Monday, April 1, 2019


PPR also known as 'Goat Plague' is a viral disease of goats and sheep characterized  by fever,sores in the mouth, diarrhea, pneumonia and eventual death.

Last week two goats of Sridam Mahato of Hurumbil village (Poorvi Singbhum, Jharkhand) died due this dreaded disease. This disease can be avoided by timely vaccination. This is a poor area and most of the families own 2/3 goats only

A vaccination camp was arranged, sponsored by ERM,  from 30 March 2019 in two villages: Hurumbil village covering 21 families for 52 goats, Hutupathar village covering 13 families for 51 goats.  Bordih village covering 21 families for 58 goats.

documentation by:

Friday, February 15, 2019



Earth Festival is an important event in the life of Swadhina that is being organized every year in the working area of Swadhina.

A: Objective:
The basic objective of this program, termed as “Vasundhara Mela” in the local language, is many folds:
- Creating environment awareness among villagers, especially women and children,
- Exhibiting the importance of nature and natural resources in our daily life,
- Showcasing the cultural heritage of various communities,
- Fostering unity of human kind in a pluralistic society, with co-existence of many communities, race, creed and colour,
Vasundhara Mela is on
-Showcasing the varied and colourful world of animals, birds, reptiles, flora and fauna many of which are fast becoming extinct,

Recently Swadhina organized such a “Vasundhara Mela” sponsored by ERM  (Environmental Resources Management) at Kanku village in Patamda Block of East Singbhum district, Jharkhand. Kanku is located about 50 k.m. away from Jamshedpur on the border of Purulia district of West Bengal  and it is dwelling place of various tribal and OBC communities in a forest region .This was a 3-day event held from 25th January, 2019.

There were many stalls to exhibit different items also there were open-air exhibition of posters, charts, banner, and hoardings. The place was colourfully decorated with streamers and other decorative items.

B: Respect Tree:
One of the important aspects of theVasundhara Mela was an event called “Respect Tree”. An old tree was decorated with coloured papers and some glittering decorative. Early in the morning of the first day children
"Respecting Tree" event
and women of the village gathered under the tree. With incense sticks in their hands, and, amidst the sweet sound of conch-shell blowing they were encircling the tree with songs praising the usefulness of tree.

C: Exhibitions:
1.Vegetables: There was stall exhibiting various vegetables grown in the area brought by the local small farmers as a part of competitive vegetable show.

2.Birds: There was a exhibition showing large variety of birds depicted on large laminated display board with colourful picture and details about and interfering feature a contest for children wearing posters after visiting these exhibit they are ask the questions on the and contested giving best answers were winners.

3.Animals: Similar exhibits were there on different animal including the ones now extinct like dinosaur and dodo bird.
4. Dresses: There was on display a stall on laminated photo chart of dresses of different communities of India.

5. Seeds: There was stall on exhibiting various seeds grown in the area

6.Handicrafts:  There was interesting stall exhibit various handicraft items prepare by the local women and best one was given prizes.

7.Musical Items: Musical instruments made from nature like clay and wood etc.  Dance mask made of clay were on display.

8.Agricultural Implements: There was stall on various agricultural implements by local ironsmith.

9.Household items like mats made of various rope.

10.Pottery: Various clay items prepared by potters were put on the exhibitions

11.Bamboo-craft: Household kitchen items like basket were made of bamboo sticks were on display.

D: Discussion session

Everyday- there was open-air discussion sessions on women’s health, nutrition pollution, health and hygiene, women’s empowerment conducted by women leaders and social activists.

E: Competitions

There were many interesting competitions conducted which were conducive to the festival mood of the program for women.

1.Drawing Alpona/Kollam:  Alpona/Kollam is the art of floral design drawn on floor.  Women do this during festivals and happy occasions in the family like birthdays, marriages and so on. These are made by coloured powder or wet colors or at times with coloured chalks. Local women were seen participating enthusiastically in this. .

2.Conch Shell Blowing: Blowing a Conch-shell during the festivals and happy occasions are considered very auspicious and is a long time tradition. There was conch shell blowing competition held and those who can blow the conch shell for longest duration was
declared as winners.

3. Throwing the Ball Game: There was another interesting competition - putting the ball in the basket, which the women thoroughly enjoyed in participating.

4.Speech Competition: This was an instant speech contest where a participant has to speak for three minutes on the subject display on the chit. This again was very interesting event showing the leadership skill of the participating women.

5.Sit-n-Draw competition: This was held for children where every participant was provided with paper and pencil and color crayons for the drawing. The best one very given prizes.

6. Know Your Nature Competition: This again was for children. In this event participating children were asked to study the bird-animal charts on display intently and then come to the the main arena where in the were to say specific questions on those birds and animals. Children answering maximum correct answers were declared the winners.

Three days of festival which provided not only the intended awareness on the environment, nature and ecology for the villagers but also an occasion   of one and all to enjoy the good time of togetherness.

     Documentation by:
    Diptendu Mukerji

Monday, February 11, 2019



The entire country is reeling under cold wave and poor people in the area we are working suffering a lot .Responding to the need Swadhina embarked upon blanket program in a few village of Jharkhand .About 7o families were the beneficiaries following is a report on this program.

Phase 1:
We received a consignment of 50 blankets as donation through Anita Jhunjunwala and Anuj Arya of Kolkata. We distributed these blankets in two villages namely Latia and Sahoda.

 Latia village is situated in Mosaboni Block in East Singbhum District of Jharkhand state. This is in a mining area surrounded by forest and hills. 18 number of families all belonging to the tribal and OBC communities were given blankets on January 10 & 11,  2019. Ms. Papia Sharma  and  Ms. Madhumita Sarkar on behalf of Swadhina conducted the program  .

1.Mihir Mahali       (Tribal)       10.Sachin Bhakat         (OBC)
2.Priyanka Majhi  (Tribal)        11.Krishna Mahali        (Tribal) 
3.Agasti Majhi      (Tribal)        12. Srimati Mahali        (Tribal)
4.Akash Mahali    (Tribal)        13. Nishant Mahali       (Tribal)
5.Bijoy Hembram  ( Tribal)      14. Prem Mahali           (Tribal)
6.Gayetri Mahali   (Tribal)       15 Singo Mahali            (Tribal)
7.Manish Mahali   (Tribal)       16.Saraswati Mahali     (Tribal)     
8. Parbati Mahali  (Tribal)       17. Sukurmoni Mahali   (Tribal)
9.Sharmila Mahali Tribal         18. Ramesh Mahali      (Tribal)

Sahoda village is about 40 km away from Tatanagar  and this village is the part of the Mosaboni block situated amidst hills and forests. Here the blanket distribution program was held on January 11, 2019 .On behalf of Swadhina Ms. Deboshree Das, Sri. Bhavesh Mahato and Sri. Ladu Ram Mahato conducted this programme.

1.Monika Banra          Tribal              17.Nilsen Banra             Tribal
2.Om Lohar                OBC               18. Khusi Banra             Tribal
3.Janki Banra             Tribal              19. Birsha Purty             Tribal
4.Supriya Hembram   Tribal              20. Darpan Karwa          Tribal   
5.Bijoy Banra             Tribal               21. Nara Banra              Tribal
6.Bablu Banra            Tribal              22. Mahi Murmu             Tribal
7.Jano Kalindi            OBC               23. Mahesh Karmakar   OBC
8.Dibru Banra            Tribal              24. Bishnu Karmakar     OBC
9.Mulia Banra            Tribal              25. Rahul Tudu              Tribal
10.Somoy Banra       Tribal              26. Dasma Banra          Tribal
11.Sukmati Banra     Tribal              27. Parvati Mann            OBC                                  
12. Chinta   Maan     OBC               28. Pintu Maan               OBC
13.Minu Banra         Tribal               29. Durga Banra            Tribal
14.Malti Tudu           Tribal               30. Lal Sing Gagrai       Tribal
15.Krishna Tudu      Tribal               31. Basu Soy                 Tribal
16.Upal Majhi          Tribal               32. Chandmuni Sing      Tribal             

1.Jai Hind Transport Services to transport the consignment from Kolkata to Jharkhand

2. Sant Nandlal Marwari Sat Sangh,  Ghatsila  for support in transporting the blankets to the remote Mosaboni.

Phase 2-  

Birhor is a tiny tribal community of Jharkhand. They  are basically forest dwellers  and dependant on fruit gathering and forest produce for their sustenance . During this winter two of their women died due to extreme cold. There are just 20 families in this Birhor settlement in Bhadua Panchayat located  about 10  km away from Ghatsila. Our Swadhina state office is located in Ghatsila town and we thought it to be an important task to help them.

On January 20,2019 we organized the blanket distribution program and each of these 21 families  was given a blanket.  This program was conducted by Swadhina Secretary Ms
Saswati Roy Patnaik  assisted by Ladu Ram Mahato. Sri Prasenjit Karmakar,  a teacher  from Sant Nandlal School was also present.These blankets were  procured with the kind donation  we received from a family  from Kerala  - Shivan, Deepthi and Paramesh .We record our sincere gratitude to them for this timely help.

  1. Haivan Birhor              11. Chudamoni Birhor
  2. Mongla Birhor             12. Abadi Birhor
  3. Bilam Birhor                13. Prandhon Birhor
  4. Makra Birhor               14. Chiti Birhor
  5. Robi Birhor                 15. Phagu Birhor
  6. Ruhidas Birhot            16. Kaju Birhor
  7. Sukram Birhor            17.Subecharan Birhor
  8. Saheb Birhor              18. Lakvay Birhor
  9. Guruva Birhor             19. Raban Birhor
  10. Suku Birhor                 20. Mohabir Birhor
                         21. Bishram Birhor

Documentation by:
Diptendu Mukerji 

Friday, November 16, 2018



14 November every year is celebrated as the Children’s Day commemorating the birthday of our first prime minister Sri Jawaharlal Nehru. Like previous years, this year too Swadhina organised Children’s Day programme in several locations in Jharkhand state.

Sohda Village, Surda Crossing,
Mosaboni, East Singbhum

Here the programme started at 11 a.m. About 30 children were present, which included 17 students of Swadhina Good Hope School. After the inaugural bengali song, Sri Laduram Mahato, the Swadhina staff present at the event gave a short talk on the significance of the day and also narrated about Pandit Nehru. There after the children recited poems, some of them sang local songs, and there were quiz on general knowledge. Those who actively participated in these were presented with a gift packet containing a pencil, an eraser, a toffee and a pencil sharpener. They were also given nice dresses and a sweater each and the children were very happy to receive these gifts. At the end every participant was given cake and packet of biscuits. Ten local women members of Swadhina very enthusiastically participated.

Latia Village
Mosaboni, East Singbhum
 There Children Day here started around 1 in the afternoon, with a group song “Hum Hongey Kaamyab” (Hindi version of We shall Overcome). Children present took part in reciting rhymes, hindi poems and songs. It was indeed a festival of joy for the children. In all there were about 40 children who attended the event. The students of the Good Hope School very enthusiastically participated in all events, and they were presented with a sweater each. Ms. Papia Sharma spoke about the significant of the day and the programme was conducted by Ms. Madhumita Sarkar. At the end all participating children were given a cake and packet of biscuits. About 12 local women members of Swadhina were present through out and encouraged these children. The 3 hour programme ended around 4 p.m.

Hurumbil Village
Patamdah, East Singbhum
 “Manush to ekdin Jagbei” was the chorus with which the Children Day celebration of Hurumbil started. In all there about 30 children who participated. Sri Mathur Mahato, a local educated youth spoke about the significance of the day. The programme had a large number of children participating in performance like recitation of rhymes, songs and a few group games. Ms. Jayanti Mahato, the local Swadhina volunteer conducted the programme. Every participant was given a Sweet at the end of the programme. The event was held from 12 noon to 2 p.m.

 Chirudih Village
Patamdah, East Singbhum
 The programme here was held at the Swadhina Tuition Centre and place was very colourfully decorated befitting the festive mood of the Children’s Day. 32 children attended the celebration. Ms. Basumati Mahato, the Swadhina local volunteer conducted the various events like poems recitation, singing local language songs, performing folk dances etc. Sri Kirtibas Mahato, a local educated youth explained in simple language about Jawaharlal Nehru and the Children’s Day. The programme started at 12 noon and concluded at 2 p,m. 

     Diptendu Mukerji

Monday, November 12, 2018

Swadhina Education Support Centre

Swadhina: Shiksha Sahayata Kendra
Swadhina Education Support Centre

One of the basic issues, before education in the rural area , still is the significant proportion of drop-outs. As a result, though there are infrastructure available, like available primary schools, middle and high schools within the village or at a little distance, many do not pursue studies beyond primary level.

Swadhina has set up “Shiksha Sahayata Kendra” (Education Support Centes) at the village level to meet up the situation with the following facilities:

1. To arrange tuition for needy students, free of charge, especially for the girl-child, by experienced teachers,

2. Provide a good space, with sitting arrangements and proper lights-fans, for children to study together and prepare for home-work guided by the teacher

3. Supplement additional knowledge and learning of difficult subject like English

4. Organise special events like drawing classes, singing, group games, social gatherings to make children more interested in school education

5. Help them improve qualitatively so that they excel in school exams thereby they become more keen to go to school

6. Make them environmentally alert by getting them involved in various group activities like street theatre, songs on environment, quiz contest, tree plantation etc.

There are 6 such Educational Support Centres at the moment being run in East Singbhum District in Jharkhand.

1.Benasole Centre
The local primary school namely Utkramit Vidyalaya has kinddly provided us a school room which we are using as our Shiksha Sahayata Kendra. The Benasol village is located, in the Mosaboni Block of East
Singbhum District of Jharkhand State, in a hilly forest region. 15 girls are attending the centres - 4 study in VIIth Class, 7 study in VIIIth Class and there are 4 students who study in IXth Class. Of these 15 students, seven belong to Tribal community, six belong to Scheduled Caste community and two belong to the Other Backward Castes (OBC). The Teacher is from the local village - Ms. Reshmi Soy.

2.Latia Centre
Classes for Latia Kendra are held at the local Swadhina Village Centre. Latia is situated near Mosaboni Block, which is a mining area. There are 20 students here. 7 study in Class II,  7 study in Class III and 6 study in Class IV. Of them 16 belong to Tribal Community, 3 belong to Scheduled Caste and one belong to OBC . The teacher here is Ms. Papia Sharma. There are 17 girls and 3 boys.

3.Bordih Centre
The local Geruala High School has kindly provided us with a class-room to run the Kendra here. This area is located at a remote corner of the district at the border of the neighbouring state West Bengal. Sri Banka Bihari Mahato, a local school teacher has volunteered to conduct the centre. There are 25
students here all belonging to the backward class. Five of them study in Class II, Ten of them study in Class III, Ten study in IV. There are 13 girls and 12 boys attending the centre. Of these 18 belong OBC, 5 are from the ST Community, 1 each belong to the SC and Minority Community.

4.Kanku Centre
This centre in conducted by Ms. Rupali Mahato. The village belong to Patamda block of East Singbhum district. 21 girls are attending the centre, of whom 13 belong to the tribal community, 1 belong to Scheduled Caste and 7 belong to the
OBCcommunity. Three of them study in Class X, Four of them study in Class VIII, Five students are in Class VII, Two of them study in Class VI, Seven study in Class V.

5.Chirudih Centre
This centre is located in Patamdah Block in Bondih area. There are 27 students in this centre- 15 girls and 12 boys. Ten study in Class II, Eleven study in Class III, Six study in Class IV. Ms. Basumati Mahato is the teacher here. There are 4
from the Tribal Community, Two belong to the Scheduled Caste Community, One from the Muslim Community and Twenty students belong to the OBC community.

6.Hurumbil Centre
Hurumbil is near Katin area in Patamdah Block of East Singbhum district. There are 16 girls in this centre. Seven of them belong to Tribal Community, Three are from Scheduled Caste community ad Six belong to the Other Backward Caste section. Ms. Jayanti Mahato is the Teacher here, who has kindly offered a room for the centre.

In all there are 124 students attending the classes who are receiving education assistance. Of them 52 belonging to Scheduled Tribe Community, 16 students belong to the Scheduled Caste Community, 54 belong to the OBC and there are 2 students belonging to the Minority Section of the society. There are 97 girls and 27 boys enrolled in these centres.

We are aware that the need is for much more coverage, and, hence we are in the process of enrolling more students and opening more such Education Support Centres, in Singbhum in Jharkhand, Purulia in West Bengal, Kanya Kumari in Tamil Nadu, Mayurbhanj in Orissa and East Champaran in Bihar. .