December 20, 2013

” Hamar Unnati Hena”- echoed by Malati Savar. The same rhythm came from Santi, Usha Binati & others. They all belong to Savar community in Lipidari village ,Ranibandh,Bankura.  They expressed in Kheria tone ” we have developed ours”. I was surmised to their firm,confident and bright looking voice.  Savars are primitive tribal . Their origin is referred in Mahabharat,Ramayan. ‘ Savarir’ Pratikhsma(Savarir’s waiting) is an adage in Bengali. In Ramayana, an old Savar-women waited in her hut for more than twelve years for  Lord Rama.  At last She met Rama.   Our old scripts, like Aitareya B brahmana referred to Savars but recognized as a progeny of Dasuys(Decoites). To these literature they were non-aryans. All these pointed that Savars are not civilized sect and forest people and their livelihood depends on hunting, forest-fruit gathering.   From the writings of Megasthenes, Pliny,Ptolemy we got some informations on this tribe. The Bharat Samhita ,Markaneya purana & Matsya Purana  referred to them wild nomadic race,wandering over hills,living on fruits & forest animals and disobeying rules of  the king.  Their attacking attitude helped establish Murya kingdom.  Limiting those history & origins I say Savars are  at distant space  from settled civilized world.  

Conflict between forest people and  rest grew gradually. Finally, Savars lost their authority in hills,forests & jungles. They lost their natural livelihood. Their seperation from the outer world made them under abject of  poverty. Death of five Savars under starvation in Amlasole stirred the country a few years back. Savars came into news. Mahesweta Devi- wrote on their miserable status and cried for their betterment. Many NGOs and others also attempted.  Another attempt has been made in Lipidiri village in Ranibandh. This story is the focal theme here.

Lipidiri is a small hamlet on the fringe forest area of Ranibandh block adjacent to the Mukutmanipur dam. There are twelve Savar families staying  over 3 bighas of land. All the families are landless. They live on wage-renting. most of the time they migrate to other places for livelihood. Illiteracy ,poverty,malnutrition and jobless are common symptoms of the village.




On seeing their precarious situation,  Dr.Babulal Mahato- an young guy with administrative and technical know-how determined to do something for those people.  An innovative idea sprang to his head.  Dr.Mahato wanted to interwroven  institutions, SHGs ,& technology . His innovative idea consists of formation of SHGs by the women. Those SHGs took lease of barren uplands from owners on sharing basis terms.  Finally, agreements were put to the administration  for support. Babulal with his agri-horticultural background trained them to plant mango-saplings  under MNEREGA scheme. This idea was accepted by SHG members. Now vast areas of fallow lands are transformed into lush green fields.  Their orchards are now in full shape. Returns are high all the Savars are happy.

i happened to meet them. i saw their garden. This role model can be applied else where in Paschimanchal. I also came to know that similar orchards have been made for BPL groups in different pockets of Khatra sub-division.

My appeal is to follow the path shown by Dr.Babulal Mahato.



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