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June 8, 2010

Namaskar!  (Bengalese for “the god in me greets the god in you”)  For those of you that don’t know or forgot, my purpose for joining Team CarboRocket is to generate awareness and funding for medical supplies for my second medical mission trip to India this November.  Last year was our investigatory trip and our medical team treated nearly 2000 people in about four days.   We encountered a native people of the island of Patharpratima in the Sunderbans Islands in the Ganges river delta in the (communist) Indian state of West Bengal.   These Bengali people have extreme little access to medical care and we encountered many conditions from back pain to tuberculosis to Dengue fever to blindness to monkey bites.  For my portion of the clinic, nearly 400 people were seen with approximately 225 pairs of glasses dispensed.

Vision in India

One-third of blind people in the world live in India, as well as one-fifth of the world’s blind children.  The leading cause of blindness in India is cataract, and the second-leading cause is simply needing glasses.  Both of these causes are treatable.  I hope this year to provide surgical treatment for those with cataract and provide more glasses to a needy people.


The island chosen for our “medical camp” this year is Ghoramara.  It is located here in the world:


Ghoramara Island, West Bengal, India


Ghoramara is an island within the delta that is “sinking” (rather, the sea level is rising) and is projected to be completely under water within a few years.  The Sunderbans Island “New Moore” close by had been claimed by both Bangladesh and India and had been disputed for the past 200 years–until it recently disappeared underwater.  Ghoramara’s 5000 residents are to be relocated and are in great need of care.  It is about a five-hour journey by boat from Kolkata (Calcutta).


The best roads in the villages in the Sunderbans look like this:


Looks a bit like cobblestones...


and the bicycle is the primary means of transportation other than walking.  We plan to spend four nights/five days on the island.  Stay tuned for ways to donate to help provide medical supplies and treatment!

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