Interviews

  • Every year, thousands of villages in Maharashtra get affected by droughts. Experts say that the reasons for recurrent droughts include a lack of policy framework, technical knowledge and community participation as well as poor implementation of government programmes. Until 1970, the residents of Ka...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • As part of Bonjour India 2017-2018, the four-months-long, ongoing Indo-French journey celebrating the Indo-French partnership, water-related issues are being highlighted through research, art and debates in cities like Jaipur, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Pondicherry and Kolkata. Encompassi...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • Kashmir was once known for its pristine mountains, lakes, beautiful landscape and clean environment. In the last few decades, however, things have changed. An increasing amount of untreated garbage produced by humans is becoming a critical problem affecting not only the health of the residents of Ka...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • Pearl farmer Sanjay Gandate (33) was waiting for my arrival at his house in Pardi Kupi in the Naxal-affected Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra. I had missed my early morning bus to Pardi Kupi and took an autorickshaw instead to reach the village. Sanjay greeted me and took me to Wain...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 8 months 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 2 years 9 months 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 2 years 9 months agoread more
  • On January 13, 1957, the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated the Hirakud dam, calling it the temple of modern India. It has submerged more than 360 villages (1,23,000 acres of land) and displaced 26,561 families. Out of these displaced families, around 11,000 families and thei...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 9 months agoread more
  • As India celebrates 70 years of independence, the recent flooding in states like Assam and Gujarat and droughts in places like Tamil Nadu and Marathwada remind us that we still need to go far to achieve independence from water woes. According to water conservationist Dr Rajendra Singh, popularly ca...
    arathiposted 2 years 10 months agoread more
  • Faecal sludge management or FSM is a management system that safely collects, transports, and treats faecal sludge (also called septage) from pit latrines, septic tanks or other onsite sanitation facilities (OSSF). One of the key components of faecal sludge management is the safe transportation of fa...
    arathiposted 2 years 11 months agoread more
  • Vasant Baburao Parkale, a 52-year-old farmer, has become a role model for many farmers in the drought-prone Marathwada region. His determination and the will to excel in life have helped him to transform his dreams into reality. In 1984, he was just another labourer working for Bhagwan Yashwantrao ...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 11 months agoread more
  • The per capita availability of water in India is going down progressively and the situation may become precarious unless the country takes measures like the recycling of water in an organised manner, warns Dr Sharad Jain, director general of New Delhi-based National Water Development Agency and seni...
    arathiposted 2 years 11 months agoread more
  • The people of the Marathwada region have been facing severe water crisis for more than three decades. Despite adverse circumstances, the Akoladev panchayat in the Jalna district has set an example for other panchayats by solving their water woes through community participation and effective water ha...
    makarandpurohitposted 3 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • It was in the late 90s that Raigarh emerged as the hub for power, coal mining and sponge iron in Chhattisgarh. The coalfield in Mand Raigarh is spread over an area of more than 1,12,000 hectares with an estimated 21,117 metric tonnes of coal.  Kosampalli, a small village in the Tamnar block in...
    makarandpurohitposted 3 years 3 months agoread more
  • Located 10 km from the Yavatmal city in Maharashtra, the Nilona reservoir has been the primary drinking water source for its residents since 1972. As in many other parts of the country, the 1990s saw the city growing and the population increasing. The Yavatmal residents, who had not experienced wate...
    makarandpurohitposted 3 years 4 months agoread more
  • “That was a very scary place to be in,” says Nandini frowning at the memory of dealing with a rape allegation against a colleague. The allegation had severely fractured the community of activists that she worked with. “These were people who we knew really well, we were comrades on so many issu...
    chicuposted 3 years 4 months agoread more
  • Anand Sharma is probably the most famous weatherman of India today. As the director of the Dehradun centre of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in 2013, he had predicted the Uttarakhand disaster two days before the actual deluge. Had the state government heeded his warnings, the heavy damag...
    Manu Moudgilposted 3 years 4 months agoread more
  • There was a time when the farmers of Yavatmal district depended completely on rainfed agriculture. That was before the introduction of Doha, a water harvesting structure by NGO Dilasa Sansthan in 2014. Farming changed drastically after that, something which Sitaram Kove, a 40-year-old farmer of Raji...
    makarandpurohitposted 3 years 4 months agoread more
  • Noted environment lawyer Ritwick Dutta received the Bhagirath Prayas Samman at the recently concluded India Rivers’ Week. We catch up with him on his journey so far and how we can further expand the constituency of environment. Q. Who was your idol and what did you learn from him/her? I had no i...
    Manu Moudgilposted 3 years 6 months agoread more
  • An aerospace engineer from IIT, Kharagpur, Siddharth Agarwal could have been drawing a fancy salary like any other 25-year-old if he hadn’t followed his passion. Born and bred in Kolkata, his curiosity of life around rivers and his interest in knowing it first hand to form the right perspective of...
    makarandpurohitposted 3 years 6 months agoread more
  • Pranab Choudhury has been actively engaged with the causes of the poor and the environment for more than a decade. A senior development researcher, practitioner and a consultant at Baitarani Initiative office at Kalinga Nagar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, he focuses on issues related to agriculture, forest,...
    makarandpurohitposted 3 years 7 months agoread more

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The documentary, Birdman of Chorao tells the story of Uday Mandrekar’s selfless efforts in protecting the mangroves in Chorao.

Uday Mandrekar (40) is a popular boatman on the Chorao island of Goa. He is known for his formidable knowledge on birds in the area so much so that he is often referred to as the bird man of Chorao. He is a private boatman and a tourist guide who can take you deep into the mangroves and waterways of the island.

Chorao island is just five km away from the capital city of Panaji. Along the Mandovi river, it is one of the largest islands in Goa. The island has a unique ecosystem. It has one of the best mangrove forests and houses most of the mangrove species found in Goa.

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The polluted Erai river needs to be restored before it completely dies and leaves the people dependent on it searching for drinking water.

The Erai river, the main tributary of the Wardha river, is the lifeline for the people of Chandrapur in Maharashtra. It primarily supplies water to the Chandrapur city and Chandrapur super thermal power station (CSTPS). Since 1984, after the initiation of operations of M/s CSTPS and Western Coalfields Limited (WCL), the river has begun to get polluted and is now gasping for breath.

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Farmer Thangavel tastes success with date farming in the drought-prone region of Vidarbha.

In a drought-prone region like Vidarbha in Maharashtra, mostly in the news for water scarcity and farmer suicide, it is not every day that you hear the success story of a farmer. That's why the story of Savi Thangavel, 69, a resident of Mohegaon village which is just 22 km from Nagpur, is special. He took up date farming when nobody even thought about it and became the first successful date farmer in the region.

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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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Faulty pipelines and lack of proper sewage treatment plants are some of the causes of increasing jaundice cases in Raipur.

The family of Somesh Manikpuri of Amasivani colony in Raipur is still in shock of his sudden demise from jaundice in May this year. Six similar deaths have been reported from Raipur since April 2018. Memsingh Chandrakar, a resident of Naharpara, another locality in Raipur, was also affected by jaundice in May. He says, “We did not have an epidemic like this in Naharpara till a decade ago. The quality of drinking water was far better then than it is now and we lived a healthy life.

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A temple trust revives an ancient stepwell, comes to the rescue of a water-starved village.

Long before piped water supply became the norm, groundwater got extracted for use and rivers neglected, stepwells served as a major source of water for people.

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The ongoing conflict between India and Bangladesh over the Teesta is political with little to do with the river itself. Is there any hope for the river?

River Teesta originates at Tso Lamo, Sikkim, flows through West Bengal and then enters the Rangpur division in Bangladesh. It is the fourth largest among 54 rivers shared by India and Bangladesh. The river basin is populated with over 30 million people who depend on the river water for drinking and domestic use, irrigation, industry and religious activities. Besides fishing, agriculture is one of the important sources of livelihood in the basin and sustains more than 90 percent of the rural population. 

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Chhattisgarh’s Bemetara district has been facing severe water shortage for a while now. Rainwater harvesting could be a solution to this.

There seems to be no end to the drinking water crisis in the Bemetara district in Chhattisgarh. It is only becoming worse with every passing day. More than 40 percent of all the hand pumps installed in the district have run dry due to the depletion of groundwater level.  

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Phoolbasan Yadav’s journey towards empowering women in Chhattisgarh is an inspiring one.

Phoolbasan Yadav from the remote Sukaldaihan village in the Rajnandgaon district in Chhattisgarh shot to fame for her untiring effort in empowering the women of her village. "Since my childhood, I had experienced extreme poverty and hunger, and I feel that similar is the plight of lakhs of women in the country. I want to help them,” says Yadav.

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The video tells the story of residents of Korba and nearby villages who are affected by the fly ash from power plants which makes Korba the fifth critically polluted area in the country.

Korba in Chhattisgarh is an industrial area which has a significant number of coal mines and thermal power plants. Fly ash is a byproduct of the thermal power plants and has become a significant problem for the residents of Korba now. More than one lakh metric tonnes of fly ash is generated annually by the eight thermal power plants in Korba in Chhattisgarh which produce 6090 megawatts of electricity.

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