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4:06 pm | April 22, 2024
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An environmentalist of West Bengal
Amila Khan Environment Protection

An environmentalist of West Bengal, India, is working hard to protect the Sundarbans

An environmentalist of West Bengal, India, is working hard to protect the Sundarbans

An environmentalist of West Bengal; India is working hard to protect the Sundarbans

Mangrove forests of the Sundarbans are in the face of destruction day by day due to various reasons, including indiscriminate deforestation and the construction of dams across the rivers. An environmentalist of West Bengal is working hard to bring back the ecosystem of the Sundarbans.



A geography teacher named Umashankar Mandal has planted 6.5 lakh (1million= 10 lakh) Mangroves in 12 years. Despite being a teacher by profession, he is known as the ‘Mangrove man.’ On the eve of International Mangrove day on July 26, ‘Mangrove Man’ announced his plans.

The Cyclone Aila, Cyclone Amphan, and its subsequent Cyclone Yaas have severely damaged the Sundarbans. Environmentalists have repeatedly spoken of planting mangroves in and around the Sundarbans to deal with such disasters. Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal herself, has emphasized mangrove planting.



However, long before that, Umashankar Mandal of Jangipur in Murshidabad has been planting and tending mangroves. To this end, 42-year-old Umashankar has set up a voluntary organization called Purbasha Eco Helpline Society ‘. In collaboration with the locals, Mangrove Man has changed the socio-economic status of the area by developing an ideal model of mangrove planting.

Umashankar’s house is at Garjontola, Satjelia Island in Gosaba in the Sundarbans. After a devastating experience in Hurricane Aila in 2009, he became aware of environmental protection. At that time, he collected mangrove seeds that were floating in the river. He gathered 220 local people and started planting seeds and trees.

Umashankar said, “Mangrove planting and maintenance is a long-term task. Trees can pant only at low tide. At first, we planted trees in a ten-and-a-half-hectare area. Naturally, they’ve quadrupled. “

Umashankar has always attached importance to economic development in restoring the ecosystem. Habitats of various aquatic animals like crabs, shrimps, oysters, snakes, etc., are destroying due to human oppression.



By creating mangroves forest, Umashankar is enriching the tribal economy by restoring the Flora and Fauna habitat.

The model he has developed for planting mangroves is also quite diverse. He has started the project of planting mangroves with the local poor.

In return, they handed out winter blankets, sanitary napkins, or Puja’s clothes (The Hindus religion’s festival is called Puja). He also is arranging to provide education and medical services to the primary school’s children. He is being handed over the books to the children.

How to raise money for such extensive work? He raised funds through crowdfunding, that is, by collecting small donations at the individual level.

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