Society, Culture, Religion and History

  • SC refuses to lift ban on sand mining in Rajasthan  The Supreme Court has rejected the Rajasthan government's plea to lift the ban on sand mining in the state. The court has also ordered the environment ministry to explain why sand or bajri is required for construction activities and to submit...
    swatiposted 4 days 12 hours agoread more
  • Amar Singh sits in his huge courtyard at the centre of his home in the village of Atraula in Meerut. Lying in the far west part of Uttar Pradesh, this is a flourishing sugarcane belt. An important agricultural region, its demographic, economic and cultural patterns are similar to that of nearby Hary...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 week 6 days agoread more
  • Located at Shamakhunta block of Mayurbhanj district, around 28 kilometers from Baripada town in Odisha, Baldiha dam was constructed during the rule of Maharaja Shri Ramchandra Bhanjdeo in 1912. The dam was built by the then state engineer Jarnold Martin Loe on river Palpala.   The dam was...
    arathiposted 2 weeks 1 day agoread more
  • The fields are silvery white with raw salt crusts in the vicinity of Nawa, a small town on the northwestern banks of Sambhar lake, India’s largest inland lake. Nawa lies about 90 kilometres east of Jaipur. Also an extensive saline wetland and a Ramsar site, the blinding white salt flats ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 month 1 week agoread more
  • Carbon content in India's soil decreases According to a recent report by a consortium of agriculture institutes, out of 350 million hectares of soil in India, 120 million hectares has already turned problematic, that is, either the soil has turned acidic, saline, or alkaline. The carbon content in ...
    swatiposted 1 month 1 week agoread more
  • Rathnakar Salian is a traditional catamaran fisherman from Sasihitlu village in Mangaluru district of Karnataka. He learned how to throw the net, how to pull it out, and how to look for fish in the sea from his father and uncles. Using small catamarans that can carry four persons...
    arathiposted 1 month 1 week agoread more
  • Social media has brought the world to our desktop where information is available at the click of a button. The issues now are not just related to a particular community, region, state, or country; they are global. We get attached to them directly or indirectly and share our opinions on them, which i...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 month 2 weeks agoread more
  • A seasonal river in Pali, Rajasthan, the Bandi is nothing short of a sewer. The textile town has witnessed rampant industrial growth, raw sewage discharges and toxic contamination of its waters. The river, which is devoid of lean season flow, is polluted up to 55 km downstream. The river water is un...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 month 2 weeks agoread more
  • The Palk Bay is an ecological paradise located between the island nation of Sri Lanka and the South East Peninsula India. The region separates the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu from the northern parts of Sri Lanka. From the coast of Tamil Nadu to that of Sri Lanka, the water rarely run deeper than 15 ...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 month 3 weeks agoread more
  • The Palk Bay is a 15,000 sq km biodiversity conglomeration nestled between the island nation of Sri Lanka and South East Peninsula India with a coastal length of 250 km on the Indian side.  The bay is landlocked with three openings--one big eastern opening into the Bay of Bengal and two narrow...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 month 3 weeks agoread more
  • “Sometimes I go for open defecation, sometimes I use the toilet. It’s not like I always have to use the toilet. When I go for work here and there, I defecate in the jungle,” says Renu from one of the remote villages in Tehri Garwal district of Uttarakhand when asked why she does not use latrin...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 month 4 weeks agoread more
  • November 19 is World Toilet Day. Enormous progress has been made in the global effort to provide safe and affordable toilets for the world’s poorest citizens since World Toilet Day was first declared in 2001. Significant strides have been made in “reinventing” toilet designs for low-income, wa...
    swatiposted 2 months 1 day agoread more
  • In the early hours, the villagers of Khalabari, a tribal-dominated village in the Dumuripadar gram panchayat of Koraput district in Odisha step out of their houses for bringing wood and drinking water. The road to the forest where the water is available is rocky. Both women and men walk a few kilome...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 months 6 days agoread more
  • States freeze payments to MGNREGA workers As per the official data, 19 states have frozen payments under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). The NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, a network of grassroots organisations, has informed that over 92 million active workers may not ...
    swatiposted 2 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • The theme for the Conclave this year is “Water Use Efficiency: An Imperative for India” to highlight the imperative of water use efficiency in the industry, agriculture and urban contexts.  The Indian economy at present is struggling with excessive population growth and changing water reso...
    Water Awards 2016posted 2 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • In India, there has been a stunning growth of inequality in the last 25 years and a spectacular growth of inequality in the last 15 years. It is not just a question of wealth and income; inequality is visible in every sector. It is visible in water whether (it is) water for irrigation or drinki...
    chicuposted 3 months 4 days agoread more
  • 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 3 months 5 days agoread more
  • The Ganges, the most revered river in India, faces an unusual predicament. Pollution and excessive usage have turned it into a toxic sludge as it snakes its way through cities, industrial hubs and millions of devotees. It is also one of the world's most hyper-engineered landscapes and the water dra...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 months 1 week agoread more
  • Women of Podapathar village in Sundargarh district in Odisha have become an inspiration for millions of women in the country now, thanks to their determination to improve the drinking water situation in their village.  Earlier the women had to fetch water for domestic use&n...
    makarandpurohitposted 3 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • NGT concerned about overexploited status of Delhi's groundwater Concerned about the overexploited state of the groundwater in the city, the National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi government, the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) and the local authorities to come up with a prop...
    swatiposted 3 months 3 weeks agoread more

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Policy matters this week

SC refuses to lift ban on sand mining in Rajasthan 

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While banning stubble burning is a positive step towards reducing air pollution in the Delhi-NCR sector, the farmers need support from the government to adopt measures to enable smooth crop rotation.

Amar Singh sits in his huge courtyard at the centre of his home in the village of Atraula in Meerut. Lying in the far west part of Uttar Pradesh, this is a flourishing sugarcane belt. An important agricultural region, its demographic, economic and cultural patterns are similar to that of nearby Haryana and Rajasthan.

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Baldiha dam that once quenched the thirst of farmlands and provided livelihood to Odisha farmers is now bereft of water, thanks to the apathy of the administration.

Located at Shamakhunta block of Mayurbhanj district, around 28 kilometers from Baripada town in Odisha, Baldiha dam was constructed during the rule of Maharaja Shri Ramchandra Bhanjdeo in 1912. The dam was built by the then state engineer Jarnold Martin Loe on river Palpala.  The dam water cannot reach villages far away.</body></html>

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Unregulated salt production near Sambhar lake is not just causing health problems among salt workers, it is also depleting groundwater and ruining the ecosystem of the wetland.

The fields are silvery white with raw salt crusts in the vicinity of Nawa, a small town on the northwestern banks of Sambhar lake, India’s largest inland lake. Nawa lies about 90 kilometres east of Jaipur. Also an extensive saline wetland and a Ramsar site, the blinding white salt flats stretch as far as one can see. The place is a key wintering area for thousands of pink flamingos and other migratory birds from northern Asia and Siberia. Surrounded by the Aravalli on all sides, the lake straddles Nagaur, Sikar, Ajmer and Jaipur districts of Rajasthan.

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News this week

Carbon content in India's soil decreases

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Changing the course of Netravati is feared to affect the fish population in the river which will, in turn, affect the fortunes of the fisherfolk dependent on it.

Rathnakar Salian is a traditional catamaran fisherman from Sasihitlu village in Mangaluru district of Karnataka. He learned how to throw the net, how to pull it out, and how to look for fish in the sea from his father and uncles. Using small catamarans that can carry four persons and their limited gear, he fishes by the coastline, not going deeper than one nautical mile.

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Complete sanitation is important for everyone. A collective effort is needed to make it happen.

Social media has brought the world to our desktop where information is available at the click of a button. The issues now are not just related to a particular community, region, state, or country; they are global. We get attached to them directly or indirectly and share our opinions on them, which is an easy and powerful way to contribute towards addressing issues we care about.

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Mahaveer Singh Sukarlai was awarded the Bhagirath Prayas Samman at the India Rivers Day 2017 for his valiant effort to safeguard the integrity of the Bandi river in Pali.

A seasonal river in Pali, Rajasthan, the Bandi is nothing short of a sewer. The textile town has witnessed rampant industrial growth, raw sewage discharges and toxic contamination of its waters. The river, which is devoid of lean season flow, is polluted up to 55 km downstream. The river water is unfit for drinking as well as irrigation.

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In the last of a two-part series on the importance of conserving the Palk Bay, a video shows how trawling is spelling doom to the ecology of the bay.

The Palk Bay is an ecological paradise located between the island nation of Sri Lanka and the South East Peninsula India. The region separates the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu from the northern parts of Sri Lanka. From the coast of Tamil Nadu to that of Sri Lanka, the water rarely run deeper than 15 metres. The bay is one of India's most prominent fishing haunt. 

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In the first of a two-part series on the ecological degradation of the Palk Bay, a video explains the importance of conserving this biodiversity hotspot.

The Palk Bay is a 15,000 sq km biodiversity conglomeration nestled between the island nation of Sri Lanka and South East Peninsula India with a coastal length of 250 km on the Indian side. 

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