today it is now home to 9 elderly members and the 4 staff who cater to their needs. In keeping with our philosophy that our members would thrive in a secure homely setting rather than institutional care the official inauguration was a ‘house warming’ with Agustina, Jharna, Shefali and Shanti as the main guests of honour as they welcomed all to ‘their home.
As with most of the important things in life the beginning is crucial and we are indebted to all who contributed in any way towards turning ‘Bhalobasha’ into the loving home it is today. We wish to especially express our gratitude to Amiya Basak who managed the entire refurbishment programme in Bhalobasha in 2003 and Charu Nibash in 2005 during his 7 years of service to FOKE when began our journey. We thank his wife Kalyani also for her contribution as our first nurse in Bhalobasha. Since 2011 Bhalobahsha has undergone a second transformation and amongst the necessary improvements put in place are an extended kitchen, an en-suite bathroom for our members, all staff bathrooms modernised and a complete overhaul of the grounds.