An experience with group formation in Jabarrah, West Bengal
Using a participatory development approach, the Eastern India Rainfed Farming Project (EIRFP) has taken initiatives to improve the livelihoods of tribal and deprived men and women, with their active participation. The project began working in Jabarrah, one of the poorest villages in West Bengal, India, to facilitate the community to take collective action for their own development. The community formed two men’s groups called Padma Lochan and Nabodaya (with nine and ten members, respectively) and two women’s groups named Mahamaya and Shilawati (with ten members each). Another group – Maa Santoshi – was formed in 1997. Community members gradually realized the importance of the groups, which gave them greater confidence among themselves. Not only did they open their own accounts in the nearest bank but they also developed norms for group functioning. They further decided to form a central committee called Jote Solah Anna to monitor the five groups’ activities. The capacity-building of group members and the linkages with government and NGOs are also discussed.
Prasad, A.; Singh, V.; Sahay, B.; Dutta, G.; Savage, W. An experience with group formation in Jabarrah, West Bengal. STREAM Journal (2003) 2 (4) 1-2.