Report from SI Dundee
The Sundarbans Mangrove forest is south of Kolkata in the Bay of Bengal and is one of the largest in the world. Mangrove forests will not survive if sea levels continue to rise. On the Bangladesh side of the forest there is an industrial zone which has not helped the eco-systems .
There are many low lying islands within the Sundarbans some of which I have visited. Many people live there in huts made of mud and dung which of course are susceptible to high tides, wind and rain. Just after the start of the pandemic in 2020 a cyclone hit the Bay of Bengal, subsequently many homes were swept away as were a lot of Mangrove trees.
SISK decided on the Mangrove Project , one it supported the centenary of Soroptimist International, and secondly a huge help to the people of the Sundarbans and of course the forest.
They have planted 25,112 saplings between November 2020 and February 2022. I understand there will be more to come.
The project has created employment for many ladies in the islands planting the saplings.
I feel so privileged having been involved with this project.
SI Dundee and SISK thought it a good idea to form a friendship link after my visit to Kolkata in 2006. Laxmi Parasuram and I signed the certificate of Friendship whilst she was staying with us in 2007. Therefore SI Dundee is celebrating the fifteen year anniversary soon.
Mangroves are so important to the people of the Sundarbans for so many reasons , and they have encouraged us all to work together.
During 2021 all the Scotland North Clubs contributed to the project as part of the SIGBI centenary tree planting initiative.
Hopefully later this year Brian and I will be able to visit some of the plantations when we resume our trips to Kolkata, and be able to report back to you.
To all members of Scotland North Region on behalf of the Friendship Link and and of course SISK a huge thank you for your support.
16 March 2022.