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Farmers starve as polls knock on the door

Farmers in Aila-hit villages of Sunderbans will have to wait for the elections to get over to feed themselves and their families. Thousands of farmers, who had toiled over whatever they could get under NREGA to bring their lives back on track after Aila, are still waiting for the money. While the district administration passes the buck for the delay, homeless farmers keep starving.

A hungry land looks homewards

Hunger is an uninvited guest to every household in Aila-hit villages. Farmers have to manage on one or two meals a day as they have to buy rice at Rs 20 a kg; vegetables are a seldom-consumed luxury. After saline water inundated their field during Aila, salt-tolerant rice varieties introduced by the government have failed to produce a decent yield and farmers are now scrambling for indigenous varieties to plant.

A shelter too far for cyclone & flood relief

JHARKHALI, 20 MAY: Laila is knocking at the door and residents of Sunderbans don’t even know what flood and cyclone shelters are. According to Mr Mortaza Hossain, state disaster management minister, there are 315 flood shelters in coastal areas of North and South 24-Parganas and Midnapore East. But, a visit…

No man’s land

While political parties have divided locals, influential aquaculturist, brick kiln owners and hungry businessmen from the city eying the abandoned lakes in the villages are making the most of the situation. The Sunderbans are staring at eight more spring tides (bhora kotal) this year, and nobody has any clue to how the government would tackle the situation. It seems Sunderbans is not for its people anymore.

Rice fields then, salt banks now

Though the government claims of having handled the crisis after Aila battered Sunderbans effectively, hapless farmers still go hungry.

Walk with pride

Usually deserted on Sunday afternoons, College Square wore a different look on 29 June. Cameras, ob vans, media persons queued up outside munching seconds as ‘mysterious’ people from ‘mysterious’ places kept trickling in 4… 10… 25… to around 150 and more. Buses and trams slowed down with inquisitive faces popping…

In a limbo

“We are trained to see male or female and to plot people into those categories when they don’t actually fit neatly at all. But if we pause, watch and listen closely, we’ll see the multiplicity of ways in which people are sexed or gendered. There exists a range of personal…