Majuli Residents Battle Erosion

By Arnab Ghosh, Gaea News Network
Friday, June 4, 2010

ASSAM, INDIA ( The biggest mid-river freshwater island of the world Majuli is in threat of being gobbled up by feisty and erratic Brahmaputra River. The island has a population amounting to 160000. A lot of the inhabitants belong to tribal races. The island is viewed as a hotspot for biodiversity and it has an interesting range of plant and animal species. The ‘Misings’ tribals are now facing the threat of heavy soil erosion in Sumoi Mari village of Assam. The Bramhaputra River inundates this village located on the Majuli island frequently. This results in loss of fertile land. The natives have lost their homes to the rive many times and that is why they now live in temporary shacks that are made of cane and bamboo.

The village in Majuli Island does not have basic amenities and the occupation of the residents is agriculture mostly. The villagers are quite miffed with the government as they do not get much aid to fight the hostile situation they live in. They known about the National rural employment guarantee Act but they are yet to see it, let alone getting the benefits from it! Even the announced benefits of schemes like Rajiv Gandhi Yojana Scheme and Below Poverty Line have not reached the villagers.

The local NGO workers are of the opinion that if the government promotes eco tourism the economy of Majuli will receive a boost and the residents will be hugely benefited. The transport in Majuli also needs to be developed a lot they feel. It is a pity since the island has been given the status of a world natural heritage site.

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