The Gontra Samabaya Krishi Unnayan Samity Ltd. (GSKUS) is situated at village Gontra under PS of Chakdah. The post office is Ghentugachi and the nearest railway station, Chakdah is about 10 km away from the area. As early as in 1952, a few interested persons in the village Gontra and Ramkrisnapur took initiative to form the society and the first meeting of the society was held on 1st May in the year 1952, literally under a banyan tree with 30 members. The Society began with a loan of Rs.5000 (Rupees five thousand only) from Ranaghat Central Cooperative Bank. Following the existing rules of the Bank, it required repayment of at least 90 % of the loan to get fresh loan and GSKUS was destined to die due to financial stringency. Shri Joydeb Chattopadhyay, a courageous person of the village Gontra took a bold initiative to restart the society in 1969 with a cash book and ledger sitting in his own room without any further increase in the strength of member. They earnestly believed the principle of the Cooperative Society ‘Live and Let Live” and rigorously persued several objectives namely:
- to identify the need of the village people and try to solve them;
- to establish a stable leadership to guide the people;
- to depict the duties of the members with sincerity, honesty and self reliability;
- to earn the confidence of people being an instrument of their own;
- to plan properly and execute with the support of the people and
- to evaluate the performance on regular basis.INFRASRUCTURE AND PROGRESS
Advance to the objectives helped the Society to turn around. The results showed distinct progress of the Society and because of its good performance gradually had its own buildings at its own land with financial support from the government and also started to build a Godown for fertilizers in 1978. A few other societies in the neighbouring area, which failed to survive, joined GSKUS, and the area of activities of the society spread over 4 (four) villages.
Following failure in certain business venture, the Society with the advise of Shri Satya Narayan Bandhyopadhyay, ARCS, began to act as depositor of fund with an initial collection of Rs. 60,000 from the members in the year 1984 and gradually became member of IFFCO in 1986. A fertilizer Godown of 100 MT capacity was built and the farmers were being assisted with 60% of the prices of their field produce on its deposition to the society to prevent any glut in marketing.
Around 1992, the society began to encourage irrigated agriculture following installation of three submersible pumps covering an area of 20 ha of land with active participation of the poor and unprivileged sections of the village people. In spite of earlier cumulative losses GSKUS started making profit beginning the year 1993 up to 1999. The deposit scheme of the society showed a balance of Rs. 1.16 crore (Rupees one crore sixteen lakhs) in the year 1998-99 and a cumulative profit of about 2.5 lakh (Rupees two lakh fifty thousand). The society increased irrigated agriculture up to 7 ha each at 3 villages installing shallow tubewells to which lands were belonging to SC/ST and other economically backward and downtrodden section of the people.