ICAR-CIFRI organized mass awareness programme for livelihood improvement of the rural women through integrated wetland management

ICAR-CIFRI conducted a mass awareness camp on 24th March, 2017 at Sujapur, Murshidabad to sensitize rural women for livelihood improvement through integrated wetland management in collaboration with Sargachi Ramakrishna Mission and State Fisheries Department, West Bengal. Bhagirathi-Damos beel (44ha), a wetland with plenty of indigenous fishery resources, which is unused by the local communities for many years and now a major portion of the wetland is weed chocked. For last one decade the beel was unmanaged due to lack of governance. ICAR-CIFRI facilitate 1800 women of 155 selfhelp groups to take the lease of that wetland to support their livelihood. The awareness camp was conducted at the bank of the wetland to sensitize the women as well as the local communities regarding the livelihood options they can fetch from the wetland. The programme was graced by Maharaja Sri Viswamayanada of Sargachi Ramakrishna mission. He motivated the women to work hard to earn livelihood from the wetland and also reminded that "God help those who help themselves". Dr. B.K Das, Director, CIFRI interacted with the women Self-help group members and informed them about the economic feasibility of beel fisheries. Dr. B.P Mohanty, HOD, FREM Division, Dr. A.K Das, PS,RWF Division, Dr. B.K Behera, PS, FREM Division and Dr. Aparna, Scientist, E & T Cell also interacted with the rural women.A GIS map regarding the present condition of the wetland was prepared by CIFRI and based on that, a strategic planning was done for the integrated wetland management in collaboration with the Ramkrishna Mission, Women self-help groups and the State fisheries department. Concentrated effort towards cleaning the beel was started by the rural women on that very day.