Jalpaiguri Loka Kalyan Parishad
The topography of Jalpaiguri district is characterized by uneven and it varies from 62 m to 350 m. having slope towards north to south direction. The land use pattern of the district covers 30% forest, 20% tea garden ,35% cultivated and non-cultivated land and 15% for other uses (Source: LISS-III image, March, 2001).The northern part which includes Kalchini Block is (situated at the foot hills of Bhutan) covered by hills& tea gardens and the forest is scattered throughout the district .
LKP’s Project Area in the District : Kalchini, the project block of Jalpaiguri district . has 18 tea gardens and most of all are sick or closed and the economy of the locality is based on tea production . Nearly 70% or above of the total population work as daily labor in tea gardens . Here the BPL family coverage is 67.07% .The unemployment situation is acute due to sicknee & closure of tea gardens; the poor people suffers from food & nutritional insecurity. Rampant migration exists in search of job and women & child trafficking are in increaseing trend & cause social unrest .Frequent closer of tea gardens enhance the traficing & migration.
The water- borne diseases like Malaria, Diarrhea etc. are ‘acute problems’ of the tea garden locality during monsoon months for contamination of drinking water .The tube wells/wells are the source of drinking water and have no concrete platforms in tea garden belts specifically.
These entire problems are alarming in this region due to the lack of awareness and illiteracy rate in tea garden area. Integrated thematic maps with spatial and non-spatial data indicate positive relationship between the illiteracy rate and the effected persons.
LKP’s Project Area in the District :
i) Under Food Security Project : Covered all Gram Panchyats of Harirampur Block in phase manner. (2001 to 2011).
Women in these backward areas have been mobilized in women led groups (SHGs). Their capacities have been enhanced and skill developed for taking up NRM based Farm and Non-farm activities to generate more income and also to manage the groups efficiently without much external assistance through various skill based training programmes and continuous hand holding.
LKP established a replicable model of meaningful involvement of the Panchayats to address the Food Security issues through various forms of DNRM which demonstrated in these blocks.
Landless SHGs were engaged in private-private/public-private partnerships (lease based agricultural activities) .
Major thrust was given to adopt sustainable agricultural practices by these Bank-linked SHGs to reduce cost of cultivation as far as possible following Non Pesticide Management (NPM) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Integrated Nutrition Management (INM).
A large number of SHGs in the area were also engaged in growing food bearing plants and agro-forestry saplings, which have been utilized by the GPs.
Credit requirement of the SHGs were initially met from the LKP’s project fund and later on gradually supported by the GPs directly.
ii) Under Information Education & Communication:
Covered all over the District. (Continuing since 2002). It is continuing since 2002 with the objective of the project to strengthen the grass root level democracy by improving rural local governance. Activities involved are on one hand making people aware of their rights and obligations and empowering them to meaningfully participate in the local governance on the other hand building capacity of the local government representatives and functionaries to serve the people better.
Large number of IEC materials including audio-visual, and print materials are produced and disseminated.
Net-working with other Civil Society organizations and their capacity building exercises are done. Advocacy on policy issues and legal matters at the state and district levels are also parts of these activities.
Equally important has been the organization’s strategy to facilitate formation of family based groups of the poor represented by women as institutions at the neighborhood level which work in concert with the Gram Unnayan Samiti thereby strengthening participatory development and promoting open, direct democracy.