Alternative Livelihood

The lives of the locals in Sundarbans are mostly dependent on forest resources for different livelihood opportunities. However, their regular interaction with the mangroves often leads them towards fatal encounters with wildlife. Moreover, over-exploitation of forest resources is disturbing the ecological balance of the entire region. To overcome this problem, the Forest Department along with the local JFMCs initiated Alternative Livelihood Programs in Sundarbans Tiger Reserve.

Several alternative livelihood programs are running in different parts of the region. Among all of these, we are directly associated with the execution of Agarbatti, Gamcha and Brown Rice production. We have conducted training programs where women of Local Self-Help Groups are participating with aspirations to work independently. Machine installation, maintenance and all other following services are also being regularly provided to them. In the long run it is expected to uplift their economic positions by helping them earn entirely on their own and most importantly mitigate the man-animal conflict.

Agarbatti (Incense Sticks)

At present, women of different Self-Help Groups in Amlamethi region of Bali Island are producing incense sticks (Agarbatti/Dhoop Kathi) with three different aroma with manual paddle machines. This project is slowly expanding towards a small-scale industry in which 60-70 individuals are working currently.

Gamcha (Handmade Towel)

Women of different Self-Help Groups in Bali Island are weaving Gamcha (Light Cotton Towels) with handlooms and are undergoing a process to build an independent production house. At present this project is helping at least 30-35 individuals.

Brown Rice

Women of several self-help groups of Sajnekhali and Basirat Range were trained to produce brown rice. Machines were installed for this work. However due to certain issues the work is temporarily on hold but is expected to resume soon.

These efforts are also small steps towards Women Empowerment where so many women came together and are gradually becoming the breadwinners for their respective families. The productions of these SHGs are seeking a breakthrough to establish its market entry under the brand name “Bonodebi”. We aspire to help them to succeed in their effort and introduce such initiatives in future for ensuring ecological sustenance in Sundarbans.

  • Alternative livelihood generation at Indian Sundarban through Agarbatti production by Self-help group women in 2018
  • Alternative liovelihood generation at Indian Sundarban through Brown rice production with motorized Dheki by Self-help group women.
  • Alternative livelihood generation at Indian Sundarban through handloom gamchha production by Self-help group women in 2019