Tiger Widows – A hidden issue in the Sundarbans

At the mouth of the river Ganges and Brahmaputra, the 10,000 square km Sundarbans delta shared by India and Bangladesh is home to a population is home to 600 odd Royal Bengal tigers. It is not well known around the world that there are also five million people living in the Sundarbans. The lack of a sustainable infrastructure has left the men of the delta with no choice but to venture into the forest to make a living by fishing, honey collecting or wood gathering. In this process, the men often come in contact with the royal Bengal tigers, also termed ‘man-eaters’ for its propensity to seek human meat. Every year close to 100 people lose their lives to the Tigers in the Sundarbans. This large number of recurring deaths has left more that thousand ‘Tiger widows’ and their children to fend for themselves. In most of the cases, Predominantly, with men being the main earning members of the family, the widows and their kids are pushed into destitution after the men’s death.
Pdf Link: LEDARS Newsletter July 2010