RENDEZVOUS WITH NATURE
By Anubhav Sarkar
My first week as an intern and an opportunity to visit one of India’s major ecosystems – I feel privileged to begin my wildlife career on such a strong note. Being amidst nature is in itself a rejuvenating experience and the mangrove forests of Sundarbans have left me with that feeling. The unique adaptations of the mangroves and the existence of an exotic fauna keep the magic alive at all times. And not to forget, enjoying a cup of evening tea whilst the bright orange rays of the sun slowly sets atop an islet is a sighting one will always cherish. I’m grateful to our project director Ms. Ajanta Dey for introducing me to these immense tidal mangrove forests which in reality is a mosaic of islands of different shapes and sizes, surrounded by the endless mind-boggling labyrinths of water channels.
Despite being a place of paradise as one would describe it, the Sundarbans is under great pressure. Woodcutting and exhaustive fishing as methods of livelihood for the local villagers is slowly eradicating the natural habitat and leading to a biodiversity loss. Due to the excessive demand for the prawn products, locals have dropped traditional fishing practices and adopted the prawn seed culture. Prawn enthusiasts – question yourselves; is it worth buying prawns from areas under stress just to develop your taste buds? Perhaps we collectively have a responsibility to protect our world heritage site. Let us join hands together in this effort to conserve our forests and rendezvous with nature occasionally. After all you need to look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.