Document Type : Primary Research paper
Ex-Research scholar in Geography (The University of Burdwan)
Watershed is a geo hydrological unit that drains to a common point in the drainage system. It is surrounded by a ridge line which ends at the common draining point encircling the watershed. Smaller watersheds are called micro watersheds which covering an area between 500 – 1500 hector, with an average area of 1000 hector. Watershed Management is an integrated approach for the development of abiotic and biotic components within the watershed area. It involves optimum utilization of natural resources for overall development. It includes natural resource management, soil and water conservation, employment generation, erosion control, agricultural improvement, community mobilization etc. In India now emphasis is given on micro level planning. It is considered as the best fitted regional planning machinery. As micro watershed holds smaller area so it is treated as an ideal unit of micro level planning. India is a developing country. About 70% population live in rural areas with agriculture as the prime occupation. So for overall development of this country, there need the development of rural areas at first. Rural development is a process to improve the economic and social life of rural people particularly the rural poors. It aims at improving the well being and self-realization of people of rural area through collective process. Rural development process brings change among rural community from traditional way of living towards progressive living. It is a dynamic process which includes agricultural development, infrastructural development, village industrial development, employment generation, women empowerment, economic improvement, social development and cultural development. Thus rural development is the process of improving the living standard of masses of low income population of rural areas and making the processes of development self-sustained. On the other hand aquatic resource play an important role in case of water, food and other aquatic product supply. Watershed management in rural areas sometime play this kind of role. Integrated watershed development and management program is the current thrust of rural development planning in India. It also fulfills the basic needs of rural development phenomena like – agricultural development, rural industrialization, employment generation, poverty alleviation, rural infrastructural development, women empowerment, social mobilization etc. Thus it is said that micro watershed management helps in rural development. In this paper, an attempt has been made to show the impacts of Mokata micro watershed project of Ausgram – II block of in East Burdwan district on rural development particularly in case of agriculture, employment, infrastructure, education, women empowerment, people’s participation, animal husbandry, income generation, migration, SHG formation, health etc. This paper also helps us to know about some present problems of the study area. Some suggestions have been also made for further development of the rural life.