The district Deoghar was formed on 1 June 1981 by separating the Deoghar sub-division of the erstwhile Santal Pargana district. The literal meaning of ‘Deoghar’ is abode (‘ghar’) of the Gods and Goddesses (‘dev’). Deoghar is also known as “Baidyanath Dham” or “Baba Dham”. The name Deoghar  seems to be of recent origin and probably dates from the erection of the great temple of Lord Baidyanath (Shiva). The district extends 24.03` and 23.38`N latitude and 86.28` and 87.04`E longitude. The district contains several clusters of rocky hills covered with forest and a series of long ridges with intervening depressions. Most of the rolling uplands are cultivated with high land crops. The average elevation of the district is 247 m. above MSL. It comprises a 2481 km2 area with a population of 14,91,879, out of which most of them are tribal. The average annual rainfall is 1239 mm, the mean summer maximum temperature is 43oC, and the mean winter minimum temperature is 8oC. The holy city Deoghar which claims mythological origins also houses the famous Satsang Ashram, the founder of which is the present prophet of the age Sri Sri Thakur Anukulchandra. One hundred and thirty-two years ago the fortune had smiled on this earth and Sri Sri Thakur was born in a remote village named Himaitpur in the district of Pabna, now in Bangladesh. Despite the political disquiet and social turmoil, the Ideal-centric activities continued at Pabna Ashram. But as it became increasingly difficult, unsafe, and nearly impossible for the adherents of Thakur living in and around the ashram to live and continue with the work with honor, against continuous mischief and manhandling by religiously intolerant and antisocial elements, a large number of adherents decided to migrate to Deoghar and take recourse at the feet of their Lord, who not only sheltered but also rehabilitated them, all this without taking any assistance from the government or anyone else. All of a sudden he left the Satsang Ashram at Himaitpur and came to Deoghar on the 2nd September 1946 with thousands of his followers leaving all the assets as they were. In His indomitable manner and with His divine spirit Sri Sri Thakur once again began from the scratch at Deoghar. The present vast complex of Satsang Ashram with crores of disciples and more than 5000 centers within India and abroad bears testimony to Sri Sri Thakur’s untiring zeal, extreme farsightedness, strength of character, and divine inspiration. The total area of Satsang Ashram is vast having gorgeous beautiful greenery in the peripheral of Satsang with Thakur Bungalow, a total of 30 campuses, 7 guest houses, A.S. College, Tapovan High school, Binapani girls’ high school, Veda Bhavan, Library, Ananda bazaar for Prasad Seva (Bhandara), Chemical works, Hospital, Press, Garage, Workshop, Philanthropy office, and Residential colonies, etc. Thousands of devotees are regularly visiting the Ashram every day and the gathering exceeds some lakhs during the Utsav period.

However, with an increasing number of devotees, there is a growing concern. The area is now experiencing several problems, particularly water scarcity, waste management, destruction of natural forests, and the poverty of the local inhabitants, which always bother the mind of the administrators of Satsang. In 2018, during the visit of Dr.Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, Directorate of Agricultural Research and Education(DARE), Government of India & Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), by the holy blessings of Param Pujyapad Sri Sri Dada, Acharyadev of Satsang an interactive meeting was held with Pujyapada Sri Sri Babaida, the Administrator of Satsang in presence of Pujaniya Abinda, Scientists from ICAR-IISS, Bhopal, Director, ATARI, Patna and KVK staff at Sujani, Deoghar, Dr. Trinath Maharana, Ex-Professor, Dr. Hrushikesha Senapati, Ex-Dean, OUAT, Bhubaneswar and Sri Braja Sundar Sahoo, Agriculturist, Satsang. As per the valuable suggestions of Pujyapad Sri Sri Babaida, Hon’ble DG felt the need for attention to address these problems for improving the ecosystem and livelihood of the farmers in the region. Accordingly, it was decided to take up the activities by the ICAR-IISS, Bhopal, in collaboration with Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University (DRPCAU), Samastipur and Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Deoghar. A team of scientists comprising Dr.Ashok K.Patra, Director and Dr. Madhab Chandra Manna, Head, Division of Soil Biology, ICAR-Indian Institute of Soil Science, Bhopal; Dr. Shankar Jha, Professor, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agriculture University (DRPCAU, Pusa) and Dr. Piyush Sannigrahi, Head, KVK, Sujani along with several scientists from the KVK, Sujani visited different sites of Satsang. The visit was meticulously coordinated by Dr. Piyush Sannigrahi, KVK, Sujani and Sri Brajasundar Sahoo, Agriculturist, Satsang Deogarh. The team also visited the Baidyanath Temple area where huge quantities of organic wastes comprising of flowers, fruits, and leafy materials with religious sanctity are generated every day.

Subsequently, several scientists and technical personnel from all three institutions visited the number of the sites of times. Subsequently a one-day workshop “Waste Resource Management” was organized on 10th February 2020, which was attended by Dr. R.C.Srivastava, Vice-chancellor, DRPCAU, and Dr. A.K. Patra, Director, ICAR-IISS, Dr. Piyush Sannigrahi, KVK, Sujani, Dr. H.K.Senapati, Former Dean, Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology(OUAT), Bhubaneswar and member of Quinquennial Review Team (QRT) and Research Advisory Committee (RAC) of ICAR-IISS, Bhopal and Dr. Shankar Jha, Professor, DRPCAU and several scientific and technical staff from the 3 institutions. During this workshop, an MoU was also signed between ICAR-IISS Bhopal & KVK, Sujani on the transfer of Excel ShredR & Excel CompostR to KVK, Sujani for the collaborative work of waste management at Satsang Deoghar. Also, another MoU was signed among the three institutions (ICAR-IISS, DRPCAU, KVK) for the exchange of technical know-how, manpower, and need-based operational expenditures on the project. Dr.Anand Kumar Tiwari, Mr. Lalan Kumar Singh, KVK, Sujani, and Sri Brajasundar Sahoo, Satsang were highly supportive to organize the different programs and deeply involved with the above mentioned scientific team to carry our different activities of the collaborative programs ( Photo-1)

Photo Plate-1: Workshop on Waste Resource Management and MoU between ICAR-IISS (Bhopal), DRPCAU ( Samastipur) and KVK (Sujani), Deoghar (10th Feb 2020)

At the start, the team critically assessed the major sources of bio-wastes, which are (i) uncooked vegetable waste, and cooked food waste from kitchens of Satsang (General kitchen, family kitchen, school kitchen, etc.), (ii) guest house waste, and (iii) garden waste, etc. It is estimated that about 17.76 metric tonnes of food waste, 18 metric tonnes of sal leaf plate is being generated annually. The common practice for disposal of bio-waste is incineration/burning in the dumping yard. Further, it was observed that pre-processed vegetable wastes are plenty. About 31.79 metric tonnes of uncooked vegetable waste is being generated annually (Photo 2, 3 & 4, Table 1). A total of about 67.5 metric tonnes of waste including vegetables, foodstuff, and leave plate is being generated annually from Satsang (Table 1). Thus, scientifically and systematically if it is managed through composting technology, about 37 metric tonnes of manure can be produced from these biowastes. This manure contains a good amount of plant nutrients (NPK). From 37 metric tonnes of manure, we may get a worth of Rs. 3.7 lakhs (Rs.10/kg). Such bio-waste management may help for better crop growth, improve soil biodiversity, and minimize the groundwater pollution


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