Eastern Plateau

Why rivers don’t flow anymore
In a two-part series, we look at the health of rivers across India. Here’s a comprehensive assessment of the rivers of the north and the east. Posted on 07 Jun, 2017 11:13 AM

Rivers in India are always in the news whether it’s the interstate water sharing disputes, dams, sand mining or the recent order of the Uttarakhand high court declaring Ganga and Yamuna as living entities. Seven major river systems, over 400 rivers and numerous streams have sustained lives and livelihoods in India for centuries.

A villager washes utensils in the black water coming out of the coal mines at Kodkel in Raigarh district, Chattisgarh.
From suspecting black magic to diagnosing fluorosis: Madhya Pradesh's struggle
Fluorosis was first discovered in Madhya Pradesh in 1997. Since then half the state has been affected. The people involved in combating the spread of this disease in the state share their story. Posted on 02 Oct, 2015 12:08 PM

It was 1995.

The use of borewells in fluoride-affected areas, such as this one in Dhar, is one of the primary reasons for fluorosis. (Source: Chicu Lokgariwar)
Keepers of a complex irrigation system in Bihar
The Ahar Pynes irrigation systems were originally built and managed by the Zamindars of South Bihar. How does the system function today and who is responsible for it? Posted on 02 Mar, 2015 12:28 PM

For as long as local records exist, the countryside of  South Bihar has witnessed a lone man striding across the fields night and day. In the past, he was accompanied by a lantern and a lathi. Today, his companions are a bicycle and a mobile phone. He is the Bandhwe, a man charged with overseeing the irrigation channels of the area.

Rameshwar Yadav, Bandhwe of Jamune Dashayan Paine
The pond with a purpose
The residents of Gobariya village built two ponds for livestock rearing and horticulture, but a chance discovery led to them becoming a quicker and better income generator. Posted on 21 Feb, 2015 06:02 PM

The Bhuiyas, a group of people who belong to the Scheduled Castes in Jharkhand and Bihar, have historically been landless foragers -- a fact reflected in their name which means 'of the earth'.

Celebrating the pond at Gobaria
Tribals in Jharkhand plan for water security
To let people make their own decisions and to understand that the best solution doesn't always work are two big lessons that have come from meetings with Jharkhand's tribals. Posted on 14 Oct, 2014 03:15 PM

"Clean water", emphasized the woman. "'Close to the house. Whenever it is needed", she added. She was speaking at a village meeting organised to determine what was needed to make the village water secure. The discussions had begun with an attempt to define water security.

A planning meeting in Bhawani Chowki
The tragic tale of toxic Jadugoda: Videos documenting the devastating effects of uranium mining in Jharkhand
Jadugoda, Jharkhand, has the distinction of being India’s only underground mine for uranium. his coveted uranium, however, comes at a huge price for the local inhabitants in the area. Villagers in the proximity of these mines suffer from the ill effects of this toxic substance and face major health problems. These videos highlight the stark reality of our so called ‘progress’: the plight and the health and safety issues of the tribals in this area. Posted on 12 Feb, 2013 08:11 AM

The rich treasure of uranium in this belt turns toxic for the ‘adivasis’, engulfing them in severe health and safety issues

A shocking story of ‘Toxic neglect’ (Source of video: womenaloudindia)

Examining the storm protection services of mangroves of Orissa during the 1999 cyclone – A special article in EPW
Mangroves are tropical and subtropical coastal forests that grow in inter-tidal saline areas and estuary mouths between the land and the sea. Posted on 06 Jan, 2012 11:03 PM

These ecosystems provide a bunch of direct and indirect services to humankind. This special article in Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) by Saudamini Das examines whether the mangrove forests in Kendrapada district of Orissa played any protective role during the severe cyclone that hit the state in October 1999. 

Floods in Orissa: No lessons learnt – An article in EPW
This article on floods in Orissa shows how no lessons have been learnt yet. Posted on 06 Jan, 2012 02:26 PM

This article by Kishore C Samal in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) discusses how in the natural disater prone state of Orissa the authorities have not been able to draw up an effective disaster management plan and politicians continue to play politics with relief works. It argues that for dealing with these disasters and the relief and rehabilitation work that follows what is needed is the participation of the local community and functionaries of panchayati raj institutions, and coordination with national and international bodies.

Big dams and protests in India: A study of Hirakud dam – An article in EPW
This article by Arun Kumar Nayak in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) examines the movement against the construction of the Hirakud dam in Orissa. Posted on 06 Jan, 2012 12:29 PM

It is evident that the domestic resistance to the project was variously compromised by nationalist rhetoric, imperatives of state development and absence of transnational support. The Hirakud dam project has failed on all of its objectives – flood management, hydropower production, irrigation and navigation. Its socio-economic impact has been devastating.

Gravity based spring water supply systems in Andhra Pradesh: Lessons and steps towards the future
Current studies and activities indicate that indigenous knowledge is appropriate for local situations and that it is efficient and sustainable to springboard from such knowledge and practices. Posted on 22 Nov, 2011 07:35 AM

Guest post by – Rahul Bakare, Arghyam

 This article details an example where local knowledge has been used to develop access to safe water in the tribal areas of the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh