The few of us who were associated with “KOURAB”, a humble magazine published from Jamshedpur, all of our roots were along the banks of Subarnarekha river at the foothills of Dalma . Naturally, rivers, hills and Sal trees were in our flesh and blood.
From 1967 onwards, Dalma, Saranda, Bethla and Simlipal forests were our places of interest. Those were our alternative homes when the time came to take our leave from our so-called modern lives.
Soon we realised the devastating effects that the incessant cutting of forests and rampant killing of wild animals was having on nature, which was a resort to each of us. Since then we started thinking about ways to develop a forest.
With that objective in mind, we started touring lots of area and finally reached a place at a distance of 12Km from Bandawan town in the district of Purulia, West Bengal.
At the time there were no roads, no power supply, and no water. Only a piece of barren land of laterite soil scattered with stones of various sizes and shapes.
At the first go we purchased around 50 Bighas (20 Acres) of land. On 1st September 1996, we established a society named BHALOPAHAR and immediately started implanting trees.
That was the beginning. Consequently, we acquired more land and planted more trees every now and then and today, after 20 years, the place has now been transformed into a deep forest, having more than 2million trees of almost every variety.
Barring trees, the 30 acres of man-made jungle has more than 500 to 600 types of herbs and bushes. Inside the forest too we have developed ponds and farming land.
The name of our beloved jungle is "RASKA", a word used by the Santals (local tribes of the region), which translates into "pleasure".