A historic verdict indeed. According to Kolkata High Court’s recent mandate, all activities that are apparently hampering the biodiversity of Sunderbans will be prohibited hereafter. We, members of Goranbose Gram Bikash Kendra, are partially welcoming this verdict. Why? Because it highlights only one half of the problem. Our thoughts about this verdict can be summed up at best through the words of our mentor Nihar Ranjan Raptan “I am afraid to say, this is only a partial method to ensure biodiversity. We have to remember that Sunderbans have people too. Their economic conditions are getting poorer day by day. Many of them depend upon the forest for livelihood. In my opinion, the first step should be to find sustainable and eco-friendly means of livelihood for the residents of Sundarbans, so that they stop taking resources from the forest….” Nihar Sir had worked and is still working tirelessly for the people of Sundarbans. The glimpses of his journey can be found in his periodical column, #StoryofGoranbose. Following in his footsteps, we are trying new ways to find a balance between preservation and livelihood.

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