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Memoirs of a Visit to Raghunathpur, a Remote Village on the Banks of River Silabati in Garhbeta, West Midnapore, West Bengal

What they called a road leading to their village "Raghunathpur" was basically a broken pathway across the partly dried Silabati River where one can hardly walk comfortably on. We walked across with some difficulty to be warmly greeted by two young college going lads. They took us to a newly created Ashrama right on the banks of the mighty river Silabati or fondly called Silai by the local villagers. The small tin roofed hut here was primarily built to provide a place of meditation on the scenic and serene banks of the river to the spiritually inclined and also to provide free coaching classes and weekly medical advice to the villagers who resided there. However the basic need of a concrete structure for a slightly better arrangement of such noble ideas have presently taken a back seat as money that could be collected for the same has already run out till only the concrete base could be laid. I was humbled by their warm behaviour. They told us that during monsoon when the waters of the river rise higher, the walkway often breaks off or gets submerged making it more difficult for the villagers to commute. The alternate option being a more risky venture of climbing atop a high rail bridge risking their lives to tread across the river and reach Garhbeta for their daily needs.

Shoubhik Bandyopadhyay
Garhbeta, 26/02/2017


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