BARUIPUR DISTRICT MEETING
Sundarban, the largest deltaic forest of the world, includes over hundreds of islands (105), with a gesture of numerous rivers and creeks. The name SUNDARBAN (beautiful forest) is derived from a mangrove tree species namely SUNDARI (Heritierafomes). The Indian Sundarban is the southernmost part of the estuarine delta formed by the River Ganges and Brahmaputra, bordering the Bay of Bengal. It is located mainly in the coastal districts of West Bengal, i.e. South 24-Parganas and North 24-Parganas.There are villages in the border area all along the northern boundary of the Tiger Reserve. On the eastern boundary lies Bangladesh separated by the rivers Kalindi, Raimangal, and Heronbhanga. For several years HRLN has been working in this deltaic region for the benefit of the marginalized people supporting legal aids. HRLN also has been organizing training, workshops, seminars on several Acts and issues such as FRA-2006, RTI, RTF, MGNREGA etc. for the awareness of the people of this area.Many wildlife consultants who have visited Sundarban wonder that, even the healthy tigers also have hunted humans for centuries in Sundarbans! Genetically these tigers belong to the same family and race as the others found throughout the Indian subcontinent. Yet the Sundarbans tigers behave like no other tigers in the world. In fact, no other predator of any species so violently seeks out our kind. Nowhere else in the world is man so actively hunted out! Local people who used to go to the forest for catching fish, collecting honey, cutting trees always feel it: someone is trying to kill him.Tigers acquired their taste of human flesh from scavenging: Other experts suggested that Sundarban tigers learned to eat human flesh because it was brought to them from the river Ganges. The river Ganges has been nourishing Sundarban from ancient times. After establishing cities like Kolkata, Haldia, Kakdwip, Namkhana, Diamond Harbour etc. a huge Burning Ghats were made near the bank of Ganges.Water of Ganges carries the corpses who had been incompletely cremated in these burning ghats and acquired their taste of human flesh from scavenging.According to West Bengal Government data most of the people in the Sundarbans depend on forest products and natural resources with fishing being the mainstay. Yet more than 85% of the fishermen in the region do not have proper licenses to catch fish in the buffer zone of the Sundarban Tiger Reserve, where crabs are found. This Buffer Zone accounts for around 885 square kilometers and sits just outside a larger Critical Tiger Reserve area.Most fishermen go to the forest without valid permits, a punishable offense that can lead to boat seizure and fines of up to 200,000 rupee and three to seven years of imprisonment. As a result, locals estimate that the vast majority of tiger deaths go unreported.According to the data from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change provided to the Lok Sabha on June 28, 2019, 71 people have died due to tiger attacks in Sundarban in just five years from 2014 to 2018.If the average of these figures is taken, an average of seven people have died every year due to the tiger attacks between 1994-1995 and 2010-2011 and an average of 14 people every year between 2014 and 2018.