Friday, January 19, 2018

In search of Organic food revolution in Sundarban - field report in short


13/1/2018


Lakshmikantapur or Namkhana local from 4.30 am - every 1 hr - from Ballygunge Station/ Sealdah

We took 6.30 train to go to Baruipur and took another train to Joynagar. Since today there is Gangasagar Mela - there is some disruption of normal trains.


1. Get down at Joynagar 

2. Take Trekker/Auto to Dhaki Kheya Ghat @ Rs 24 per head or reserve an auto for Rs 170/- - road condition - good ( Nimpith is only 7 Km from Joynagar station). We reserved our auto.

Auto driver was very co-operative - Nilratan - Mobile number

# You can buy Joynagar Moya from Goju's shop - Rs 10 (do not buy the one for Rs 7)

3. Cross Dhaki river @ Rs 2 - the time between 2 ferries is approx 25 minutes

4. Then take another auto to Baikunthapur Tarun Sangha (BTS) - auto reserve Rs 160 + 20 = 180/- (for share @ 20/- per head ) ; total time taken is 1.15 hours - the road condition is really bad

Auto driver was very good - Ratnakar - Mobile number (8670 723848)

We reached Baikunthapur at around 11.15 am

Alternate route to avoid ferry crossing (by car) 

1. take auto to Jamtala ghat @ 12/- (from there 3 roads are going - one towards Piyali , one towards Kaikhali and one towards Moipith) . Go to Moipith

From Moipith go to Petkulchand bridge by auto

From the bridge take local auto for Rs 10 to reach BTS

On the way to BTS fall Raidighi.































We had our breakfast of Luchi and Alur dam at the "hospital". Then we kept our luggage at the "guest house" in the School (Patha Bhavan) and  left for Boat ride by the same auto.  Boat for 2 hours is 700-1200/-   (contact Prashanta - 99 32 989847 )

After returning from Boat ride, we had our lunch at 4 pm and took some rest in the guest house.

Tips : There is low tide in the afternoon, so possibly it is better to go to the forest in the morning.

Had dinner in the hospital with the fresh crab and local (deshi )chicken and local organic vegetables. Our great "Dog-da" enthralled us with his fascinating stories of  snakes.






14/1/2018

Today we had parota and alur dam in the breakfast. Then we left for the fields to see the organic farming first hand. We learnt how the organic farming is done on Dyke or "Aal" ; various types of vegetable plants are planted at almost the same place (with roots reaching different level in the soil) , instead of only one kind of vegetable farming , we are used to. We also learn that flower plant beside the dyke has a purpose - it acts as a mild insect repellant.

We also saw, how they are using vermicompost (or earthworm manure) for manures. They are also using mixture of dead fish and jaggery etc for using it as an insecticide. We visited three different fields. Poly escorted us to all the fields. Initially Prashanta Giri (his Brother Sushanta was the real driving force behind all this. He is an English Graduate !) took us to Poly's farm. Poly is really an empowered woman. We were really impressed. We also went to the field of  Gouranga Maiti . Most of them are from Medinipur. We learnt a lot about Banomala brinjal (begoon), Kata begoon. I planned to buy the Banomala brinjals from them.



We then went to see the Thakuran river - one of the big 3 of Sundarbans - other 2 being - Matla and Bidyadhari. It is possible to hire boats for around Rs 10,000 - 15,000 for 2 days ride to Kalash and Bonnie camp.

Normally people go to Sundarban either from Canning or Sonakhali (near Basanti).

Another route to go to Sundarban is via Kakdwip.

We bought some vegetables at the farm to have it in the lunch. It is literally farm to fork ! Then after our lunch we left for Kolkata at 2 pm and reached Kolkata at 6.20 pm.



http://www.bts-india.in/

http://ashanet.org/project/?pid=278

https://www.facebook.com/Baikunthapur-Tarun-Sangha-BTS-1310267642322826/

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