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  Introduction

In 1967, Tushar Kanjilal joined the Rangabelia High School as Headmaster.Soon, he realised to his dismay that one fourth of the students were coming to school on an empty stomach. This was the beginning of a journey of a man with a mission.

At the age of 37, he started the comprehensive development programme in three villages and today, it has spread to a large part of the Sunderbans. At the beginning, the Rangabelia Comprehensive Rural Development project focused on agriculture and tried to free poor villagers from the local money lenders. Today, it delivers a spectrum of development interventions from agriculture to health initiatives.

TSRD Rangabelia Project:

The Sundarbans mangrove forest is one of the richest and most unique ecosystems in the world. It occupies 10,000 km² in the Ganges delta, with about 40% of the area within the Indian state of West Bengal and the remainder in Bangladesh. In India, about 45 percent of the total area of the Sundrbans is under mangrove forests, which is the home to more than 10% of mammals and 25% of birds found in India. It is also the habitat of endangered mega fauna, including the Royal Bengal Tiger and several species of river dolphin.

The Sundarbans includes a forested area of approximately 4200 sq. km and an additional 5400 sq. km of inhabited areas along the north and north western fringe of the forests. The inhabited areas span 13 of the 29 blocks in the South 24 Parganas District, and 6 of the 22 blocks in the North 24 Parganas District in the state of West Bengal.

The Sundarbans is home to 4.5 million of India's poorest and most vulnerable people. A high percentage of the population lives below the poverty line. Per capital income in the region is about USD 50 cents per day, which is half of the internally accepted indicator of extreme poverty. There is abject poverty and lack of basic food security ad as per the data for 2005-2009, 6.33% of all households consumed less than one square meal per day of food during the majority of the year, and 18.7% are able to consume only one square meal per day.

In 1975, the Rangabelia Comprehensive Rural Development Project was initiated in Rangabelia and in two other adjoining villages. Agriculture, being the major economic activity in those days in Sundarbans, agricultural development was taken care of through the RCRDP. It is accepted by the people now-a-days, that there should be a diversification of crops, without which the socio-economic structure at Sundarbans would be destroyed. Keeping this in view, Tagore Society for Rural Development took their objectives of the project with special thrust on agricultural development.

State District Block Village Population covered Thematic area
West Bengal – Rangabelia Project South 24-parganas
  • Gosaba
  • Basanti
  • Canning-1
123 3,88,500
  • Agriculture & Soil testing laboratory
  • Animal Resource Development
  • Irrigation
  • 24 hours CDC
  • Mobile Health Clinic
  • Comprehensive Health Prog.
  • Education
  • Rural Sanitation
  • Greening
  • Rejuvenation of Mangrove vegetation

Contact Info

Rangabelia Project
P.O. & Vill. Rangabelia, Via Gosaba, Dist. 24 Parganas (S), Pin - 743 307, Phone : 03218-236531/ 03218-214323
e-Mail :tsrd_rang@yahoo.co.in
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