NGO: Economic Rural Development Society


Economic Rural Development Society (ERDS) is an NGO established in 1982 in a village in West Bengal. ERDS owes its existence to the dedication and hard work of Mr. Madhu Basu, who wanted to combat the growing poverty in villages and urban areas. It is a non-profit, secular and non-political organization dedicated to the mitigation of misery and poverty, and upliftment of the impoverished.

The primary objective of the organization is to engage in sustainable development techniques to empower the local rural communities, especially women and children. In the initial years it concentrated on non-formal and adult education. Gradually ERDS has diversified its activities in other fields such as women and child development, child education, child sponsorship, health & nutrition, low cost sanitation, care & rehabilitation of the elderly.

IDRF partner since: 2005

Focus Area: Education Health and Women Empowerment

Location: West Bengal

Project Title: Kesarben Memorial School, Gajole, Dist. Malda, and
Primary School for Hindi Speaking Children, Boral, Dist. 24-Parganas


Kesarben Memorial School (KMS): 

started in 2013 with support from IDRF, to ensure the overall holistic development of students hailing from poverty stricken background. Apart from providing quality education, extracurricular activities like sports, physical education and self-development are also encouraged. KMS has reached a new height in standard of education due to a dedicated team of qualified teachers and efficient management of ERDS.

                                Students at Kesarben Memorial School, Gajole

Hindi Primary School, Boral: 

IDRF came across a unique situation wherein, the future of Hindi speaking migrant laborers in West Bengal was bleak because of their inability to study in Govt. schools, where the medium of instruction is Bengali. Being cognizant of this situation, ERDS succeeded in securing 100% tax exemption under Indian Income Tax Section 35AC- rarity in INDIA, which allowed them to meet IDRF’s requirement of 50% co-financing. Thereby IDRF succeeded in establishing ‘Velji Vishram Popat Primary School’ in Boral, District South 24 Parganas.

All 300 students that attend this school are from below poverty line families (BPL). In order to accommodate all the students and due to shortage of school rooms, the school is run in two shifts. To reduce the rate of drop-outs incentives in the form of toys, occasional tiffin are given to the children. As an integral part of imparting education, school creates awareness about health, hygiene and environmental sanitation so that the children can cultivate good habits from their childhood. The curriculum also includes teaching Bengali, computer, drawing, dance & music.

Please click on the following link to find more information about Economic Rural Development Society (ERDS).