The communities in Canning, Basanti, Kakdwip, Kultali and Sagar islands around Sunderbans in South 24 Parganas have suffered quite a lot during this lock down situation owing to the outbreak of COVID-19. Substantial number of people have lost their livelihood and struggling to survive with their families. A large number of migrant labourers have returned home after almost 2 months of the lock down period.
The latest disaster that has hit these islands is Super Cyclone Amphan. More than 30,000 people have lost their dwelling houses. Over 10,000 mud houses have been washed away. The agricultural lands have been submerged with saline water. It would take about 2 years to start agricultural activities in these islands.
The survival of the people is at stake with majority of them having no livelihood options left. The migrant labourers would not go back to their place of work in next one year time. This would result in lack of livelihood leading towards starvation among the families. Anti-social activities would be increased while children, adolescents and women would suffer the most. Cases of domestic violence, abuse and child marriage have already increased since the human trafficking rackets are active in these areas.
Purpose of this Initiative
At this point of time, Goranbose Gram Bikash Kendra has planned for supporting 500 families to revive their livelihood and wherever required provide them one time support in setting up their businesses.
This initiative would focus on engaging the earning members of the families in alternative livelihood sources either by individual effort or through self-help group formation.
The entire initiative would be implemented in close coordination with the local administration so that the families can be linked with the schemes and programmes of the government. It would be ensured that all the families get benefit of the housing scheme, public distribution system and health care support from the government.
Steps would be taken to safeguard the children, adolescents and women from all forms of abuse, through the support of the Gram Panchayats and local administration. It would also be ensured that children and adolescents can resume their studies once the schools reopen after the lock down.
Cases of child marriage and human trafficking would be addressed through the support of the respective authorities. Prevention of children to work as child labourers would also be addressed through this initiative.
The identification of the poorest of the poor 500 families would be done through a rapid assessment in the communities.
Need based support would be extended to each of these families through proper planning of livelihood options that are linked with market demands.
Capacity building and sensitization activities to save the people from COVID-19 would continue together with the local administration following the guidelines of the government.
Community based tracking and follow up mechanism would be established through the youth groups and self-help group members so that it can become a community driven process at a later stage.
It is estimated that 90% of the families would be able survive through the alternative source of livelihood.
95% children and adolescents would resume their school education.
75% reduction in cases of domestic violence.
50% reduction in child marriage and child trafficking cases
How can you help?
You can be a Change-maker in this entire initiative and help the poorest of the poor families in Sunderbans of South 24 Parganas in West Bengal to overcome the trauma and rebuild their lives in a systematic and dignified manner.