Support for the Tribal Women
In 2010 our Managing Trustee Abhinav Jain visited some of the many islands that comprise the Sundarbans, the largest Mangrove Delta in the world. The inhabitants of the Sundarbans are amongst the poorest in the world. There is no electricity or sanitation. Medical facilities and hospitals are few and far between. During our stay in the Sundarbans we have identified island which are in urgent need of health, sanitation and education facilities. Apart from being poor and underprivileged the inhabitants of this area battle the ruthless forces of nature. In 2009 Cyclone Aila struck the Bay of Bengal and left many on the communities residing here homeless and helpless. With funds that we hope to raise we plan to build doctor’s day care centres, emergency shelters, schools for children and a general use facility which may be used by the locals for cultural shows, meetings, bi- monthly health- camps and screening of educational films. Since these tribal people are largely dependent on the mangrove forests surrounding their islands for their livelihood they often find themselves in direct conflict with wild tigers. We hope to mitigate this man- animal conflict through the creation of alternate livelihood opportunities as well as environmental education for children and adults.
Since the social set- up here is largely matriarchal with most women working in paddy fields, fishing, etc. we would like to raise funds to support women’s groups. We would encourage them to form self- help groups that would enable individuals to procure bank loans and start small businesses with minimal investment. We would also like to teach them about female hygiene and the importance of family planning.