About 100 km away from Kolkata deep in the interiors of Sunderbans in West Bengal lies the village of
Digambarpur. has been judged the best Gram Panchayat in the country by the Ministry of Panchayati
Bengal has once again topped in the country with Digambarpur Gram Panchayat bagging the Centre’s
award for the best Gram Panchayat in the country.It was selected as the best among 2.5 lakh other gram
panchayats from across India. The village has a population of 34,077 and covers an area of 49.5 sq. Km.
A survey was conducted among all the Gram Panchayats in the country and three were selected. Out of
those three, Digambarpur topped the list.
Selecting the best- Gram Panchayat
The ranking of the Gram Panchayats have been done on the basis of seven factors of work that was
looked into during the survey. The seven factors include the system of planning, quality of planning,
different activities and level of coordination, implementation of the plan and its proper monitoring, use of
Information Technology and documentation. It is learnt that Bengal has bagged the first prize leaving
behind the Gram Panchayats of Karnataka and Sikkim.
Gram Panchayat has installed water meters in households for supplying 200 liters of potable purified
water to them,against a sum of Rs 50 a month.On a 7,200 square feet plot of land donated by a resident,
the gram panchayat built a 2 lakh liter-capacity overhead water tank (a deep tube well with a pump set to draw the water out) in October 2016.
Waste management in which the Gram Panchayats has done an exemplary job.They provided
households with two dustbins each – one for liquid waste another for solid waste. Every morning, the waste is collected and brought to a treatment centre where the waste is sorted and then the bio- degradable ones are used to make organic fertilizer.Households pay Rs 10 per month, higher secondary schools pay Rs 200 per month, primary schools pay Rs 50 per month and shops pay Rs 250 per month.
Most important aspect of the Gram Panchayat success is women’s participation in welfare
activities.Hundreds of women among the population of about 30,000 here have been involved in various
activities. There are women who work in groups, helping others in varied activities from mushroom
cultivation to micro finance. Gram Panchayat provide micro loans against interest of as low as .5 per
cent. There is also a milk cooperative which collects the milk produced in the Gram Panchayat and sell it
to the market.
Gram Panchayat also developing Karmathirtha, an employment hub mostly for women here and had
also requested Chief Minister for developing the tourism potential here.
Gram Panchayat trained groups of villagers, mostly women, on issues such as sanitation, health and
cleanliness. Then, for months, there were awareness campaigns, following which the projects were
initiated.Gram Panchayat received the award and a cheque of Rs 20 lakh from the Ministry of Panchayati
The credit goes to the villagers and the team of gram panchayat members and employees who spent
time and energy on development. Around three years ago, they formed various teams, conducted
surveys and mapped the area including social mapping. They identified the needs and roadblocks thus
found solutions for proper development.
We want more Digambarpur gram panchayats in India !
Digambarpur Gram Panchayet,
Pathar Pratima, Sout 24 Parganas,
West Bengal – 743349, India
Phone: 03210 – 213194
Thanks for your visit