Books and Book Reviews
Narmada, a name that translates into ‘One that bestows happiness’ will, in the next 20 years, pass through turbulent times. The question is not of the distance or the journey that this river covers, but the various points at which this ancient river is intercepted by new, modern dams.
Motivated by Anupam Mishra's 'Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Tallab', this book describes the history of the ponds in Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh including details on how these ponds were established and what caused their untimely deaths. Anil Yadav takes us down this path, weaving together myths and lost legends with intricate details of the ponds' construction and economics.
In 1881, there was one tank every 15 square miles in the then state of Karnataka. These tanks irrigated more than 7 lakh acres of land. Tanks were the major source of irrigation and the system was completely managed by beneficiaries, their construction considered a meritorious deed. Their neglect began under the British rule, and continues till the present day ‘big dam’ commitment.
Water scarcity is being felt all across the world today. A major contributor to this loss is the excessive mining of groundwater and the lack of understanding of how traditional water sources in the villages, ponds and wells, contribute in keeping villages self sufficient .
In the last five decades, Indore, in Madhya Pradesh, has witnessed a substantial increase in urbanisation and industrialisation. Its population has also increased from 5,60,936 in 1971 to 2,167,447 in 2011 (Census 2011).
This paper documents one of the unique microcredit projects of UNICEF in three blocks of Erode district in Tamil Nadu. MYRADA, an NGO, has supported the formation of federations that use the fund from UNICEF not as a grant but as a revolving fund for constructing toilets in the houses of the federation members.
The first step to sustainable agriculture is soil and water conservation. Drylands are more prone to erosion since they are devoid of vegetative cover for longer periods of time.
The East Calcutta Wetlands are an unappealing mixture of poverty, sunshine and wastewater. The people here have patiently and wisely transformed this ecosystem into an oportunity for food, employment and purified water- for free!
Floods in Bihar have acquired menacing proportions following the embanking of its rivers, which has led to severe dislocations in the society. Estimates suggest that 70% of the population in north Bihar lives under the recurring threat of flood devastation (1). The 2013 floods affected more than 5.9 million people in 3768 villages (2).
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. It is a neat mix of stories with simple messages on conserving, using and respecting water.