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Nursary raising by a Self Help Group at Asansuli village, Birbhum, West Bengal, India

Asansuli- a small village of Dubrajpur Block of Birbhum District, of West Bengal, India, containing barren lands was an economically and socially backward area with lack of unity among the tribal people. The women were exclusively backward. Both men & women used to migrate to Burdwan & Kolkata as masons. It was a tough time for the people there.

In the year of 2012-13 Gramin Vikas Trust, selected these poverty stricken families under WADI Project. Comprising these families, 12 WADI Committee were formed. At the initial phase of community mobilization, a lot of hindrances were faced by the GVT Staffs in facilitation of the programme due to poor unity and affinity among the local tribals. Slowly and gradually they got motivated towards their WADIs ( fruit Orchard) . Self help Groups formed earlier under SGSY were strengthened to motivate the counterparts of WADI Farmers also.

  Slowly after one year the picture started changing. Women participated in International Women's’  Day Celebration 2013-14. The coordination and bonding between them developed. The SHGs started working as a team. Their well coordination led to the formation of a nursery where these SHGs grew  forest saplings of akashmoni, ukaliptas and sishu. Initially the expenses of establishment of the nursery amounting to Rs. 4000/- was supported by GVT- a National level Development Organization working in 13 States of India. Eleven numbers of farmers and 4 members of WSHGs worked uncompromisingly, to set up the nursery. After a season, their toil brought ultimate results and smiles on their faces. It was really a fantastic nursery developed by them with lively forest plants. But after developing  the nursery they were again at a mess. What next? Where to sell the plants? How to earn? GVT, West Bengal at this juncture played a vital role. The entire number of forest plants in WADI ( fruit Orchard)  was supplied by these SHGs to GVT, in Birbhum. The SHGs earned an amount of Rs.80000/-( USD.1127) as net profit from selling of these forest plant saplings to GVT. They repaid GVT the amount they took as loan for setting up the nursery. They are now planning to set up four more nurseries in the near future.

Now at present the SHGs have become active not only in economic aspects to develop themselves as successful entrepreneurs but also as socially developed groups. Very recently they destroyed a number of illicit  liquor shops in their villages. Apart from that they are now not only involving themselves in proper maintenance of WADI ( fruit Orchards)  but also in various social development works for the development of the village. We hope to see these SHGs more vibrant in the future days




South and Central Asia
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