Char was named ‘Sukhchar’ because there was ‘happiness’ at one time. Now happiness is lost. People’s dreams have sunk in the abyss of Teesta and Dharla. Two-thirds of the Char Lagoa Union of Lalmonirhat is missing from the map. In the rush of erosion, people leave everything and run to other places. Getting a job in the area is a far cry, not even a place to hang out. Some of the once-wealthy have built shacks and lived on the banks of erosion. Charbashi lives and dies in white sand. Due to poor communication Char residents are not able to reach their Karikht happiness.
Maina Bewa (58), a resident of Teesta River, described Char’s life as a ‘broken mirror’. Maina Bewa (58) is a resident of Char Bagdora on Teesta River in Lalmonirhat Sadar Upazila. He said, “Just like a broken mirror does not show any part of the face, even if you see it again, you cannot understand it, so is Char’s life.” If you look at the people of Char, you can’t understand whether he has eaten or not. There is no way to understand whether there is even a place to live.’ Having lost her husband, she is now living with her children on the banks of the river. And built a house on other people’s land. I have nothing to say now. Once there were settlements, arable land, cowsheds, orchards. All in all, Myna Bewar had a life full of happiness and prosperity. He is alive with the story of losing his home in Ban water 40-45 times in his life. And only the impression of pain on the face. Sometimes he has to spend days without eating.
Hazra Khatun (58), a resident of Char Bagdora on the Teesta River, said that just as no one wants to see a face in a broken mirror, similarly no one wants to see the people of Char. The life of the farmer is difficult but he has to stay in the farm because the stories of life are mixed with the farmer. Char has to live with a difficult life like seeing a face in a broken mirror for the sake of survival. Even if you don’t eat here, no one gives a shit. “We don’t have a house. No deposit. We live an uncertain life.
Najer Ali (65), a day laborer at Char Shiberkuti of Dharla River in Kulaghat Union of Sadar Upazila, said that they cannot live without char, because they can drive boats or rickshaws. They can cut satar but can’t ride a car. They prefer to work in the field in the sun, but cannot stay in the shade. Despite the pain of losing everything due to flooding and river erosion, the darkness of Char is a life of peace for them.
An NGO representative working on the life of chars said that there are numerous chars around various rivers including Teesta, Dharla in Lalmonirhat. More than four lakh people live in these pastures. Every family in Char is interwoven with real life stories. People in Char compare their lives to broken mirrors. Because people don’t want to see their face in a broken mirror, similarly people don’t want to leave the pasture even in various hardships. Although the life of Char is a struggle, the people of Char have merged with this life and here they find peace.