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Youths Saved Salary To Help Erosion Victims

2016-10-11 21:10

The women in the erosion prone areas gathered to receive the puja gift.

The eroded embankment of Hooghly in Chakdaha


Chakdaha, Oct. 11: 60 youths of Nadia’s Chakdaha have made a corpus saving their salary and distributed garments to over 1600 poor people on the occasion of this Durga puja, a large part of which were rendered homeless due to erosion of embankment of Hooghly River. 

The distribution of garments that was started on the morning of Astami from Shyamaprasad Mukherjee Maidan was concluded on the evening of Nabami at the Gournagar ghat area on the bank of Hooghly in Chakdaha where men, women and children were handed over new dresses. 

Leaving their festive celebrations, these youths, who include professional men and women of age group between 25 and 35, visited Gournagar, Poradanga, Mukundanagar and other areas of Chanduria-I panchayat with track loaded with new garments and handed over those to the erosion victims. 

Chanduria-1 is one of the erosion pro panchayat areas under Chakdaha block where jaws of erosion has displaced about five thousand people during the past few years, robbing their houses, properties and agricultural land that was their source of income. 

These youths who are friends and used to chat at a tea stall in Chakdaha town on holidays had formed “Abhijan”, a voluntary organization in last year with an objective to help poor and downtrodden, decided donate garments to the erosion victims this year. 

“The initiative which was started by helping four rag pickers in 2009 by ten of us has been strengthened by joining of our common friends this year that encouraged us to help the erosion victims who have been striving hard for existence”, said Abhisek Dey, marketing executive of a paint company who heads of the group 

“All of us are employed and so we contributed according to individual capability. At the same time we took help from few likeminded persons. The entire initiative drawn Rupees 2.5-lakh by which we purchased sari, dhoti, lungi, salwar-kameez, Kurti, churidar, leggings, frocks, shirt and pants for children which we distributed during the past two days”, added Dey. 

Team member Mainak Chakraborty, an employee of Calcutta University said: “We know that this is a very small initiative, nevertheless, it is a pleasure to us that we have been able to make them happy”, 

“In last year we gave garments to about 500 persons. But later many victims of erosion made contact with us for help. But, it was too late as our stock of garments exhausted. This year our plan was therefore to help the erosion affected people. In last month we visited Chanduria-I panchayat and witnessed the shocking situation. Affording new dress for festival has now become luxury to them”, added Mainak. 

Purna Chandra Tarafdar (49), a resident of Gournagar who during the past three years has shifted his house twice and finally lost it along with 20 bigha land in river Hooghly in May this year, said: “I am thankful to these youths for their gift. I was in pain being failed to purchase new garments for my children. I am a farmer, but lost land due to erosion. Now I work as a daily labor, but hardly find daily jobs that could help me to earn daily breads”. 

A major part of the Nadia district is damaged due to erosion of embankment of seven rivers (Bhagirathi, Hooghly, Mathabhanga, Padma, Jalangi, Ichchamti and Churni) those flown through the district. At least one lakh people living in 94 panchayats under Chakdaha, Nabadweep, Krishnanagar-1, Santipur, Ranaghat-1 blocks in Nadia were displaced due to erosion. 

The Nadia administration has recently taken up ‘vetivar’ grass plantation project to prevent erosion of soil. Vetivar (vitiveria zizanioides) or “khus ghaas” has finely structured mat like root system that grows about 2-4 meter downward is a tested plant that works as soil binder. It controls and prevents erosion of soil on river embankment 

“We have started vetiver plantation along the 744km stretch river embankments that include stretches under Chakdaha block. The first phase of the project would incur Rupees 33-crores”, said an official. 

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