Dr. Sunil Kumar Nag, Chairman
Consultant Physician & Pediatrician M.B.B.S (Cal), D.M.C.W (Cal), Certificate in Applied Psychology (Cal), Certificate Institute of Child Health (London). Formerly State President, IMA (Indian Medical Association) & Baby-Friendly Hospital initiative, Received award for Women Development and Social Welfare from His Excellency. Governor of W.B. Shri N.K. Narayanan in December 2013.
All health and hygiene projects of Aranyaj are running under his direction. He is one of the leading icons who first started mass campaigning on the importance of breastfeeding in the early 80s & conducted thousands of seminars on health issues.
He is the head of Mohanananda Hospital where treatments are done at one-third costs. There is a special unit for thalassemia patients where 50 children are getting treatment including blood transfusion at a negligible cost. He gave a motivating speech in our seminars on breastfeeding, thalassemia prevention, health, and hygiene. He has donated many costly medicines and also communicated with medicine companies and availed us of medicines at discounted rates. He never hesitates to serve the islanders of Sundarban and go to remote islands in motorized-country-boats. At the age of 77 years he has come During the covid-19 pandemic situation he never hesitates to treat.
Dr. Tathagata Deb, Vice Chairman
Chief Advisor for afforestation and Environmental Education
M.Sc, Ph.D., (Jadavpur University) B.Ed, FICEE Awarded Fellow Member of International Conference on Environment and Ecology, FIC (Fellow of the Indian Chemical Society). He is now attached with RCCIIT as Assistant Professor in Chemistry of Basic Science and Humanities Department.
Dr. Tathagata Deb is our main advisor for scientific plantation & developer of road maps for environmental education. Besides these, he is pouring his teaching experience into developing study materials mainly for meritorious but very needy students for higher education. In Sundarban there is not a single Government/private school or college with science laboratories.
This is the reason that many meritorious students have to compromise their dream in between as they can’t afford the minimum cost to move to a city mainly Kolkata. We have a mission to build a residential/semi-residential free School having modern science and computer laboratories for the progeny of Sundarban so that they can nurture their dreams. And in this process, Dr. Deb is the key person, who is working hard to achieve our goal.
Mrs. Amrita Bose Gupta, Secretary
MSc (Chemistry), B.Ed
The founder member started her career as a teacher (now in Delhi Public School) but she is passionate to serve the nation and nature from her childhood. Last fifteen years she has been working hard on this mission. Committed and sincere, she is now engaged in building strategies, designing and implementing projects towards conservation of nature and its resources, green & eco-education, and health and livelihood support to the fellow-citizens who are not privileged. In the year 2008, she founded this organization with like-minded and committed people.Initially, she started plantation & green education for school students. In 2014, she first noticed the crisis of the
inhabitants of Sundarban while conducting the green-education program for the students of Kendriya Vidyalaya. Poverty in Sundarban is cyclically entwined with the ecosystem; increasing economic stress makes people recklessly feed on natural resources which, in turn, leads to its erosion and increases external biotic pressure on Sundarban Biosphere Reserve. At the same time, they are risking their lives during their livelihood venture. As ill fate, they often become the victim of tiger or crocodile attack. These facts shook her conscience and she has started working on providing an alternate livelihood for the islanders especially the widow and the survival.
She realized that they are the work-force whom we can utilize as a protector of Sundarban. So she decided to uplift their educational, financial, and health condition to protect Sundarban from human interference. Initially, Amrita with her core team members visited many households of remote islands of Sundarban. Some of the places are so difficult to go to that it used to take 10 to 11 hours from Kolkata by crossing several creeks and rivers. Amrita with her team stays in villagers’ cottages which not only helped her to understand their difficulties but also developed a strong bonding with the islanders. Subsequently, she went to Delhi and knocked on the door of different PSUs & asked for financial assistance to boost up our activities in Sundarban. Finally, Oil India Ltd., Indian Oil, ONGC came forward to support us. One thing that has always kept her worried, the issues related to the economic empowerment and inclusion of women in the mainstream. In 2017, with financial assistance from ONGC, we started 3 sanitary napkin production and distribution units (project NANDINI) at Dumdum, Ashokenagar, and Sundarban. More than 200 women have already received livelihood support for their family under project ‘NANDINI’. So far more than 1,00,000 school-going girls and needy women got free pads under this project. Already Amrita has started to chase her dream to ‘Save our Sundarban’ with her NANDINIs. They are now restoring mangrove buffer and involved in wildlife rescue-rehabilitation-protection.
She poured out her teaching experience into the development of Society. She designs rallies, roadshows, audio-visual shows, and all demonstration programs. Apart from the administration, she looks after all academic affairs of the NGO. She is a researcher and writer of many environment-related articles (published in print and electronic media), the script of street drama, or skits. She is an excellent motivator through public speaking and writings. She believes that each individual has the potential to do their part towards the development of a nation sustainably, just need to rekindle the will. She always says- live simple, be the change, don’t blame others, and take responsibility do your part.
Mrs. Alpana Sen, Assistant Secretary
Mrs. Sen is a dedicated member. She takes initiative in arranging and collecting ration & cloth relief. She has motivated privileged communities in many snobbish areas to lend their hands towards the islanders. She plans and takes care of the nutritional chapters which include ration, grocery, stokes, etc of our all such initiatives. She also makes the strategy for age-appropriate nutritional but comparatively cheaper food for our students of the Pathshala project. She guides the educators mainly on how to cook food keeping its nutritional content maximum.
Miss Upasana Bose, Treasurer and Cultural Coordinator, Activist
(MA, Vocal Music, Rabindra Bharati University)
She took the initiative to form ACT (Aranyaj Cultural Team), with 40 volunteers. Under her able guidance, this group played an active role in different activities and awareness drives of the society throughout the years. She has scripted and directed several street dramas. Her team is always at the forefront of any roadshow.
Mrs. Snigdha Biswas, Member
(M.Sc Zoology, Entomologist, Delhi University)
Snigdha is a successful entrepreneur and the experience she has achieved through the journey, she utilizes in the development of the organization. Especially she has shown her leadership quality and entrepreneurship in the development of our sanitary napkin units. She gives training to the underprivileged women mainly on soft skills like how to market and sell their products so that they become economically self-dependent. She takes initiative in the community outreach program. She is an important contributor to the project KAP (Knowledge Attitude Practice) & MHM (Menstrual hygiene management) program. She has visited many households mainly to awaken people about the
need for women empowerment, stops domestic violence, and the dire need for good hygiene during periods. She has also come forward to give support to the lactating mothers of Sundarban. During this pandemic situation, especially after the Amphan cyclone she has taken several initiatives and conducted relief-collection drives (like dry foods, cloth, utensils, medicines, etc) to stay beside the islanders during their hard time.
Tarak Sardar, Member
Sundarban, South 24 pgs
He joined us in 2015. During our mobile health camp in Sundarban, he came for the check-up of his 1-year-old baby, one of our members observed that he is keen to spread health service in that locality for helping those islanders. From then, he was actively attached with us & oversaw our entire activities in Sundarban.
Sujon Mandal, Member
He joined us in 2016. We provided him the responsibilities to manage the workforce of the mangrove plantation. His team is collecting seeds from estuaries, nurturing those seeds & preparing saplings, and finally restoring them in mud-flats of river-banks.
Aranyaj-“Aranyaj Society For Educational And Environmental Development“ is a non-profit, Voluntary, Tax Exempted, 80G & FCRA registered organization, founded by a group of dedicated social workers for a greener- balanced – equal planet for all where not a single child is malnourished and deprived from education and development is sustainable where human and other species can live in harmony.
Ashirbad Building, Nandankanon, Dhalipara, Teghoria, P.O- Hatiara.Kolkata -700157.