West Bengal

Partners

  • PRADAN is working in Bankura, West Mednipur and Puruliya districts

PRADAN has been working in the Hirbandh, Bankura-1, Ranibandh, Saltora and Indpur blocks of Bankura district since 2008-09.

PRADAN works with mostly SC (Schedule Caste), ST (Schedule tribe) and Other Backward Class (OBC) poor families. PRADAN’s attempt is to make livelihood centred integrated Natural Resource Management plans which leverage MGNREGA funds.

In Bankura district, PRADAN has facilitated the preparation and execution of NRM plans worth Rs.8.03 crores, of which 67% is devoted to small water harvesting structures (hapa). The balance is targeted to be spent on land development, social forestry and mango orchards.

A newly constructed hapa

A newly constructed hapa

Typically, the 5% model is undertaken by farmers with fields in the mid-level slopes. The farm pond is locally referred to as a Hapa as the depth of a Hapa is 10 feet. After protective irrigation also farmers get enough water in those hapa to irrigate their second crop. A positive dimension of the hupa technology is its simplicity. Because the dimensions of the hupa are a function of the size of the plot of land, the cost estimate on a hupa is relatively straight-forward. PRADAN has developed a simple spread-sheet that produces the costing estimate based solely on the size of the land holding. The soil substrate that has to be worked with is fairly uniform, and hence is not considered a factor in shaping cost estimates. Cost estimates are being produced by Panchayat rozgar sahayaks with a Class X education and they take less than a minute per estimate. While it may not be possible to simplify all MGNREGA work to the same level, the fact that the hapa is an appropriate technology in the specific locations where PRADAN is working, has helped its dissemination

In Bankura, significant achievements have been:

  • 300 ha of barren uplands have been treated with in-situ soil and moisture conservation measures which are transformed into green patches. Micro-environment within this area has been changed now and rabbits have been seen taking shelters in these patches
  • Under agro-horticulture, fruit plantation has been done in 227 hectare of upland benefiting 2,300 families (mostly scheduled tribe and schedule caste) in the past three years. This has not only reduced soil erosion but has created a regular source of income for the poor. The economic return per hectare of mango orchard would be Rs. 1.75 lakh from the fourth year onwards. 
  • Around 2,900 small water bodies have been created in crop lands which will harvest 11.5 lakh cubic meter of water. This harvested water is recharging ground water and is able to provide life saving irrigation to 666 Hectare of land and can provide irrigation in 266ha for the second crop

At West Medinipur, PRADAN’s engagements have resulted in

  • INRM plan has been made in 22 villages involving all the families of the village irrespective of SHGs.
  • 85 hapas have been completed
  • 3. 60 ha of upland treated with mango and cashew orchard.

The livelihood impact out of NREGA work:

Plantation: The survival rate of plants is more than 90% and SHGs (Self Help Groups) of the villages have taken responsibility of nurturing and protection of it. But the fruit is yet to be tested.wb-2
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