When our bus (courtesy MUKTI) reached our hotel at Raidighi smiling faces greeted us, we were guided to our rooms and and we were pleasantly surprised to find that the staying arrangements planned were far far beyond our expectations. Getting refreshed within an hour or so we were now feeling a bit hungry. We were shipped in groups to a nearby farm house where incidentally one old age home was also located. It was here where arrangement had been made for our food for our total stay and the experience what we gained here will be remembered for years. Delicious Bengali gourmet served by young ladies who sincerely want you to eat and you can expect the amount we ate.. it was the same story on all days.
We then went to the fair. It was a huge gathering, it seems people from all nearby places had flocked in. There were the ‘Agricultural stalls’ displaying all locally grown organic vegetables, the ‘Handicraft Stalls’ the Food stalls and the games. As the sun set in the whole place was getting lit up, the lighting arrangement also had a touch of class. In the inaugural ceremony we were updated by various speakers, on the various issues of health n environment, education, organic farming, rural employment, and development related to Sunderban- achievements on effort made and further work ahead as planned by MUKTI. Cultural programmes were to follow.
Morning day next was dedicated to interaction with villagers practising organic farming and at the end of the day we were all impressed by the progress made in this front. Afternoon there was a sumptuous picnic lunch where additionally our fishing skills were also tested . Evening was again spent at the fair, there was the ‘Horse Racing’ and we moved around from stall to stall enjoying like youngsters. There was a huge crowd on the second day also and like the previous day cultural programmes were to follow. We had a bonus that night at the farm house when we went for dinner… the whole sky was lit up with stars, a rare gift for people living in the concrete jungles.
On day third we had an appointment with Royal Bengal Tigers, we went to their place at ……..in a launch eating merrily all the way. Unfortunately they chose to cancel the appointment and we had come back to Raidighi in the evening dejected. We started for Kolkata immediately, thereafter with all of us having the same thought ‘ Jachchi firay .. aste haubay baar baar’
– This write-up has been contributed by Mr. Gautam Bhattacharyya