In a unique move, the state government has taken up a host of new initiatives to improve the socio-economic condition of people in Sunderbans.
Various skill development programmes have been initiated at various villages in Sunderbans and some parts of North and South 24 Parganas.
Three hospitality management courses are being conducted by the state government for the past one year to train many educated but unemployed youths in these areas so that they can start their own business.
Initiatives are being taken to include the youth in various self help groups operating in the state. Three courses on plumbing and for electricians have already been started each at Kakdwip and Canning in South 24 Parganas and Hasnabad in North 24 Parganas, so that the youth can develop skills, thereby creating employment in the distant areas of Sunderbans.
Various hospitality management courses have already been started at Sunderbans, keeping in mind the boom in the retail sector. In small towns, young men are getting employment after going through the skill development programmes. The retail sectors that are coming up in small towns also have requirement for skilled workers. With various hotels coming up at different locations across the state, trained persons are needed for hospitality management. Hence, the state government tied up with several skill development partners, accredited by the National Skill Development Council.
People in Sunderbans have already started producing various handicraft items by forming self help groups. Many of the family members of victims of tiger attacks in the forest-adjoining villages, like Jhorkhali, are engaged in production of various food items and other products to earn a better livelihood.
People have been immensely benefitted by the various development schemes taken up by different government departments to improve the condition of life of the villagers. The local administration is also creating a market where these people can sell their goods and get a good amount against their products.
The state government has also been focusing on the building of infrastructure to improve connectivity, for which around Rs 400 crore would be allotted. The state government has taken up the project to improve connectivity between the islands in Sunderbans.
It may be mentioned that there are around 104 islands in Sunderbans, among which half are inhibited by people while the rest are dense forest areas. Around 50 lakh people are currently living in the Sunderbans. This is for the first time that the state government has allotted a significant amount for development of infrastructure in the islands.