District Rural Development Cell
Birbhum Zilla Parishad

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       A District Rural Development Agency was initially set up for Birbhum during the year1982 DRDA was merged with the Zilla Parishad from April, 2000. Henceforth it has been functioning as District Rural Development Cell under the Zilla Parishad

    Top                         Organizational Structure Of D R D C , Birbhum Zilla Parishad


DRDC has traditionally been the principal organ at the district level to oversee the implementation of anti-poverty programmes of the Ministry of Rural Development. This agency was created originally to implement the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP). Subsequently the DRDCs were entrusted with number of programmes of both State and Central Government.


Citizen Centric Activities

     D R D C assist citizen to run a number of different projects with the aim of trialing new ways of
1 ) helping to change mainstream practice by demonstrating more effective ways of delivering objectives within existing funding.
2) Developing sustainable models where costs are reduced and benefits sufficiently increased.
3) To support change and develop sustainable models the approach needed
4) Sharing costs through  multi agency  provision
5) Community ownership
6) Use of volunteers
7) Partnership with Private sector.


Developmental Activities

    DRDC Birbhum is now on the truck of implementation of SGSY schemes to bring- every assisted family above the poverty line within three years through provisions of micro-enterprises. Formation of “Self Help Group” an organisation of the poor at grassroots level through a process of social mobilization for poverty eradication is the present vital task of DRDC. Inductions are spontaneously made for formation, development, and strengthening of the groups those are involved into self-managed peoples organisation . For developing managerial skills for management of the organizations as well as activity, DRDC has been regularly arranging need based trainings in every spheres .Formation of capital through revolving fund and its utilisation, taking up of economic activities and funding there off are used to be monitored as well . Infrastructures for the SHGs beneficiaries are provided according to needs.

To promote the activities of Swarojgaries DRDC Birbhum has taken up following activities.

Special attention for forming SHGs in all villages particularly in backward villages through direct supervision of the Gram Panchayet and Panchayat Samiti are taken up.

Special Projects which are being implemented  by NIFT for advanced value addition training with marketing facility for two thousand SHG members are taken up. 

Common Facility Centre at Bolpur Goalpara/Illambazar for Federation Members has been constructed where sale counters and women co-operative will be housed.

Rural Business Hubs at different Tourist Spots Bolpur Santiniketan, Tarapith in the District are going to be constructed for selling products of SHGs.

DRDC has been regularly participating in different Melas both in the State and outside with SHG members/artisans for providing market facility to rural women.

 Sensitisation and Training are being held at different training Centres for making link network with the SHGs .

Subcluster /Cluster Formation at Gram sansad / Gram Panchayet as Nodal Unit of S H Gs are going on.

Procurement of paddy by  SHGs    started.

CADC is being utilized in capacity building and MSR Training.

There are Two CAD (Computer Aided Design) Center in Birbhum districts. One is Bolpur CAD Center and another is Nalhati CAD Center.

Bolpur CAD Center are direct selected by DRDC. District Rural Development Cell directs Bolpur CAD Center. At presents Bolpur CAD Center trained Computer Basic to all the SHGs members in Birbhum District. Different kinds of Data entry of Birbhum district are done by Bolpur CAD center.


Projects Running
 :  1.SGSY   2.IWDP:

SGSY (Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana
          The SGSY self-employment programme has been launched by Government of India w.e.f. 1.4.1999 with a holistic approach by replacing schemes like Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP), Training for Rural Youth and Self Employment Programme (TRYSEM), DWCRA, Supply of Improved Toolkit to Rural Artisans (SITRA), MWS and Gramya Krushi Yojana etc.  


i) Development of Micro-entrepreneurs by utilizing resource and services available in rural area.
ii) Formation of Self Help Groups (SHG) and User Groups (UG) to increase efficiency and self sufficiency.
iii) Adoption of Key activities.
iv) Development of rural technology.  

BPL families are targeted people to be eligible to get this opportunity. The beneficiary is named as Swarojagary (self earning person) and Self help group (SHG)

Self-Help Group :     
 A Self- Help Group (SHG) may generally consist of 10-20 persons. However, in difficult areas like deserts, hills and areas with scattered and sparse population and in case of minor irrigation and disabled persons, this number may be from 5.20. The difficult areas have to be identified by the state level SGSY Committee.

Compositions of the Self-Help Group :

Generally all members of the Group should belong to families below the poverty. However, if necessary, a maximum of 20%, and in exceptional cases, where essentially required, upto a maximum of 30% of the members in a Group may be from families marginally above the poverty line, living continuously with BPL families and if they are acceptable to BPL members of the Group. The APL members of Group will not be eligible for subsidy under the scheme and shall not become office bearers( Group leader, assistant group leader or treasurer ) of the group. The BPL families must actively participate in the management and decision making which should not be entirely in the hands of APL families.

           In case of disabled persons a group may comprise of persons with diverse disabilities or group may comprise of both disabled and non-disabled persons below the poverty line. 

i) Upliftment of BPL (Below Poverty Line) families in rural areas.
ii) To assist under bank credit and Government Subsidy.
iii) Each Swarojagary would earn Rs.3000/- PM. After repayment of Bank Loan

Government Assistance
 There is no limit of loan amount but certain limitations are provided for Government assistance. The subsidy amount may be allowed only after full payment of bank loan. The following are the criteria for subsidy:
(1) For SC/ST Swarojagary:- 50% or Rs.10,000/- of loan amount which ever is less.
(2) For general Swarojagary:- 30% or Rs.7500/- of loan amount which ever is less.
(3) In case of SHG 50% or Rs.1,25,000/- of loan amount which ever is less.
(4) There is no limit in case of Irrigation sector in respect of Group finance

Present Status of SGSY

2) IWDP (Integrated Wasteland Development Project )

The Watershed approach has conventionally aimed at treating degraded lands with the help of low cost and locally accessed technologies such as in-situ soil and moisture conservation measures, afforestation etc. and through a participatory approach that seeks to secure close involvement of the user-communities.

    The broad objective was the promotion of the overall economic development and improvement of the socio-economic conditions of the resource poor sections of people inhabiting the programme areas. Many projects designed within this approach were, at different points of time, taken up by the Government of India. The Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP) and the Desert Development Programme (DDP) were brought into the watershed mode in 1987. The Integrated Wasteland Development Programme (IWDP) launched in 1989 under the aegis of the National Wasteland Development Board also aimed at the development of wastelands on watershed basis.

    All these three programmes were brought under the Guidelines for Watershed Development with effect from 1.4.1995. Other major programmes now being implemented through this approach are the National Watershed Development Project in Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA) and the Watershed Development in Shifting Cultivation Areas (WDSCA) of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA).

   The focus of these programmes has, with the advent of the Department of Land Resources (DoLR) shifted to the enhancement of the viability and quality of rural livelihood support systems.

   While the programmes of DoLR are designed to address areas characterized by a relatively difficult terrain and preponderance of community resources, those of Ministry of Agriculture are expected to aim at increasing production and enhancing productivity in cultivated areas largely privately owned.

   While the focus of these programmes may have differed, the common theme that underpinned their structure has been the basic objective of land and water resource management for sustainable development of natural resources and community empowerment. The Prof. Hanumantha Rao, Committee, constituted by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) studied the implementation and impact of the Drought Prone Areas Programme and the Desert Development Programme all over the country and recommended a common set of operational guidelines, objectives, strategies and expenditure norms for watershed development projects integrating the features of the three programmes under the MoRD. Accordingly, the Guidelines for Watershed Development were framed and brought into force with effect from 1st April 1995.

The objectives of Watershed Development Projects will be: -

  1. Developing wastelands/degraded lands, drought-prone and desert areas on watershed basis, keeping in view the capability of land, site-conditions and local needs.

  2. Promoting the overall economic development and improving the socio-economic condition of the resource poor and disadvantaged sections inhabiting the programme areas.

  3. Mitigating the adverse effects of extreme climatic conditions such as drought and desertification on crops, human and livestock population for their overall improvement.

  4. Restoring ecological balance by harnessing, conserving and developing natural resources i.e. land, water, vegetative cover.

Encouraging village community for :

1.      Sustained community action for the operation and maintenance of assets created and further development of the potential of the natural resources in the watershed.
2.      Simple, easy and affordable technological solutions and institutional arrangements that make use of, and build upon, local technical knowledge and available materials.
3.      Employment generation, poverty alleviation, community empowerment and development of human and other economic resources of the village.

Self-Help Group (SHG)
       The PIA shall constitute Self Help Groups (SHGs) in the watershed area with the help of WDT. These Groups shall be homogenous groups having common identity who are dependent on the watershed area such as agricultural labourers, land less persons, women, shepherds, scheduled castes/scheduled tribes persons. Around 50% of villagers i.e. who are directly or indirectly dependent on the watershed, should generally be enrolled as members of at least one Self-Help Group. Separate Self-help Groups should be organised for Women, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes etc.

Participatory Rural Appraisal, Community Organisation & Entry Point Activities

Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) is one of the most important exercises in watershed development projects before finalization of action Plan. In fact the watersheds should be selected after due PRA and the watersheds with greater participatory response should be preferred. After sanction of project, the WDT should tour the watershed area extensively and organize various self-help groups, UGs and other groups. As a part of confidence building exercise, some community benefiting entry point activities can be taken up by the PIA directly. The treatment plan and interventions should be decided after elaborate PRA exercise. These activities can be renovation of village level school, Panchayat buildings, community houses, Common places, drinking water sources/ wells, bathing ghats, approach roads to water tanks, village roads, village sanitation improvement works etc. Water harvesting measures and improvement of drinking water sources should be preferred over other activities. The entry point activities can be undertaken out of the grant available for community organisation. Religious activities and activities for individual benefits are not permitted.

Revolving Fund for Self-Help Groups:

The PIAs will set up a revolving fund of not exceeding Rs. one lakh per watershed to be given as seed money for vocational development by the Self-Help Groups (SHG) at the rate not exceeding Rs.10, 000/- per SHG for undertaking income generating activities. This seed money must be recovered from the SHG members in a maximum of 6 installments on monthly basis. This could be reinvested in the same or other SHGs.


Success Story
- One Successful Activity Cluster of Birbhum District.

Selection of quality raw materials, latest design and Marketing of the finished products are big problems for the SHG members who are engaged in “Kantha and Batik” activity. To avoid this uncertainty of marketing and to reduce the risk of selecting  the quality raw materials & latest design  at reasonable price they are previously used to work under the middle men on per piece wage/commission  basis even after forming the SHG and taking training on this activity. These middle men used to exploit these SHG members as they do not have any other alternative to sell their products. They were not in a position to bargain with these middle men for enhancing their wage or commission .Even if some of them deny to accept the offer others agree to continue the work as they do not have any other alternative to utilize their free time to earn some money for their family. To get rid of this situation and to earn some more money 64 SHGs under Bolpur –Sriniketan Block have decided to form one Activity Cluster on “Kantha and Batik” activity in the month of February ,2009 by opening a bank account  in the name of “Swapnatari Activity Cluster”.

            They have selected five leaders who are relatively qualified, well trained and able to give time for  the improvement of  this activity cluster. As the SHG members have no permanent marketing outlet which can give a steady and certain market through out the year so they have taken the charge of one showroom namely “Swayambhara” at Netaji Market, Bolpur for marketing the products of all the members of SHGs. They have also linked their member SHGs with the SHGs who are producing the raw materials of this activity and as a result both the types of  SHGs are benefited. They have identified the need of standardization, quality control, design development and packaging of their products and for this purpose they are categorizing their member SHGs. They usually hold a general meeting in the first Friday of each and every month where the SHG members exchange their opinion and share their views and by this process they can find out the strength and weaknesses of the weaker groups and give adequate support to the weaker SHGs so that all the SHGs can maintain similar product quality. They are also imparting skill development training to the weaker SHGs by taking fund from the DRD Cell where the expert SHG members are working as a master trainer. All the SHGs eagerly wait for the monthly meeting as in this meeting they used to get the sales proceeds of the previous month and get the order of their product for the next month from the activity cluster. This activity cluster prepares the roster of artisans (SHG members) who are interested and eligible for the participation at different SARAS fair. For the increasing urge for marketing their products they have applied for one stall at Dilli Haat, Pitampura . P&RD Department have granted their prayer gladly for the year 2009-2010 in the name of their activity cluster. For making their showroom more attractive they are displaying and selling the best products of other districts in their showroom. For making publicity of their products they are giving advertisement of their activity in the local cable, displaying banners in the important places of the district and distributing hand bills through the news papers supplies in the rural markets etc..  

            Observing these benefits more SHGs are joining in this activity cluster and at present their member SHGs are 107 out of which 82 SHGs have been able to enhance their income after joining in this activity Cluster. They are earning total revenue around Rs. 55,000/= per month through the permanent marketing outlets which is increasing rapidly after publicity of their products. Their smiling face is the true manifestation of their self-confidence and happiness.

            Their future plan is to remove all the exploitation of middle men and to establish a brand for their products which will brighten the face of their District as well as State. For achieving this they have adopted their strategy and they want that their Activity Cluster will be a glaring examples for the SHG movement.

#Sample Form & Instruction Sheet used by the section /Department.
Downloadable Form for SGSY,    SHG related Forms : 1st Grading, Overall Comments, 2nd Grading & Over all Comments.

                                                    Contact Details with phone nos.

                                                                          THE PROJECT DIRECTOR
                                                            DISTRICT RURAL DEVELOPMENT CELL
                                                                         BIRBHUM ZILLA PARISHAD
                                                                                    SURI, BIRBHUM
                                                                        TEL : 03462-255307/255377
                                                    E-MAIL :,

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 West Bengal , India.