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April 05, 2011

Nabard Keen To Fund Village Tourism Plan

5 April 2011

Antara Bose, Jamshedpur:

For the little-known tribal village of Janumdih, the status of an exotic weekend getaway is close at hand.

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has shown interest in promoting rural tourism at Janumdih, with a two-member team recently visiting the village in Potka block.

Nabard will collaborate with city-based NGO Kalamandir — which also looks after grass mat production by rural artisans at Janumdih — to launch a tourism project that will offer a slice of tribal culture and more in a two-day tour package.

Once it kicks off, visitors can look forward to attending rural fairs, dropping in at nearby craft villages, exploring the flora and fauna and tasting local delicacies such as rice crispies, jaggery peetha and chicken khichdi served hot in clay utensils.

“We have visited the site and Nabard is eager to fund a project that can boost rural welfare. However, it will take a month or so for us to start the project,” Nabard assistant general manager Bikram Kumar Dash told The Telegraph.

M.V. Ashok, the chief general manager, Nabard, Jharkhand, pointed out that no budget had been allocated yet for the project.

“It depends on the nature of the project. As of now, Nabard is keen to fund rural tourism in a big way. Unfortunately, only one NGO has so far come up with such unique ideas,” he said.

According to Kalamandir’s plans, Janumdih will have four cottages and Swiss tents to accommodate tourists. The design for the luxury tents is ready, and is focused on eco-friendly technology. The cottages will be on the lines of Santhal huts made of clay.

Janumdih, about 40km away from the steel city, has been chosen, as the villagers have earned a name with the production of grass mats, thanks to the mushrooming self-help groups established with the help of the Union ministries of tribal welfare and textiles and the state industries department.

“The production of grass mats in Janumdih has proven to be a base for rural tourism to thrive,” said Amitava Ghosh, the secretary of Kalamandir.