PURULIA (West Bengal)
In 1871, the British notified Shabars as ” Criminal Tribes”. In 1952, they were denotified but still, they are outcasts in society. They are not only underprivileged but deprived of and unaware of almost all civic amenities. A four-square meal every day is a far reached dream and the second set of clothes to wear is a luxury to them. We visit Purulia twice in a year with Old and New clothes, blankets, etc. for the Shabar people live in Shabar Para (locality) of Maldi, a remote village of Purulia.
Naba Kustha Nibas, a Leprosy Home situated at Choto Balarampur area of Purulia has long been abandoned by the State government. But the indomitable spirit of the inmates to take up the challenge to survive with a unified effort against all odds is praiseworthy, although most of them are deserted by their family members. We were ashamed to learn from the female inmates that they had been living there without any toilet and requested us for construction of the same. We are happy that in 2017 we were able to construct three toilets and a bathroom for them. During our visit to Purulia, we also give them clothes, blankets, mosquito curtains etc as they needed.
We felicitated Postu Bala Devi at her residence in Purulia in June 2018 for her immense contribution in Jhumur, one of the rich folk culture of West Bengal. Her life long struggle through hunger, poverty, humiliation to save our heritage for extinction deserves honour and recognition. She is secretary of “Manbhum Lok Sankskriti O Nachni Unnayan Samity”, an organization looks after the welfare of the Nachnis and play effective role to survive the Jhumur Folk Culture.