Tuesday, June 30, 2009

XLers helping with Relief efforts in the Sunderbans

I received this email from Tushar Dalmia of the 2008 batch through another of his batchmates.

Please read through this. If the issue strikes a chord and you would like to help, please contact

Aakash Shah +91 98318 04001

From: <tushardalmia at gmail dot com>


It was just another cyclone. The Aila.

Except that it happened in our own backyard – in the world’s largest mangrove forest called the Sunderbans.

In one stroke, it’s almost endangered the very survival of the huge area that falls within the administration of 24 Parganas (S) and (N), of West Bengal, India

The Cyclone did not kill as much as it maimed. People are dying a slower death because they live on little islands accessible only by boats which are the lifeline to the area.

With everything swept away and the rest rotting away, we – just a motley group of friends- had decided on the spur of the moment to visit the affected areas and offer help and support to 800 families living in two villages of Bagbagan and Rajapur, under the Gosaba Block of the Rangabelia panchayat in South 24 Parganas.

The soil in these villages has become unsuitable for any kind of farming for a minimum of next two years and it is important that we support them in the interim period before they can figure out ways to help themselves in the long run. We are also working with the village seniors to see how we can help them in the medium to long run horizon.

We have already made 4 trips and supplied almost Rs. 150,000 worth of relief material. This was done entirely through the help of our friends and relatives who pitched in with their timely support.

Now we intend carrying basic food supplies to the villages for the next 16 odd weeks within which they would have limped back to some normalcy. And that is where we need your help. On a very rough average, we need almost 2500 kgs rice, 500 kgs of dal, medicines, oil in small pouches, haldi and salt, 100 kgs of biscuits, and 100 kgs of cattle feed every week. The weekly expense inclusive of transportation by road and river is close to Rs 75,000.

We would be very happy to continue distributing this under our personal supervision, as we have done in our past 4 visits. We would be happier still if you join us on one of our visits.

We are not an organisation; we are simply humans, united by the cause of providing whatever relief that we can to the soil of the land that made us into what we are today. We prefer your contribution in kind and in case you have to pay by cheque, we can try and make arrangements for that too.

It is in adversity that humanity faces its most severe test.

For any contributions, please get in touch with

Aakash Shah +91 98318 04001

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