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GOSABA

HISTORY:

Sir Daniel Mackinnon Hamilton, a Scotsman, had travelled to Kolkata to work for Mackinnon & Mckenzie, a company with which he had family connection. Hamilton became head of the company and master of an immense fortune, one of the richest men in British India. Hamilton set his eyes on the deltaic islands in South Bengal. In 1903, he bought 10,000 acres (40 km2) of the tide country from the Government – it included such islands as Gosaba, Rangabelia & Satjelia. His efforts towards developing these places brought in other people into these islands.

GEOGRAPHY:

Gosaba is one of the main deltaic islands in the Sundarban region, bounded by the Matala and Zilli rivers/crocks. Kolkata to Sonakhali (opposite Basanti) is 100 km., it takes about 3 hrs. by road. Sonakhali to Gosaba is about 11/2 hrs. by powered boat. Sundarbans are home to some 270 man eating tigers. Sixteen of them have entered into the villages of Gosaba between 2001 an d 2004.

DEMOGRAPHY:

In the 2001 census, Gosaba community development block had a population of 2,22,764 and of which 1,13,827 were males and 1,08,937 were females.The entire population is classified as rural.

ADMINISTRATION:

Gosaba is an intermediate Panchayat (local self-Government) under South 24 Parganas district. Village panchayats under it are – Amtali; Bali I and II; Bipradaspur; Chhota Mollakhali; Gosaba; Kachukhali; Kumirmari; Lahiripur; Pathankhali; Radhanagar-Taranagar; Rangabelia; Satjelia and Samb hunagar.

ECONOMY:

Around 20,000 kg. of honey is collected every year from forests of Sundarbans. Mostly people from the Kultali, Joynagar, Basanti, Gosaba & Canning are honey collectors and fisherman. The main tourist centre in the region is SAJNEKHALI in the heart of the Sundarbans tiger reserve and is about 11/2 hrs. by boat from Gosaba.

EDUCATION:

Educational institutions in Gosaba – Sundarban Hazi Dasalat College(Pathankhali); Rangabelia High School; Sambhunagar High School; Bipradaspur High School; Satjelia Natavar Vidyayatan.

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