Skoch Award for District Administration Bankura
Bankura district of West Bengal is situated in the Western Part of Bengal. The district is often called as “Rarh” district because of its position in the Chota Nagpur plateau. The district has 22 Blocks and 3 subdivisions. The tropic of cancer passes through Bankura, therefore the residents experience extreme climate. So, the geographic location of the district with undulated terrains have been a drawback. That has induced fallow lands in the district which has triggered issues of unemployment, subsequently issues of poverty, and malnourishment with hidden hunger.
But the hardworking ability and abundance of labour of the district have been a great advantage. The district administration decided to build on the advantageous factor of the district and overcome the pertinent challenge of fallow land, unemployment, poverty, and malnourishment.
The journey was not easy, the administration planned to work on the fallow and dry land of Bankura. But, the challenge in front of us was the identification and mapping of such dry and fallow land. The daunting task of identification fallow lands with assistance of local government, verified by an inter-mediatory government body and at last district body was carried. The identified land patches were further verified using satellite images with the assistance of NRDMS.
Grassroots challenges were tougher because the administration was working in previously Left Wing Extremist affected regions where a revolt against Government initiatives has always been there. But all the habitants were brought under confidence through multiple meetings, entry point activities, and integrated natural resource management interventions. Entry point activities were ensured around forest, land, and water resources around the inhabitants.
So, we can say a techno-managerial effort was applied to plan and execute works under the convergence project. The effort was given from full administration to localize SDGs through the convergence of fund–function and functionaries, application of analytical framework such as PESTEL to assess the sub-regions, and comprehensive management was ensured through orchestration between people, resources and institutions.
Today, at Bankura, we can proudly say we have generated employment not only through wages but also through, agriculture, horticulture, sericulture, dairy, pisciculture, animal husbandry, etc. As of now, more than 10000 families have been brought under multiple sources of income, more than 1 Cr income got generated exclusively through women self-help groups from their vegetable stores, more than 4500-acre land has been brought under cultivable land through irrigation sources, 10000+ dairy farmers have Napier grass planted on their barren lands for fodder cultivation for their cattle, and many more such income-generating activities were adopted together during the effective and efficient utilization of barren land through convergence project. Lastly, I would like to emphasize here that the project has really worked as great support during the COVID outbreak because through this convergence project a lot of migrant labourers have got earnings to survive in critical situations. In the coming days, the district wants to build on the installed infrastructures and generate employment as well as income. For example, I can say the district has already set up one food processing unit, multiple vegetable stores and has planned more such initiatives to ensure produce from land to market without hiccups. Long way to go, but we are determined to achieve a green and poverty-free Bankura soon.
It gives us immense pleasure to share with you all that the Bankura District Administration under the leadership of DM Smt K. Radhika Aiyar, received a Silver award under District Administration Category at the SKOCH Award ceremony for works on “Convergence for efficient and effective utilization of dry and fallow land of Bankura”.
The Bankura district administration extends gratitude to each district individuals who extended their contribution and all supporters of the district who helped in achieving this award.