Planet of Humans.

Several times, in the course of my travels, I come across people whose stories should be told. In Kendrapara district, in Odisha, I met with inspiring individuals whose worlds are so far removed from mine, I struggled to relate to their lives.  Immigrants, often from Bangladesh or West Bengal, they live a life of hardship. Ofttimes language is a barrier, and as such, some of the captions may be figments of my imagination compensating for the lack of understanding (for which I apologize). Working together with local partners, IUCN is providing livelihood options to increase financial resilience, as well as increase food security and education opportunities for communities.

This little chap is the son of Rani. He was born in Rajnagar, Odisha, and will likely never know the village where his parents grew up in, met and married in Bangladesh.

This little chap is the son of Rani. He was born in Rajnagar, Odisha, and will likely never know the village where his parents grew up, met and married, before migrating from Bangladesh © Nisha DSouza

Pankaj, a leader amongst his community, and once a fisherman. The ban on fishing around the Bhitarkanika National Park has deprived many artisanal fishermen of their livelihoods. However, there is provision in The Indian Forest Rights Act that makes special provision for local communities; several remain unaware of this.

Pankaj, a leader of his community, was once a fisherman. The ban on fishing around the Bhitarkanika National Park has deprived many artisanal fishermen of their livelihoods. However, there is a clause in the Indian Forest Rights Act that makes special provision for local communities, enabling them to access natural resources within protected areas; several are unaware of this  © Nisha DSouza

This tiny human was extremely shy, and I never caught her name. She did however offer me a wrapped by which chocolate, evidently just for safekeeping as she returned ten minutes later to claim it back.

This tiny human was extremely shy, and I never caught her name. She did however offer me a wrapped piece of chocolate, evidently just for safekeeping as she returned ten minutes later to claim it back  © Nisha DSouza

The humans of Kendrapara district in Odisha, slowly gaining attention for it's steady increase in climate refugees, are divided in origin. The majority have migrated from neighboring West Bengal and Bangladesh; fleeing persecution, and a lack of opportunities. Landless, and living below the poverty line, many struggle to provide a decent existence for their offspring.

The humans of Kendrapara district in Odisha, which is gradually receiving attention for it’s steady increase in climate refugees, are divided in origin. The majority have migrated from neighboring West Bengal and Bangladesh, fleeing persecution, and a lack of opportunities. Landless, and living below the poverty line, many struggle to build a better existence for their offspring  © Nisha DSouza

Dilip and his sister returned from school to find us digging our paws into the socio-ecological systems of their community. Curiosity persuaded them to follow us around all morning. They even entertained us with a rendition of the ABC song.

Dilip and his sister returned from school to find us digging our paws into the workings of the socio-ecological systems of their community. Curiosity persuaded them to follow us around all morning. They eventually bid us adieu with a rendition of the ABC song  © Nisha DSouza

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3 thoughts on “Planet of Humans.

  1. Touching stories Nish…reminds me of my days with people in the districts of Maharashtra..we really need to be thankful for all the Lord has blest us with!

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