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September 15, 2015 12:00AM

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Devithans are shrouded in rituals and myths but serve as an important institution to preserve springs. While religious sentiments sometimes get in the way, development around them continues.

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase". - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Residents who live near the lake, representatives from the Taxi Drivers’ & Shopkeepers' Association, Tourism Department, and the Police Department have worked together towards a common goal.

There are about 227 lakes and wetlands in Sikkim, many of which are revered by the people as holy. While Gurudongmar and Keopchari are popular with the tourists, Tsomgo lake at an altitude of 12,400 ft above sea level, is perhaps Sikkim's most visited tourist spot. 

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Decreasing demand in India for earthen pots to store drinking water has affected thousands of potters' livelihoods. The film 'Vanishing Potters' provides a closer look.

What's not to like about clay pots? "They cool water naturally due to the tiny air pores present in them, are affordable, save energy and are eco-friendly when compared to refrigerators", says Gautam Bandhopadhaya, a water expert in Chhattisgarh.

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'Tale of Tapatjuri' is the story of a nondescript village in Nagaon district of Assam gripped by fluorosis -- to a degree that could scare many.

"When I wake up in the morning, I feel like a normal person, but when I get up, I realize that I cannot walk properly. I feel like running but I cannot", laments Md. Manik Uddin. This isn't unique to just Manik. Many others of Tapatjuri village in Nagaon, Assam feel the same. From infants to the elderly, fluorosis has slowly but fiercely crept into the lives of the people.

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6000 villages in Meghalaya depend on springs and spring-fed rivers for household water needs. Their drying up threatens water security and future growth. Now, there is some hope.

Meghalaya boasts one of the rainiest places on the planet at Cherrapunjee, receiving over 11,000 mm of annual rainfall. Yet, despite all the rain, water availability remains a problem for many rural and urban communities across the State. Natural springs that have provided drinking water for generations are in crisis. Declining flow and contamination of aquifers means less water for everyone just as demand for water is on the rise. Flow is decreasing due to ecological degradation and possibly a changing a climate.

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The science behind groundwater isn't well understood but how can this be changed so that people manage their water better?

Groundwater isn't understood very well, especially in hilly areas where springs seem to appear and vanish of their own accord. However, as science tells us, there's no effect without a cause, and understanding the reason why water flows where it does can ensure optimal use of this natural resource to support life and livelihood. 

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The recent jaundice outbreak in Sambalpur, Odisha has again unfolded several questions related to rise of water-borne diseases in urban areas in India. This film explores these problems.

Between May and December 2014, 17 deaths were registered in Sambalpur due to jaundice but residents say that the death toll due to water-borne diseases is much more than that. In January 2015, the Odisha High Court issued a notice to the state government asking it to furnish details on the steps taken to check the Jaundice outbreak in Sambalpur. 

What is Jaundice?

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The concepts of System of Rice Intensification help farmers adopt practices based on their local conditions. Farmers, and an SRI expert in Chhattisgarh, show how it has worked for them.

Muneswar and more than 170 farmers in Ambikapur, Chhattisgarh have no regrets after shifting over from traditional agricultural methods of farming to the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method. Why would they? Most of them have been overwhelmed by the kind of returns they have got compared to their investments.

"The crop yield has increased to more than two and half times, and we are getting better returns," says Kisan Naihar Sai, an SRI beneficiary.

What is System of Rice Intensification (SRI)?

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Forming 17% of India's popultion, Dalits still have to depend on the goodwill of dominant castes for many things including access to basics. Why?

“The Dalits of this country get access to water on the goodwill of the dominant caste. Water to untouchables is still miles away,” says Goldy M George, a Dalit activist and an expert on Dalit rights.

Caste-based discrimination still persistsin India many years after independence, and access to natural resources like land, water, etc. is still denied to most Dalits. However, this isn't the popular opinion at all although there are numerous case studies from across the country on violence against Dalits trying to access water.  

Who are Dalits?

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