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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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Solar energy might be free but the equipment needed to tap into it is expensive. Can farmers benefit without falling into the subsidy trap?

Indian farmers depend on groundwater for irrigation but often, there is a shortage of electricity that is required to pump out this water. While diesel pumps are an option, they are costly to run. A better alternative is to tap into freely available solar power. However, this technology is quite expensive at present and effective subsidies and incentives drive its usage. Another catch to this ‘free’ power situation is the perception that if groundwater were available more freely, then farmers might end up exploiting it.

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November 30, 2013 12:00AM

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Bone disease fluorosis can be prevented if people understand the importance of good nutrition

Fluorosis is a bone disease that is caused by a high consumption of fluoride. Most think that it is a direct result of drinking water with high fluoride content alone but it isn’t so. Nutrition plays an  important role in the onset of this disease. Including vitamin C and calcium in our diets as well as modifying cooking methods to lessen the absorption of fluoride from cooking water are crucial to preventing fluorosis.

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