The documentary on the historical event of establishing the first Small and Medium Forest Enterprise (SMFE) in India

Author's name: 
SUSANTA BISWAS
East Singhbhum, Jharkhand, INDIA

The Government of India as a part of its state planning under the eleventh plan is promoting Small and Medium Enterprise to enhance the rural income and ensure rural development. National Afforestation and Eco-development Board as a working body of Ministry of Environment and Forests, is facilitating Joint Forest Management Committees for their sustenance by implementing seven Small and Medium Forest Enterprise pilot projects through its Regional Centres in seven different regions.

The Regional Centre, National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, a nodal centre under the Ministry of Environment & Forest, Government of India has motivated, trained and sensitized nearly 1000 tribal men and women in Dhalbhum Forest Development Agency forming about 100 self-help groups. Dhalbhum Forest Development Agency includes nine Joint Forest Management Committees namely Mejogora, Harina, Narayanpur, Roteda, Dhengam, Bhukamdih, Kundrukocha, Ranikudar and Monahdih consisting of 20 villages at Potka Developmental Block in East Singbhum district of Jharkhand. It is situated at a distance of about 60 km to the south of Tatanagar, the industrial city of Jamshedpur. The tribal villagers of this forest fringe area are either small or marginal farmers which cause their dependence on forest for fuel wood, fodder and part of livelihood.

The centre prepared them to undertake various activities like Tassar Cultivation leading to silk production, Lac cultivation, Grass mat designer products and Bamboo artifacts production so as to produce saleable products for national and international market. A state level buyers sellers meet was organized at Jamshedpur by the Regional Centre to give the tribal villagers and their produces a nation-wide market exposure and establish convergence with different organizations and sectors like various Government departments for development of funds, Bankers for regular credit flow, Insurance companies for social security, District Rural Development Agency, Jharkhand Tribal Development Society and Corporate Sectors for infrastructure development and marketability of the products.

The Joint Co-ordinator of the Regional Centre, National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, Prof. Dr. Asis Mazumdar opined that the whole process under the eleventh Plan, made the initiative of the Regional Centre, a grand success in establishing the first Small and Medium Forest Enterprise in India, at Potka under Dhalbhum Forest Development Agency, East Singhbhum, Jharkhand. The Self-Help Groups of tribal artisans dwelling in the forest fringe villages forming well motivated Joint Forest Management Committees are actively getting involved with Small and Medium Forest Enterprises for preserving and protecting the forest.

The Regional Centre has produced a documentary on establishing the first Small and Medium Forest Enterprise in India titled Artistic approach, a film by Susanta Biswas. The documentary got selection for the 8th International Social Communication Cinema Conference organised by Roopkala Kendro, Department of Information & Cultural Affairs, Government of West Bengal in collaboration with Nandan, West Bengal Film Centre.

The screening of Artistic approach was held on February 19, 2009, Thursday at 7.30 pm in Nandan as a part of the social communication conference on cinema. Chief Minister Budhadeb Bhattacharjee inaugurated the 8th International Social Communication Cinema Conference 2009 at Nandan on Sunday, February 15, 2009. Mr Ashok Bhattacharya, Director and CEO Roopkala Kendra, said this event will help bring mass awareness on social developments across the globe, over the years.

Roopkala Kendro and the Department of Panchayats and Rural Development, Government of West Bengal with the technical guidance of Indian Space Research Organisation regularly telecasts documentaries like “Artistic approach” to conscienticize, educate and inspire government officials, representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions, and members of the public. It reaches every nook and corner of West Bengal through 341 Receive Only Terminal situated in the premises of the Panchayat Samity, also the office of the Block Development Officer.

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