Sundarbans! the very name spells exotica. Yes, there are Sundari trees and the drive through a sleepy village at the border is so beautiful it takes your breath away.
Yet, when we get down to brass tacks, it is one of the most uninhabitable terrain for both man and animal. Along with cyclones and flooding every monsoon, there are dangers from crocodiles and serpents.
Man, animals and plants have adapted themselves and eke out a living.
One of the principal occupations and produce is forest honey, which is harvested in the most dangerous circumstances. Man eating tigers are common and men who leave to harvest honey, often meet with a gory end at the hands of tigers. The forests are thick, the land marshy and riddled with prop roots. A fall from a tree would mean certain death, if not because of a broken skull, due to impalement because of the sharp prop roots below.
These grim realities have played out for centuries, so much so that approach towards life here is fatalistic.
This in turn, has led to socio economic impoverishment, though culturally the fabric is rich.
This is one area that needs help and needs it now. Let us come together to give these men and women a fair deal.