Society, Culture, Religion and History

  • India is on the brink of a major water crisis. With drought looming over the southern and western parts of the country, the existing water resources are in peril. Rivers are getting more polluted, their catchments, water-holding and water-harvesting mechanisms are deteriorating and groundwater level...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 day 37 min agoread more
  • India, the second largest population in the world, is facing a water crisis with over 600 million people facing acute water shortage, as per a report by Niti Aayog, the government think-tank. India’s water crisis is expected to worsen, threatening the country’s food security as over 80 percent o...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 days 17 hours agoread more
  • India has, over the last 50 years, spent approximately $50 billion on developing water resources and another estimated $7.5 billion on drinking water, with little to show for the money (Devraj 2002). Apart from big dams and irrigation systems, the government has encouraged the digging of millions of...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 week 1 day agoread more
  • “There is a special type of black ant that is visible just before (and during) the onset of heavy rains. They start coming out of the ground in large numbers with their eggs in their mouths and only travel in a straight line, like a railway track,” informs Chandrika Mahato, a keen observer of ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 week 3 days agoread more
  • "Darjeeling today has a thriving water business, with a fleet of 105 trucks plying three or four trips a day from April to June, carrying 5500 to 6500 litres of water on each run" Source: Lama and Rai (2016)  'Chokho Pani: An Interface Between Regional And Environment In Darjeeling'. Himalay...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 week 3 days agoread more
  • Hundreds gathered to release the Safai Karmachari Manifesto ahead of Lok Sabha elections 2019 at the Indian Social Institute, Delhi on April 4, 2019. The manifesto was released by the Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA), a movement for the elimination of manual scavenging and restoring the rights of the ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 weeks 4 days agoread more
  • Odisha is home to 11 major rivers of which many are interstate rivers such as the Mahanadi. As climate change makes extreme rainfall events more frequent in the state, there is an urgent need to better manage the rivers and their basins. Most of these rivers are faced with conflicts arising from iss...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 weeks 6 days agoread more
  • The recent news on the forced eviction of more than 1,000,000 tribal and other forest-dwelling households from 16 states by a Supreme Court order has again brought the long-debated issue of the role of the state and the community in forest governance to the forefront. The order comes in response to ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 weeks 3 days agoread more
  • The national conclave on food held on March 15, 2019 at New Delhi saw experts urge policy changes to promote sustainable food production especially organic farming as well as regulations to reduce misuse of antibiotics and pesticides. The discussions organised by the Centre for Science and Environme...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 weeks 4 days agoread more
  • Compiled by Pankaj Kumar S., Resource Person and Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate, 22 December 2006 From Sarbeswara Sahoo, Kalpataru, Angul, Orissa, Posted 21 November 2006Kalpataru is an NGO working in central Orissa on common property resources, specifically sustainable water resources manag...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 weeks 5 days agoread more
  • From Arati Davis, Bangalore Compiled by Pankaj Kumar S., Resource Person; additional research provided by Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate, 14 September 2006  Original Query: Arati Davis, Svaraj, BangalorePosted: 21 August 2006 I work with a Bangalore based NGO which focuses on Inte...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 weeks 5 days agoread more
  • Compiled by Pankaj Kumar S., Resource Person; additional research provided by Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate 5 July 2006 Original Query: Sharadbala Joshi, Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC),Loughborough University, UK Posted: 16 June 2006 I have primarily been involved with urban...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 weeks 5 days agoread more
  • Lower Subansiri hydel project: SC seeks review of NGT's order granting nod to the project Setting aside the order of the National Green Tribunal giving a go-ahead to the 2,000-MW Lower Subansiri hydroelectric project, the Supreme Court has called for a review of the project. The court has found fau...
    swatiposted 4 weeks 1 day agoread more
  • The Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) cover 3500 kms across eight countries namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. Commonly described as the “water towers for Asia” the HKH are the source of 10 major rivers including the mighty Ganges, Brahmaputra and the Ind...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 month 3 days agoread more
  • UN releases the World Water Development Report 2019 During the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and in conjunction to the World Water Day, the United Nations has launched the World Water Development Report titled Leaving no one behind. The report demonstrates how imp...
    swatiposted 1 month 5 days agoread more
  • According to the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) website, access to toilets has improved in India and 28 out of 36 states and Union Territories are now open defecation free (ODF). While that’s good news, managing faecal sludge in ODF states in an eco-friendly way continues to be a big challenge. ...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 month 1 week agoread more
  • The migratory bird season is in full swing and avid bird watchers have flocked to Surajpur wetland to sight the charismatic Common Teal, Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Pochard, Bar-headed Goose, Greylag Goose, Northern Shoveler and Gadwall. It is noon and some birds can be seen resting and preenin...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 month 1 week agoread more
  • In India, women often travel long distances to fetch water. This in turn affects school attendance for young girls, and has a domino effect on other development indicators. Women and girls are an important stakeholder to be considered in the design of interventions and programmes to ensure access to...
    priyadposted 1 month 2 weeks agoread more
  • NGT takes a stand on Deepor Beel During the hearing of a petition filed by Right to Information activist Rohit Choudhury on Deepor Beel, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has remarked that the earth is not for humans alone and that all creatures, including wildlife, have a right over it. The tribun...
    swatiposted 1 month 3 weeks agoread more
  • Forced eviction ordered for more than one million tribals and forest-dwellers After the government failed to defend the Forest Rights Act, the Supreme Court has ordered forced eviction of more than 1,000,000 tribal and other forest-dwelling households from forestlands across 16 states. The order wi...
    swatiposted 1 month 3 weeks agoread more

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India is facing a major water crisis and a number of water sector challenges remain unaddressed even today.

India is on the brink of a major water crisis. With drought looming over the southern and western parts of the country, the existing water resources are in peril. Rivers are getting more polluted, their catchments, water-holding and water-harvesting mechanisms are deteriorating and groundwater levels are depleting at an alarming rate.

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Civil society activists champion alternatives to conventional water management solutions implemented by the government.

India, the second largest population in the world, is facing a water crisis with over 600 million people facing acute water shortage, as per a report by Niti Aayog, the government think-tank. India’s water crisis is expected to worsen, threatening the country’s food security as over 80 percent of our water is used in agriculture. Twenty-one cities are likely to run out of groundwater by 2020, despite increasing demand, as per the report.

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Private provision of water services is most successful where the operation and maintenance contracts are offered by the local water users.

India has, over the last 50 years, spent approximately $50 billion on developing water resources and another estimated $7.5 billion on drinking water, with little to show for the money (Devraj 2002). Apart from big dams and irrigation systems, the government has encouraged the digging of millions of tube wells and borewells energised by electric and diesel-driven pumps that now provide half of the country’s irrigation. Still, around 120 million people in India do not have access to safe drinking water, and about 21 percent of all communicable disease in this country are water related.

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This study from Bihar shows that official flood prediction systems are often inadequate to understand the true impact of the floods on the population. Local gendered knowledge can help fill this gap.

“There is a special type of black ant that is visible just before (and during) the onset of heavy rains. They start coming out of the ground in large numbers with their eggs in their mouths and only travel in a straight line, like a railway track,” informs Chandrika Mahato, a keen observer of nature, when asked how he predicts rains and floods.

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Better governance and equitable as well as sustainable use of water resources are essential to solving the deepening water crisis in Darjeeling.

"Darjeeling today has a thriving water business, with a fleet of 105 trucks plying three or four trips a day from April to June, carrying 5500 to 6500 litres of water on each run"

Source: Lama and Rai (2016)  'Chokho Pani: An Interface Between Regional And Environment In Darjeeling'. Himalaya, The Journal Of The Association For Nepal And Himalayan Studies, 36(2), 90-98

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Manual scavengers release manifesto to ensure right to a dignified life.

Hundreds gathered to release the Safai Karmachari Manifesto ahead of Lok Sabha elections 2019 at the Indian Social Institute, Delhi on April 4, 2019. The manifesto was released by the Safai Karmachari Andolan (SKA), a movement for the elimination of manual scavenging and restoring the rights of the 1.2 million people who are engaged in this under completely degrading and life-threatening conditions.

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Healthy forests are necessary for healthy rivers and prosperous communities that depend on the river, say experts.

Odisha is home to 11 major rivers of which many are interstate rivers such as the Mahanadi. As climate change makes extreme rainfall events more frequent in the state, there is an urgent need to better manage the rivers and their basins. Most of these rivers are faced with conflicts arising from issues of flood control, sharing water and hydropower, diversion of water for industries and flood control. These problems are frequently aggravated by the unforeseen consequences of continual human interference in the river basins.

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Multilayered governance and involvement of forest dwellers in the decision making processes can go a long way in managing our forests better.

The recent news on the forced eviction of more than 1,000,000 tribal and other forest-dwelling households from 16 states by a Supreme Court order has again brought the long-debated issue of the role of the state and the community in forest governance to the forefront.

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The entire food chain is increasingly becoming the primary source of pesticide and antibiotic contamination putting the health and safety of people at risk.

The national conclave on food held on March 15, 2019 at New Delhi saw experts urge policy changes to promote sustainable food production especially organic farming as well as regulations to reduce misuse of antibiotics and pesticides. The discussions organised by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a New Delhi-based research and advocacy non-profit underlined the need to regulate bad food and bring in a policy-level change in terms of advertisements on junk foods.

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Compiled by Pankaj Kumar S., Resource Person and Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate, 22 December 2006

 From Sarbeswara Sahoo, Kalpataru, Angul, Orissa, Posted 21 November 2006

Kalpataru is an NGO working in central Orissa on common property resources, specifically sustainable water resources management.

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