On 11 Feb, I managed to drag myself into the Sunderbans, in spite of so many works hanging around my shoulders. It was time to meet the people. It was also an occasion to meet some of the senior officials from ECHO who were on a trip to the Sunderbans to review one of the projects they were supporting. Since, in Brajabhallavpur, Patharpratima Block, South 24 Parganas district, we have initiated the Manually Operated Display Boards (MODB) that display the wind speed, rainfall prediction and tide height in some of their partner areas, I went there to support and enable better understanding of the system. So, in stead of me explaining the system, I was asking the men, "Can you tell me what is all these?" They explained so well that it put me to understand that the extra mile I as a person and what CKS as an organization has taken is a step in the right direction. I asked the women, "Can you explain what these red, yellow and green stand for? And what will you do practically if you see these signs?" Amazingly, some of the women explained it very beautifully. Then came my poser, "Do you think that the information given here is actually matching with reality as experienced by you?" The women said, "Yes, one day the board read that there would be 4 mm rainfall. And there was lots of clouds throughout the day, and there was some mild shower in the evening." The men joined the chorus, " The information on tide is absolutely correct. We have verified it by placing a bamboo inside the water and testing the height. It was absolutely fine. And the wind speed too changes as it is mentioned in the board."
I can recall the joy of the people on their face. I know that this time, if another cyclone like Aila comes, people know that they would be alerted early, and they know what to do. One simple step is a big leap for the mankind. I am satisfied. The joy of the people is my own joy as well.