Gurvinder Singh

How mining ruined lives and livelihoods
Illegal stone quarries have changed the face of Birbhum district where villagers are finding it difficult to survive due to contaminated water and pollution. arathi posted 2 years 6 months ago

Koley Kisku, a primary school student at Ranipur village at Rampurhat block in Birbhum district of West Bengal suffers from a thyroid gland related ailment that has partially affected his ability to speak. His school mates say that the 11-year-old could speak normally till a few years ago but he began to lose his voice.

Labourers crush stones at illegal stone quarries. (Pic: Gurvinder Singh)
Smart farming changes farms, fortunes in Bengal
Farmers of West Bengal are resorting to rice transplanters and zero tiller machines to save water and labour cost and to increase productivity. arathi posted 2 years 7 months ago

Gulam Mustafa owns around five acres of land at Digalhati Moynaguri village in Coochbehar district of West Bengal. The 34-year-old has switched to “smart farming” to minimise labour cost and water use.

Gulam Mustafa with the rice planter. (Photo by Gurvinder Singh)
No water in the rice bowl
Thousands of farmers in Bardhaman district, known as the rice bowl of West Bengal, are suffering huge losses due to the shortage of water. arathi posted 2 years 10 months ago

Nikhil Bagdi has attempted suicide twice in the past one month. Fortunately, his neighbours came to his rescue whenever he tried to end his life by hanging from the ceiling of his room. Nikhil lives in Serorai village of Bardhaman district in West Bengal, a little over 120 kilometres from Kolkata. 

Nikhil Bagdi at his paddy field. (Photo: Gurvinder Singh)
SAFE solution to Kalikapur's water problem
While potable water dispensing units provided under WASH has come as a boon to Kalikapur slum residents, they struggle to meet other water needs due to lack of piped water. arathi posted 2 years 11 months ago

Basanti Haldar (45) has been living in a slum at Kalikapur in Kolkata for over two decades. She works as a domestic help in an upscale locality in the neighbourhood. She is happy nowadays due to an increase in her income. 

Nila Shaw collects water from the ADU. (Photo by Gurvinder Singh)
‘Organic farming brought huge profit for me’
Farmer Renupada has taken it up as a mission to make more farms organic by training fellow farmers on the sustainable practice. arathi posted 2 years 11 months ago

At the age of 70, Renupada Bagdi of Doniapur village in Birbhum district of West Bengal is on a mission to convince his fellow farmers to take up organic farming just like he did a few years ago. He knows from his experience that chemical fertilisers do not yield crops as big companies make it out to be.

Renupada Bagdi in front of his thatched house. (Photo: Gurvinder Singh)
Indian villages look to Bhutan for water
No water supply from India, four remote villages in West Bengal are forced to depend on the neighbouring Bhutan for water. arathi posted 3 years 3 months ago

A lot has been discussed about the acute water crisis in many parts of India. But who would have thought some villages in rural West Bengal have to depend on a neighbouring nation for water?

Damini Minj cycles long distance to collect water from Aiba basti. (Pic courtesy: Gurvinder Singh)
Village swims in desperation
Livelihood and education affected, villagers of a marooned land look for solutions. arathi posted 3 years 5 months ago

“Our village is also called the swimmers’ village because almost all of us including small children know how to swim. To learn swimming is not a luxury but a necessity for us.

A girl oars a boat to go to college. (Pic courtesy: Gurvinder Singh)
Locks down, barrage scares Durgapur
Ruined lock gates of Durgapur barrage call for immediate attention and repair to avert another water leak. arathi posted 3 years 6 months ago

The industrial township of Durgapur, situated 150 km from Kolkata, faced a severe water crisis for two days in November last year when the Durgapur barrage became dry following a leak at one of the lock gates of the barrage.

Durgapur barrage. (Pic courtesy: Gurvinder Singh)
Filthy fountains spread dengue fear
Water fountains installed in Kolkata for beautification and left abandoned are becoming a health hazard with mosquitoes breeding in the filthy water. arathi posted 3 years 6 months ago

West Bengal’s tryst with dengue in 2017 could not have been more deadly. Around 13000 people were affected and nearly 100 people lost their lives to the disease.

A fountain at Central Park in Salt Lake. Visitors fear that the stagnant water is becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes. (Pic courtesy: Gurvinder Singh)
Floating filth mars market on water
Kolkata’s floating market that opened to much fanfare paints a picture of neglect within days of its inauguration. arathi posted 3 years 8 months ago

The beautiful city of Kolkata had another first to its credit when the much anticipated floating market was inaugurated on January 24 by the chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee.

A fruit stall at the market. (Pictures courtesy: Gurvinder Singh)
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