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The Sundarban Project

This project pertains to the Sundarbans delta in India. It is in the coastal area of West Bengal, India and the southern districts of Bangladesh. Observers note that climate change and environmental degradation has had an adverse impact on this region. Rising sea levels have made the coastal areas more saline. This has reduced its staple mangrove vegetation and made the land non-arable. Lack of administrative access and ignorance has also left the people bereft of support. Hence, increasing population, on one hand, has been a source of constant strain on Sundarban’s ecosystem and, on the other hand, it has led to the loss of habitat. To put it otherwise, the fragile biodiversity hotspot is doomed to collapse. The devastation from the cyclone Amphan of May 2020 (one of the strongest ever recorded) has further exacerbated these problems. While arranging for cyclone relief with local organizations and youth groups, we discerned this incalculable damage being compounded by the ongoing pandemic. Relief work was, however, stopgap measures on a sinking ship and sustainable communities can be the only long-term solution to the delta's problems. Collaboration with Patharpratima Runners brought us into contact with the William Carrey Pathshala, a school initiative where villagers with no access to education could send their children to. Other initiatives like "Sewing Lives" are helping to generate employment for village women who had lost their occupation during the pandemic. Efforts are underway to start plantation drives to make up for mangrove vegetation lost during the cyclone. We strive to create widespread awareness so that local groups can take over the management of these institutions and initiatives in the future, commitment forged through participation. The impact of our intervention may be assessed by the reduced vulnerability of these communities in future disasters.  for this purpose. However, to give effect to these solutions, we would need external assistance. We hope that within a year and half or two, this project would be mature enough to develop a self-sustaining revenue model through sale of local products and register a measurable impact in terms of material benefits provided and networks formed.

Save The Swamplands!
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