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West Bengal: 'Our Sundarban Is Unrecognisable': Life After Cyclone Amphan Wrecked the Island by Himadri Ghosh June 01,2020   |  Source: The Wire

“I have become a beggar now. All I had was a small hut, God snatched even that from me,” 63-year-old Shabitri Midha of Pakhiralaya village in the Sundarbans said. In the last 30 years, Midha lost nine bighas (60,840 square metres) of ancestral land as the Bidyadhari river engulfed parts of the delta. Pointing to the waters, Midha said, “This river took almost everything we had. Now, this storm has just finished us.”

The Sundarbans delta is located around 100 km from Kolkata. To get there from the state capital, it takes at least four hours by car and then boat. The Wire visited the Gosaba block on Tuesday. This block was one of the worst affected in the Sunderban islands by Cyclone Amphan last week. “There is no prettiness here to invite the stranger in. Yet, to the world at large, this archipelago is known as the Sundarban, which means the beautiful forest,” Amitav Ghosh had written in his novel The Hungry Tide. Forget prettiness, after Cyclone Amphan, the Sundarbans have become unrecognisable.

Just as we got down from a boat at the Gosaba ferry ghat, we spotted a wrecked launch boat on the right, half of it submerged. It seemed like the launch boat was preparing us for the devastation ahead. We went towards Rangabelia, about four km from the Gosaba market; we

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