Beel Kumari, a waterbody consisting of 157 hectares of area at the eastern side of Tanoreupazila, is a source of livelihood for more than 500 families of fishermen.
Beel Kumari is, in fact, a sanctuary of several hundred local varieties of fish and of innumerous aquatic birds. Due to cooperation from local fishermen and the people surrounding the beels, the balance of nature of the Beel is still retained and biodiversity of it has not yet been threatened.
Though, due to excessive catching of fish and shortages of water during the late winter and summer, the biodiversity of the Beel is often imbalanced. The consciousness of the local fishermen and the laudable activities of organisations working with the nature and environmenthave helped the Beelsurvive with the varieties of aquatic plants, fishes, birds and animals.
At the confluence of Shiba, Atrai and Boral rivers, Beel Kumari is still one of the largest natural waterbodies of the district. Hundreds of fishermen catch fishes in the Beel with boats and nets throughout the year.
'Beel Kumari Beel Matsyajibi Samabay Samity' is also one of the largest associations of fishermen in Rajshahi which has nearly 500 members. These fishermen families live by building houses and shanties in various places around the Beel. During the monsoon, the vast expanse of the waterbody looks like a wide sea with water everywhere. In winter, many of its parts are dried up.
Entaz Ali, a fisherman of Sheetalipara village said that hundreds of people catch various species of fish from the Beel every day. They used to earn their livelihood by selling these fishes in the market. He also said thatby the grace of Allah no fisherman comes back empty-handed from the Beel.
President of Beel Kumari Beel Matsyajibi Samabaya Samity Sree Darshanath Haldersaid, “Fishermen community people have been earning their livelihood by catching fishes from this Beel for ages.
Beel Kumari may also turn to an attractive tourist spot in near future if proper step is taken in this connection, experts said.