Asansol Burdwan Seva Kendra (ABSK) is the Social Service Society of the Catholic Diocese of Asansol, formed in the year 1998 to adress the need of the poor and marginalized section of the Diocese of Asansol.
Education is the most important tool to dispel the darkness of illiteracy in the society. ABSK plays a very vital role in education by providing formal or informal education for the poor and marginalized children through English medium schools, brick field schools, coaching centers and sponsorship programme. Hostel facility is provided for the children who do not have proper schooling opportunities. As per the Right to Education Act for every child, ABSK endeavors to create equal opportunities of learning for marginalized children.
Sustainable agriculture is a system of farming. It has its roots in a set of values that reflects an awareness of both ecological and social realities. It involves design and management procedures that work with natural processes to conserve all resources, minimize waste and environmental damage, while maintaining or improving farm profitability. Sustainable agriculture systems are designed to take maximum advantage of existing soil nutrient and water management for food production. As well, such systems aim to produce food that is nutritious, without being contaminated with products that might harm human health. Sustainable agriculture systems rely on crop rotations, crop diversification, animal/organic manures, green manures, off-farm organic wastes and to maintain soil fertility and productivity. Natural, biological, and cultural controls are used to manage pests, weeds and diseases.
In the year 2012, Project of Food Security was initiated by ABSK at nine targeted villages of Bolpur Sriniketan and Sainthia Block. Four hundred twenty targeted farmers were motivated to adopt the mechanism of sustainable agricultural practices through recycling the natural resources and reducing the inputs cost substantially.
Wadi is a pogramme based on the farming system of rain fed areas which envisages empowering women through community participation. Since last 7 year ABSK is focused on tribal development with the assistance of NAABARD through provide beneficiaries the basic information and advantages of orchard farming, organic farming, as well as microfinance for marketing of the products. ABSK is implementing this project in two places of West Bangal i.e Rajnagar of Birbhum dist and saltora Bankura districts. In is an Endeavour for agricultural development of the rain fed barren land through intercropping restoration of denuded land. This initiative refers to eliminate the livelihood problems of the tribal families. The targeted families is empowering themselves towards better livelihood through small orchard formation by nurturing cashew and mango plants in organic way.
ABSK has been implementing West Bengal Accelerated Development of Minor Irrigation with the support of World Bank. The project aims to bring sustainable developments and management of surface and ground water resources to increase agricultural productivity and rural employment generation by developing different minor irrigation structures. This project is implementing in single Cropping areas of total 18 districts, West Bengal with the priority to tribal and backward villages. ABSK is looking after of 5 districts Nadia, Birbhum, Murshidabad, Malda, Burdwan districts under supervision of Water Resources Investigation and Development department of West Bengal. The initiatives has been taken through strengthening community based organization i.e. Water Users Association (WUA) on irrigation management operation and maintenance, Development of minor irrigation schemes, support to agricultural development-including provisions of agricultural services and creating income generation opportunities for the marginalized farmers.
The project development objective is to enhance agricultural production of small and marginal farmers in the project area. This would be achieved through Strengthening community-based institutions i.e. Water User Association (WUA) on irrigation management, operation and maintenance, Construction and development of minor irrigation schemes (surface & ground water). Support to agricultural development, including provision of agricultural services, encouraging crop diversification and use of new technologies, and creating income generating opportunities.
The Health Center of Join Jharna, Bolpur brought a difference by experimenting qualitative changes in the health status of the villagers. The Dispensary is equipped with necessary medical instruments and tools relevant for Homeopathic, Allopathic, Herbal, Physiotherapy and Acupuncture. 16 beds are available in dispensary for the patients to stay and 3000 people are treated in the dispensary through early diagnosis and cost effective treatment and 750 aged and children from far away villages are treated through mobile dispensary during the reporting period. Twice in a month Health checkup conduct in the villages and distribute medicine through mobile dispensary for aged and children far away villages which brought new hope to the poor tribal people.
Join Jharna Dispensary has a special section for Mother and Child Care, started from 11th February 2011. This centre has all the facilities to save the lives of the poor malnourished children with severe infections with 40 beds, 20 for children and 20 for women. Children are given holistic way of treatment with free nutritious food as long as they need to stay in the health center.
Join Jharna Dispensary at Bolpur is the center for Remedial exercises with different machinery system for natural cure from long term chronic ailments. There are 50 to 60 patients undergoing physiotherapy treatment every day. Dr.Peter SJ a Specialist in Physiotherapy visits the dispensary once a week and checks the existing treatments and assist to strengthen the system with increased technologies using different methods of radiation, waxing, Acupuncture and physiotherapy. To reduce the medical expenses of these poor people who are in long term treatments meals are provided on concession. The dropouts of this treatment are now reduced due to low cost system. Chronic ailments getting curable by long term treatments like physiotherapy, Acupuncture, waxing, radiation and the usage of Homeo and herbal medicines.
Asansol Burdwan Seva Kendra as a Collab of CHILDLINE completed seven years of its existence in Burdwan District. Through 24-hours free emergency phone service 1098 for children in need of care and protection ABSK has been able to reach every block and panchayat under its area of operation and covered almost 4000 cases in approx. In partnership with CIF under Ministry of Women and Child Development, Govt. of India, ABSK is included in the national and state net works which provide immediate response to children in distress and facilitates rescue and restoration of children to their families or to different homes for children. Since 2011, ABSK has started working with CHILDLINE to provide shelter or rescue the children in need of care and protection. Suffering children are segregated in two categories- one is CNCP i.e. children in need of care and protection, who are produced to CWC (Child Welfare Committee) for restoration and another is JCL i.e. Juvenile in conflict with law, who is produced to Juvenile Justice Board for mainstreaming.
Besides the legal support, ABSK also provide moral support to the children, such as any emergency medical care, educational support etc. ABSK is also giving a key focus on bringing to an end of Child marriage in the working areas and with the support of local police stations ABSK has succeeded to prevent so many child marriage cases. It has been a great learning for ABSK that so many children are in need of care and protection and with CHILDLINE; we have been able to help these children in years.
Asansol Burdwan Seva Kendra as a Specialized Adoption Agency (SAA) has been facilitating the placement of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children in adoption for the past six years. Adoption means a legal process that allows someone to become the parents of a child, even though the parent and child are not related by blood. But in every other way the adoptive parents are the child’s parents.
With the experience of working for children and child rights, ABSK was selected as one of the Specialized Agency by the government. It is register under section 34 of the Juvenile Justice Act 2000 and Sec. 71 2009 recognized by department of women and child development and Social welfare , Government of West Bengal adhere to the Central and State Government guidelines for In Country and Inter Country Adoption. As most of the children are abandoned and needing special care and a family, ABSK takes utmost care in looking after the children as well as placing them in the suitable family through the help of CARA, SARA, CWC, DCPS and other alleged services through ‘Nav Jeevan’ SAA Home.