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The documentary on the historical event of establishing the first Small and Medium Forest Enterprise (SMFE) in India

The Government of India as a part of its state planning under the eleventh plan is promoting Small and Medium Enterprise to enhance the rural income and ensure rural development. National Afforestation and Eco-development Board as a working body of Ministry of Environment and Forests, is facilitating Joint Forest Management Committees for their sustenance by implementing seven Small and Medium Forest Enterprise pilot projects through its Regional Centres in seven different regions.

The Regional Centre, National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, a nodal centre under the Ministry of Environment & Forest, Government of India has motivated, trained and sensitized nearly 1000 tribal men and women in Dhalbhum Forest Development Agency forming about 100 self-help groups. Dhalbhum Forest Development Agency includes nine Joint Forest Management Committees namely Mejogora, Harina, Narayanpur, Roteda, Dhengam, Bhukamdih, Kundrukocha, Ranikudar and Monahdih consisting of 20 villages at Potka Developmental Block in East Singbhum district of Jharkhand. It is situated at a distance of about 60 km to the south of Tatanagar, the industrial city of Jamshedpur. The tribal villagers of this forest fringe area are either small or marginal farmers which cause their dependence on forest for fuel wood, fodder and part of livelihood.

The centre prepared them to undertake various activities like Tassar Cultivation leading to silk production, Lac cultivation, Grass mat designer products and Bamboo artifacts production so as to produce saleable products for national and international market. A state level buyers sellers meet was organized at Jamshedpur by the Regional Centre to give the tribal villagers and their produces a nation-wide market exposure and establish convergence with different organizations and sectors like various Government departments for development of funds, Bankers for regular credit flow, Insurance companies for social security, District Rural Development Agency, Jharkhand Tribal Development Society and Corporate Sectors for infrastructure development and marketability of the products.

The Joint Co-ordinator of the Regional Centre, National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, Prof. Dr. Asis Mazumdar opined that the whole process under the eleventh Plan, made the initiative of the Regional Centre, a grand success in establishing the first Small and Medium Forest Enterprise in India, at Potka under Dhalbhum Forest Development Agency, East Singhbhum, Jharkhand. The Self-Help Groups of tribal artisans dwelling in the forest fringe villages forming well motivated Joint Forest Management Committees are actively getting involved with Small and Medium Forest Enterprises for preserving and protecting the forest.

The Regional Centre has produced a documentary on establishing the first Small and Medium Forest Enterprise in India titled Artistic approach, a film by Susanta Biswas. The documentary got selection for the 8th International Social Communication Cinema Conference organised by Roopkala Kendro, Department of Information & Cultural Affairs, Government of West Bengal in collaboration with Nandan, West Bengal Film Centre.

The screening of Artistic approach was held on February 19, 2009, Thursday at 7.30 pm in Nandan as a part of the social communication conference on cinema. Chief Minister Budhadeb Bhattacharjee inaugurated the 8th International Social Communication Cinema Conference 2009 at Nandan on Sunday, February 15, 2009. Mr Ashok Bhattacharya, Director and CEO Roopkala Kendra, said this event will help bring mass awareness on social developments across the globe, over the years.

Roopkala Kendro and the Department of Panchayats and Rural Development, Government of West Bengal with the technical guidance of Indian Space Research Organisation regularly telecasts documentaries like “Artistic approach” to conscienticize, educate and inspire government officials, representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions, and members of the public. It reaches every nook and corner of West Bengal through 341 Receive Only Terminal situated in the premises of the Panchayat Samity, also the office of the Block Development Officer.

Views: 43

Comment by Franz Nahrada on July 16, 2009 at 12:51pm
susanta, could you post a trailer here in the network?

all the best!

Comment by Franz Nahrada on July 16, 2009 at 12:56pm
I did find a trailer myself.

Comment by SUSANTA BISWAS on July 16, 2009 at 2:52pm
Dear Franz,

Thank you for your kind interest about my works. The documentaries about which I've discussed were produced by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt. of India and they hold the copyright. And you know, I am not allowed to upload any copyrighted material on the Internet. So for reference I've made and uploaded three slide-shows on each documentaries Artitic approach, the tender touch and Forest Management beyond JFM with the still pictures of the films in "My Page" of this network. Hope you've gone through all the three slide-shows.

All the best
Comment by Franz Nahrada on July 16, 2009 at 3:00pm
OK I discovered this page:

Comment by SUSANTA BISWAS on July 16, 2009 at 3:05pm
Thank you. The same content is also in your network at:
Comment by Franz Nahrada on July 17, 2009 at 10:56am
So can you describe to us the relations between the community and the commons, the forest? Is there a way that enterprise and common posession can work together? Or all resources now privatised?
Comment by SUSANTA BISWAS on July 17, 2009 at 1:00pm
Forest land in India solely belongs to the Govt. of India. There is no private forest land here. Besides the Ministry of Environment and Forests some NGOs are also working with forest fringe dwellers. My two articles have been published on two such Govt. initiatives in the state of Jharkhand & West Bengal, on which I've made documentaries. I'm attaching those two articles in pdf. for your references:

The first Small and Medium Forest Enterprise in India.pdf
Forests on Ajodhya Hills in Puruliya District.pdf
Comment by Franz Nahrada on July 17, 2009 at 1:15pm
That is very interesting. We recently had a meeting on the Commons in Germany (with also one guest from India). The interesting thing was that this whole thing took place in the premisies of a private forest owner (a very progressive man who supports the Commons) who could prove to us that he manages the resource "forest" better than state or other private owners. it gave us a lot to think....
Comment by SUSANTA BISWAS on July 17, 2009 at 1:27pm
It sounds so interesting. How does he manage his private forest ? In India the concept of Joint Forest Management Committee is there. State Forest departments encourages the involvement of the forest fringe dwellers in those committees. You'll get some idea in my articles.
Comment by Franz Nahrada on July 17, 2009 at 1:45pm
Here is a very interesting part of a protocol by David Bollier from our Commons meeting:

Hermann Hatzfeldt on Sustainable Forestry

During an afternoon break at the retreat, Hermann Hatzfeldt led the group on a walk through a forest preserve adjacent to Crottorf Castle. Hatzfeldt pioneered the a number of sustainable forestry practices on the 7,000 acres of nearby forest that he owns, the third largest privately owned forest in Germany. He explained that his management philosophy is to work in partnership with nature rather than trying to dictate to nature -- because the results are more stable and productive over the long term. Hatzfeldt’s enterprise is essentially about the sustainable management of a common pool resource by a private owner.

Conventional forestry management requires planting, cultivating and harvesting. A monoculture of trees is typically planted is rows to maximize the efficiencies of performing these tasks. But such Fordism is more costly over the long term, said Hatzfeldt, and it results in a more fragile ecosystem. In sustainable forestry, by contrast, the goal is to cut and tend the forest to enhance its natural inclinations, a process that also renews and improves the forest. So, for example, trees that fall to the ground are allowed to stay there. This will allow more moss to grow, which elevates the humidity of the forest, which aids forest growth. Mushrooms can grow on the forest floor, and their later decomposition improves the soil. And so on. A general lesson that might be drawn: sustainable management can elicit “hidden economies” that only manifest themselves over time, and may elude direct measurement.

It would appear that many commons, by encouraging sustainable management of resources, may also create value in counter-intuitive, “hidden” ways. The most obvious example is free software. The proprietary industry never imagined that personal passions, social collaborations, shared ideals and other “soft” factors could be so consequential in building complex software programs. The Native Americans in New Mexico who manage precious supplies of water under the acequia system have a similar counterintuitive approach to managing the commons of water. They do not try to capture every last drop by putting concrete floors in irrigation ditches; instead they let some of the water seep into the ground, which in turn allows trees to grow nearby, which shields the fields from the wind, helps preserve topsoil, creates shade and lowers temperatures.

By honoring the organic integrity of a resource and its own natural propensities, the commons helps cultivate a “value proposition” that the neoliberal markets cannot understand or capture."

So far the words of David, a leading theoretician of the Commons as well as a very active publisher. One could argue, that nationalized resources can maybe not be taken care as well as if human communities take a bit of stewardship for such resources. Commons require communities, and communities require passionate individuals. That will be a major issue for moths and years to come, since the economic downturn affects the traditional system of reproduction in the money system very we must ourselves how can we revitalize communities in conjunction with nature in new ways....


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