A joint initiative by Green Works Trust and HEAL
to help local communities staying near Sunderbans forests
The Amphan Calamity
Cyclone Amphan has had severe effects on the landscapes and locals of the Sundarbans region of West Bengal. The agricultural fields are so adversely affected, that nothing can be grown there for next several years. Homeless locals who are dealing with death and devastation need urgent help.
Water-logging of saline water in paddy fields
Founder and Managing Trustee of GWT, Nikhil Bhopale reached out to his friend Arka Sarkar regarding the Amphan calamity. Arka Sarkar is the President of HEAL, which is a Kolkata-based NGO working on biodiversity conservation and mitigation of human-animal conflict. HEAL had identified 500 households with more than 2000 locals who stayed on the periphery of the Sunderbans.
National Park and had been closely associated with the forest since generations. They were in desperate need of relief material after the Amphan cyclone hit their region. HEAL, along with the support of the West Bengal Forest Department reached out to these Amphan-affected locals.
acknowledged the importance of the highly precious habitat of the Sunderbans National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also has been designated as a Ramsar site since 2019.
Ensured about a prompt on-ground relief action from HEAL, GWT took the initiative to raise funds and support HEAL in its task of helping the Amphan-hit locals of Sunderbans.
Thanks to responsible donors who came forward to support the cause.
We express our heart-felt thanks to our donors:
Janhavi Vartak, Awadh Agrawal, Sanjay Adhav, Bharat Mulay, Beena Abdulrahiman, Maitri Mahodari, Chandrika Khirani, Ashok Thampi,
P K Joshi, Deepa Parikh,
K Shrinivas, Chandrasekaran, Vajayalaxmi, RaviShankar, Aniket Prabhu, Saurabh Paranjpe, Vidyavathi Sagar, Deocom Tech and SP People’s Trust.
The Relief Work
Relief work started in two villages- Bhubaneswari in Kultali block and Sridharpur in Patharpratima block. Each location was visited by a small team of volunteers along with the Forest Department staff. The Covid situation was restricting the team-size to just 3 per car. The teams were diligently taking necessary precautions to comply with the Lockdown.
Tonnes of food material from storehouses of Kolkata was brought to
community kitchens by trucks and then, boats.
Community kitchens were set up to cook and serve food to the families who were badly affected and were unable to cook in their own homes.
In other areas, where families could cook for themselves, we provided rice, dal, soybean, vegetables, cooking oil, salt etc… not just dry rations.
The team with lady volunteers reached out with hygiene products such as soaps, detergents, masks and sanitary napkins.
1100 families (~4400 people) across six villages were given relief material and 1200
people were fed through the community kitchen.