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Development of tribal communities (Rural communities)

‘Development of Intensive Tourism cum Handicrafts Cluster in Phuldanga and Bonerpukurdanga villages in Bolpur/Sriniketan Block of Birbhum district, West Bengal under Cluster Development Programme of NABARD.'

The Project is based on the premise that tourism growth potential can be harnessed as a strategy for Rural Development. Tourism is one of the major earner of foreign exchange for the country and Rural tourism is expected to add more to what we earn in foreign exchange. Moreover, Rural tourism will hasten the process of development and give a chance to the village communities to interact with the outside world. It will also boost employment opportunities in rural areas and the products of rural artisan will find a ready market.

The goal was to build sustainable tourism opportunities through community participation, capacity building, infrastructure development, promotion of tribal art and culture, development of linkages with government & non-government agencies for the economic & social development of disadvantaged tribal communities.

The beneficiaries were the tribal communities of the villages of Bonerpukurdanga and Phuldanga in the Birbhum District of West Bengal.

The activities under the Project in the first four years of the Project included the following :

Achievements under the Project have included:

Activities during the year concentrated on strengthening the credit and marketing linkages for the artisans and also promotion of tourism. Artisans participated in Exhibitions held in Bhubaneshwar, Kamarpara, Baidyabati, Mumbai, Poush Mela and events like Outreach Puja & Chaitra held in CTS, PwC, Unitech etc.

There has been an increase in the number of tourists and visitors to the villages which has led to an increasing number of opportunities for artisans to sell their products. Besides, the arrival of tourists also led to number of opportunities for the cookery group and the Dance Group to earn additional income.

After installation of 12 solar street lights in the village of Bonerpukurdanga , a Village Committee was formed for maintenance of the solar lights. A bank account in the name of the Committee “Bonerpukurdanga Gram Unnayan Committee” was opened. Village community members are contributing a nominal monthly subscription every month.

Two Skill Development Initiatives (SDI) were carried out in Wood & Bamboo craft (advanced) and Terracotta (advanced) in the two villages. There were 10 trainees under each SDI. Under the Wood & Bamboocraft, the trainees were taught to make attractive trays, folding chairs & tables, picture frames with tribal designs painted on it, trays made from wood and sitalpati, etc. Terracotta trainees learnt to make attractive show pieces, decoratives, penstand, tiles, etc. The trainees also learnt to make the “clay” for terracotta products which itself has good demand and market locally.

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