People and Organisations

  • The Himalayan region is facing an unprecedented onslaught of modernization. Large-scale construction, deforestation and pollution are taking a toll on it's pristine eciology. This includes the beautiful Bhimtal lake in Nainital district, Uttarakhand. A case study has been carried out to study this e...
    sabitakaushalposted 6 years 4 months agoread more
  • Water is not ‘gender-neutral’, especially in India. It is the woman of the house who walks an average of 6 km each day to collect water for household use. In the Kumaon region, a newly married bride visits the family spring to fetch water a day after the wedding, in a symbolic tradition of ...
    sabitakaushalposted 6 years 4 months agoread more
  • The dependence on natural resources is ever increasing, and so is the need to manage it better. Rural communities are relatively more dependent on crucial natural resources such as land, water and forest, the exploitation of which directly affects their livelihood. Realizing that dictating terms fro...
    Seethaposted 6 years 4 months agoread more
  • In Jhansi, Bundelkhand farmers experience great uncertainties in agriculture due to erratic rainfall. Covering 13 districts of southwest Uttar Pradesh and Northern Madhya Pradesh with a population of approximately 21 million, Bundelkhand is a typical semi-arid region.  Around 83% of the area is...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 6 years 4 months agoread more
  • Tamilnadu has a rich tradition of tank management at the village level. Every village had one or more irrigation tanks, locally known as ‘kanmais’ or ‘eris’, and a drinking water tank called ‘ooranis’. This system worked for centuries with the support of residents and the local administr...
    Seethaposted 6 years 4 months agoread more
  • In 1989, Bihar's Darbhanga town boasted 213 ponds. Today nearly 25% of them have been drained, leveled to the ground, filled up and built over. Hotels, houses and highrise buildings have bulldozed their way onto these water bodies. Do we not need these ponds any longer? Are they better of as bedrock...
    sabitakaushalposted 6 years 4 months agoread more
  • Our day-to-day dependence on fresh water is tremendous, whether for domestic or agricultural use. Theoretically, we know that it is a finite resource and that it can't be taken for granted but in practice, we do. India has an average rainfall of around 1150 mm but lets out nearly 1263 billion cubic ...
    Seethaposted 6 years 4 months agoread more
  • Children love bedtime stories. Fairy tales about kings, princesses, ogres and other magical creatures. For a change, what if we could tell them stories to make them aware of pressing issues that we are faced with. Like water, for example. 'Water Stories from Around the World' is one such compilation...
    Prarthana Vishalposted 6 years 4 months agoread more
  • Looking through that peephole where the future seems dark and bleak conjures up discomfort. We would all rather envision a better, happier tomorrow but anticipating a possible bleak future is crucial for communities to plan in the context of changes, says Dr. Petra Tschakert, Professor of Geography ...
    Usha Dewaniposted 6 years 5 months agoread more
  • Nidhan is about 30 km away from its district headquarter Morena, Madhya Pradesh. The village receives an annual average rainfall of 450 mm concentrated in the months of July and August. While much of the village depends on rainfed agriculture, the main source of irrigation in the rabi (winter) seaso...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 6 years 5 months agoread more
  • 'Development through Education and Education through development’ is the motto of Vigyan Ashram, a residential school situated in Pabal, Maharashtra. Dr.Kalbaug founded Vigyan Ashram on the principles of natural systems of learning.A Ph.D in Food Technology from the University of Illinois, Chicago...
    Hamsa Iyerposted 6 years 5 months agoread more
  • Northeast India has been in turmoil over the last two decades or so because of unbridled hydropower development in the region. This article is an effort to understand the extent of hydropower development in the region, the multi-faceted and multi layered conflicts unleashed by this development and a...
    chicuposted 6 years 5 months agoread more
  • Meghalaya, the wettest place in the world till date, has started facing the consequences of climate change. In the recent past, the state has seen pronounced variability in rainfall. This has given rise to myriad problems in the predominantly agricultural state.Research has shown that Northeast Indi...
    Usha Dewaniposted 6 years 5 months agoread more
  • The Government of Jharkhand has published a technical document in order to encourage the construction and usage of toilets in the state of Jharkhand. The manual begins with an introduction to Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA), a government programme to tackle open defecation in rural India. The basic...
    sabitakaushalposted 6 years 5 months agoread more
  • The Sabarmati Riverfront Development has been hailed as a project towards urban regeneration & environmental improvement, which will transform the river to a focal point of leisure and recreation.However, this fails to look at the river system as a whole, and limits the development to an isolate...
    sabitakaushalposted 6 years 5 months agoread more
  • The Internet and mobile revolutions have combined to give birth to whole new generations of tools that put skills that were squarely in the domain of specialists a decade ago, in the hands of laypersons and amateurs. A lot of that has to do with the development of software and online services that r...
    balaposted 6 years 5 months agoread more
  • "Swaraj is a meaningless term, if we desire to keep a fifth of India under perpetual subjection, and deliberately deny to them the fruits of national culture". - Mahatma GandhiKiran from Bahurasa in Madhya Pradesh has been the sole bread winner for her family since her husband is a drunkard. She get...
    Prarthana Vishalposted 6 years 5 months agoread more
  • Chennai's drinking water seeps down the drain Red Hills reservoir, which serves as Chennai's primary storage, is leaking water due to damage in one of its weirs (a barrier across a river designed to alter its flow characteristics). This is causing it to lose precious water meant for Chenn...
    Swati Bansalposted 6 years 5 months agoread more
  • It all started in the eighties when Friends Rural Centre, a group of Gandhian Quakers in Rasuliya village, near Hoshanagabad, Madhya Pradesh came in contact with Masanobu Fukuoka. Fukuoka was a Japanese man who had authored the book 'The One-Straw Revolution' and who was promoting  natural farm...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 6 years 5 months agoread more
  • The mountain states are at a loss when it comes to a defined livelihood option for its inhabitants. Himachal Pradesh is no different. While the upper reaches of the state have excelled in growing niche products like apple and chilgoza (a variety of pine nut), areas like Chamba that are below 40...
    Manu Moudgilposted 6 years 5 months agoread more

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Simon Oraon, leading a people’s movement to save water and forests in Ranchi, Jharkhand

It was 1961. Simon Oraon, a Class IV school drop-out began his journey against drought in Bedo, a tribal block of Ranchi, Jharkhand. An idealistic young man, he along with his fellow villagers began constructing earthen dams to capture rainwater for recharging groundwater. This along with his broader work on self-initiated environmental and forest protection systems provided a tipping point that rejuvenated the forests and brought the wells and surface water bodies back to life.

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State sponsored policies and programmes must be sensitive to promote sustainable developmental activities in this already fragile social ecological system in Tamil Nadu.

Today's rural poor operate in highly risky and uncertain environments. Grappling with multiple stresses like eroding natural resources, poor assets and increasing climate variability, they are constantly adjusting their lives and livelihoods--changing a crop grown, digging another well, or migrating to a nearby town. To understand how livelihoods are changing in semi-arid India and what this implies for people's vulnerability to current and future impacts of climate change, we visited the semi-arid regions of the Moyar Bhavani river basin in Tamil Nadu.

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The Apatani tribe in Arunachal Pradesh is known for its paddy cum fish agriculture. They practice this as well as other sustainable water management techniques that allow them to coexist and thrive.

Ziro Valley, which figures in the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as a unique cultural landscape, sits at a height of 5600 feet in Arunachal Pradesh. It is inhabited by the Apatani tribe who are completely confined to the valley. With every aspect of Apatani life deeply connected to the sacredness of their landscape, the traditions and systems of their everyday life and livelihoods carry great lessons on sustainable natural resource management.

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Rice-fish systems allow for the production of fish and other aquatic animals as well as rice from the same rice field area, and generally without causing reductions in rice yields.

Coastal regions of Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha have been hit by cyclonic storms for more than two decades. These have severely affected the livelihood of the communities living in the region. Ashok Das of Junapangara village is one such farmer who had suffered massive agricultural losses. He owned around two acres of land, including homestead land, with a pond. With a wife, two daughters and a son to support, he gave up agriculture in 2011 and took up the job of a labourer.

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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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The river Muthai, once the pride of Pune city, is in a diseased state. The Muthai River Walk hopes to reconnect people to the forgotten river and understand her importance for their own existence.

The river Mutha, lovingly called 'Muthai'--meaning 'mother Mutha' in Marathi--is dying a slow death thanks to rapidly urbanising Pune which is depositing huge amounts of untreated sewage and dirt in its waters. However, the situation was different earlier. The river was revered and was a part of the everyday lives of the people in the city.

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Emmanuel Theophilus was awarded the ' Bhagirath Prayas Samman' at the India Rivers Day 2015 for his valiant and untiring effort to safeguard the integrity of the Mahakali River.

The epic voyage--Nadisutra--along the Ganga may have been the high point of Emmanuel Theophilus’s recent work, but there have been many more peaks and valleys for this fervent mountaineer cum ecologist. Theo lives in a remote village near Munsiyari in Uttarakhand. Once a full-time employee of the National Dairy Development Board and later of its offshoot National Tree Growers’ Cooperative Federation, he went to work with the Foundation for Ecological Security, a national NGO.

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Decreasing rainfall in Assam is causing a decline in tea yield, but the crop itself is somewhat adapting to the impacts of climate change, as are tea growers.

Assam, which lies on either side of the Brahmaputra River and borders Bangladesh and Myanmar, is the world's largest tea-growing region (Wikipedia). According to estimates by the Tea Board of India in 2007, the state has 3.11 lakh hectares of area under tea cultivation--more than 52% of India's total tea area.

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Water ATMs have been in use in India for a decade but who are they helping and are they fulfilling their objective, which is to provide safe and clean drinking water to the poor at a low cost?

A water ATM, as the name implies, is a sort of a water vending machine similar to bank ATMs except that in a water ATM, money goes in to the machine in return for water. These machines, which run on a cash as well as a prepaid card or smart card system are built, owned and operated by private companies that have rights over public resources such as land and water. It is also not clear how much of groundwater a company can draw in a day.

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About WET 2016
VIKSAT announces the next batch of the WASH Educators Training (WET 2016). This batch is particularly for the Institutions/applicants from the western eco-regions of India working on issues related to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). The training is directed towards creating and nurturing a cadre of young educators for better understanding of water and WASH issues.

February 24, 2016 10:00AM - March 4, 2016 7:00AM
January 15, 2016 11:45PM

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