Chicu Lokgariwar

India, China, and the fight over 'rights' to the Brahmaputra
China's Zangmu dam has created an uproar in the Indian media. Here's why we should be more concerned about what India is doing. chicu posted 5 years 8 months ago

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This sketch shows the Brahmaputra's many identities in its course from Tibet to the Bay of Bengal.
Community conservation of forests is successful when women participate
Van Panchayats have only been successful in conserving their forests with the enthusiastic participation of women. This is how to increase women's leadership in forest conservation. chicu posted 5 years 9 months ago

When I first spoke with Bhagoti Devi, I attempted to break the ice by telling her how warmly our mutual acquaintances spoke of her. She was nonchalant. "Of course they will recommend you speak to me”, she said. “After all, it took a lot of hard work to have such a thick forest standing here.”

These two neighbouring oak trees, one untouched and the other over-lopped, are both managed by the women of one family and illustrate the impact that women have on forests
Respect tribal goverments; conserve forests
Tribal governments can manage village natural resources better than elected Panchayats. Jarjum Ete, President of the All India Union of Forest Working People, explains why. chicu posted 5 years 9 months ago

The Galo tribe has lived in the Eastern Himalayan forests for centuries. Like their neighbours, this tribe had a well-defined territory, the boundaries of which were marked by various topographical features such as rock formations or mountain ridges.

Arunachal's tribes have a tradition of managing their natural resources (Source:Wikimedia Commons)
From suspecting black magic to diagnosing fluorosis: Madhya Pradesh's struggle
Fluorosis was first discovered in Madhya Pradesh in 1997. Since then half the state has been affected. The people involved in combating the spread of this disease in the state share their story. chicu posted 5 years 9 months ago

It was 1995.

The use of borewells in fluoride-affected areas, such as this one in Dhar, is one of the primary reasons for fluorosis. (Source: Chicu Lokgariwar)
Dengue for dummies
Dengue epidemics are escalating in India. Here's (mostly) everything that you need to know. chicu posted 5 years 10 months ago

I keep seeing news about dengue everywhere. Why is it such a big deal?

Wanted for murder: The Aedes aegypti mosquito the primary vector for Dengue (Source: James Gathany [Public domain], Wikimedia Commons)
Why a right to sanitation is necessary
The Millenium Development Goals aimed to halve the number of people with no access to water & sanitation. "Who are these people?", asks Leo Heller of the UN Office for Human Rights. chicu posted 5 years 11 months ago

Indian activists have been campaigning for the last three years for a justiciable right to water and sanitation.

Definitions of the human rights to water and sanitation (Source: SIWI)
Water treated royally in Mandu's Jahaz Mahal (Ship Palace)
It was not enough for the Mughals to just harvest rainwater but the structure needed to form a lilting backdrop to life in their palaces as exemplified by the Jahaz Mahal. What can we learn from it? chicu posted 5 years 11 months ago

Ghiyas-ud-din-khilji is a man about whom history is confused. Contemporary records speak of 'a lover of peace, particular in his daily prayers'.

An intricate set of curlicues set in the floor leads rainwater from the roofs to a tank in Jahaz Mahal, Mandu
Why did Urmila have to suffer?
Although fluoride contamination was identified in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh a decade ago. children of some villages still continue to fall victim to skeletal and dental fluorosis causing bone deformities. chicu posted 6 years ago

Urmila can neither walk upright, nor run about, nor do her chores easily. She is loved in her parents' house and they do not grudge her the extra care she requires. In rural India, this state of affairs does not last long for a girl, especially since she's only six years old. 

Children dance during the inaugration of the safe water supply system in Kalapani, Madhya Pradesh
Mantra for the Char Dham: Don't Panic!
The monsoons regularly lead to road blocks and panicking pilgrims being airlifted out of Garhwal. Can this repeated narrative change especially since the Char Dham isn't an ancient practice at all? chicu posted 6 years ago

'To be or not to be' may well be the new mantra for people undertaking the Himalayan Char Dham pilgrimage this year.

Pilgrims enroute to Kedarnath (Image: Sundaram + Annam)
Barefoot hydrogeologists: The next generation
The time taken for villages in Nainital district, Uttarakhand to resolve their spring-related disputes has shrunk from two year to six months. Here's why. chicu posted 6 years 1 month ago

I first met Kunti and Priya at a meeting of the Springs Initiative, which is a network of organisations and individuals working across India to restore their springs.

Kunti and Priya discuss their plans with Budani