The people of the Indian Sundarbans are battling with one blow after another for the last few years. In the midst of dire livelihood risks, especially invigorated by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, yearly cyclones are being tremendously disruptive. Followed by the super cyclone Amphan (19th May, 2020), the recent catastrophic cyclone Yaas (26th May, 2021) has ravaged their homes, inundated their fishery ponds as well as agricultural fields and taken away every last piece of their household possessions. Strong winds and storm surges coinciding with full moon high tide flow, have elevated the water levels, resulting in embankment breaching and salt water intrusion into ponds and croplands. This havoc wreckage has been experienced by the inhabitants of south-eastern section including Gosaba block (Kumirmari, Satjelia, Kalidaspur) as well as south-western Sagar-Frasergunj areas of the Delta. The most marginalized and remote households are lacking bare minimum amenities to survive. These include food, shelter, drinking water and medicines.
Who are we and what are we aiming for…
I am Subhadeep Das, a representative of the IIT Kharagpur team comprising researchers (professors, students and resource persons oriented to social cause and activism) working inclusively with grassroots organization viz. Sundarban Jana Sramjibi Mancha (SJSM) in capacity of full partner. We are collaborating with international research networks like SSHRC, Canada and European Union to improve lives and livelihoods in coastal fisheries in selected blocks of Sundarbans. Our aim is to collaboratively address wellbeing of coastal communities and overall resilience of the delta.
However, Cyclone YAAS has been an eye-opener educating us that interventions and actions cannot wait till the completion of theoretical research. Hence, we are now sincerely motivated to design and implement immediate short-term survival needs (distribution of basics, mentioned below) followed by intermediate (construction of community kitchen, cyclone/flood shelters, etc.) and long-term (community empowerment and co-implementation of adaptive mechanisms) plan of actions. This is just the beginning and we are reaching out to you all to co-engage in this collective venture! This drive will specifically address the short-term community survival needs to cope against Cyclone YAAS.
Some of our team members and organizations include:
- Amrita Sen, Assistant Professor, IIT Kharagpur (Kolkata, India). Please find the details here: http://www.iitkgp.ac.in/department/HS/faculty/hs-amrita.sen Email: email@example.com, mobile- 8879426327
- Anuradha Choudry, Assistant Professor, IIT Kharagpur (Kolkata, India). Please find the details here: http://www.iitkgp.ac.in/department/HS/faculty/hs-anuradha.sanskrit;jsessionid=A24BA813E760EDA8D724737759092953 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile- 9880739482
- Jenia Mukherjee, Assistant Professor, IIT Kharagpur (Kolkata, India). Please find the details here: http://www.iitkgp.ac.in/department/HS/faculty/hs-jenia#resp-tab4 Email: email@example.com, mobile- 8017246499
- Shreyashi Bhattacharya, PhD Scholar, IIT Kharagpur.
- Raktima Ghosh, Project Fellow, Dried Fish Matters (https://driedfishmatters.org/), IIT Kharagpur.
- Souradip Pathak, PhD Fellow, EqUIP (EU-India Project), IIT Kharagpur.
- Sundarban Jana Sramajibi Mancha: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009138074648
How are we aiming to contribute...
As immediate requirements, we are planning to supply aids to around 4000 households of combined Kumirmari village and Frasergunj areas of Sundarban. The details are provided below:
1. A mixed food kit of Rs. 1000/- (13$). It shall include dry foods as well as rice (5kg), pulses (1kg), potato (5kg), mustard oil (2kg) and some necessary spices.
2. Drinking water
4. Mosquito nets
5. Sanitary kits
7. Electric appliance: Torch
8. Fuel: Kerosene
9. Bleaching powder and Lime (Calcium Hydroxide) for fishery pond reformation.
Once the amount reaches us, we will transfer it to our partner organisation- SJSM (as mentioned above). Subsequently, the kits will be arranged in accord to the number of target households who are in dire need of relief. The kits will be distributed equitably and transparently within 4000 families of Kumirmari and Frasergunj areas. The action will be accomplished by our partner NGO SJSM who is already putting in much endeavours to make some effects. Distribution will be made as rapidly as possible and the assessment of impact shall also be undertaken on a monthly basis.
All details of demand and distribution shall be published here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009138074648.
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