Society in Jalpaiguri
Jalpaiguri Swapnatoron Welfare Society
Demographically, the society of Jalpaiguri is dominated by a variety of tribal communities which mostly live in the hilly and forested north east part of the district. Some of the tribes like Mech, Lodha, Lepcha, Totos, Rabha and other ethnic groups have always lived isolated lives in these forest spaces while others like the Uraons, Munda and Madeshia immigrated when the British colonial rule started their tea plantations in the region. In fact, Jalpaiguri ranks as the first in the scheduled tribes (ST) distribution within West Bengal.
There are many NGOs (Non Government Organization) and welfare groups which are trying to help with the livelihood processes and improve living conditions of tribal people. Kalchini, Mal, Dhupguri and Nagrakata have the highest concentration of tribal people in the Jalpaiguri district while the proportion is relatively lower in the urban areas. The state government of West Bengal instituted the Department of Tribal Welfare in 1952. The Cultural Research Institute has also been influential in understanding the changes and set up of tribal society. It has paved the way towards greater economic and socio-cultural empowerment of the tribal communities. In addition, NGO activities since the 1990s have initiated several programmes to bring positive changes especially in the position of tribal women in the Jalpaiguri region.
Tribal Welfare Societies in Jalpaiguri
- Uttar Chekamari Social Welfare Association
Uttar Chekamari, Madarihat
Jalpaiguri - 735220
Phone: +(91)-9804013785, +(91)-3563-336823
- Nagdala Dooars Tribal Welfare Awareness Organization
West Bengal -735204
- Manglabarey Ideal Adibasi Educational Society
Other Societies in Jalpaiguri
Jalpaiguri Seva SadanThis organization is a charitable and social wing of the Catholic Diocese existing in Jalpaiguri. They started their work during 1971 at the time of the Bangladesh war and have ever since worked for the underprivileged sections (especially scheduled castes and scheduled tribes) and their women, children, tea garden workers, people below poverty line providing health and nutrition care. Jalpaiguri Seva Sadan has also worked for socio-economic development in the districts of Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar on issues of migration, livelihood support, education, health, disaster management, prevention of trafficking etc.
North Bengal People’s Development Center (NBPDC)This is a woman as well as a child’s welfare association which was founded in 1986. It was originally named JEU Mahila Vikas Sangstha. Registered under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act (1961), the organization helps to alleviate the living conditions of women and children in the tribal and rural areas helping the women to become self-reliant. This voluntary organization is entirely run by women and their activities have helped to rehabilitate them situated within different parts of the forest villages, rural areas, tea gardens and border areas into mainstream life irrespective of their caste, creed and ethnicity.
NiswarthThis nongovernmental organization is situated in Bagrakote tea estate in Jalpaiguri and works for the empowerment of the underprivileged and physically challenged persons without discriminating on the basis of their sex, religion, social status caste, creed and other social strata.
Samuktala People’s Welfare Organization (SPWO)This welfare organization serves the most vulnerable sections of society through community education and income generation programmes. They seek to empower the village people of Jalpaiguri by working at the grassroots level on anti-drug awareness programme, HIV/AIDS, literacy, environment, pollution, disease control like Malaria and T.B., vocational training to the tribal community and have awareness programmes on seasonal diseases.
Society for Preservation and Awareness of Wildlife and Nature (SPAWN)This a local NGO based in Jalpaiguri which aims to protect the natural wealth and wildlife of the Jalpaiguri region. They strive to prevent damage to the eco system of the area, the seismically fragile hilly region of the Dooars, its water bodies like the River Teesta, threatened flora like the rare snow orchid as well as wildlife preservation especially the endangered Asiatic black bear, goral, elephant, leopard and avian species of the region. Some other societies which are involved in preserving the nature and wildlife in Jalpaiguri are Nature and Adventure Society of Oodlabari and Dooars Nature and Snake Lover’s Organization based in Dhupguri. These NGO’s are concerned about unregulated and indiscriminate human activity like poaching, laying railway corridors within the forests of Jalpaiguri especially in the eco-sensitive zones.
Some of the other NGOs and welfare societies in Jalpaiguri include Swapnatoron Welfare Society, Jalpaiguri which seeks to train specially challenged people in a handicraft skill and make them self-sufficient, Hriday which works on HIV/AIDs prevention programme and other health issues, Sristee which works for social justice and women empowerment fighting social problems like human trafficking and child labour and Vasundhara Enviro-Welfare Society developing micro-finance, micro-insurance and other processes for sustainable rural development.