Nature in conflict with humans in the Sundarbans, West Bengal.

In my 4th standard I read in social studies lesson about the Sundarbans as biggest river delta in the world. The thick beautiful forest was well described in the book. The lesson gave only the positive picture of the Sundarbans which I believed without hesitation.
On 13th of October 2014, as the part of my internship under Prantakatha organisation, I got the opportunity to have a view of the Sundarbans with my own eyes. I was very happy to be there. But I found it quite different from what I had read when I was small. The thick forest which I read in my lesson is no longer thick. Even the size of the Sundarbans is decreasing due to land erosion which is very rapid. This is one of the major problems, threatening the lives of people there. One of the major solutions is to plant trees near embankments as much as possible to protect the land and lives of people.
After staying in the Sundarbans for one week, going around, talking with people and making own observation I got into a dilemma. I clearly saw the river water carrying away land bit by bit everyday and threatening lives which implies nature is creating problem. However, I also observed that people have blocked the small streams for their own purposes, – the streams which were passing through village which connects two different rivers. Actually these streams were allowing water to pass from one river to the other; as a result the water current was slow and could not make much impact on the land. But now the streams are blocked. The water current has no space to pass through. As a result the erosion of land is very rapid. It seemed human being has gone against nature and now nature is reacting towards human being by taking away the land slowly. Therefore, the dilemma is ‘whether the nature is a problem to human beings or is it vice versa’.
I strongly believe, like people in the Sundarbans, every people in their own locality is in conflict with nature in some way or other. The Holy book of Christianity states that God is the creator and human being is the co-creator. Therefore, as responsible human beings we need to analyse the relationship between nature and human being. It’s the time to act for nature. Nature has been acting as a giver from the beginning of human life and we human beings always wanted more and more. I think now time has come to respect nature by balancing our needs and wants.

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