Bengaluru: Tribals dominate the northern part of the tea estate of West Bengal. They are very poor and deprived of the basic facilities of life for a long time. 

Adding to their woes was the coronavirus-induced lockdown. The lockdown only contributed their children not going to school. 

However, that is when a couple Anirvan Nandi and his wife Paulmi Chaki Nandi came as a godsend. Anirvan is a senior research fellow at IIT Kharagpur and Paulmi is a research associate in social science and economy. Currently, both of them are staying at their home due to the college being closed.

Along with teaching tuition to children in gardens and villages for just ten rupees and lending books through mobile libraries, these people are also distributing free sanitary pads among women laborers and young women. So far, nearly 18 hundred children from 35 villages and 20 tea gardens have availed their mobile library. 80 percent of them are girls.

Paulmi explains, “Because of poverty, the women of these gardens used clothes during their periods. This often forced them to struggle with health issues. In view of this, we decided to distribute sanitary pads. Till now we have distributed around 22 thousand pads. Many people have also given assistance for this,” as quoted by Dainik Bhaskar. 

The website also adds Sunita Oraon, a tribal student, as saying, 'Earlier we used to use clothes. Due to this, many times there were diseases. There is no doctor in the tea garden. This caused further trouble. But now we have a lot of convenience. Anirvana says that to help the poor and tribal students, he first decided to start a mobile library. For this library, Nandi couple have collected more than seven thousand books by demanding from their friends and family. But despite providing books, tribal students were unable to study online due to lack of smartphones and internet.”

The tribal children are also happy now. 

Rani Munda of Maryview tea garden comes to study tuition with her seven-month-old daughter. She says, “I couldn't study after fourth grade due to lack of before marriage. Now I have got a chance to resume my missed studies.”