Working with Shabar Tribes in Purulia
Purulia is one of the most backward districts of Bengal. In this tribal inhabited district there is a severe water-scarcity problem and this region is not as very agriculturally fertile compared to the gangetic planes of the rest of the West Bengal. Due to its remote location- far distance from the capital city Kolkata, the socio-economic development of the region has been minimal. Among the people living in this region, the people of the indigenous tribes as a whole are more backward. Among the indigenous communities like Santal, Bhunji, Munda, Birha, etc., one of the major tribes is the Shabar community. Usually their village is made up of 8-10 houses away from the normal civilian. Since 2017, we have been visiting about 20 villages in Jadugara, Puncha and other areas inhabited by Purulia tribals every year. Most of the villages here are still deprived of other basic amenities including electricity or paved roads. Here the rate of education and the rate of livelihood is very low. They have an ultimate scarcity of drinking water- In summer only water from wells dries up so water has to be collected by digging sand.
We come to visit these remote villages of Purulia at different times of the year on a regular basis. Sometimes with play materials or books in the local school and sometimes with winter clothes, pujo new clothes etc. There, as we spend time with the villagers, we try to make some good impact on the overall livelihood of the area. With the help of a government project initiated by the Light House, a deep tube well has been installed in the village of Kulbahar, which is now a lifeline for the people there. A medical camp has also been organized in Gajaburu area at the initiative of Light House.