PayBito has initiated a new movement called ‘Brokering World Hunger Away‘ with the aim of putting an end to global hunger. The movement started its journey at Sundarbans, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site located in India, where the PayBito team identified several problems. The most significant problem faced by local villagers is the frequent occurrence of cyclones, storms, floods, and other natural disasters, which have made drowning a common occurrence in Sundarbans.
The Sundarbans delta islands are entirely surrounded by water, making it challenging for mothers to keep their children safe. The waterlogged geographical situation has exposed the area to a high risk of child drowning, and at least three children’s deaths are reported every day. This situation is particularly frightening for mothers who are worried about the safety of their children.
Silent Killer: The Hidden Epidemic of Child Drowning in Sundarbans
In children aged 1 to 4 years, the rate of mortality due to drowning was 243.8 for every 100,000 children, while for those aged 5 to 9 years, it was 38.8 per 100,000 children. A majority of the deaths (58.0%) occurred in children between the ages of 1 to 2 years, and there were no significant differences in drowning rates between boys and girls. Moreover, 81% of these children were usually unsupervised, with their primary caregiver occupied with household chores.
During the exploration of the villages in Sundarban, the PayBito team uncovered an overlooked epidemic amidst the region’s major issues: child drowning cases. It’s alarming to learn that mortality rates among children in Sundarbans are on the rise. Being surrounded by rivers on all sides, the islands pose a high risk of drowning. Even more distressing is that most drowning incidents happen within a 50-meter radius of the child’s home, particularly in ponds within their own properties or nearby rivers.
When Death Comes in Waves: A Mother’s Tale of Loss
Drowning is a common problem in the villages of Sundarbans, however, the ratio is relatively low among children between the ages of seven to nine. In an interview with PayBito, Vimala, a mother shared her heart-wrenching story of losing a son to the tidal waves.
“It was in the month of March, the village was celebrating the auspicious occasion of ‘Holi’. I went to the nearby neighbor’s house for a puja, while my kids were playing in the house. As I have one elder son who is sixteen years old, I never had to worry about my younger children, the eight-year-old son Sumon, and the five-year-old Mala. It was not until I returned back home in the afternoon, that I noticed my son Sumon was missing.”
-Vimala (mother at loss)
Holi is an auspicious event that is largely celebrated in India and also in the village of Sundarbans. While women worshipped, the men and children would all play together with colors. Vimala was one such mother who went to a neighbor’s house to offer prayers for the well-being of her family. However, Vimala was not careless. Being a mother of three children, she always asked her elder son to take care of the other two children. However, that day it was not until the afternoon, everyone noticed Sumon, her younger son was missing.
“Sumon sneaks out of the house in the afternoon. Since we all took naps during that time, we didn’t notice. My father was in the house as well, when I put them off to sleep. When I woke up, Sumon was not in his bed. My mother arrived soon after, and we both went looking for him.” – elder brother
Sumon was an active child and used to sneak out of bed every afternoon when no one watching. However, he always returned back home by evening. Sadly, this was not the case on that day. Vimala went running from one house to the other in search of him. While his father was back home with his sister, his elder brother went looking for Sumon in parks, friends’ houses, schools, etc, to look for him.
“Sumon was missing since afternoon, we searched for him everywhere. However, when the clock struck at 9.30 pm, the village people decided to file a police report. The police went searching for my brother.” – elder brother
“My mother couldn’t sleep at night. She was sitting at the door of the house, waiting for my brother to come back home. I have never seen her that upset in my life.”
However, Sumon was found after two days, unfortunately dead. He was found near the banks of another island in the Sundarbans. When informed his family his mother and brother were inconsolably crying.
“These incidents are not uncommon in the villages of Sundarbans. We often observe children drowning in their own house ponds, or near the river banks, especially during the monsoon seasons.” – Police officer (Gosaba block)
The PayBito team was shocked to hear about such an incident. A young boy whose cries were unheard drowned in the river, and nothing could be done. According to a survey, 81% of teh child drowning deaths occur due to the lack of supervision. However, the PayBito team has addressed the issue and looks forward to reducing such incidents in the region.
Rising Tides, Rising Tragedies: PayBito to Help Reduce Child Drowning Cases
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By signing up for the platform, and earning commissions you can directly contribute to the global ‘Brokering World Hunger Away’ movement. For every dollar earned by a broker as a commission on PayBito’s platform, an equal amount will be allocated towards the end-hunger movement. With zero investment and no risk, the investors get a chance to help end global hunger and contribute to the community.
Training Programs: Through partnerships with local organizations, PayBito is implementing programs and initiatives aimed at promoting water safety and reducing the risk of drowning among children. These efforts include providing swimming lessons, promoting the use of life jackets, and educating parents and caregivers on the importance of supervision and water safety practices. By working together with the community, PayBito hopes to make a meaningful impact in reducing child drowning cases and protecting the lives of children in Sundarbans.
With the rising mortality rates among children in the region, it is clear that urgent measures must be taken to promote water safety and reduce the risk of drowning. PayBito’s ‘Brokering World Hunger Away‘ movement and initiatives to reduce child drowning cases in Sundarbans are a step in the right direction towards protecting the lives of children and creating a safer community.