Our Activities

Community Community Awareness Building & Sensitization Programme in West Bengal and Jharkhand States:
RDS implemented the community awareness and sensitization programme in the rural, tribal areas of Bankura district of West Bengal state, Deoghar district of Jhakhand state and Mayurbhanj district of Orissa state. The tribal, dalit, indigenous and minority community peoples are deprieved of basic amenities for development of mental, physical faculties. Maximum illiteracy, extreme poverty and lack of scientific knowledge inculcate blind faith on superstitious belief, social stigma in their mind which ultimately exploits them in many ways.

One of the most social evils witch craft practice draws fearful respect and faith among illiterate tribal and indigenous people. The witch craft practitioners are most clever and they display magic chanting unknown words to influence the community people. People of vested interest and witch craft practitioners jointly play the role to snatch money and house belongings of the targeted victims. Many times they do not hesitate to use the blind faith of village people for killing the declared witch women to grab whole property of the victim. It is our policy to generate awareness among the target community at first before undertaking any development planning. The activity report is given below in tabular form:

State Venue Programme No. of Participants Resource Persons
West Bengal Harekrishnapur Elimination of social evils SHG promotion 122 Women N/A
Pochirdanga 102 Women Sushanta Modak
Tulsiburi 56 Women Durgadas Kapri
Harekrishnapur Consumer Rights Rights to Livelihood 158 villagers Dr. S. K. Dey
Gopalpur 88 villagers
Pochirdanga Environment and ecology 62 villagers Rajat Bhattacharya
Raipur SHG promotion 105 women Sushanta Modak
Jharkhand Mohanpur, Deoghar Water and Sanitation SHG promotion 50 villager N/A
Keriabag, Deoghar 41 villager Gopinath Ghosh
Sariyahat, Dumka 66 villager Sk. Alamgirh

Awareness Awareness Generation Project for Rural and Poor Women:
The project is sanctioned by the Central Social Welfare Board for organizing five awareness camps for rural and poor women in Bankura district. In this connection one female camp supervisor has undergone the training of supervisors at J.P. Institute for Social Change. After completion of the training a survey has been conducted in the target following villages.

Vill+ P.O. Kenjakura, Dist: Bankura
Vill: Harekrishnapur, P.O. Satyayatan, Dist: Bankura
Vill: Rangamatia, P.O.Belia, Dist: Bankura
Vill + P.O. Amgajaria, District: Bankura
Vill- Kendboni, P.O. Mankanali, Dist: Bankura

Education Programme:
Modern schooling is badly needed for students of lower middle class families in Bankura district. Because of the commercialization of private educational institutions and high education costs the target students have no access to get education facilities in English medium. Considering the needs of the poor and talented students the Modern School has been incorporated by RDS. Innovative children centered and interesting teaching method has been adapted in the process learning through playing and learning in doing. In fact our education policy is directed to check dropout and enroll all non school going children in the government schools. The teachers of Modern School of RDS keep constant follow up with parents and guardians. Social, health and environmental education has also been provided to the learners.

IGNOU Study Centre:
RDS has been running the IGNOU study centre for students of scheduled caste, dalits, tribal and indigenous and minority communities. The target students get coaching facilities etc. in the study centre. Students have been provided with coaching, guidance and learning materials.

Innovative Innovative Scheme: Mainstreaming & Rehabilitation of Children of Leprosy Sufferers families:
In the Model Mainstreaming Education Center (MMEC) at village Kalyanpur near Bankura town 30 children of leprosy sufferers' families have been enrolled. They have been provided with learning materials, play materials, training materials and nutritious meal. Two teachers, one counselor, one vocational craft teacher, one aya and one cook have been deputed to run the MMEC. One doctor visits the center once a week for health check up, treatment and health education. Information Education Communication (IEC) materials are used very effectively and it makes the education more interesting among the target children. The teaching methodology is innovative attractive and in the process of learning through playing, learning in doing.

The project has already created very positive impacts among the target children and community people. More and more deprieved children of leprosy sufferers' families have been approaching to schoolteachers for getting admission in the model school. It is really a good sign that parents of the target children and community leaders have been cooperating to run the activity smoothly. So far the attendance rate is 96% and it proves that the functioning of model education center has been directed in right order. Members and volunteers of RDS have already started lobbying with local primary school authorities for mainstreaming of the successful and advanced groups of students. The civil society of Bankura town, local NGOs and CBOs, Representatives of State Advisory Board and member of the Board in the District have been cooperating and providing guidance from time to time. The local and national electronic medias have also highlighted the noble efforts of the RDS. It is interesting to take note that the thinking skills of the target children such as problem solving, thinking critically, processing information and exercising choice, making informed decisions and social skills like appreciating others, building positive relationship with family, listening and communicating effectively, taking responsibility and coping with stress etc. have already been developed. As a result of weekly health check up and nutritious food supply (rice with dalma, vegetable, sayabin noodles for 2 days in a week, egg/fish curry for 3 days in a week, chicken curry 2 times in a month) the health status of the target children has been improved. Among the target children 21 children have been enrolled in Class I standard and rest children in Standard II. So, it is revealed that at least 3 years education support is needed for building strong basic education base and mainstreaming of the target children.
Exhibition Pulse Polio Campaigning:
Pulse polio campaigning is a vital programme of RDS. Health hazards are one of the major problems of rural people. In fact illiteracy and unawareness are two factors for which rural people suffer a lot. Under the pulse polio campaigning programme RDS has covered 10 villages at Bankura I block. Staff members, volunteers, social workers, governing body members of RDS cooperate fully to make the pulse polio immunization cent percent in the target villages. In this connection we established close contact with concerned blocks ICDS and health department.

Health Check up Camp:
RDS organized health check up camps during the reporting year in ten villages at Bankura I block with its limited resources. In the camp women groups were provided with IEC materials on preventive measures on various health hazards of this area. 396 women and 218 children were examined in these camps and referral services had also been provided. One doctor and trained health staff of the organization conducted health check up programme successfully.

Malaria and TB Control Programme:
RDS has been organizing Malaria and TB Control programme during the last five years. During the reporting year RDS has covered 10 villages at Mohanpur block in Jharkhand state, 5 villages at Bankura I block in West Bengal state. Preventive awareness education has been provided on cleaning of water bodies, jungles, use of mosquito net, blood testing etc.

AIDS AIDS Prevention Programme:
The epidemic of HIV/AIDS has been spreading rapidly in all parts of West Bengal including Bankura districts. It spreads from population at higher risks to general population, from urban to rural areas, and to increasing numbers of women. There is rapid increase in groups of diverse population. Bankura Sadar, Bishnupur town, Sonamukhi, Beliatore, Barjora, Mejia, Saltora, Sarenga, Khatra areas in the district are located in mixed population areas. The sex trade at Bankura red light areas at Kalitala, in the road side dhabas, lodges located at Bankura - Bishnupur, Bankura - Barjora, Bankura - Mejia bus route, and other areas are increasing day by day. Rural labour class people, truckers, cleaners, are the main client groups. Laborers, rickshaw pullers, truckers, cleaners, mason workers, small traders are the main client groups. There are about 3500 brothel based and flying sex workers in Bankura district. These areas have not yet covered by any organization. It is revealed that in these areas sexually transmitted diseases are spreading at a galloping rate among CSWs and their clients. Due to unawareness, risky sexual behavior, free sex with unknown persons with out condom, unawareness about HIV/AIDS/STDs the CSWs are vulnerable to sexually transmitted infection with HIV positive. The risk of transmission from infected men to CSWs also greater than transmission from CSWs to men. In this situation RDS has given maximum emphasis on awareness building of commercial sex workers and their clients in Bankura district. Behaviour change communication, Focus group discussions are also organised.

Leprosy Control Programme:
The district of Bankura is a leprosy affected area. The famous Leprosy Hospital is also located in this district. RDS has been striving for eradicating the social stigma and making aware people about the disease, early detection and treatment. During the reporting year RDS identified 32 affected persons and referred for MDT treatment facilities.

Eye Care programme:
Eye care sensitization camps have been organized in remote tribal villages at Bankura I block in Bankura district. RDS has also identified the most deserving eye patients and referred to Lions Club and other eye care institutions for check up at free of costs.

Vocational Training Programme:
During the reporting year RDS organizes vocational training programme for women and youth on various vocations and unemployed youth and women of self help groups have been provided with the training facilities.

Fish hook making training was conducted for 20 women in one batch for a period of 6 months for up grading their skill in fish hook making. The district of Bankura is famous for this cottage industry and it occupies a good wholesale market. The trained women have become self employed by starting production activity of fish hook.

Bell metal training was provided to 15 youth for a period of 3 months. The training was imparted by an expert instructor. After completion of training, the trained youth started income generation activities.

Kitchen gardening and compost farming training was provided to 20 tribal and indigenous women on vegetable kitchen gardening for a period of 6 months. The training was imparted by experienced instructor and the organization had also earned from sale proceeds of vegetable produced during training period.

The weather of Bankura district is suitable for mushroom cultivation. People of this district are also habituated to take mushroom in their food items. Tribal and indigenous people collect mushroom from forest during October November. Mushroom training was conducted in Bankura town and 20 women had undergone the training for a period of one month.

Training on weaving was provided to 10 women of self help groups and after training they had become self employed. Besides training on goat/sheep rearing, handicraft, embroidery & tailoring, weaving was provided to 70 women and after the training all of them have become self employed.

Training cum Demonstration Programme:
Piggery training cum demonstration unit is located at Harekrishnapur. During the reporting year RDS provided training to 40 tribal youth for a period of one year. Pigs have a good market in tribal areas. Improved method of pig rearing training has been imparted to the target youth. The trained will start piggery units of their own for income generation. During the reporting period the organization earned income from the piggery unit.

Pisci culture training cum demonstration unit is located at Bankura I block where 5 tanks are used for the training of 18 youth of fisher folk community. In the soil and water of Bankura district production capacity of fingerlings is very good. One tank is used for this purpose. The training was conducted for a period of 6 months. The organization has also generated income from sale proceeds fish.

Kitchen gardening training demonstration unit is located at Indpur block. During the reporting year 65 SC, tribal and indigenous poor women have undergone the training on vegetable kitchen gardening for a period of 6 months. The training was imparted by experienced instructor and the organization has also earned from sale proceeds of vegetable produced during training period.

Food processing training cum demonstration has been conducted for poor women at Bankura I block. 20 women have undergone the 3 months food processing training programme successfully. After completion of training the trained women starts self help income generation through food processing. The organization has also earned income from sale proceeds of products.

Youth Leadership Training:
Exhibition Leadership is very essential to move in right direction of the target. Rural youth very little scope to develop their leadership quality due to various reasons. In fact they have no access to information, education about various developments at local, regional and national level. So, like previous years RDS organized youth leadership training programme for a period of 5 days at Kenjakura for 40 youth of tribal, indigenous and scheduled caste communities. The course contents are - development of leadership quality, team building, participatory planning, development of self respect etc.

Youth Art Craft Exhibition:
3 day youth art craft exhibition has been organized by RDS at Bankura town. The youth participated on their art and craft for encouraging their creativity and innovative ideas and disseminating their talents among the community and mainstream people. 80 youth participated in the exhibition and displayed their art and craft. About 3000 villagers visited the art craft exhibition.

Dug well Construction:
Gandhi Vichar Parishad sponsored a dug well at Harekrishnapur village. RDS implemented the programme very successfully through peoples' participatory approach. 30 bighas of land has been covered under minor irrigation from the dug well. Local contribution has also been raised to complete the work.
Promotion SHG/SGSY Promotion:
During the reporting year RDS and its associated organizations have promoted more than 300 women self help groups in Bankura district. In this connection awareness-cum-motivational camps have been organized on the benefit of the Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY) scheme. RDS has conducted survey, focus group discussions, and orientation meetings with rural poor women of below poverty line families for promotion and formation SGSY groups by incorporating 10 - 12 members in each group. Initiatives for opening bank account in the name of each group for depositing small savings have been taken. For micro finance linkage RDS has contacted to State Bank of India, Bankura.

Women Rights & Women Human Rights Conference:
Like previous years RDS organized the women's conference. Women constitute about half of the total population and under the male dominated society women have no access to decision making and human rights. Despite their contributions in the family maintenance, household activities, child rearing, agriculture wage earning and hard work about 18 hours a day it is not recognized in our social structure. Considering the critical situation RDS organized the Women Rights Conference by incorporating about 1000 tribal and indigenous women in Bankura district. Rallies with banner, posters, wall writing has also been conducted to sensitize the community people and civil society.

Seminar on Tribal Rights over Land, Water and Forest:
The majority of Tribal and Dalits are landless and their struggle has been to access lands, water and forest and legal entitlements. Significantly, most of the lands, which were acquired after a long struggle, are in fact barren and degraded. Acquiring even these lands have been landmark achievements and have given these communities a sense of confidence and dignity in some parts of India. But the success feature of tribal and dalit struggles has not been reached among the concerned people in our project areas as they have no access to information on their rights. So RDS organized two seminars in at Harekrishnapur and Indpur in Bankura district. Each seminar is attended by 60 tribal community leaders and women leaders.

Leprosy Rehabilitation of Leprosy Cured Women:
The People for Progress in India, USA has sanctioned the project for rehabilitation of leprosy cured women at village Kalyanpur, District Bankura for a period of three years. During the reporting year RDS has started the functional literacy programme for the target women and organized one Health Education camp.

The functional literacy centre has started from and on 1st December 2005 at Kalyanpur leprosy sufferer's colony. 85 leprosy cured and healthy women of leprosy sufferer's families are enrolled in the literacy centre. Two teachers are deputed to teach the target women. Teaching materials like primer books, slate, pencil, poster, charts are provided to the target women. The target women have been progressing with satisfactory result. According to the assessment of teachers about 80% women have already gained reading and writing ability of simple sentences, numerical counting and simple calculations. Others 20% women are also progressing. Due to lack of accommodation facility the literacy centre provides education to the target women in two batches. Besides, the said women have been participating in the monthly meetings for project management decision making. The Functional Literacy Centre was functioned up to 30th September 2006. Through the literacy programme the target women have empowered with the capacity for decision making and developed their ability to initiate discussions to solve their problems, interaction with government officials regarding their problems etc. Moreover a sense of self respect has also been inculcated among them.

Excursion Five numbers of one day health education camps have been conducted at Kalyanpur for the target women for development of their hygienic behaviour attitude, awareness on safe drinking water and environmental sanitation, reproductive health care, HIV/AIDS/STDs, Multi-drug therapy for curing leprosy etc. Resource persons have discussed on best hygiene practice, reproductive health care, HIV/AIDS/STDs, safe drinking water and environment sanitation, Multi-drug therapy for curing leprosy etc. Dr. B. C. Mandal conducted the health check up of the women in each camp. Under the leadership of Dr. Mandal cultural programmes are performed on various health issues. The impact of these camps has developed a hygienic healthy environment among the community. They have already changed their habits and practicing neat and cleanliness. Some women suffering from white discharge have been getting treatment in the local clinics. It is also observed that the health oriented mothers and women have been taking health care and neat and cleanliness of their children.

During the reporting year 5 numbers of self help groups' promotional meetings have been organized. In these meetings discussions are made on the norms and function of the SHGs. The target women participated in the discussions and shared their views with the resource persons in the meetings. Five self help groups are formed. An exposure visit of 15 group leaders has been conducted. They visited the SHG functioning at village Dhaban of Chhatna block.