SC Community Development with DST, GOI
“Use of natural resources for the Development of Schedule Caste Community in Bankura District” --- Shamayita Math runs this project with financial support from Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. Through this project, organisation serves to very poor schedule caste community in 3 villages of Gangajalghati block namely Synerdihi, Khudardanga and Khairboni. Of the population of the project village 62.5% belonged to the scheduled caste community of which 70% are below poverty line. Their literacy level is very low. The condition of health and hygiene are very poor. Lack of clean drinking water and nutritional deficiency are the major causes of poor health. People don’t have any knowledge about scientific agriculture. On the basis of the above circumstances, the project has the objective for all round development of the community through certain sets of activities:
- Increase in field crop production for food security is a first and foremost agenda for the project. Efforts have been given on scientific process for paddy cultivation through proper package of practices. Crops that needs less or only residual moisture have been introduced as suitable for the cultivation. Pulses production has been encouraged in winter season. It has double benefit, one way it gives protein rich food supplement and raises land fertility by adding nitrogen to the soil on the other.
- For betterment of livelihood, various interventions in agriculture sector are being taken into consideration. Efforts have been made to use locally available natural resource judiciously for making plant nutrient like ‘liquid manure’ by using tree leaves, cow dung etc. Promotion of ‘Azolla’ cultivation and multiplication to meet the growing need for cattle feed as well as to use as bio fertiliser is an important activity. Educating the community on vermin compost making and using as very precious fertiliser for the plant.
- Promotion of nutrition/kitchen garden was also a very important activity. Fruit saplings have been distributed for meeting family nutrition. Many SHG women have been provided training on mushroom cultivation. They have started producing mushroom also.
- Animal Husbandry:
a) Animal health camp organised on a regular basis to curb mortality rates of goats and cattle by timely vaccination and it has worked like a magic. Within one year of vaccination, mortality rates have come down to a great extent and number of goats has increased significantly.
b) Cross breeding through healthy buck for improved breed has helped to get healthy kids with more weight. This activity has very high economic return and is expected to take up as business mode for having steady rise in family level income as well as gives a financial stability to the poor rural household.
- Promotion of better health, sanitation, safe drinking water and healthy cooking environment was also integral part of this project:
- Health camp conducted for raising awareness on common diseases. Both curative and preventive measures were issues of concern. Night blindness, other eye ailments, fever, skin diseases and anaemia were among the common diseases to discuss.
- Women and child health care: Nutrition deficiency is the main cause for deterioration of women health and adolescent girls impacting the health of the child when they become mothers. Health of pregnant mother and adolescent girls are the main issues to consider and they were provided with supplementary medicines like iron tablets and emphasis given on consumption of vegetables which they can grow in their kitchen garden.
- Water testing for bacteria free drinking water: Water testing were done before and after the treatment of local dug well and ring well with bleaching and lime which showed a complete bacteria free drinking water with proper treatment and thus it solved the problem of clean drinking water. The point to be mention worthy is villagers are continuing this treatment with certain interval on their own.
- Smokeless chullah: Smokeless chullahs were introduced in project villages which helps to eliminate the toxic carbon monoxide gas emits with smoke at the time of cooking and its being inhaled by the women who cook.
- Bathing shed: Village women have to undergo embarrassment of changing cloth in the open after taking bath at well, ponds and rivers. This vital issue was addressed by constructing of bathing shed near wells in each village.
- Sanitation: Project people are following up for proper and timely installation of 50 sanitation schemes approved by the Government.