Society, Culture, Religion and History

  • A woman stands with a begging bowl and a placard strung around her neck. An old man shuffles along barefoot in the street at Jantar Mantar, the official site of a farmers’ protest in the heart of New Delhi. He finds his way through a group of farmers gathered at the protest site on a hot summer af...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • The annual droughts in Maharashtra have put tremendous pressure on the available water resources in the state. While the government has not been able to provide adequate, potable water to people in both rural and urban areas, the need to explore other decentralised and localised means of harnessing ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • Sneh Bhati, a 52-year-old farmer from Madanpur Khadar in Delhi’s fringes finds the change in the landscape of her 100-year-old village in the last two decades remarkable. Yet it has not taken away the rural charm. Men still sit for hours at the village chaupal (a common meeting spot) cha...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • It was in the late 90s that Raigarh emerged as the hub for power, coal mining and sponge iron in Chhattisgarh. The coalfield in Mand Raigarh is spread over an area of more than 1,12,000 hectares with an estimated 21,117 metric tonnes of coal.  Kosampalli, a small village in the Tamnar block in...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • Can forest conservation policies that ignore the livelihood needs of local, indigenous populations succeed in protecting biodiversity and wildlife? Experiences from the Sundarbans show that such policies not only result in the suffering of the local population, it also leads to the exploitation of ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • As bamboo trees bloomed with long wispy spikes, Loknath Nauri knew it would be a tough year. “More the density of the flowers, the more severe the drought we face,” he says. This was in March 2015 in the forests of southern Odisha. Around the same time, he saw black-hooded oriole building a nest...
    Manu Moudgilposted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • Acute water shortage impacts thermal power generation The country has lost nearly 5,870 million units of power generation due to the nonavailability of water till February in this financial year. Moreover, the loss of generation has significantly increased over the past three years. Power minister ...
    swatiposted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • “That was a very scary place to be in,” says Nandini frowning at the memory of dealing with a rape allegation against a colleague. The allegation had severely fractured the community of activists that she worked with. “These were people who we knew really well, we were comrades on so many issu...
    chicuposted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • The key issue in the Manipur Assembly election is the ongoing economic blockade in the state, which, in turn, is attributed to the present government’s decision to bifurcate districts. The Centre claims to have brokered a peace deal between the Manipur government and the United Naga Council, a reb...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • With the Right to Information (RTI) Act coming into force in the year 2005, the country saw many RTI activists making the most of it to demand the rights and entitlements of the people from the government. Pushpa, warmly known as Pushpa RTI, is one of them. In 2003, she set up the Bhalaswa Lok Shakt...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • There was a time when the farmers of Yavatmal district depended completely on rainfed agriculture. That was before the introduction of Doha, a water harvesting structure by NGO Dilasa Sansthan in 2014. Farming changed drastically after that, something which Sitaram Kove, a 40-year-old farmer of Raji...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • Committee rules out any change in Krishna water sharing ratio In a major relief to the Telangana government, the AK Bajaj Committee has dismissed any changes in the water sharing ratio of the Krishna river from what was decided by the Bachawat Tribunal in 1973. The union water resources ministry in...
    swatiposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • Arsenic present in drinking water at many habitations: Centre The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has informed the Rajya Sabha that drinking water in 66,663 habitations across the country is affected by arsenic and fluoride contamination. However, the government is working to provide...
    swatiposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • Negligence behind the degradation of Uttarakhand wetlands: WWF According to a report by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), nearly 70 percent of wetlands in the state have degraded due to negligence. Excessive tourism pressure with trekkers camping at the site, spreading of filth and pollutants in...
    swatiposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • In the last few decades, India has seen an increasing number of people migrating from rural areas to urban cities in search of work and better living. These migrants often get employed in the informal sector as construction workers, vendors, domestic servants, etc. They also live in informal settlem...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • The agriculture sector in India’s drought-ravaged regions is in a state of crisis. Millions of farmers are pushed out of their farms and into the cities for jobs. As per a report in The Hindu dated May 2, 2013, over 2000 farmers are leaving agriculture every day. A survey conducted ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • NGT to hear petition on Ganga revival on a day-to-day basis The National Green Tribunal has decided to hear a petition filed in 1985 on the Ganga river clean-up on a day-to-day basis from February 6. The decision has been taken following the transfer of matter concerning the dis...
    swatiposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • People of Sikkim stand against Teesta hydel project The proposed 520 MW Teesta Stage IV hydropower project in Sikkim is being opposed by the indigenous Lepchas, a local community in the state that worships mountains and rivers. The project that has been proposed by the National Hydro Power Corporat...
    swatiposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • According to a report by WaterAid, a water and sanitation nonprofit, released in 2016, India has the highest number (75.8 million) of people in the world without access to safe water. The report titled Water: At what cost? The state of the world’s water 2016 says that a majority of these peop...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • India should inform us about its future hydel projects: Pakistan Pakistan has asked the World Bank and India to inform them about the dams and hydropower projects to be built on the western rivers. The statement has come following the news that India plans to start constructing Bursar dam on Chenab...
    swatiposted 2 years 5 months agoread more

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A photo exhibition focuses on the changing lifestyles of local communities in the Himalayas with changes in their environment.

Delhi’s Jor Bagh metro station is the site of an ongoing photographic exhibition with thought-provoking images and narratives exploring escalating water crises Indian and Nepal Himalayas face. Titled “Pani, Pahar: Waters of the Himalayas”, the exhibition combines contemporary work by photojournalist Toby Smith with academic research led by Dr Bhaskar Vira and Dr Eszter Kovacs at Cambridge University’s department of geography, in association with collaborators in India and Nepal.

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Phoolbasan Yadav’s journey towards empowering women in Chhattisgarh is an inspiring one.

Phoolbasan Yadav from the remote Sukaldaihan village in the Rajnandgaon district in Chhattisgarh shot to fame for her untiring effort in empowering the women of her village. "Since my childhood, I had experienced extreme poverty and hunger, and I feel that similar is the plight of lakhs of women in the country. I want to help them,” says Yadav.

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The editor of a new book that lays out alternative futures for India discusses India, democracy and development with a noted journalist.

Alternative Futures: India Unshackled is a new book that dares to imagine what India could be. Published by Authors Upfront, 35 author-activists, researchers and thinkers have drawn upon their experiences to write on alternative political, ecological, economic and sociocultural scenarios that will benefit India in its surge forward.

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While the three anicuts on the Mahanadi are hampering its free flow, another one is being planned by the government.

Gopal Nishad, a fisherman in his early 40s, is frustrated that there is hardly any fish left in the Mahanadi’s basin at Pitaibandh due to the lack of water in the basin. This basin is located near Rajim-Nawapara in Chhattisgarh, the proposed site for the fourth anicut on the Mahanadi. He reminisces the good old days when he, along with his brother, used to catch plenty of fish from the Mahanadi. 

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Along with protesting against dams, the ACT leaders are leading by example and showing people of Sikkim more constructive ways to live.

Tenzing Lepcha, the lead activist of Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT), is proud of his work in the last year. “All this was overgrown,” he says pointing at the orderly farm. “I created the fields myself.” He shows us the carefully dug out pond for water storage, the irrigation system, the compost heaps, the neatly staked peas and rows of mustard. It is difficult to recognise him now, my earlier image of him being that of a listless young Tenzing, weak from fasting for months.

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This study finds that smallholder farmers who undertake group micro irrigation through pooling of land and water resources greatly benefit through increase in productivity and profit margins.

Agriculture is of central importance to India’s economy with more than half of the workforce in the country depending on it for their livelihoods. However, it is increasingly being threatened due to climate-change-induced changing rainfall patterns and water scarcity having a negative impact on production.

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The video tells the story of residents of Korba and nearby villages who are affected by the fly ash from power plants which makes Korba the fifth critically polluted area in the country.

Korba in Chhattisgarh is an industrial area which has a significant number of coal mines and thermal power plants. Fly ash is a byproduct of the thermal power plants and has become a significant problem for the residents of Korba now. More than one lakh metric tonnes of fly ash is generated annually by the eight thermal power plants in Korba in Chhattisgarh which produce 6090 megawatts of electricity.

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A study by Action India provides insight into Delhi’s recycling nightmare and its unacknowledged waste pickers.

Eight-year-old Meera (name changed) got ill after eating filthy food remains from a dump at Mansarovar park in Delhi. Children like her work in filthy environments, rummaging through hazardous waste with bare hands and feet. They play in these dumping ground strewn with syringes, scrap iron, rotting waste, solid and liquid household waste.  

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Better surveillance systems will help to keep a check on the excessive exploitation of coastal resources.

Indian scientists have developed a remote sensing technique that uses satellite data to delineate between various coastal landforms like beaches, mangroves and marshes. This method can help monitor and understand impacts of natural disasters as well as human activities on coastal ecosystem.

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Water fountains installed in Kolkata for beautification and left abandoned are becoming a health hazard with mosquitoes breeding in the filthy water.

West Bengal’s tryst with dengue in 2017 could not have been more deadly. Around 13000 people were affected and nearly 100 people lost their lives to the disease. Among the worst hit was the South 24 Parganas district with every household having at least one person down with the mosquito-borne disease. So, the citizens cannot be blamed for going into a panic mode every time the possibility of another outbreak is suspected.

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