WBSCL takes up initiative to make people self-reliant in 76 model villages
Kolkata: West Bengal Swarojgar Corporation Limited (WBSCL) has taken up a unique scheme of selecting 76 model villages in 11 districts across the state and made the villagers self-reliant.
WBSCL will coordinate with a number of departments of the state government and will take up projects for training people in various activities, so that they can eke out a living for themselves.
"The project will cover as many as 38 sub-divisions, with two villages in each of them. Our aim is to increase the income of the rural people and at the same time boost the village rural economy," said Pulak Roy, chairman of WBSCL.
The districts that have been identified for these model villages are Purulia, West Midnapore, South 24-Parganas, North 24-Parganas, West Burdwan, East Burdwan, Jhargram, Hooghly, Howrah, Nadia and Murshidabad. As many as 1,030 Gram Panchayats will come under the purview of the project. WBSCL will coordinate with departments like Panchayat and Rural Affairs, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Water Resource Investigation, Horticulture, Forest, Agriculture, etc. and will take up projects like renovating a pond and taking up fish cultivation, setting up animal farms, floriculture, setting up of polygreen house, etc.
"We have already set up 500 such small farms and have set up a target of 2,000 similar projects," a senior WBSCL officer said.
WBSCL will soon take up orientation programmes in the identified districts, involving district magistrates, block development officers and the self-help groups to identify the villages in which the project may start. "We will gradually spread this project in the remaining districts too," the official added. WBSCL is initially planning to have 100 people from each village under the scheme, which means that as many as 76,000 people will be getting employment.
Most importantly, the self-help groups will get the chance to involve their own family members in the scheme.
The people will get loan under the Swami Vivekananda Swanirbhar Karmasanasthan Prakalpa(SVSKP) and the state government will offer 30 percent subsidy against the loan.
If needed, WBSCL will also arrange for training in trades like mobile repairing, plumbing, electrician, beautician, tailoring etc. The youths of these model villages will get priority in getting loan under SVSKP.
It may be mentioned that this scheme is an extension of the Muktidhara project that was initiated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in December 2015, to ensure steady earning, drive away poverty and bring about financial improvement through self-help groups and self-employment. The Muktidhara project has been very successful.