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SUNDARBAN – The Valley of “Struggle with Death”

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I am Soumyakanti Dhara, resident of SUNDARBAN, West Bengal. Most of my school friends also from there. Some of them are from more rural area from mine, like from their home the territory of Royal Bengal Tiger’s distance is only five minutes walking distance. And human territory and wild life territory is separated by small river. Previously there were no fence or separating wall to prevent the tiger’s entry to the locality. Frequent attacks of tiger took many lives. In Last 15-20 years situation of this condition has been changed a bit. But only the fence made of nylon net is not enough to protect human lives.

Not only this but human also trespasses to the territory of Royal Bengal Tiger. The main reason of this scenario is the SURVIVAL. As the Sundarban area is surrounded by sea and all the locality is covered by the small river like spider-net, there are lesser chances to only depend on agriculture. There are problems of connectivity because of rivers and creek. So, most of the local resident depends on jungle to feed their kids, to survive their struggle for lives. They enter to the jungle mostly to collect wood, honey and fish. And this is the situation, where most people lost their lives or got heavy injury. I have seen that kind of family where grandfather, father, uncle, son was dead by the attacks of tiger or crocodiles, but still another son is preparing to get some resources from the jungle. I have seen injured people to suffer for rest of his/her life. Some of them are trying to find another source of income, some of them still pursuing this occupation. I have seen single mothers to struggle with their lives to raise her child. 

From there while I pursued Photography and learned to expressed myself, I thought I should bring the light to this situation. Maybe I could not change the scenario of their sufferings maybe I can’t change their destiny. But I can try to get them some changes in their survival strategy.

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