The rampant destruction of flora and fauna led us into starting a search for plots of land to increase forest cover. Keeping this in mind, we established our society on 1st September 1996, with 50 Bighas (20 Acres) of arid land in the district of Purulia, West Bengal. Over 20 years, we kept acquiring more land and implanting trees. Today, our 30-acre forest contains 2 million trees of every variety and more than 500-600 types of herbs and bushes.
At the time of establishment in 2004, the Bhalopahar school had two teachers, 65 students and only involved Grade Nursery. Classes were held at the main hall of Bhalopahar. Currently, the school has Government affiliation and the new school building can accommodate more than 200 students. The building contains toilet and tube-well facilities, a park and an open-air theatre stage as part of its infrastructure. The school is also able to offer bus services, subsidised school equipment, day-time meals and periodic excursions to all its students.
Bhalopahar contains a health-care centre, run by a registered medical parctitioner. Key medicines are procured from a subsidized rate from Community Development Medical Unit (CDMU). On an average, 50 patients with varying degrees of ailments are treated everyday. Major heart, hydrocele, hernia and cataract surgeries have also been conducted for the local people free of cost. Additionally, we have a tie-in with reputed hospitals in Kolkata and Howrah for a nursing training initiative. This allows us to send locally educated girls for higher training at these hospitals.
Our collective efforts have made it possible to grow a variety of crops in the laterite, rocky soil of Purulia. We have managed to grow 32 types of rice seeds, as well as wheat, mustard, flaxseed, sesame seed and a variety of pulses. Our fields also contain a variety of fruits, vegetables and spices. We are completely self-reliant throughout the harvesting process as we use our own ponds for irrigation and the cow dung generated at our animal farm for fertilizers. This ensures that our farm products remain completely organic.
Among other endeavours, Bhalopahar also incorporates livestock rearing, in order to provide nutritious food for the school-going children and for the generation of natural fertilizers for organic farming. Presently, we have 70 cows, 60 hens, 10 geese, as well as a variety of fish as part of the fish farming program.