‘We are same boat-brother’, Picnic of Bengal Peace Centre, Bhatpara, 26 December, 2021

Our aim is not to only talk about peace but to involve people particularly women from both the communities. At Bhatpara, the focus of the initiative is to develop self-help groups with women of both communities. This will not only help in their economic empowerment but also strengthen the bond between the two communities. This picnic is a test for us, how we can practice co-existence and prepare ourselves for never-ending peace.

‘We are same boat-brother’

Picnic of Bengal Peace Centre, Bhatpara

26 December, 2021

This day Bengal Peace Centre under the aegis of Aamra Ek Sachetan Prayas Forum organised a get together of riot affected families of Bhatpara and Jaggadal, District North 24 Paraganas. Apart from that several well intentioned intellectuals and rights workers extended their helping hands to make the programme a thumping success. The main purpose of this programme is to uproot the chain of enmity between two communities and bridge the widening gaps that had been perpetuated by murky world of vested interest and brokers of power politics. AAMRA had been trying hard to dispel the shroud of despondency and gloom that had been pervading the area.  In the serene tranquil beauty of Gaighata a discussion was arranged where the activists and different groups consisting of victims shared their experience of fighting the ordeals during the time of riot. The basics of cooperative movements were discussed threadbare. It is a never ending battle. The hopes that emanated from different speakers instilled rays of hope into us and made us determined to tread the uncharted path. Though the path is full of gravel and pebbles of hatred we are hopeful that your sustained cooperation would illuminate the darkened course, said some of the victim turned activists in the picnic.

Cultural performances like patriotic song, movement-song, folk song and dance are played. Shabana Sehar, teacher of sewing and also a per-time trainer of songs introduced her students. Saikat Chanda, trainer of the drama team also shared his views. Vijay Rajak, convenor of said initiative shared his experience to work for the riot-affected people. He became emotional when he mentioned some painful incidents. Debasish Paul, Sandip Sinha Roy, Faruq-ul-Islam, Subha Protim Roy Chowdhury, Md. Inasuddin also elaborated the aim of the peace centre.

Local organiser was Dharampur Samabay Krishi Unnyon Samity (DSKUS), Gaighata. The women members of this Co-operative had already created history. They are a conglomeration of hundred plus Self Help Groups (SHGs). Their co-operative has a rice mill, fertiliser distributorship, own ponds for fishery etc. Women SHGs members of Bengal Peace Centre got practical experience by observing their work and plants. Struggling story of Mamata Das, Anila Das of Dharampur Samabay Krishi Unnyon Samity inspired them. First part of this occasion was discussion and interaction with two friendly Co-operatives.

Bhatpara women folks are considering forming a multi-purpose co-operative society with the support and inspiration of Bengal Peace Centre, Bhatpara. Their interaction with DSKUS was also a part of experience-sharing and cognitive. Among 150 persons 125 are women.


·        Riot-affected populace told us next time at least 4 buses will be needed for the picnic. They are too excited. This time we arranged a single bus.  

·        New aspirants came in; they wanted to form new SGHs in their colony. They are also dreaming of a co-operative movement in their riot-affected area.     



·        For the first time after riots started here in the year 2018, Bhatpara witnessed a joint effort of Muslim and Hindu women. This became a positive message for this riot-torn neighbourhood.   

·        Women folks played a leading role in the whole episode. They collect subscriptions, fix menus and venue. Their attentiveness to listen to the women leaders of DSKUS and their queries is promising.  





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আমরা: এক সচেতন প্রয়াস
AAMRA is an amalgamation of multidisciplinary team of researchers and activists erstwhile worked as an assemblage of movement, research and activism. Popular abbreviation of AAMRA is, An Assemblage of Movement Research and Appraisal.
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