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Manoj Misra speaks on the much neglected area of the Yamuna river and its floodplains and why its mere clean-up is not enough--especially as the World Culture Festival approaches.

Recent permission granted to the Art of Living to hold the World Culture Festival in the Yamuna floodplains points fingers yet again at the fact that not much has been done to assure its safety. The rapid encroachment of the Yamuna floodplain has raised a few questions. Can the river sustain the rampant commercialisation of its floodplains? Are there national or state legislations that provide statutory protection to rivers as an ecological entity? Manoj Misra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan discusses some of these issues.

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The film titled 'A Hand Pump' tells the story of the villagers of Padapadar, Odisha and their struggle to finally get their right to safe drinking water.

"More than eight villagers in Padapadar have died due to water-borne diseases such as typhoid, diarrhoea, jaundice, etc. in last five years", says Bir Mallick, an active member of Jeevika Suraksha Manch (JSM), an organisation working on tribal rights in Kandhamal district, Odisha. As per a report by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, more than 1000 people have died and over a million have been affected by water-borne diseases due to contaminated water sources in Odisha.

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Constructing naulas, the small structures that house springs in Uttarakhand, requires an intimate knowledge of many sciences. One of the last practitioners of this dying craft tells his story.

No temple is as venerated in Uttarakhand as the little unassuming naulas. These small hut-like structures dot the mountains and hold within them a great treasure--water. Usually made of stone masonry with pyramid-like slate roofs, every naula respresents within it a residing spirit which can range from a simple stone piece to an ornately carved statue. Often, there is also an alcove big enough for a lamp. Inside, the naulas are shaped like a step-well. The number of steps--always odd in count--are usually 3, 5, 7 or more.

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Anita Sharma and Anil Gautam of Peoples Science Institute, Dehradun talk about their work with fluoride affected communities in Madhya Pradesh.

What is the exact problem as regards fluoride contamination in Madhya Pradesh, particularly in Dhar district?

A continuous level of 1.5 mg/l and above of fluoride in drinking water is considered hazardous for the health of bones and teeth. In Madhya Pradesh 27 districts are affected with fluoride contamination.

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Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) share the findings of a study on water filter use in Ahmedabad, Gujarat and discuss its implications in India's overall context.

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Lalit Mohan Sharma of Sehgal Foundation, Gurgaon speaks to India Water Portal about innovative solutions to sail through Mewat's water crisis.

What is the exact problem as regards groundwater salinity, fluoride and water scarcity in Mewat, Haryana? Is the area underlain with saline groundwater aquifers? What is the status of surface water in the area? Can it not reduce dependence on groundwater?

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Can India draw some lessons from the Singaporean water story? Prof Asit Biswas, founder of the Third World Centre for Water Management in Mexico, talks to India Water Portal.

There was a recent report in the Times of India on how Singapore, listed among the 20 smallest countries in the world, made water management and conservation efforts over the years. What lessons can India, a mammoth country draw from this small but densely populated country?

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As the earth warms up, farmers face the most heat. Can they be better prepared and move towards a safer future? The film ‘For a safer future: Insights on climate resilience from India’, shows how.

Gorakhpur of Eastern UP is not new to floods. Her people have understood and adapted to the flow and ebb of the waters that have been a part of their lives for long. People here have learned to live with the flood in tune with nature’s wayward ways. Though nature continues to play truant, recent years have seen an increasingy abrupt, uncertain and accelerated face of these disasters. Flash floods, landslides, water logging–all have become more frequent.

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Seeds are not a just a gateway to the future but also a link between our today & tomorrow, and a harbinger of hope, says Biju Negi of Beej Bachao Andolan.

Beej Bachao Andolan (Save the Seed Movement) is not an organisation nor is it a registered entity. It does not take on projects nor does it crave funding. It is a loose, non-formal collective of farmers and concerned people who believe in the idea of seed and food sovereignty, local food system conservation and other related issues that concern small farmers. It is a more of a philosophy, a thought, a concept that can be anyone’s voice.

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Dr David Molden, Director General, ICIMOD, talks to Monoj Gogoi on his visit to flood-affected Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts of Assam and Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.

Dr Molden, you have visited Dihiri in Dhemaji district and Borsala in Lakhimpur districts. Both these villages are the worst flood affected villages of the region. You also interacted with the communities in these two villages. What was the purpose of this visit? Please share your experiences.

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