Two days in Paschimanchal

September 8, 2013

 Day before yesterday  I started accompanied by Dipak towards Bankura. I was initially reluctant to move .. however, I could not refuse Dipak this time..  Dipak already took  nod from the authority  for my journey.  Before journey I reviewed the works of Turmeric project.. I asked him to prepare a status paper.. and put some of the documents of our work.. he did all those overnight as all materials were lying with him.. I know this time it was very difficult to move for both family & other reasons.. but I got inner call to attend Bankura and interact with the officials to reveal turmeric prospects in Bankura district as well as Paschimanchal.   A meeting was called on by the DM   with arequest from the Secretary ,Paschimanchal to review the Schemes 2012-13.   However, we started at the morning . There were jams at Panagarh. after a long gap I saw it. It was horrible to sit in the cab..  gradually,jam was overcome.  Again, we faced trouble at Fulberiamore.. there was blockage of roads by students.. we turned to a different path. Reached Amarkanan . Met swamiji. went to the field. Maharaji tried his level best to plant turmeric. Continuous rains  did not allow to the growth turmeric. drainage is a problem. We advised him to do some minor change in this situation. Maharaji also sowed turmeic in his compound, These are in well position. we were in hurry and started immediate after visiting plots. Reached Bankura Circuit house just at 2.00 p.m/  all the officials of DM office were present. All the BDOs were there. re[presentatives from PUP & others were there.  NGOs, clubs and others representing various activities in bankura assemled there.  All were representing their cases. We got the opportunity. Our activites were acclaimed. DM personally became interested in turmeric. We showed photographs . Case studies were interacted. DM asked all the BDOs to take turmeric as a special component. In the mean while I told the house on the prospects of eco-tourism in Bankura referring to Barachaka & Bamandiha. These points were recorded. Hope, my dream for those places will come in reality soon.

Dipak was happy as turmeric reached to the house. I called him to observe turmeric-day.

In the evening we took rest at MBK,Belatore.

Early in the morning I told Dipak to visit raipur cluster. Till now I did not visit it. accordingly, we moved towards raipur. From my childhood I recall memories of raipur. This was a backward area that time. My sister’s mother-in-law was the MLA of Raipur. Bidhan Roy  specially called on Sudharani to do good for the area. I heared from Sudharani that  Tarasankar bandopadhay came to raipur and campaigned for Sudharani there. However, these are memories..

I relied on Gop for turmeric mission. i sent swaraj there. He organized camps and motivated farmers’ club, villagers towards turmeric, Most of the stakeholders are tribals. they came at Chhatna to receive seed. There was due Forsome money from our end. I wanted to pay at their place.

We were stopped at ratanpur. We were observing Pan=borojs. we found lands are so high that  no crops were there. Some people came and surrounded us. they urged for turmeric seed. They wanted to grow, We assured them to extend our help in future.

The jouney towars raipur was pleasant. We crossed taldandgra, These are rainfed areas. Pumkins are the main  cash crop there. Then crossed simlapal. we were happy to see tribal girls attending colleges, schools. I stopped a bit to take snaps of the statue of Pandit Raghnath murmu. At the same time i visited three Jahirsthan,. sacred groves are common in those areas.

i asked Dipak to change our module and move to sarenga. This time we had benificiaries at Sarenga block. Moreover, I was getting emotional to get informations on Culshaw. Culshaw devoted his whole life on Tribals of Sarenga. He is the author on santhal life. His books are not available. I wanted to see some memories of the great man. The way to sarenga is excellent. I have visited some spots comparable to the Sarenga. There is enough and enough scope to develop tourism here. Dipak captured many snaps. I will post these later. Alas, we forgot our people. No body recapitulate it. The hospital which was nurtured by Culshaw is there but nodody knows him today. i met the hospital super, chuches, locala residents,, they are not aware of him.. With broken heart we left sarenga. Finally reached to Raipur cluster, Visited the fields. we were satisfied by their performance. There is strong demand  for growing turmeric in the comining season.

Thereafter, we turned to visit Kapgari cluster/. we reached there around 2.00. Kapgari KVK made a unique plot of turmeric under orchards. obviously this will be role model  for the area. we also visited Khudiram’s plot. This is also good. But another plot of Jagadish was suffered from water congestion & weed infection. we advised him for control.

We left from Kapgari at 3.00 p.m. and back to kalyani at 11.00 p.m.

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BCKV Turmeric project  supported by Paschimanchal Parshad  has taken a big challenge for the people of Paschimanchal covering the districts of Bankura, Purulia,West Midnapore.   The areas where we we work are rain-fed. We found vast areas of those areas remain fallow or unsuitable for growing paddy. Again, uplands in many areas are covered by trees.  We are focusing to bring those areas under Turmeric. however, we advised farmers to diversify a part of his land with turmeric based cropping pattern. We have demonstrated kharif maize or groundnut ar arum or elephant foot are options for mixed cropping.  Similarly, we are bringing the cropping pattern  practiced  by manik Dey-a legendary figure in turmeric cultivation. However in many occasion we held camps with farmers’club, NGOs, SHGs to disseminate our technology.

News papers are facilitating to cater our programs fast.Today, dr,Dipak Ghosh sent a news coverage on Cheliama camp. In this camp  50 women SHG-members participated. The coverage is displayed below.

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We have successfully launched our turmeric-journey in Paschimanchal. The districts of Bankura, Purulia & West Midnapore are our primarily focused operational areas. To compare & contrast outcomes in Paschimanchal we have also set up units at Nadia,Hoogly & South-24-Parganas. However, at present more than fourteen blocks comprise our turmeric-target sub-regional units. More than five hundred farm-households are our direct stakeholders. This huge task is shouldered by individual beneficiaries as well as Farmers; Club,local organizations, NGOs, friends and turmeric lovers. We got a good number of village volunteers who are in constant touch with us and keep liaison with the growers.
We have been receiving enormous support from the Ministry of Paschimanchal unnaya parshad,Government set up, Banks & other institutions. Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswa Vidyalaya has been playing a pivotal role for implementation of turmeric-project for the backward region.

during last month I went to see a number of clusters in Purulia district. This time Dr.Dipak Ghosh made a quick follow up survey in Bankura district. Despite odd weather condition, he moved to a number of spots in G.Ghati,Chhatna $ Bankura-11 blocks in Bankura.

I was getting every moment-news from him . He went to Mangaldah,bamandiha,Barachaka and other adjucent fields. intermittent rains stopped him moving further. Many of farms are near to rivers. Rivers were fuelling this time. It was hard to move through mud-roads.
Dipak is optimistic in getting results. Villagers welcomed him with blessings.
I was interedted what happened to Barachaka. Barachaka is a tribal village. It has been successfull,
Tribals have shown turmeric in waste lands, under forests $ up-lands. Similarly, Bamandiaha-another tribal village at the foot hill of Susunia showed positive response.
I shall share more on getting personal feed back from Dr.Ghosh.

bankurayurmeri10 bank13 bank14 bank15 bank17 bank100 Turmeric Fields&Clusters

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Budhni Mejan- a tribal girl in her fifteen reached the dais.  There were all VIPs. In the middle there was none other than Nehuruji- the then prime minister.  Budhni is in her tribal dress. She was looking fresh. She  was the hope and aspirations  of new India. DVC will be opened with new hope. it will bring water in Bengal. Farmers will harvest more & more. Her attire & glazing look and deep eyes were centre of all.  She came smartly. she put red-tika on the forehead of the prime minister. She garlanded him. Touched Nehuru with affection. the moment was ready a fifteen year girl will put DVC in order. Buttom was pushed by her.All clapped. Now, Budhni is more in her gesture & voice. She spoke in her language. All understood with out knowing santhali what Budhni was speaking.Budhni returned home.Khap Panchayat called open meeting. Charges are against her. She had violated customs,traditions and cul;ture. All agreed to outcast her.  Karbona-the home & abode rejected her. Budhni cried out but  Khap rule prevailed. With pain & sorrow she left her adorned village. She was alone. She moved here & there no body gave her shelter. It was Sudhir Datta an employee of DVC accepted her & married.  DVC people were more apathy to her. she was sacked from service.

Days went on she was forgotton. But Budhni did not forget her home. She tried again and again to live in her soil.  Oh. she was refused all time.

Budhni lost her village,lost her job and lost sympathy from others.  At the age age of 58 she brought her case to the notice of Rajib Gandhi-the grandson of Nehuru occupying the chair of Primeminister. rajibji listened to her and directed to DVC officials to reinstate her. Budhni won the battle.

I searched her fervently. I could not meet. Last month i met many tribals of her area. I told them about her. No body recognize her name. Still I was searching Where is that historic lady. day before yesterday I got the news from internet that She is no more.

She is lost. albeit my memory is afresh .it is alive as I saw Budhni while inaugurating . I was a play boy that time.

 

Prof. Samar Datta at Lake Hall,BCKV

Prof.Samar Datta ,IIM with Prof.Biswapati Mondal,Pro-V.C.

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Prof. Samar Datta at BCKV

Turmeric Seed Distribution Program: Kapgari

Turmeric: BCKV

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