My B’Day

October 13, 2013




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Yesterday I became a senior citizen.  I ‘m now sixty plus.  Thanks to the almighty.. he has poured blessings upon me  that my b-day has been renewed again..  I am also thankful to  Him that this time I am present in my birth-place.. a village cum town in Bankura district. It is none other than my Chhatna… I am also thankful again as this date coincided with the Mahaastami this year.. I pay my deep regards to my parents.

However,  my b-day was  first noticed by my daughter. I got a ring from her early in the morning. She wished me in a mellow voice. On other day she rises late.. this time she is prompt to leave the bed.  I thought I will get more wishes from others. All were vain.. I ‘m not   Rishi  Arabinda Ghosh..  No body remembers  my b-day.   I don’t mind  on it. This natural. I could not remember others. This happened this year. One day in the evening I was  asked my daughter to wish my wife as it was her b-day. I was late to wish. She was surprised and smiled while hallowed her.

Keeping away all those tricky matters, I wanted to celebrate my b-day silently enjoying the beauty of Chattana and surroundings and amidst my favored tribal.

Accordingly, early in the morning I packed up. I called  Chandan Sarkar who is on tour with me  to capture turmeric on the spot. We started  from home guided by Swaraj.  Swaraj suggested to go Bamandiha. I agreed. But the route is differnt now. Usual road is blocked and not in order. we have to follow  the route through Chamkara.  We crossed Sarberia. It is an open field with jungle in those days of my boyhood. Now it has been coming near to chhatna. From sarberia on wards, there has been little change. The old flavor  is still there. The same zig-zag road, the same bushes,, the same huts are there.  We saw Chamkara fro the cab. Only i found the bridge is built up. We haled over the bridge. Gandeshwari river is flowing below it. Water is transparent ,glossy  and gentle. I compared its flow what i see in Satighat.. the Gateway of Bankura. It is horrible to look at Gandeshswari. It is a dirty drain. all waste materials including plastics are there. It is difficult to recognize it as a river.  The beauty of Gandeshswari is charming. I got  a few passerby.  Chamkara is  the vegetable spot of Bankura. I recalled Ambuja da who used to come our home . Ambujda used to sell his vegs to my grandmother. He was aged but strong. For many years I could not see him. He is now heaven. We saw some migratory small birds. we also saw a snake swarming in the river.  In the middle of the river,there is a rock. There is a small place for Kali-goddess. A medium tree is peeping from the rock. I was told that the place is sacred one. In 1999,whole  Chamkara was under flood/ Gandeshswari was in her rude form.  Luckily, the roch was not submerged and the deity was unhurt.  It is very interesting to hear those beliefs.

We crossed Chamkara.. went through Karanjora. Karonjora is known to me from my childhood. I could not visit it earlier. There is no good communication  between Chhatna and the village. I could remember that patients used to come by cart from this place. There was only a single doctor  in Chhatna that time . Dr,Jaygeswar Bandopadhay– a friend of my grand-father was the man to treat patients. Thus, I had a soft corner to it. Now ,it is easy to reach Karanjora. It is a village dominated by landlords. The village shows its prosperity comparing to others.

After Karanjora we came to Ukhardi forest range. It was nice to see the natural beauty of Ukahardi.  From Ukhardi market one can see the Mejia thermal power as well as Raniguanj.  Intercepting the forest range we came to Bamandiha. From Bamandiha you can enjoy Susunia hill. It is a typical place of Paschimanchal. Three blocks, Chhatana, g.Ghati and Bankura-11  has surronded the village. Only tribal of 72 households do live here.  Swaraj is known to them. ramnath Tudu was waiting for us. We came to see turmeric fields. Damu Baske and Rameswar Tudu led us to some spots. They are so careful I could not imagine before. Their crop is shinning. I was suprised that Rameswar Tudu eracted bamboo-wall all through boundarirs of his plot. He was showing the place , It was barren . nothing was here previously. He is satisfied that a good crop is coming up. Thaks to Rameswar. I was looking at a bell tree. it was of medium height,  recently I saw such trees in our farm. Here the crop is more natural. There are a few spikes in branches. On query I knew that there are many bell-trees in the area,particularly near Susunia hill. The weather became cloudy.  after a fruitful meeting and visiting we departed.

As soon as we came to Ukardi. Swaraj asked us to  visit Shali Dam. This is a earthen dam. Many visitors come here. This place is linked with Amarkanan,Kora Pahar. I never saw it but heard from others. I nodded. Really it is an excellent dam. I recommend it strongly to  nature-lovers. we had no time. Otherwise I could spent much. From this dam we moved towards Bhaktabandh where some farmers are our stakeholders. On the way they wanted to visit their field. we expressed our inability as it was Mahaastami. Then we were crossing through Kukrajore jungle. It is deep ,densed and natural. This place reminds me about Dooers in North Bengal. This is the unread and un-supported  tourist spot of Bankura.  Crossing over it we crossed Mankanali, Mogra Raibandh and at the end we halted. again we saw Gandeshwari in another good look. water Current was  much more here, On the bank there is a Sasan. This is the 1st time I saw a kali0Goddess with ten heads and ten legs.This is the sasan Kali built 30 yrs back.

Now we are in Barachaka village. all the birds have come. Met Pranatosh Tudu. Enjoyed the birds. Chandan took many snaps. I told him to send all those. We also visited turmeric fields. We found brown-spot diseases. Continuous rains caused it.

Reached home at 2.30 p.m. I am on fast today. I shall  worship Goddess after two years.

I enjoyed the trip. I am happy that my b0day covered much part of my b’place.

I thank all who wished, who are yet to wish and who will never wish .


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.


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.



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





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.


Prof. Samar Datta at BCKV

Turmeric Seed Distribution Program: Kapgari

Turmeric: BCKV


June 16, 2013


I am at Cherrapunji