#Sunderban Diaries

Date: 22nd May
Sunderbans actually spans from the river Hooghly in West Bengal to Baleshwar River in Bangladesh. The rivers of Sundarbans are Icchhamoti, Raimangal, Bidyadhari, Shibsa, Kalindi, Pasur and Bhola.
Sandeshkhali I and Sandeshkhali II is a part of Sunderbans. The area is full of marshes and salt water lakes. The Bidyadhari River flows through the central part of Sandeshkhali I block.The wide Dansa, Kalindi and Raimangal rivers flow through the area.The river bank of Raimangal was washed away and flooded the villages as river beds are always vulnerable with slightest downpour. The picture shows the river dam of "Shithiliya" in Sandeshkhali block.
The purpose of the post is to create awareness regarding Sunderbans, its people and ground situation.
We are an organization imparting education in the remote areas of Sundarbans and working with child protection and prevention of trafficking. To stand by the community is the need of the hour.
To know more about us kindly check our website www.swapnopuron.org.
We seek your heart to resonate with the cause to Save Lives in Sunderbans.

Date: 23rd May
The world's largest mangrove forest is under threat.
"Outside of South Asia, I find not many people know about the Sundarbans. So I'm going to do a basic thread about this.
The Sundarbans is a 10,000 km² mangrove forest, formed at the delta of 3 rivers, straddling 2 nations, home to 4.5 Mn of the world’s poorest people.
It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a unique ecology particularly vulnerable to climate change. Bengalis on both sides of the border depend on the Sundarbans in more ways than they may realise: for food, natural resources, and for climate regulation.
The Sundarbans bear the direct brunt of tides from the Bay of Bengal. With increased deforestation and agriculture, the mangrove cover that holds the soil together has been thinning. And the oceans are rising by about 8 mm a year now.
Between 1969 and 2001, the Sundarbans lost 163 km², an area the size of Washington DC, to coastal erosion. A 45 cm rise in sea level together with other anthropogenic stresses would destroy 75% of the mangrove forest.
As arable and habitable land shrinks, there’s more population pressure on the islands. The people of the Sundarbans are small agriculturists, fishermen, honey gatherers. These people stand to lose everything to saltwater flooding, rising temperatures, and cyclones like #Amphan.
What will follow? Mass displacement, poverty, and conflict over resources among the poorest of these people. And for the rest of us: diminished food supply, a migrant crisis, recurring and ever more destructive tropical storms.
I haven’t even mentioned the loss of native flora and fauna. The Bengal tiger, the estuarine crocodile, the Gangetic dolphin, the Olive Ridley turtle, and the iconic sundari tree that gives the region its name: how much of our natural heritage will we lose in the years to come?
I’m saying these obvious things because well-intentioned people in the west (and at home) who know about the Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon rainforest, have never heard of the Sundarbans. It's the largest ecosystem of its kind and crucial to the survival of millions.
We need you to know who’s at the front lines of the climate emergency. Global media needs to pay attention to the Sundarbans as a bellwether for climate change. The world needs to send aid to the people of Bengal and Bangladesh like they did for the Australian wildfire."
- Shalmi, @Ornithophobix on Twitter.Via Kamalika Bose

Date: 26th May
Is it a super cyclone or a man-made cyclone....super cyclone caused by environmental change but man made cyclone...Alas unable to break the vicious cycle....visited PaschimGhuni, Tia Mari and Madhya Ghuni, Khanpukur under Hasnabad block.
A population of 500 people completely stuck in their homes as the area has become an island cut off from the main land. We had to take a boat to reach out to these families.Without food, electricity and strong winds blowing throughout the day they struggling to survive with young babies.
We were carrying dry ration as chiwda, muri, biscuits. They came simply running to take them. Little ones came running to take biscuit packet, starved they looked and tired with no hope. Few elderly ladies were in tears narrating their condition.

At night with no electricity and pitch dark just living on the river banks makes their lives so vulnerable as exposed to all kind of risks as snake bites and ...
Children are under so much threat...
Words fall short to express their grief and pain.
In this heat they have just a 250 ml packet to quench their thirst. 1000 litres of water will be provided to these families everyday by us.
Yet there’s so much to be done.Life can be so vulnerable it’s unfathomable.

Date: 27th May
After visiting Tia Mari under ChakpatliPanchayat, yesterday which is absolutely inaccessible other than by boat we decided to support them in starting their community kitchen. We took an immediate decision after our visit yesterday to support the 51 families stuck in the island with Rice, dal, oil, soya beans, salt...
It's raining again only pray that they can have a good meal after all these days.
We are so grateful to our team and our supporters who believed in our work.
Just pray God is impartial and stand by these innocent souls for once....

Date: 28th May
"When we look and care for others - that is,help others draw forth their life force - our own life force increases. When we help people expand their state of life, our state of life also expands". Daisaku Ikeda
Always imbibe these words in my heart.
It's just the tireless efforts of our team to help people to expand their lives and spread compassion.
Inspite of the threatening weather the volunteers were determined to set out and informed that the people were in much distressful situation and so the weather couldn't be any obstacle. These words itself lifted my spirits.
They carried all the relief to the areas where people have been completely without any food other than dry food for past one week. Goalati, they served 120 families with ration for a week.
Amrulgaccha another severely hit area under ChakpatliPanchayat was served to 35 families with ration for a week.
20 families whose houses completely under water took shelter in the nearest high school was also served with basic ration.Everyday 1000 litres of water is distributed to quench their thirst but really need more support.
Life at every step throws challenge.
Proud of our team tirelessly working from morning till evening without electricity and water.
No words to express my gratitude to all of them.

Date: 30th May
"The important thing is to burn with passion for what is right, to pray wholeheartedly and strive the hardest for it.If we do so then there is no barrier we cannot breakthrough and no struggle we cannot win." Daisaku Ikeda
Truly imbibe these words and manifest in life. A day with a difference as we could reach out to so many yesterday. We reached out to several affected families in DakhinMohispukur, Baliadanga, ThakaraniBaad, MadhyamGhuni Colony Para, MadhyamGhuniSardar Para and PaschimGhuni Math Para. Yesterday's distribution kit was supported by Goonj.
It's a moment of great happiness and encouragement to be associated with Goonj and stand by the people of Hasnabad and Hingalganj.
1000 litres of water everyday supported by United Way Kolkata and yesterday a special food kit for children was distributed sponsored by friends.
Making so many impossible into possible.
Biscuits for children sponsored by Prescilla Priscilla Dawn Hopleykerr Mam.
It's such a feeling of happiness when teacher from my school days stand by us.
Thank you mam.

Date: 31st may
When we pray with an invincible spirit every challenge becomes an opportunity to serve.
Hingalganj was much affected by Amphan with 148 river dams washed away and out of which 28 to 30 are in a precarious situation. Rupomari and Bishpur two Panchayats under Hingalganj which are still in a vulnerable situation. We got the opportunity to serve a larger number as the administration called our team, Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat SevashramSangha as the only organizations to start distributing cooked food.
Swapnopuron started its largest Community kitchen to serve 5000+ people for lunch and dinner from yesterday for the flooded areas of HaldaBanstalla, Adivasi para and Swiss gate. These areas are tremendously effected.
We are extremely thankful to the universe for being the chosen one to serve.Much grateful to BDO Hingalganj, Joint BDO Hingalganj and other members for all their support and cooperation.
Our sincere gratitude to #Kolkatagives Foundation for standing by us since the month of April

Date: 2nd June
We always appreciate when family and friends join us to support people and stand by them.
Swapnopuron is grateful to you and your friends Madhurima Biswas for joining us yesterday and stand by the people.

Date: 3rd June
Life is a challenge at every step. The life conditions of people at ground reality is heart wrenching. When one of our team member sets out at 7am in the morning he witnesses an unusual scene that people have put various articles and waiting for food to be served at 12pm. That's hunger probably we fail to fathom. Certain situations are unexplainable and difficult to answer why so. In spite of tremendous challenges our team successfully served 4955 people today at 6 different locations under Rupomari Panchayat. We also continue to serve 2 more community kitchen at Tia Mari and Patli Flood center.22 members of our team are working day and night to make it a success and their enthusiasm has no limits. Their invincible spirit and determination made many impossible into possible. We also served dry ration to 230 families under Hingalganj Panchayat. Our sincere thanks to #kolkatagivesfoundation support for last two months. I apologize to mention this late, without them nothing would have been possible.

Date: 3rd June
To be fearless no matter what happens is the root of true happiness.....the spirit to resolve, that leads to human victory. People of Sunderbans are victorious as they have been undaunted and faced all challenges courageously. Several times they fell yet stood up strong. Slowly they are standing up to rebuild lives. Swapnopuron has started to support families to rebuild their houses. A place we all long to be. “Home sweet home” Our first round of tarpaulins distribution has begun and support few families to rebuild their live. All Tarpaulins supported by #kolkatagivesfoundation.

Date: 6th June
Dinner being cooked for 2600 people. This entire process begins at 6am every morning and continues till 8pm. Kudos to our team for their endless support. Much gratitude to #Kolkatagivesfoundation for all the support .to reach out to 5300 people everyday.

Date: 7th June
Lunch preparation and today's new menu Alupotolsabji. For 2600 people. Much gratitude to all our supporters and #Kolkatagivesfoundation".

Date: 10th June
Completed 28000 meals in a week at Rupomari. This area is under water as the river embankment has completely washed away and all roads connected is under water thus making it impossible to carry on the food distribution. We had to stop and transfer the kitchen to Bainara to support people in that area. Tremendous efforts by our team members who worked day and night to make impossible into possible.Our dry ration distribution and support of other community kitchen continues.All villages under Chakpatli Panchayat are under threat and thousands of families have taken shelter elsewhere.We continue to serve 1000 litres of water.

Date: 11th June
Our service extends to migrant workers who returns and are in quarantine in Bishpur F.P School. About 29 of them. Our community kitchen continues in 5 other locations where people cannot return due to increasing water level. We continue to serve 2500 people per day till our large kitchen begins.

Date: 13th June
This was our next stop. After serving 28000 meals we started our community kitchen at Pubergheri to serve the people at Bainara and Kakaria.

Some situations are so difficult to explain and narrate. The temporary settlement of people by the river bank struggling with life day in and out. Muddy roads where one cannot walk properly yet the same place people are living with families. Why were destined to face this traumatic situation unable to say. We started our kitchen to serve 1500 but yes the number increased today itself.

All this we could do only for the support of all our supporters and #Kolkatagivesfoundation."

Date: 13th June
Ferrying cooked food to far island Bainara and Kumirmari, completely washed out and are now islands. Much gratitude to #Kolkatagivesfoundation for all their support".

Date: 13th June
Food distribution at Bainara and Kumirmari. The cooking point is in another island and we have to ferry the cooked food for about 20 minutes to reach the spot as these areas have been completely under water and having temporary structures by the Dasha river bank. Gratitude to #Kolkatagivesfoundation".

Date: 13th June
Some areas continue to be under water and with the monsoon setting in situation seems to be getting worse. Baliyadanga under Chakpatlipanchayet, Hasnabad block seems to continue with the pitiful situation. It was given to serve 900 families. We are thankful to Rotary Club of Endeavour for their continuoussupport.

Date: 14th June
Medical camp at Bainara with Vanguard and doctors for democracy"

Date: 17th June
The poor living conditions and unsafe drinking water with no sanitation is now the next serious issues leading to several health hazards. People living by the riverside wading through dirty contaminated water suffering from various fungal infections and scabies. As we started distributing food all these difficulties surfaced. We had to plan for an immediate medical support to the people living by the riverside. All medicines were given and health drinks and vitamins for children. Our sincere thanks to Vanguard for all the support. We will be conducting medical camps every weekend to reach out to people.

Date: 17th June
Rebuilding homes. There are still several houses underwater and with time the salty water will damage these houses completely.100 new houses has been undertaken to be rebuild. The roof and the basic structure is rebuild and I'd supported by us. In our first round 1000 tarpaulins have been distributed.

Our sincere thanks to #Kolkatagivesfoundation for all the support.

Date: 17th June
The determination to win is the better part of winning. This entire relief work started from 25th May and the entire team working day and night since then to reach out as many lives possible created a new chapter for us. The joy is doubled when the team is enthusiastic and brimming with confidence to undertake all challenges and achieve victory.

Our team made us proud for their relentless efforts to serve food to 5300 people everyday lunch and dinner at 6 different locations and to 2 quarantine centres serving 139 migrant workers.

Our sincere thanks to #Kolkatagivesfoundation, our supporters and friends.

Date: 20th June
Our relief to persons with disabilities in Harao. Harao is under as the embankments of Bidyadhari River was washed away. Our first relief to the people of Mohonpur, Harao. 300 persons with disabilities have been supported.

Date: 20th June
We crossed 50,000 meals today. Kudos to our team who were brave to overcome all challenges. Boat carried lunch to the islands. Long queues awaiting for lunch from early morning rare scenes witnessed. Experience of the lifetime. Much gratitude to #kolkatagivesfoundation for all the support.

Date: 21th June
Lives continue to be vulnerable, unsafe and difficult even after a month. With no electricity, no drinking water. Swapnopuron will be distributing to 150 families here.

Date: 21th June
Swapnopuron is at Rupomari bazaar near the river dam which was completely washed away on the night of the cyclone. A month is over yet the situation continues the same. The families worsely affected by the cyclone are still on the high river beds. The video depicts the land which has been washed away. It was all agricultural land and now completely submerged. Rupomari with a population of 6000 plus families was completely affected by Amphan.

Date: 21th June
Distribution to 150 families in Rupomari. This area was badly hit by the cyclone. Several river dams was washed away as a result several areas were under water. We started cooked food distribution in this area from 30th May till 8th June but had to discontinue as the water level increased during purnima thus distribution was not possible. We came today for dry food distribution to one location for 150 families near Gouraswar river embankment.

Amphan Relief Status Report

Supporters in Solidarity

  • Kolkata Gives Foundation
  • Goonj
  • Rotary Club of Endeavour
  • Saba Islam
  • TarangKanodia
  • Chandanasen and Mrinal Sen
  • Saswati Mitra
  • Dr.Sadhan Kumar Dey
  • ZoyaKhatib
  • SuparnaLahiri
  • Sandip kantha Mukherjee
  • Amit Dalal
  • Arup Ghosh Dastidar
  • NavanitaLahiri
  • Shsrmili Roychowdhury
  • Psuline Stephanie Laravoire
  • ShailendraAwle
  • Sudipto Das
  • Prashant
  • Priyanka Chatterjee
  • Anushri Roy
  • Reena Ganguly
  • Satarupa Mukherjee
  • Sujoyneel
  • Kriti
  • Aditi Haldar
  • Madhurima Biswas
  • Shibani ChakrabortyBiswas