Sunderbans, the largest unbroken mangrove forest in the world skirts the Gangetic delta of Eastern India and Bangladesh. Ecologically very sensitive, Sunderbans is also known as ‘tide country’ for the tidal waves that lash its shores and is fast drowning many of the islands.
In the last couple of years, these islands have seen it all – concurrent tidal waves washed away their homes, saline waters made the farm lands fallow leading to mass migrations, drought leading to escalating poverty. And the threat from man eating tigers and estuarine crocodiles is real at all times.
There is no electricity, and whatever little there is, runs on solar power. There are no cars – most of the traveling is done by boat despite threats of tidal waves.
Yet there is a beauty to these islands that is intoxicating. A calm so intrinsic, its impossible to interrupt.
These islands are sinking with rising sea levels. The pictures in this series are from the Indian side and is the beginning of a long term project in the tide country.
These are India’s forgotten islands.