Our project aims to create a sustainable and impactful change by planting tree saplings, rejuvenating water bodies and creating trenches, while also providing art and handicraft training to support tribal families in the villages situated in Purulia district of West Bengal.
Location: State West Bengal; Villages of District Purulia
Rationale for the Project:
Addressing Land Degradation and Agricultural Challenges: The land areas have remained unproductive for an extended period, and the surrounding agricultural regions are also facing challenges. The absence of irrigation systems, diminishing groundwater levels, and harsh hot and dry weather conditions limit farmers to one crop per year, which is inadequate for sustaining their livelihoods. The project recognizes the need to address these issues and revitalize the agricultural landscape.
Environmental Sustainability and Soil Preservation: The plantation of trees brings significant environmental advantages to the entire village. It helps combat soil erosion, creates nutrient-rich soil, and, most importantly, contributes to the rise of the groundwater table. These benefits not only protect the land but also enhance its long-term fertility and productivity.
Enhancing Climate Resilience and Promoting Non-Timber Forest Products: The project is committed to establishing a more stable and resilient climate for the local villagers and future generations. By planting trees that produce non-timber forest products such as fruits, fodder, and timber, the project diversifies income sources and promotes sustainable land use practices. This approach ensures a sustainable livelihood for the villagers while preserving the natural environment.
Creating Employment Opportunities and Advancing Skill Sets: The project plays a vital role in creating direct employment opportunities, particularly for rural communities and women. Throughout the various stages of the plantation process, including raising saplings, site clearance, pit-digging, planting, and watering, locals are engaged on a daily-wage basis. Additionally, the project emphasizes vocational training and skill development programs for tribal communities, with a specific focus on women. By promoting tribal handicrafts, the project aims to reduce migration from villages and empower the local communities.
Income Diversification and Pond Construction: To enhance income opportunities for the locals, the project incorporates the construction of ponds for fishery production. These ponds not only provide an additional income source for farmers but also serve as a reliable irrigation resource during dry periods. This approach ensures sustainable economic growth and resource utilization in the region.
Selection of Local Tree Species:
Thorough research & consultation with environmental experts and community members is done for the selection of tree species. Only local and naturalized species are chosen, considering the specific needs of the area. The selected species, such as Teak (Tectona grandis), Shisam (Dalbergia sissoo), Karanj (Pongamia pinnata), Semal (Bombax ceiba), Mahua (Madhuca longifolia), Neem (Azadirachta indica), Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), Mango (Mangifera indica), Ear-leaf acacia (Acacia auriculiformis), Jamun (Syzygium cumin) are suited to the local ecosystem and contribute to the project’s objectives effectively.