95% of the families in the affected areas are dependent on agriculture and fishing for their livelihoods. Most are small and marginal farmers, owners of small fishing nets and boats, from the Adivasi, Dalit and Muslim communities. The cyclone has caused large-scale flooding and brought saline water far inland, causing severe damage to agricultural fields and contaminating all water resources.
The COVID 19 pandemic makes this crisis worse as returning migrant workers come back to destroyed homes and no way to earn a living.
Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity (PBKMS), a grassroots organisation established in 1987, mobilises agricultural workers in 12 districts of West Bengal. It has a membership of over 50,000 rural workers, most of whom are women. The organization, along with its partner group Jana Sanghati Kendra, has immediately turned its focus to relief work in 4 blocks of North 24 Parganas (Hasnabad, Minakha, Sandeshkhali 1 and Sandeshkhali 2) and 9 blocks of South 24 Parganas (Basanti, Gosaba, Joynagar 2, Kultali, Mathurapur 1, Mathurapur 2, Namkhana, Patharpratima and Sagar):
Immediate relief work involves:
- Providing chlorine and bleaching powder to clean waters sources and surroundings in 263 villages
- Providing water purification tablets for 27,000 families in 263 villages to ensure that they have safe drinking water
- Providing Tarpaulin sheets to community members for 13,500 families with badly damaged houses
We request your urgent support for these farmers to get back on their feet—and survive the aftermath of this devastating cyclone.
*All donations are tax exempt under 80G