Ayan Biswas

Ayan Biswas
Transforming lives in the Covid-19 context: MGNREGS and its potential
India can use its flagship public employment program (MGNREGS) to transform lives of its underprivileged population in the Covid-19 context, and live up to its promise of a welfare state. Posted on 05 May, 2020 04:11 PM

As India continues to unravel the actual scale of economic impacts in a world infested by the dangerous Covid-19 virus, lingering images of daily wage labourers and migrant workers attempting a near impossible walk home have been etched in public consciousness.

Women working on an NREGA site building a pond to assist in farming and water storage. Gopalpura, Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh (Image: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh, Flickr Commons)
An integrated approach to water quality management
Chemical contamination of drinking water is a significant health concern in India, one we haven’t realised the magnitude of. Practitioners across sectors must come together to tackle this issue. Posted on 18 Mar, 2019 03:58 PM

Fluoride, arsenic, nitrate, and other chemicals in drinking water pose significant health risks (such as fluorosis and arsenicosis) to o

Photo courtesy: Arjun Swaminathan
To Sir, with love and belief
Dr G.D. Agarwal fought to protect the river Ganga till his last breath.
Posted on 15 Oct, 2018 02:26 PM

Dr G.D. Agrawal passed away on October 11, 2018. He was 86 years old. But he didn’t die of old age. After 111 days of fasting, he died of a heart attack. Why was he fasting? We will come to that in a while. 

Dr G.D. Agarwal (Pic by Sidwanshu Kumar)
Mazhapolima: Recharging open wells in Kerala
The science behind Mazhapolima is perhaps best suited for Kerala’s context but it has truly created opportunities for people to participate in a movement. Here's a look at how it has worked there.
Posted on 16 Feb, 2015 10:10 PM

Mazhapolima is an open well recharge programme based on rainwater harvesting in Kerala.

Mazhapolima Wells (Source:IWP)
Tribals in Jharkhand plan for water security
To let people make their own decisions and to understand that the best solution doesn't always work are two big lessons that have come from meetings with Jharkhand's tribals. Posted on 14 Oct, 2014 03:15 PM

"Clean water", emphasized the woman. "'Close to the house. Whenever it is needed", she added. She was speaking at a village meeting organised to determine what was needed to make the village water secure. The discussions had begun with an attempt to define water security.

A planning meeting in Bhawani Chowki
Drought-free in Maharashtra – six small villages, one big lesson
Awareness and community-level action are key to the success of any initiative; these six villages in Maharashtra are testimony to that. Posted on 10 Jun, 2013 02:09 PM

Maharashtra is reeling under a drought – one of the worst in the last 40 years. The state declared drought in 125 out of 358 talukas during kharif 2012-13, and then declared water scarcity in 3,905 villages in rabi 2012-13.

Satchiwadi village used less groundwater this year
A framework for rural drinking water quality management, based on experiences from the voluntary sector - A learning document by Arghyam
Arghyam, Bangalore, a non-profit foundation focusing on domestic water and sanitation, has published a document highlighting a water quality management (WQM) framework for rural areas. The framework lays out a phased and process-driven approach to WQM in rural areas and is based on work done by 12 prominent non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who have been working on water quality (WQ), from across the country. Ayan Biswas of Arghyam writes about this. Posted on 20 Apr, 2012 04:33 PM

The phases that have been identified for a sustainable WQM programme are: 

(1) Assessment of baseline situation

(2) Participatory planning

(3) Water quality monitoring

(4) Implementation