Photo: Sumit Chakraborty
Monglajodi is rapidly gaining popularity, which, instead of exultation, may be a matter of concern. The site needs protection and well planned, restricted eco-tourism—fixed number of visitors per day, authorised permission from forest departments etc., to maintain the bird habitats. Additionally the local youth can be trained to conserve the area as well as eke out a livelihood. The poachers know the best nest location and bird habitats—and can be wonderful guides if their communication and language skills are upgraded. Home stay option in the rural precincts of the swamps can be explored to provide an alternative way of earning to the locals. 

Abstract: It was a land of hunters. Every home of this poverty stricken village possessed a gun, and winter was boom time. With country boats and loaded guns they foraged the vast wetland for prized migratory birds, firing with perfect precision. Poaching raked in as much as Rs. 25,000 per month till about 1997 when a magical transformation happened—the hunters foresaw their barren future, and turned protectors. Today the notorious poachers are very important members of ‘Shree Shree Mahavir Pakshi Suraksha Samity’.

The author is an independent writer and photographer from Kolkata. Email: