Author: wbisgpp

SUCCESS STORY: SAYING ADIEU TO ARSENIC

No more panicking with Arsenic Water Purification Plant generates hope

Symptoms of arsenic poisoning were evident in a considerable portion of the population residing in Karimpur area of Nadia district. Black spots, lumps and thickening of the skin, dry palms and heels, numbness of limbs, liver disease and skin cancer etc. caused panic among the local population.

The water from the tube-wells was tested as per the advices of the doctors and it was found that the water is arsenic contaminated with presence of more than 0.01 mg arsenic per litre of water. It was evident that the people of the area suffered from arsenic poisoning. The news spread throughout the area and people were panic-stricken. People started to appeal to the Gram Panchayat for a solution to this teething problem.

As such, the Gram Panchayat started to take initiatives for providing a solution. Accordingly, two water treatment plants were constructed near Abhaypur Primary School and Karimpur Hospital in the financial year 2015-16 from the grants received from Nadia Zilla Parishad. This water treatment plant provides Arsenic, Iron and Bacteria-free safe drinking water. Activities of electricity connection, procurement of water vessels and vehicles to transport water to the households were also completed.

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SUCCESS STORY: A DIFFERENT KIND OF ATM

Installation of Water ATM brings relief to locality

Water is considered as the drop of life. Especially during summer, water acts as a panacea. But, travellers passing through this road need to pay at least Rs. 10 to 20 to buy a litre of bottled drinking water. Scorching summer makes their life miserable and they are forced to buy such expensive drinking water. However, the water available during travelling may not be completely pure, and unpurified water may cause severe stomach ailments.

The Goangaon – 2 Gram Panchayat of Goalpokhar – 1 Block of Uttar Dinajpur District has recently installed a purified drinking water plant (Water ATM) and has gifted this to the locals and for the travellers passing through the area. This is an unconventional development project. Modern technology has been used for the installation of this drinking water plant. Till now, the citizens of the Gram Panchayat have witnessed construction of roads, culverts or installation of tube-wells as the only modes of development activities. However, this new initiative of the Goangaon – 2 Gram Panchayat, undertaken through the consultation and mentoring of the ISGPP-II, has fascinated one and all. (more…)

SUCCESS STORY: FACELIFT FOR BATHING GHAT

Convergence of beautification and waste management project

Coochbehar is considered as one of the foremost among the 23 districts of West Bengal in terms of its rich history and heritage. Remnants of the lifestyle of the Rajas and various structures built by them can be found in various parts of the district. Pundibari Gram Panchayat lies in Block No. 1 of Sadar Sub-division of Coochbehar district. This Gram Panchayat is located near the district headquarters. May be because of this proximity to urban settlement, beautification initiatives have received emphasis on the development requirements of the local populace. (more…)

SUCCESS STORY: 2 ACRES OF GREEN BLISS

How a small stretch of greenery led to the creation of an Eco-park

Two acres of vacant land existed, next to Padma canal in Chatra Gram Panchayat of Baduria Block, North 24 Parganas. The land was uneven and unsuitable for use. Local miscreants used to gather in the place for anti-social activities after dark. They caused considerable nuisance in the public life of this area. The locals of the area had long cherished the idea of a park in this area. The Gram Panchayat decided to solve these problems by constructing an eco-tourism park in this unutilized land of Dakshin Chatra High School. The two acres of lands, lying beside the Padma canal has been converted into a beautiful park covered with lush green trees that attract public attention. School students now visit the park for excursions and to acquire practical knowledge of botany and the environment. No specific funds were available to the Gram Panchayat while planning this project. However, Gram Panchayats have the option to integrate grants for a particular public service. If there is a requirement, Gram Panchayats have the option to utilize public and private lands for undertaking any non-conventional activity. They can use these powers for conservation of environment and protection of endangered flora for the benefit of the future generations. (more…)

Success Story: Construction of Hume Pipe Culvert

Hume Pipe CulvertThe Torsha River flows beside the Sansad -18 of Latapata Gram Panchayat of Mathabhanga – 2 Panchayat Samiti. The vagaries of this mountainous river tormented the 2-4 thousand odd residents of the Dakshin Putimari village. Turbulent spates and irregular rising of water levels of the river isolated this settlement from the rest of the world. (more…)

SUCCESS STORY: CONNECTING THE REMOTE AND FAR…

Contributed by:
Sri Roopam Mondal
REM (Gangarampur Sub-division)

Pic-1Roads have contributed enormously to the lives of humans since ages. They underpin our community as well as society and allow goods to be transported to the farthest corners of the world. But for rural people roads have played a pivotal role by helping them deepen ties between communities, resulting in a healthy, vibrant and positive atmosphere in rural areas. Likewise, rural lives rely largely on safe and stable road condition to maintain communication between remote areas. (more…)

SUCCESS STORY: THE RAY OF HOPE

Installation of Solar Street Lights by Jateswar -1 Gram Panchayat

Contributed by:
Govind Thakur
ITM-ISGPP-II, Alipurduar

The Jateswar-1 Gram Panchayat is situated at a distance of 10 Km from the Falakata Railway Station and Falakata Block Office. It falls under the administrative jurisdiction of Falakata Block of the newly formed Alipurduar district.

Though densely populated, all the 17 sansads of this Gram Panchayat are backward areas in terms of development thereby causing several problems for its inhabitants. Till a few days back, the absence of streetlights was a severe problem for them. The canopy of trees covering the roads of the Gram Panchayat aggravated the problem in night time. Even in full moon nights, (more…)

SUCCESS STORY: A STITCH IN TIME

Accurate decisions taken by Gram Panchayat to resist natural disasters – Courtesy Khila Gram Panchayat, Udaynarayanpur Block, Howrah

A hamlet on the banks of Damodar – a picturesque village covered by greeneries, a perfect little example of the dream called Rural Bengal. The huge water mass of Damodar flows through the village located in sylvan surroundings. The Khila Gram Panchayat remains like a small temple complex within it. Every year, during the monsoon, the mighty Damodar overflows, flooding both its banks.

The Khila Gram Panchayat is a part of Udaynarayanpur – a remote block of Howrah district. Kaliyachawk – a backward Sansad of the Gram Panchayat, too, is flooded like the other Sansads in the vicinity. Flood waters isolate the Sansad, cutting off all contacts with the outside world, leading to extreme food shortage. But nothing much could be done against the might of Nature. The 1,132 people living in this Sansad desperately needed development of a mud road connecting Narkel Beria Burning Ghats with Kaliyachawk Shibtala to counter the flood situation. They discussed the matter in the Gram Sansad Sabha of No. 15 (Kaliyachawk) Sansad, and after taking unanimous decision, requested the Gram Panchayat to make the mud road all-weather durable. As a result, the members of Khila Gram Panchayat approved the program under Community Planning and implemented the activity under the financial assistance and supervision of the Fourteenth Finance Commission. The 430 feet long and 8 foot 3 inches wide road has been developed into a concrete road (improvement of road by cement concrete from Narkelberia Swasan to Kaliyachak Shibtala at Kaliyachak) at an expenditure of Rs. 3 Lakhs.

The Pradhan of Khila Gram Pancahayat expressed her pleasure in the actualization of the project and said that the Panchayat has taken a step forward by the construction of this road and has improved the transportation facilities for the people of Kaliyachawk Sansad of Udaynarayanpur Block.

SUCCESS STORY: FROM WASTE TO GOLD

The Inspiring Story of How Maligaon Gram Panchayat, Kushmandi, in Dakshin Dinajpur Embraced Solid Waste Management for a Pollution-Free Environment

111Maligaon Gram Panchayat, under the Kushmandi Panchayat Samiti of Dakshin Dinajpur district, is home to 6,321 families. Agriculture is the main livelihood of the inhabitants of Maligaon. The total population of 26,172 people of the area is divided into 17 Gram Samsads. All of them actively participate in the developmental efforts. During the primary stage of the planning process, in the primary and secondary phase of data collection and analysis, the Gram Panchayat decided to implement a project of perishable and nonperishable solid waste management. They felt that such a project would help them in maintaining the general health of the area and will also act as a means of revenue generation.

Accordingly, the Gram Panchayat decided to implement the project in its general meeting. Subsequently, in the financial year 2016-17, the Gram Panchayat began its perishable and nonperishable solid waste management program under the aegis of the District administration, 222ISGPP and Block administration. The said project was constructed at an expenditure of Rs.25,18,256/- . The entire amount was funded by the State Government under its Mission Nirmal Bangla (Swachh Bharat Rural Mission) in the financial year 2016-17.

Using mobile vans, Gram Panchayat employees go from door to door to collect the wastes. The wastes are then taken to the Bio-fertilizer Production Centre of this project. Here, bio-fertilizers are made from the perishable solid waste. The nonperishable solid wastes are recycled. The Gram Panchayat has supplied all the necessary equipment like vats, buckets, trolleys, dress etc. for proper implementation of this waste management project. The elected representatives and employees of Maligaon Gram Panchayat and the people of the area regularly inspect the management practices of this project.  The participation of the inhabitants in the participatory Gram Panchayat planning stage and in the analysis of the collected data was commendable. These collective efforts have resulted in the successful and proper implementation of the project. Maligaon Gram Panchayat is responsibly working towards its promise of proper maintenance of this project. Moreover, the Gram Panchayat is earning revenue and increasing its own funds by selling the bio-fertilizers produced from the perishable solid waste.

SUCCESS STORY: THE DROP OF LIFE

How ISGPP assisted the Gram Panchayat overcome an acute water crisis

1_optThis story comes from the district of Cooch Behar, spread over an area of 3,387 sq. kms and home to over 28 lakh people. The area boasts of a literacy rate of 82%, significantly higher than the national average of 64.84%. Cooch Behar is located near the northern tip of West Bengal, with Assam and Bangladesh as its immediate neighbours. Due to its geographical position, Cooch Behar was slow to develop in the years following the independence. However, it is no longer a backward district. With the assistance of the Institutional Strengthening of Gram Panchayats Program (ISGPP), Cooch Behar today has emerged as a glowing instance of radical development. The ISGP Program has provided excellent guidance and assistance in helping the district solve many problems.

There was a time when the onset of the monsoon used to cause much worry and agony among the local populace, chiefly due to an acute crisis of drinking water and navigable roads. The livelihoods of countless people used to come to a halt. To add to the problem, health and education, would take a blow, too. This is exactly when ISGPP, Cooch Behar came forward as a veritable godsend.

In 2013, a team of representatives from World Bank came to visit the area. Upon their advice, the ISGP Program started generating awareness among the local Gram Panchayats about the prevailing crisis over the availability of safe, drinking water. A collective effort was initiated to reach a solution to the problem in hand. Under the 2_optguidance of a determined ISGPP Mentoring Team, along with the Gram Panchayats, it was decided to put an end to all cases involving diarrhoea stricken children, nauseous mothers or a widespread want of purified water. In the presence of the ISGPP Mentoring Team, the quest for a solution began in the office of the Kisamat Dusgram Gram Panchayat in the Dinhata-2 subdivision, among the affected GPs. The Mentoring Team discussed the problem at length with GP members and the Assistant Engineer (Nirman Sahayak) and a revolutionary solution was reached at the end of this significant meeting. Keeping in mind the epithet, ‘Water Gives Life’, the construction of a Water Treatment Plant began to provide purified water to the people. A 500 ltr. capacity reservoir was built at the 8th Sangsad in front of the ‘Kisamat Dusgram’ Gram Panchayat office at an expense of Rs. 2,01,552. This also paved the way for increasing the Panchayat’s own funds as it promised to provide 20 litres of purified water among the rural population at a cost of just Rs. 15. The crisis over drinking water was finally over. Financed by the ISGPP Fund for the financial year 2015 – 16, the successful construction of the reservoir made everyone joyful. According to the latest reports from the Health Department, the rate of incidence of gastronomic ailments in the region has reduced drastically.

The chronicle of ISGPP’s noble endeavours does not end here. Gradually, the Program has gifted villages with solar lights, bituminous roads, market complexes, schools, bridges and much more. ISGP is determined to keep this wheel of progress & development spinning in the days ahead. It is the aim of the Program to make rural India the pride of the entire Nation, as well as making it a glowing example of the perfect union of tradition and modernity.

Reported by:
Arijit Chatterjee
REM, Dinhata Subdivision
Cooch Behar District