Catering to the Unreached: The Lodhas of Jungle Mahals Revisited

 

Lodhas live in the forest-fringe villages of western part of Midnapore district spreading out in small numbers in Mayurbhanj and Singbhum. Lodhas have lived depending on forests gathering vegetable matter and hunting animals over the years. Recently some of them have taken to agriculture. Lodhas live in villages either exclusively or in communion with other castes and communities. Baram, the sacred God of the forests, is the tutelary deity of the Lodhas. Lodhas also worship Garam, the main deity of the village, Chandi, Sitala and supernatural spirits like Yugini.  The Lodhas were declared a criminal tribe (a people deemed criminal by birth) under Govt. Notification No. 7022-23 Dated 20th May, 1916, Calcutta. Subsequent years witnessed severe repression of the tribe by administrative forces and fellow society members. They had been ostracized by the main stream society henceforth. They were denotified in 1952. They were declared a Scheduled Tribe in 1956.  They call for special attention suffering more than the normal Scheduled Tribe population of the state as they have been declared a Primitive Tribal Group (PTG) in West Bengal along with the Totos of New Jalpaiguri and Birhors of Purulia in 1976.

 

Dr. Sutapa Ghosh Dastidar, Associate Professor of History, Barrackpore Rastraguru Surendranath College, has been working among the Lodhas of West Bengal from 2005. She had moved into Lodha villages in the way of her PhD on them under the FDP scheme of UGC. Tribal women have been a point of special interest to her. She had carried out field surveys in Lodha Villages of West Midnapore reaching innumerable women living Below Poverty Line. Her surveys on Self Help Groups (SHGs), Joint Forest Movement and Woman Health and Hygiene have brought her close to fair number of Lodha woman. Drawing inspiration and guidance from the renowned social activist Mahasweta Devi, She has been working to her best for their uplift and well being in association with the Lodha Sabar Kalyan Samity, Paschim Medinipur.



Outreach Programme: Dept. of Political Science

Extension Activity: Empowering the Visually Challenged and Working on Disability

Barrackpore Rastraguru Surendranath College has initiated some programmes with the help of Department of Political Science and Department of Computer Science for empowering the visually challenged students and encouraging them on disability rights. Smt. Molly Ghosh, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Barrackpore Rastraguru Surendranath College is working as a member of the managing committee of the organization "Paschim Banga Andho Alok Samity", Netaji Subhas Pally, TB Hospital, Kalyani, Pin: 741235; Registration No:S21218; Website: http://andhoalok.96.lt and Anne Sullevan Institution, a school run by the Samity.

 

Role of the Departments:

  • Right is a part of Political Science curriculum.
  • Working on this can help the students' conscious of the issue of rights of the underprivileged.
  • Computer Science students provide technical services beneficial to the students.

 

Objectives of the Programme:

    • To make our students aware of the needs of different sections of under privileged people.
    • To develop a sense of social service among the students.
    • To provide some educational assistance to the visually challenged.
    • To help them apply for financial assistance from different sources.
    • To provide the students with requisite technical support.



 

Outreach Programme

Barrackpore Rastraguru Surendranath College is extending its services towards the society with the help of Department of History, Department of Political Science with the help of Department of Computer Science, Department of Food & Nutrition, Thalassaemia Eradication Centre, Women's Development Cell and Health Sub Committee. These are some little but special tributes by the College towards the society.

Women's Development Cell and Health Sub Committe

 

Women in India consistently lag behind the men in terms of access to education, health care, jobs etc. Apart from the economic and social inequality, women in India are victims of heinous crimes such as dowry deaths, rape, molestation and immoral trafficking.


With a view to improve the overall present status of the women and to empower them, an integrated initiative was taken by teacher members of Women Development Cell and Health Sub Committee of Barrackpore Rastraguru Surendranath College. The cell has initiated some awareness programmes amongst the women and children of the ward no. 17 of Barrackpore Municipality. The locality is with a special demography where the population is mostly marginalized minority community. The women of this area are engaged in household work, collection of waste and plastic waste from the waste bin of municipal area. They are financially very poor and have least awareness regarding health and other out of life. The cell has also motivated some medical practitioners and organized health camp.


The cell also maintains a close contract with one of the minority girls’ schools present in the locality Mathpara Girls’ High School. With the assistance of the Head Mistress of the institution, the Cell also made some awareness programmes on Thalassaemia and other communicable diseases and also made arrangement of the collection of blood for the detection of Thalassaemia from class IX to XII.

 

 

Aims & Objective of the Women's Development Cell:

  • To develop self confidence among under privileged women.
  • To guide them about Women Welfare Laws.
  • To assert the importance of economic, social, racial and gender equality.
  • To highlight the importance of health and hygiene.
  • To guide them about women's role in the society.
  • To develop multidisciplinary approach for the overall personality development.

 

Meeting Date

Field Date

Field Work/Seminar/Demonstration

04.02.2009

10.02.2009

Seminar was held on Bibhuti Bhushan Hall on the topic Women Right
Speaker: 1. Dr. Saswati Ghosh, Department of Economics, City College

 

12.02.2009

Visit to Ward No. 17 of Barrackpore Municipality for survey on vaccination and immunization and nutritional status with primary education.

05.02.2010

 

Future plan and visit to Ward No. 17 of Barrackpore Municipality.

 

26.02.2010

Awareness & Medical camp and check up for women and children of Ward No. 17 of Barrackpore Municipality under the supervision of Dr. S.C. Gope and Dr. Pranotosh Roy.

27.01.2011

14.02.2011

Health Awareness Programme on Mathpara Girls' High School (Minority) under the supervision of Dr. S.C. Gope and teacher members.

11.07.2011

26.07.2011

Awareness & Medical Checkup was held at Ward No. 17 of Barrackpore Municipality under the supervision of Dr. S.C. Gope and Dr. Pranotosh Roy.

09.01.2012

 

Visit to the Mathpara Girls' High School (Minority) for encouraging adolescent health awareness among School Children of the school.

09.07.2012

13.07.2012

Awareness & Medical Checkup was held at Ward No. 17 of Barrackpore Municipality under the supervision of Dr. S.C. Gope and Dr. Pranotosh Roy.

11.01.2013

18.01.2013

Medical Checkup was held at Ward No. 17 of Barrackpore Municipality under the supervision of Dr. S.C. Gope and Dr. Pranotosh Roy.

10.07.2013

17.07.2013

Visit to the Mathpara Girls' High School (Minority) for encouraging adolescent health awareness and Thalassaemia awareness among School Children of the school.

Outreach Programme: Health Sub Committee:

Adolescence is considered as a period of transition from childhood to adulthood. They are no longer children yet not adults. It is characterized by rapid physical growth, significant physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual changes. They are not only in large numbers but are the citizens and workers of tomorrow. The problems of adolescents are multi-dimensional in nature and require holistic approach. A large number of adolescents in India are out of school, malnourished, get married early, working in vulnerable situations, and are sexually active. They are exposed to tobacco or alcohol abuse. 

Objective of Health Awareness Programme:

  • The programme was usually meant for the adolescent students of generally three categories:
  • Affluent
  • Marginalized
  • First Generation Learners.
  • To aware the students about gender oriented adolescent problems like general health and psychological problems.





Outreach Programme: Dept. of Food & Nutrition

  1. Reaching to the Socially and Economically Backward Women and Children of Lower Pelling, Sikkim

The Department of Food & Nutrition, Barrackpore Rastraguru Surendranath College has taken the initiative to help the socially and economically backward community of Lower Pelling, Sikkim especially mothers and children and to make them aware about their nutritional requirement and appropriate cooking practices. During the survey, the teacher members of the department have noticed that the disease “Goiter” and deficiency of vitamin B Complex is very much pre-dominant among the women and children. So they provide them adequate knowledge of taking locally available low cost fruits and vegetables, enriched with iodine and vitamin B Complex.

Role of the Department:

  1. To provide appropriate cooking methods, techniques and list of food items important for them.
  2. Importance of regular health checkup.      

 Objectives of the Work:

  1. To make them aware of their appropriate nutritional requirement as well as availability of important nutrients from locally available low cost food.
  2. To make them aware of importance of vaccination.
  3. To make them aware about myths and taboos.
  4. To provide them knowledge about hygienic practices during cooking.

 

    2.Promoting Organic Agriculture in the “Aila” affected regions of Sunderbans.

    The faculty members of Barrackpore Rastraguru Surendranath College are engaged in serving the community. Dr. Sutripta Sarkar Assistant Prof., Department of Food & Nutrition, Barrackpore Rastraguru Surendranath College, volunteers for the Kolkata chapter of Association of India’s Development (AID-USA) since 2011. The organization supports sustainable development programmes in different parts of India. Presently, the Kolkata chapter of AID is involved in promoting organic agricultural techniques amongst the “Aila” affected farmers of Sunderbans.

     

 

Outreach Programme: Dept. of History

 

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