Three Years After Cyclone, Changed Lives in Sundarbans

CHUNAKHALI, West Bengal — May 25 was Ayantika Mandal’s third birthday. At her home on May 23 in Chunakhali, on the Indian side of the Sundarbans Delta, she changed into her dotted white dress for a picture, but refused to smile to the camera. “She is shy with strangers,” said her mother, Rina. “Otherwise, she is extremely talkative.”

May 25 was also 54-year-old Bishnu Pradhan’s “third birthday”: “This is my new life,” said the secretary of the Dishari Farmers’ Club, a voluntary organization that helps people procure government loans. “I was reborn on May 25, 2009.”

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