Success Stories

Alipurduar Cooperative Agriculture & Rural Development Bank Ltd.


Mejbill is a marginal village of Alipurduar-I Development Block, surrounded by Jaldapara Forest Range. The villagers of Mejbill are mainly dependant on their agricultural land- mostly in paddy and vegetable cultivation. Women members of every family are also engaged in family occupation of farming. Even, the financial support towards the Self Help Groups by the bank is mostly provided in the agricultural activities. Every year, the forest bound region is invaded by elephant herds from the adjacent jungle and the harvested lands and products of the villagers are ransacked. Consequentially the villagers suffer to protect their yielded production and their economic stability has been under deep uncertainty.

In the year of 2017, the Alipurduar Cooperative Agriculture & Rural Development Bank Ltd. organised a Self Help Group awareness campaign in the area. During this campaign the fifty odd SHG members came across the success story of one young man, Mr. Bikash Roy of the adjacent village. Sri Bikash Roy got a professional training on Mushroom cultivation on his own and started his business venture with his production units, which are now running successfully with a four to five times profit. The Alipurduar Cooperative Agriculture & Rural Development Bank Ltd. immediately took the opportunity to conduct exposure visits for those Self Help Groups to the Mushroom Cultivation unit of Sri Bikash Roy.

A new venture:
The young and energetic entrepreneur Sri Bikash Roy also boosted up equally and agreed to give hand-hold training on Mushroom cultivation to the members of the SHGs under the supervision of Alipuduar CARD Bank Ltd.

Initially, the group members were introduced to the low cost - high yielding economic production procedure of the Mushroom units. The SHG members came to know the Mushroom can be grown in both small and large units in the village house as well as a big production centre. After the first introduction and training, fifteen families started the work of Mushroom production.

The Finance:
The Alipurduar Cooperative Agriculture & Rural Development Bank Ltd. sanctioned initial loan of Rs. 6000/- to each member in addition to their SHG loan limit as a pilot project. The local director of the bank took the responsibility of monitoring the Self Help Groups, their capacity building and the proper management of the Mushroom units.

The Economical Success:
It was the post monsoon season within twenty five days of the beginning, the magic took place. In the first lot, approximately one and a half kilogram of Mushroom was produced against expenditure of Rs.30/- only per cylinder. By the end of the quarter of the year, four times plucking were done with an average five kilogram per cylinder with the market value of Rs.50/- to 60/- per kilogram, at wholesale price.

The village of Mejbill celebrated the festival season this year with ardent zeal enthusiasm. A new door of economic self sufficiency has been opened.

Way Forward:
Since then, there were no stopping for the women of those Self Help Groups. The male members of the village have also joined hands with the groups and got engaged in Mushroom cultivation. The village is gradually coming out of the hazards of elephant attacks and having a little breath of relief for their financial security.

The essence of success:
In any newly established economical venture, the market plays the biggest role. Fortunately, the area is situated near the border of Bhutan and Nepal. Mushroom as an economical agricultural product has huge demand in the lower hilly Terrain of Himalayas along with the local market of India.

The Alipurduar Cooperative Agriculture & Rural Development Bank Ltd. is earnestly dedicated to ensure the growth and nurturing the Self Help Groups engaged in Mushroom production in the area. They have already increased the “Mushroom Loan Limit” in addition to the SHG loan. At present, more than thirty SHG families in the area are acquiring their livelihood through production of Mushroom. Visitors can find milky white series of Mushroom cylinders in almost every household of Mejbill. Within a very short period of time the village has eventually transformed to a noted "Mushroom Gram".

Success Story by: Sri Subir Dutta, ARCS & Chief Executive Officer, Alipurduar Cooperative ARDB Ltd.,

Compiled by: Sanchari Mitra, Assistant Faculty Member, ICMARD

Read More


This is a story of one Mr. Bikram Shah (name changed). Bikram was an unemployed youth of Chilapata Forest area (of Alipurduar district). Once, for survival of his family, Bikram was merged in illegal activities of smuggling sandal wood, rhino horn and ivory. Fathering of two children, the man was finding no way to come out of the mess of being the only bread earner in his family.

One day, he approached a recovery camp organised by the Alipurduar Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank Ltd. to grant him some loan to start some business activity. As an obvious result the bank management at that point, refused to stake its investment to a man with a shady background.

However after some time as an initiative of expanding the financial support to the grooming tourism business at the area, the Alipurduar Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank Ltd. agreed to extend the support on the condition of building a project of tourism cottage on his ancestral land, right adjacent to the dense Chilapata Forest of Jaldapara National Park.

It was in the middle of the year 2008, Bikram hardly managed to build two cottages in that ground with the loan amount of Rs. 5 Lakh. The cottages got damaged by the attack of wild tuskers coming out from the jungle. With no choice, Bikram again approached the Alipurduar Coop. ARDB Ltd. for another loan. This time, determined, he completed the project “Jungle Camp”, the first private resort in Chilapata Range.

Unfortunately, in the first attempt, the resort did not do well. The remoteness of the area and the failure to market the place couldn’t let Bikram to repay his dues to the financing bank. He became a defaulter of Alipurduar Cooperative ARDB Ltd. and even got legal notices from the bank management.

Then a miracle happened. In the year of 2010, all of a sudden, one film production company of Kolkata planned to shoot a complete biopic (later achieved a National Award) nearby to this resort and Bikram was given the work order for the entire logistics support. The Alipurduar Cooperative ARDB Ltd. took the risk again. The whole story then got a 180 degree twist with the completion of assignment. At the end of it, Bikram repaid his entire dues to the bank and invested the rest of the amount to built some more cottages.

Meanwhile, the place became very popular for tourism and the business enhanced by many times. After repayment of previous loan, the bank financed him again to grow more. The cool and calm Bikram now running with total ten cottages (two storied), one corporate suite with a conference hall and a classy restaurant. The "Jungle-Camp" now listed as most preferred resort, adjacent to the Chilapata core area. It was only in last the year when one team of ICMARD, Kolkata, with thirty members, had an exposure visit, the delighted Shah of "Jungle-Camp" was there with his smiling hospitality.

Success Story by: Sri Subir Dutta, ARCS & Chief Executive Officer, Alipurduar Cooperative ARDB Ltd.,

Compiled by: Sanchari Mitra, Assistant Faculty Member, ICMARD

Read More