Socio - Economy
This deltaic region is rich in natural resources,
but inhabited by a very poor group of people. Even though
the physical environment is harsh, the region has high potential
to be productive and to generate wealth on a sustainable basis,
should the area be placed under scientific management. But
for such changes to be brought about, the socio-economic condition
of the people needs to be improved.
3755924 people live within the reclaimed
areas of Sunderban Biosphere Reserve as per 2001 census. There
is no habitation, cultivation or grazing inside the forest
area. The networks of creeks and rivers provide spawning ground
for shrimps and there is a related predator niche of fishes,
crabs and mollusc Fishing is allowed, outside National Park
and Sanctuaries only for the permit holders. The reclaimed
land outside STR yield only a single crop. Thus majority of
population live below poverty line and eke out/supplement
their living form fishing, honey collection, wood cutting,
catching of post larvae of tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon).
During the month of April and May the STR
harbours enormous number of hives of the Rock-bees (Apis
dorsata). About a thousand honey collectors enter the
tiger land, with permits from STR authorities. On an average
50 metric tons honey is collected during these two months
along with 3000 kg of beeswax, every year.
The fishermen are permitted almost throughout
the year, in restricted numbers, within specified areas. Nearly
30,000 people enter STR on these two counts.