Thursday, March 19, 2009

“Cursed to Survive”

Francis Adaikalam
[Teaches at the Department of Social Work, Loyola College, Chennai]

The article by Aditi Bhaduri in Kashimiri Times clearly shows daily the lives of people who brave their effort to face nature. Specifically it brings into forefront the challenges women face in managing their everyday life when they are forced to relocate due to nature’s fury.

It details out a place called Nirmalchar, Murshidabad in West Bengal which has 12,000 people according to 2001 Census. This riverine island is formed due to flooding in the river and it spreads over an area of five-six kilometres north. The area is quite densely populated lacks all basic amenities like evicted people in urban spaces.

The writer depicts how women get the burden in managing families. Story of Nirmala Bibi’s shows the ever ending fear psychosis people put up with on being evicted. Millions in urban space increasingly feel such constant fear too. One can draw parallel with the evicted people in urban space- for want of beautification of cities- who have to fight a host of problems in their new settlement colonies as the inhabitants of Nirmalchar due to water. Issues like water and sanitation are pertinent to both the spaces and the only respite in Nirmalchar is that one can witness plenty of water yet non usable.

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