Economic Rural Development Society (ERDS) owes its existence to the unstinted effort and dedication of Sri Madhu Basu. The organization formally came into existence in the year 1982. The urge to set up ERDS was lent by the growing poverty in villages and also in the urban areas. In order to combat the growing levels of poverty Mr. Basu felt the need to set up ERDS. It is a non-profit, secular and non-political organization dedicated to ameliorate the misery and privation of the downtrodden people. It started its journey humbly in Boral, (South 24 Parganas), Vikahar & Khanjapur (Dakshin Dinajpur), Thinagar, Gajole & Habibpur, Malda.

In the initial years it concentrated on non-formal and adult education. Gradually with the passage of time ERDS has diversified its activities in various directions: Women & Child development; Health & Nutrition; Care & Rehabilitation of the Elderly; Micro-credit, through SHG Promotional Council; Skill Development Training; International Relationship and Publication. ERDS now covers nearly 120,000 beneficiaries. The humble journey that began in 1982 has now traversed a long way trying to serve the poor and the needy with a view to assist them and lead them to dignified lifestyles. There is still a long way to go.