Chicu Lokgariwar

  • I grew up in the Konkan, drinking water from a well that was filled by rainwater, filtered through the area's laterite aquifers and “fortified” by the leaves shed by the jackfruit tree above it. And then I moved to Pune, where I came across a cloudy, salty, heavy liquid that passed for water. Th...
    chicuposted 4 months 5 days agoread more
  • It was supposed to be a normal monsoon as Indian Meteorological Department had predicted. But barring the central plateau, the rest of India may be forgiven for thinking that the Biblical deluge has come a second time. As of September 1, the death toll from flooding stands at 943. More than a millio...
    chicuposted 5 months 1 week agoread more
  • After a gap of 67 years, the Indian Prime Minister made an official visit to Israel this year. While the world debated the reasons for this shift in India’s policy, possibly the best explanation came in the form of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “mic gaffe”. When Israeli technic...
    chicuposted 5 months 1 week agoread more
  • The children of Shri Ram Vidya Mandir in Dotiyal in Almora district of Uttarakhand were hushed as they entered the hall. Within 15 minutes, they were all giggling in anticipation of the fun of learning something new. This is one of the schools where students are taught the basics of hydrogeology and...
    chicuposted 5 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • In the early half of the last century, two people in love with each other worked in their own separate ways to create the India of their dreams. Venkapaiyya worked in the district court at Kasargod, Kerala eventually retiring a few years before India became independent and spent his days administeri...
    chicuposted 6 months 1 week agoread more
  • When Satya Devi was a child, the open well near her house in the village of Malku Majra was the water source for the household. She reminisces, “The water was clean and soft. The well would never go dry. Once when there was a drought, we went to the bed of the Sirsa river, dug a few holes in the b...
    chicuposted 6 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • When I meet Puran Chand, an activist in the forefront of the anti-Renuka dam struggle, he dictates from the two much-thumbed pages of his notebook the several objections he has against the government’s plan for the rehabilitation of people displaced by the Renuka dam. Here is a man who has repeate...
    chicuposted 7 months 6 days agoread more
  • Rivers in India are always in the news whether it’s the interstate water sharing disputes, dams, sand mining or the recent order of the Uttarakhand high court declaring Ganga and Yamuna as living entities. Seven major river systems, over 400 rivers and numerous streams have sustained lives and liv...
    chicuposted 8 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • “That was a very scary place to be in,” says Nandini frowning at the memory of dealing with a rape allegation against a colleague. The allegation had severely fractured the community of activists that she worked with. “These were people who we knew really well, we were comrades on so many issu...
    chicuposted 11 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • The people of Uttarakhand, like other Himalayan states, follow many unique and traditional practices to live in sync with nature. The construction of naulas to tap springs, using water to power grain grinders like gharats and to irrigate fields, transhumance, and more attest to this. They attri...
    chicuposted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • Two hundred and fifty candidates are contesting 40 seats in the elections for Goa's legislative assembly scheduled for February 4, 2017. Of these, more than half of the seats (61 percent) are being contested by four major parties--Aam Aadmi Party, Indian National Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, an...
    chicuposted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more
  • The year 2016 was an abysmal year in terms of environmental policy and conservation in India. At India Water Portal, we have already spoken of the major policy changes of 2016, analysed both India's largest river conservation programme and the government's flagship river-linking plan. But there are ...
    swatiposted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more
  • Jaman Ram, a resident of Bhikia Sain, a tehsil in Uttarakhand, remembers fishing with his father in the Ramganga. “We could catch 80-100 kilograms of fish a day. That is no longer possible,” he says. Shafiq of Haldwani shares an unsettling memory of the Ramganga. As a young man on a holiday, he ...
    chicuposted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • Shalu’s household was evicted from Koyla Basti of the Yamuna pushta (embankment), a massive slum cluster on the banks of the Yamuna river in the year 2004. Earthmoving machines bulldozed thousands of homes at the site which was to host the Commonwealth Games of 2010. Resettled in Bhalaswa, Shalu ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 year 1 month agoread more
  • Renuka can be forgiven if she were to feel a bit crazy at times. Like many other women, she could be finding it hard to balance her pious and wild sides. Renuka lake, located in Sirmaur, the southernmost district of Himachal, is one of the two Ramsar wetlands in Himachal Pradesh. Situated at a rela...
    chicuposted 1 year 2 months agoread more
  • Poised at a breathtaking 4,595 metres above sea level, Tso Moriri is a clear lake fed by multiple springs as well as snowmelt that drains into it from the nearby mountains. Of the streams that feed it, the two primary stream systems lie to the north and the south-west. Tso Moriri once had an outlet ...
    chicuposted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • Raghunath Lakhpat is a terrified man. He can only watch warily as the land on either side of his modest home is being dug up by huge earthmovers. “We are stuck in the middle. Sooner or later, we will have to leave. But where will we go? What will we eat?” he asks helplessly. Raghunath, his wife...
    chicuposted 1 year 5 months agoread more
  • The chief minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, called for the decommissioning of the Farakka barrage recently. This demand, unlike what may be expected, was not motivated by a love for free-flowing rivers. On the contrary, Kumar believes that with its upstream neighbour Uttar Pradesh usurping all the wa...
    chicuposted 1 year 5 months agoread more
  • “When I was a boy, a family and their livestock could feed on just one crop for three years,” says Jugal Mandal of Sakhwar village in Darbhanga district. “For the last five years though, the village fields have been fallow because we have not had water,” he adds. This statement could come a...
    chicuposted 1 year 8 months agoread more
  • He is called Mobi Dick's Avenger. The 33-year-old captain of M/V Steve Irwin, the flagship of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Siddharth Chakravarty has been sailing the oceans for the last one-and-a-half decades; crusading much of that time for the marine life. Sea Shepherd leads the world in dir...
    chicuposted 1 year 8 months agoread more

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Next Diwali, you will have the option of buying a bottle of water for Rs 65 lakh. Here are some other ways you can spend that money.

I grew up in the Konkan, drinking water from a well that was filled by rainwater, filtered through the area's laterite aquifers and “fortified” by the leaves shed by the jackfruit tree above it. And then I moved to Pune, where I came across a cloudy, salty, heavy liquid that passed for water. The first time I returned home for the term break, I took a long draught and told my mother, “I have just not been able to quench my thirst in Pune.”

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Massive floods have made a comeback this year. What can we do to be better prepared for this new normal?

It was supposed to be a normal monsoon as Indian Meteorological Department had predicted. But barring the central plateau, the rest of India may be forgiven for thinking that the Biblical deluge has come a second time. As of September 1, the death toll from flooding stands at 943.

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Regions

Wondering why India went to Israel for water? Here’s the reason and why we should be worried.

After a gap of 67 years, the Indian Prime Minister made an official visit to Israel this year. While the world debated the reasons for this shift in India’s policy, possibly the best explanation came in the form of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “mic gaffe”.

Topics

Sub-Categories

Regions

An initiative in Uttarakhand aims to inculcate knowledge of water management in school children.

The children of Shri Ram Vidya Mandir in Dotiyal in Almora district of Uttarakhand were hushed as they entered the hall. Within 15 minutes, they were all giggling in anticipation of the fun of learning something new. This is one of the schools where students are taught the basics of hydrogeology and water quality.

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While large projects offered more bang for India's buck at the time of independence, the idea hasn't evolved over time affecting the sustainability of natural resources.

In the early half of the last century, two people in love with each other worked in their own separate ways to create the India of their dreams. Venkapaiyya worked in the district court at Kasargod, Kerala eventually retiring a few years before India became independent and spent his days administering the laws of British India. Rukmini was a satyagrahi who marched for India's freedom from the “alien” laws that were established by the colonial government.

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Unless industries clean up their act and authorities take it up seriously, Baddi’s water will continue to be polluted causing hardship to its residents.

When Satya Devi was a child, the open well near her house in the village of Malku Majra was the water source for the household. She reminisces, “The water was clean and soft. The well would never go dry. Once when there was a drought, we went to the bed of the Sirsa river, dug a few holes in the bed and got clean water to drink.” Things have clearly changed for the worse. In the last decade or so, Satya has not used the water from her well. “It smells and looks bad,” she says.

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Nobody is clear about the need for a dam in Renuka valley. Despite this, the people of the valley are being displaced without adequate compensation.

When I meet Puran Chand, an activist in the forefront of the anti-Renuka dam struggle, he dictates from the two much-thumbed pages of his notebook the several objections he has against the government’s plan for the rehabilitation of people displaced by the Renuka dam. Here is a man who has repeatedly raised his objections and perhaps tired of repeating it. And who can blame him?

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In a two-part series, we look at the health of rivers across India. Here’s a comprehensive assessment of the rivers of the north and the east.

Rivers in India are always in the news whether it’s the interstate water sharing disputes, dams, sand mining or the recent order of the Uttarakhand high court declaring Ganga and Yamuna as living entities. Seven major river systems, over 400 rivers and numerous streams have sustained lives and livelihoods in India for centuries. Enormous pressure from faulty management practices is confining these lifelines to dams and canals, encroaching their space, pouring untreated sewage into them, and lifting sands from their banks.

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Sexism is as glaring in development sector as it is in any other professional field. Feminist activist Nandini Rao says both causes cannot be mutually exclusive for the development to be holistic.

“That was a very scary place to be in,” says Nandini frowning at the memory of dealing with a rape allegation against a colleague. The allegation had severely fractured the community of activists that she worked with. “These were people who we knew really well, we were comrades on so many issues. But when the rape case broke, we were suddenly on two sides of the fence and could not sit down and have the same conversation,” she says. The confusion in Nandini’s voice is palpable as we chat sitting on a sunny wall.

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Though natural disasters and destruction of rivers are major concerns of the people of Uttarakhand, they fail to move the contesting parties.

The people of Uttarakhand, like other Himalayan states, follow many unique and traditional practices to live in sync with nature.

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