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Godda  district General information

Godda came into existence as fifty fifth district of undivided Bihar on may 25, 1983 and became the   18th district   of    Jharkhand    State   that    emerged on November 15, 2000. Prior  to  its upgradation  to the  status  of  a district  it was a Sub-Division   of   Santhal   Pargana   district  since  1855.  In  absence  of   basic infra-structure the district is still  developed .  Godda district falls under  Santhal  Pargana  Division  and  has   one  Sub-Division Godda and eight blocks - Boarijore , Godda, Mahagama, Meharama,  Pathargama, Poraiyahat,  Sunderpahari  and  Thakurgangti .   It  has  one  single  town  and 2304 villages falling under 172 Panchayats . Out  of  the  2304 villages 1622   are chiragi and 682  be- chiragi. The municipal area also covers up  7  chiragi revenue villages besides the urban area . The administrative headquarters of the District is Godda. Total of 1206 revenue villages are Pradhani villages

Ancient History

         Although no systematic historical document about the District seems to be available still a number of stone weapons and tools such as axes, hammers, arrow-leads or agricultural implements found in the Santhal Pargana obviously confirmed the fact that like other parts of the world this region too had experienced the living of stone age and certainly would have been the inhabitants of this region during early  Vedic age . Any record of inhabitants if  available is the Indica - an account of travels of megasthenes, who visited the court of Chandragupta Maurya at Patliputra in 302 B.C and identified the race inhabiting the area has ''Maller'' ( Souria Paharia). Detailed account of this region until the time of Hiuen Tsiang - a Chines pilgrim, who visited Champa about 645 A.D ,is not available. During that time the area of Santhal Pargana was under the Pal region which was the great patron of Buddhism . It was the time when the Vajrayan Sect of Buddhism was at its extreme exaltation . Signs of devi worship are available in the area which clearly signifies that the area had an impact of Buddha religion and Tantric sect. Immediately after this there is no record  of the area for many centuries . But there is an interesting reference to it in the Brahmanda Section of   Bhavishyat Puran which was probably compiled in the 15th or 16th century A.D from ancient materials. During the period of Turko-Afgan rule when Shershah Suri  and his heirs were  the administrators , this area was of strategic significance in course of getting possession over Bengal . Later on under Muslim rule this area was received as Jagir by Viceroy Raja Mansingh from Mugal emperor Akbar .However as regards the development of culture and civilisation the area remained abandoned till the British regime set in.  The Britishers understood the strategic and economic importance of the area and thus started exploiting the jungles of the area in full force . In the beginning, the aboriginal Paharia tribe proved an   obstacle to such economic exploitation of the Britishers . By 1717 the Santhal tribe which inhabited in chhotanagpur were initiated to settle in Santal Pargana by the Britishers for countering the obstacles created by the Paharias  and they got success in it. But the Santals to gradually became victim of Britishers policy of exploitation and they being united rebelled against the Britishers  in 1855 which was termed as '' Hul '' . This rebellion was so terrific and troublesome for the Britishers that they were compelled to accord Santhal Pargana the status of district  separating it  from Bhagalpur and Birbhum protecting basic facilities of aboriginal  tribes and their sicio- economic structure  and tradition.

Physical features

         Spread over an area of 2110 sq. Kms and having the height of 100 .414 metre. from sea level, Godda district is situated between 240.47' to 250.23'  Northern Latitude and between 870.08' to 870.48' Eastern Longitude in the map of India. Its eastern part from north to south is covered with forest whose area is 239.34 sq. Kms . and is a hilly track. Its western side is plain . The district is bounded by the district of Sahebganj in the north , Dumka district in the south , Pakur district in the east and Banka and Bhagalpur districts of Bihar state in the west .  Out of the eight Prakhands of the district Boarijore and Sunderpahari   fall under Damin Area, which has special status and revenue law due to different socio-economic, ethnic and cultural values.   The two blocks according to 1991 census   have 63.03% and 80.52% tribal population respectively on the hills and plains . Among the rest six blocks , Poraiyahat  has also 35.79% tribal population. Thus the three blocks - Boarijore , Sunderpahari & Poraiyahat  together extending from north to south in the eastern part of the district shared more than 50% ( That is 1142 sq. kms. ) of the geographical area and divide the entire district distinctly in two parts . The predominating features of the tribal region, whose major part is covered by the Rajmahal hill range is rocky, infertile and dotted with hills heavily eroded slopes and degraded forest. The primary occupation of the aboriginal  tribes are hunting , sheep - rearing, animal husbandry, gathering of forest produce and traditional agriculture. The soil is of a very poor quality and is not well suited for cultivation except that of north - west part of the district owing to undulating topography . The tribals inhabiting this region following there traditional way of living , social habits and economic practices are mostly small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers having little productive assets and mostly they have been identified  as poorest of the poor. They are also exposed to exploitation of various kinds and remain no better than hewers of wood and drawers of water .

Climate

          The climate of the district is of tropical region with hot dry summer , a good rainy season and cool winter . Maximum temperature is as high as 44.210 C and the lowest is 5.80C. Thunder storms accompanied with sever squalls occur in pre-monsoon months . Dust storms also occur occasionally in April and May . Morning fog also occur in the winter  months . The average rainfall for the district is 1094.7mm , but table I below would indicate the wide difference in it between 1996 to 2002 . In 1996 when the lowest rainfall remained 893.3mm the highest of 2454mm was in 1999 . Thus the climate of the district has all characteristics of tropical belt.

District Administration

             Godda district falls under  Santhal  Pargana  Division  and  has   one  Sub- Division Godda and eight blocks -                        Boarijore,Godda,Mahagama,Meharama,Pathargama,Poraiyahat,Sunderpahari,Thakurgangti. It  has  one  single  town  and 2304 villages falling under 172  Panchayats . Out  of  the 2304 villages 1622   are chiragi and 682  be- chiragi. The municipal area also covers up  7  chiragi revenue villages besides the urban area . The administrative headquarters of the District is Godda. Total of 1206 revenue villages are Pradhani villages

Health Service

         The perimeter of public health service is best on its preventive and creative potential. Every state has its constitutional liability to develop its people’s nutrition and health and as such every state govt. has adopted the policy of establishing hospitals, dispensaries, health centres, health sub-centres along with Ayurvadic and Unani  centres . The following table bring out the picture of public health facilities available in the district .

Sadar Hospital  ,Homeo-Unani-Ayurvedic ,Joint Sadar Hospital ,Referal Hospital ,Primary Health Center ,Addition Primary Health Centre ,Health Sub-centre ,Ayurvadic Dispensary ,Unani Dispensary  

Flora and Fauna

          Despite large scale felling in forest trees in the district there still exist trees of economic importance in abundance all around the rural and urban areas and they could be classified in three groups – fruit-bearing tress , tress for timber and fuel and flower producing tress , Among fruit-bearing tress Mango, Jacktree, date-palm, imli, plum ( ber ), wood Apple ,( Angle mamelos) custard apple, Bair; Avla, Black plum and papaya are immensely available but trees of  jack fruit and mango are relatively in great number. The timber trees are mostly Mahua (basis latifolia) Gamhar ( genelina arborea ), Asan (Terminalia tomentosa ) Murga ( Ptercarpus marsupium ) , Shisham ( Dahbergia sissso ), Sal (Shorearobusta ) ,  Bamboos ( Dendrocalamus  strictus ) and the Margosa tree etc. Besides trees like Siris, Semar (Silk Cotton) and Sahjan (Morniga aneiphera) etc. are also available. Apart from all these 42 catogaries of other  medicinal plants have also been identified, which are used in incurable diseases.

           All these plants are found in the tribal areas of the district. The large scale felling of trees may cause their extinction and as such their protection is essential. As regards wild animals monkey, rabbit, pig, jackal and many species of birds are abundantly found here. Though in small number peacock, bear and leopard are also said to be found in district jungle. Availability of poisonous snakes like cobra, karaint etc. and scorpions in the forest region is almost common.


Agriculture

Paddy, wheat and maize are the main crops grown in the district. Vegetables, linseed, khesari are other crops grown in the district.

 Minerals

Coal is mined extensively across the entire district with Lalmatiya having the reputation for the largest open pit coal mine in Asia. There is no artificial irrigation facilities like dams, tunnel, tube wells. Farmers are solely depends on mercy of God for good rain. Natural calamity like flood and drought has becoming common tragedy since past 10 years.