Ayan Biswas

  • Fluoride, arsenic, nitrate, and other chemicals in drinking water pose significant health risks (such as fluorosis and arsenicosis) to our population. According to government data (2016), about 21 million people in over 23,500 habitations were affected by arsenic and fluoride contaminated groundwate...
    priyadposted 7 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • 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.  I knew him as G.D. Sir. A man who taught me concepts and practice of environmental s...
    arathiposted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more
  • Mazhapolima is an open well recharge programme based on rainwater harvesting in Kerala. Facts and figures indicate that Mazhapolima was initiated in 2009 by the Thrissur district administration in collaboration with Panchayati Raj institutions to ensure water security to households. In the firs...
    sabitakaushalposted 4 years 8 months agoread more
  • "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. The leader of the gro...
    chicuposted 5 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • 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. Thapewadi, Phalakewadi and Muthalane villages in Pune, Randulabad villages...
    priyadposted 6 years 4 months agoread more
  • 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(5) Operation & maintenanceThe activities in the framework include a mix of education and capacity-building o...
    Ayanposted 7 years 6 months agoread more
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.

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

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Dr G.D. Agarwal fought to protect the river Ganga till his last breath.

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. 

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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.

Mazhapolima is an open well recharge programme based on rainwater harvesting in Kerala. Facts and figures indicate that Mazhapolima was initiated in 2009 by the Thrissur district administration in collaboration with Panchayati Raj institutions to ensure water security to households.

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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.

"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.

The leader of the group sat stunned. It had taken him many moons and many meetings to explain to his peers in both the development and government sectors the concept that a tribal woman with no formal education expressed so succinctly.

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Awareness and community-level action are key to the success of any initiative; these six villages in Maharashtra are testimony to that.

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. Thapewadi, Phalakewadi and Muthalane villages in Pune, Randulabad villages of Satara, and Satichiwadi and Shelkewadi villages of Ahmednagar are all villages in drought-affected districts of Maharashtra but they are unlike their neighbours.

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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.


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

(5) Operation & maintenance

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