People and Organisations

  • Come monsoon, the villages in the Sundarbans islands witness nature’s fury with floodwaters overriding all boundaries and inundating huge tracts of land. As such, the earthen embankments, stretching to 3600 kms on the 54 inhabited islands out of a total of 102 in the Sundarbans, protect scores of ...
    Usha Dewaniposted 3 years 11 months agoread more
  • The cracks on the parched land of Bundelkhand are waiting for the monsoon to quench the thirst of its arid landscape. Despite the wide-spread drought here, Pipara, one of the villages in the region, stands apart as the only one that has not run completely dry.  “Only seven-10 percent of vill...
    makarandpurohitposted 4 years 2 weeks agoread more
  • Vikram Patel, a 71-year-old farmer in Chidavad village of Dewas district in Madhya Pradesh is one of the first farmers to have embraced the idea of farm ponds to increase the groundwater level in his farm. “For the last two decades, the Chidavad village in the Tonk Khurd block, was one among the ...
    makarandpurohitposted 4 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • Ramesh Mali, a farmer in his late thirties, looks at his farmland nervously. It has been 13 days since the Simhastha Maha Kumbh festival, 2016, concluded. The district administration had acquired his four bigha land (approximately 0.64 hectares) for the festival. The barricades and the concrete left...
    makarandpurohitposted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • Hirehandigola village in Gadag district of North Karnataka is an unsurprising picture of rural India. Hot, dry and dusty, it is populated by a largely lingayat community. About half the village has household toilets, significantly higher than the district average of 24% as per the 2011 Census. At fi...
    priyadposted 4 years 1 month agoread more
  • Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur are among the most vulnerable districts affected by cyclones and climate change in coastal Odisha. In the last few decades, the coasts of Odisha have witnessed three major devastating storms. The Super Cyclone, Cyclone Phailin and the Cyclone HudHud all severely disrupte...
    makarandpurohitposted 4 years 2 months agoread more
  • Since India became independent in 1947, the central and state governments have introduced various rural development schemes, and have been trying to get them to converge. While this effort hasn't been as impactful on a large scale, there are some success stories. Sarda Panchayat in Sambalpur, Odisha...
    makarandpurohitposted 4 years 2 months agoread more
  • The World Culture Festival (WCF) organised by the Art of Living Foundation (AoL) has been in the news ever since Manoj Misra, an environmental activist and convenor of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, filed a petition with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in December 2015. He asked for the event to be stalled ...
    Swati Bansalposted 4 years 3 months agoread more
  • "A job isn’t just a job. It’s who you are". That quote seems to define the five people who are being honoured for their extraordinary dedication in ensuring water to the people in Nagaon and the newly declared Hojai district of Assam. What better way to celebrate the theme of World Water Day 201...
    Usha Dewaniposted 4 years 3 months agoread more
  • Water logging has been a persistent problem for farmers in the coastal areas of Puri, Odisha. Construction of national highways has affected the natural water drainage system and has changed the lands of thousands of farmers since 1980. Nobody noticed that the Ratnachira river and other natural cana...
    makarandpurohitposted 4 years 4 months agoread more
  • 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 broade...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 years 4 months agoread more
  • 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...
    Usha Dewaniposted 4 years 6 months agoread more
  • 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 th...
    Usha Dewaniposted 4 years 6 months agoread more
  • 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 agric...
    makarandpurohitposted 4 years 6 months agoread more
  • "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 repo...
    makarandpurohitposted 4 years 6 months agoread more
  • 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...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 years 6 months agoread more
  • 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 ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 years 7 months agoread more
  • 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% ...
    Usha Dewaniposted 4 years 7 months agoread more
  • 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 c...
    makarandpurohitposted 4 years 7 months agoread more
  • About WET 2016VIKSAT 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 n...
    Ramesh Gadhviposted 4 years 7 months agoread more

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Datameet and Centre for Internet and Society have released a prototype web app that allows users to access daily rainfall data from Jan 1981 till Dec 2017 for a watershed of their interest.

Understanding water in all its forms in every part of the water cycle is vital to ensuring its sustainable and equitable management. Whether there is a scarcity of water or an excess of it, knowing precisely the quantum of water, whether underground in aquifers, embedded in the soil as soil moisture or in numerous lakes, reservoirs and rivers is vital. Knowing where and to what degree water is consumed, in agriculture or water thirsty cities and industries is equally essential to encourage judicious use of the resource.

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A remarkable, first-ever collection of 35 essays on India’s future, by a diverse set of authors – activists, researchers, media practitioners.

Alternative Futures: India Unshackled is a book that brings together scenarios of an India that is politically and socially egalitarian, radically democratic, economically sustainable and equitable, and socio-culturally diverse and harmonious. Edited by KJ Joy and Ashish Kothari, with a foreword by Shiv Vishwanathan, Alternative Futures: India Unshackled covers a wide range of issues, organized under four sections.

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The rich biodiversity of Thane Creek needs to be protected for it supports various flora and fauna with flamingos as its major attraction.

Thane Creek is an inlet along the shoreline of the Arabian Sea that isolates the city of Mumbai from the Indian mainland. It is Asia's largest creek with a length of 26 km. The creek is lined up with mangroves on both sides and plays host to a lot of species ranging from iconic flamingos to tiny crabs. 

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A new project tries to save the ecologically diverse Chorao island by including the inhabitants of the island in conservation efforts.

Located just 5 km away from the capital city of Panaji, Chorao island, along the Mandovi river, is one of the largest islands in Goa. The island has a unique ecosystem that is different from the other sanctuaries in the state. The Chorao island in Mandovi is one of the best mangrove forests and houses most of the mangrove species found in Goa.

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In the first of a two-part series on the ecological degradation of the Palk Bay, a video explains the importance of conserving this biodiversity hotspot.

The Palk Bay is a 15,000 sq km biodiversity conglomeration nestled between the island nation of Sri Lanka and South East Peninsula India with a coastal length of 250 km on the Indian side. 

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The villagers of Khalabari are hopeful that the overhead tank being built in the village would make drinking water easily accessible to them.

In the early hours, the villagers of Khalabari, a tribal-dominated village in the Dumuripadar gram panchayat of Koraput district in Odisha step out of their houses for bringing wood and drinking water. The road to the forest where the water is available is rocky. Both women and men walk a few kilometres on the harsh terrain to bring essential commodities needed for their survival. Khalabari, with a population of 186, has 45 households. 

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Pearl farming could be a profitable occupation for farmers residing on the banks of rivers. Here's the story of a successful pearl farmer.

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 Wainganga river. The river was in its natural state, providing a healthy life to every creature living in and around it like snakes, fishes and clams.

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The video tells the story of the women of Podapathar village in Himgir panchayat in Odisha who, through their collective efforts, managed to improve the drinking water situation in their village.

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 at 4 am. The nearest drinking water source was 1 km away. "In 2002, the panchayat installed two hand pumps at Podapathar but the water from the hand pump was not fit for drinking," says Dutiya Kisan, a woman in her 50s.

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Here's a video that tells the story of the struggle of the people displaced by the Hirakud dam and their right over the land.

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 their successors have been residing in the periphery of the Hirakud reservoir in 34 unsurveyed villages.

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How Balasore became recognised as a fluorosis-affected district in Odisha

Back in 2015, the Member of Parliament (MP) from Balasore, Odisha got to know about a strange problem in his constituency. There were reports of a number of bone deformities and crippled people in areas surrounding Patripal village of Remuna block. They seemed to be related to fluoride in water, causing a disease called Skeletal Fluorosis.

The problem was that Government data seemed to indicate the entire Balasore district to be free from fluoride (See above figure). But how then were people getting crippled? This started a journey for the MP from Balasore, Rabindra Kumar Jena.

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