Friday, March 24

Groups reach Sunderbans with help, look to rebuild wrecked lives

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Even as the Sunderbans struggled to get back on feet, several groups continued to visit the Amphan-wrecked villages, carrying essentials, medicines, tarpaulin sheets and money, looking to rebuild life on the islands.

Among the groups was FREED, members of which took dry food, grocery, fruit juice, rubber shoes, tarpaulin rolls, medicines and matchboxes to 500 families living on Bali Island. They also gifted drawing materials and paper to the children, who had lost their books and stationery to the storm that had ripped through the island, especially in areas, such as Bijoynagar, Birajnagar, Bali IX and Bali X. Agricultural fields were still inundated and most mud houses had been flattened out. Somnath Pyne, secretary of FREED, said they would not stop at merely distributing relief materials. With an aim to rehabilitate the residents, Pyne said, they planned to launch a skill-development programme for young girls who constantly faced the danger of being trafficked. While a solar-powered unit was in the planning stage, the group would also plant saplings, in the village, compensating for the destroyed trees. They hoped to rope in kids as volunteers, he said.

‘Eksathe Bnachbo’, an initiative led by students and youths from different districts, also provided more than 2,000 families with foodgrain, tarpaulin sheets, masks, medicines and sanitary napkins. The youngsters visited Basanti, G-Plot, Chunakhali, Gosaba, Kochukhali and Dhuri in South 24 Parganas and Champapukur, Jeliakhali, Sulkani, Benipota in North 24 Parganas. they also visited Nandakumar, Dakshin Hatgechia, Chak Simultala, Rangibasan in East Midnapore as well as affected places in West Midnapore, Hooghly and Burdwan. “It’s our social responsibility to help out those who have lost almost everything to the storm. We will work for their long-term social and economic rehabilitation,” said Hindol Majumdar from the group.

Citizens’ group ‘Purono Kolkatar Golpo’ also visited various places in the Sunderbans— Sagar Island, Chhoto Mollakhali, Namkhana, Hingalganj, Sandeshkhali and Ghoramara Island—where they distributed tarpaulin, essentials and medicines to around 1,500 affected families.


Source: Times of India

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