Society, Culture, Religion and History

  • Sarla Yadav, a resident of Yamuna Ghat 24 is a treasure trove of stories on the river Yamuna. She runs a boat business with her son Shyam who provides a nuanced personal account of living by the river and of eking out a meagre livelihood by plying boats. They are among a few families who have not so...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 days 4 hours agoread more
  • As the world’s largest democracy is all geared for its biggest test - for voters to select their Members of Parliament and the Prime Minister, the top issues that dominate the electoral agenda at the national level have been increased jobs opportunities, controlling inflation, and reducing farmers...
    priyadposted 2 weeks 1 day agoread more
  • Droughts are one of the most feared natural calamities impacting agriculture and food production as well as the morale of millions of farmers in India. Recent studies show that the frequency of droughts is increasing. While droughts are known to cause severe rural distress, little is known on how ge...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 weeks 1 day agoread more
  • Leela Patel (19) explains how women at Wali, a tribal gram panchayat in Kurabad block, just 30 km away from Udaipur, manage menstruation by using old scraps of cloth. She’s aware of cases when women have had to use ash, dust and soil to soak up their periods. Buying a pack of sanitary pads is a lu...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 weeks 3 days agoread more
  • 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 4 weeks 6 hours 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 4 weeks 1 day 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 month 5 days 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 month 1 week 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 month 1 week 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 1 month 2 weeks 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 1 month 2 weeks 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 1 month 3 weeks 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 1 month 3 weeks 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 1 month 3 weeks 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 1 month 3 weeks 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 1 month 3 weeks 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 1 month 3 weeks 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 2 months 7 hours 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 2 months 2 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 2 months 1 week agoread more

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A panel of experts and representatives of the riverine community discuss changes observed in the Yamuna and its relationship with people.

Sarla Yadav, a resident of Yamuna Ghat 24 is a treasure trove of stories on the river Yamuna. She runs a boat business with her son Shyam who provides a nuanced personal account of living by the river and of eking out a meagre livelihood by plying boats. They are among a few families who have not sold their boats so far.

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As India votes this month in the Lok Sabha Elections, WaterAid India takes a look at how water and sanitation are still top of mind for many female voters across the country.

As the world’s largest democracy is all geared for its biggest test - for voters to select their Members of Parliament and the Prime Minister, the top issues that dominate the electoral agenda at the national level have been increased jobs opportunities, controlling inflation, and reducing farmers’ distress. While these could be the top priorities for the rest of India, what dominates the agenda at the local level are every day issues that may seem mundane to many - water and sewage lines.

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A study finds women are hit the hardest during droughts due to food and water scarcity, loss of income and a range of health problems resulting from it.

Droughts are one of the most feared natural calamities impacting agriculture and food production as well as the morale of millions of farmers in India. Recent studies show that the frequency of droughts is increasing. While droughts are known to cause severe rural distress, little is known on how gender influences the experiences of men and women in coping with droughts.

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A sanitary pad manufacturing unit in a Rajasthan village brings women together and breaks taboo around menstruation.

Leela Patel (19) explains how women at Wali, a tribal gram panchayat in Kurabad block, just 30 km away from Udaipur, manage menstruation by using old scraps of cloth. She’s aware of cases when women have had to use ash, dust and soil to soak up their periods. Buying a pack of sanitary pads is a luxury in this poverty-stricken belt. Despite cramping and pain, women here would hide it away and pretend like it doesn't exist. The sign of misogyny, of the feminine as the other, is dominant in the area. Menstruation is considered dirty and disgusting.

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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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