It’s another rainy day in the coastal Odisha, India. The Bhitarkanika village looks drenched and dark. Meet Pampa Dolui, age 34, a single mother of two, who has adopted a grim routine over these months, digging soil outside her home to let in the saline water from the sea to enter her sweet water pond.
And she seems to be preparing to uproot the banana tree outside her hut, to create more space for saline water to come in through a freshly dug canal. While chopping the tree she tells her children, “See, the whole tree has turned brown, like rust, nothing will grow anymore, too much salt in the soil”. Now like every other fifth person in village, she is also going to rent out her saline ponds for prawn cultivation at a meager price, as that seems to be the only way to survive.
Other residents in nearby…
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