Ignored health risks, bungled pilot projects, bonanza for Dutch firm: Modi Govt. forces fortified rice on poor
26th May 2023
Modi government rushed with its plan to supply fortified rice despite internal and external expert warnings on the adverse effects of feeding it to people, particularly children. Niti Aayog reviewed the pilot studies in seven districts across India only after the government’s orders to distribute fortified rice had already been passed. It found that all of them were fundamentally flawed and had failed. The report was never made public while the government continues to push fortified rice.
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Locals protest at Barsu Solgaon of the Rajapur block in Ratnagiri. Photo: Twitter@aviuv
Protests against Ratnagiri Refinery: Skeletons in the Development Closet
19th May 2023
Protests are raging in the Konkan region of Maharashtra against the government’s proposed refinery project in Ratnagiri. Hundreds have been arrested so far. Protesting locals have alleged unprecedented police action. While not being reported much in the mainstream media, locals continue to build their resistance with greater strength. Read more to find out why this is happening?
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A pastoralist looks at Hasdeo’s Parsa East and Kete Basan (PEKB) mine that has lead to severe environmental and social issues. Residents of Hasdeo region fear their land meeting the same fate as its adjacent Korba, a critically polluted area.
Photo by Vaishnavi Suresh/PEP Collective
On International Forests Day: Reality of Forests in India
24th March 2023
21st March is marked as International Forests Day: A brief look at the state of Forests and Forest Rights in India today.
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P.V. Satheesh, the Original Millets Man of India
22nd March 2023
The founder of Deccan Development Society not only popularised millets but also worked for agro-biodiversity, food sovereignty, women’s empowerment, Dalit rights, social justice and local knowledge systems.
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Author (with spectacles) at Narmada Sangharsh Yatra (Struggle Journey), 1990
Photo by Shailendra Yashwant
It did not stop the dam, but is it a failure?
23rd February 2023
The many faces of India’s Narmada movement: Since the mid-1980s, the Narmada valley has also been the site of one of Independent India’s most iconic and globally well-known people’s movements, the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save the Narmada Movement). For the last nearly 40 years, this movement has raised questions about and tried to stop, a series of mega-dams along the river and its tributaries.
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Joshimath Crisis is a Warning from the Himalayas
6th February 2023
A development model based on local conditions and aspirations is necessary. The current crisis in Joshimath is the consequence of choosing economics over ecology or the ecosystem. It was scripted from the time we opted for a development model that instigated the open plunder of natural resources.
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Visakhapatnam gas leak accident: A preliminary modelling study
15th May 2020
At least 13 people have been killed and nearly 1000 others hospitalised following a massive leak of styrene gas from the LG Polymers plant in the city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Here is a preliminary modelling study of one of the worst industrial accidents in recent times by Sagar Dhara and K Babu Rao….
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The electric car must fail
30th March 2020
Ratheesh Pisharody writes: A classic method of avoiding personal sacrifice is to explore “alternatives”. The individual thought behind this is simple. “Can I keep sitting on my privileges by pretending to make a dramatic change with sufficient optics and industry backing, but with no personal cost/effort?”. And the pop-icon of “alternatives” is the electric car….
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Just like the economy, India’s forests too are thriving only on paper
8th March 2020
From Live Mint: Dodgy numbers, a ‘flexible’ approach to the facts and self-serving definitions beginning with how “forest cover” itself is actually defined. This is what accounts for the unanimous skepticism among ecologists and other experts of the “growth” in India’s forest cover, claimed by the recently released India State of the Forest Report 2019….
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Nine competing geoeconomic projects that will shape Asia’s future
13th February 2020
From Great Game India: A global contest with at least 9 geoeconomic projects is underway in and around Asia. Regional powers are putting forward ambitious plans for building roads, railways, and other hard infrastructure across the region. A preview of a competition as wide-ranging as the region itself; whose long-term ecological cost will be incalculable….
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The terrifying science behind the accelerating locust plague
11th February 2020
From Wired: It’s the worst locust outbreak to strike Africa in decades, and Pakistan and India’s border states too have been badly affected. And the problem is about to get a lot worse—the insect population could boom by a factor of 500 by June. Unlike other species, a rapidly-warming planet present an advantage to locusts….
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Ahead of ‘Day Zero’, Delhi’s water crisis is about to turn into a water war
4th February 2020
From ABC News: Delhi is one of 21 Indian cities that could run out of groundwater, according to a 2018 government thinktank report. Disputes over water often lead to violence, especially in the city’s unauthorised settlements. The state government and the local “water mafia” are drilling bores, further depleting groundwater and exacerbating the larger problem….
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Priya Rajan: A window as wide as the world
26th January 2020
I live in a concrete maze that boasts a few yards of curbed open space and calibrated greenery. High-rises clutter the view of sky; pigeons and mynahs rule the roofs. Urban wildlife often feels incongruous, surreal. A praying mantis sheltering from lashing rain makes the windowsill suddenly more meaningful, though that is not its purpose….
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A $5 trillion economy for India: At what cost?
14th January 2020
PM Narendra Modi wants India to be a “$5 trillion economy” by 2024. The consequences of such high GDP growth –even setting aside questions regarding its distribution or true worth– will result in depriving the dispossessed sections of society of access even to natural resources, while driving fragile ecologies to a point of no return….
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Climate crisis: Is there a Savitri to save the world from catastrophe?
5th January 2020
The legend of Savitri and Satyavan in the Mahabharata, is a love story. Savitri, a beautiful princess, marries Satyavan, a penniless woodcutter, despite the Sage Narada warning her that Satyavan, a dead man walking, would die in one year. Now, the story of Savitri and Satyavan is being played out in real life in the ongoing climate change saga….
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Mihir Shah: India’s water crisis has a simple solution
18th December 2019
“This plan has multiple win-wins: Improvement in soil and water quality, higher incomes for farmers, reduced malnutrition and obesity, and a simple solution to India’s water problem by drastically reducing use of water in agriculture.” Also watch: ‘Bringing the Science Back Into Water: A New Paradigm for 21st Century India,’ a talk by Mihir Shah….
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Beggars as choosers: Why India’s poor opt to beg
6th December 2019
Beggars are usually ignored on the streets and questions are asked about why they don’t work. But many have indeed worked as paid labour and have chosen begging as the primary activity, finds Sabina Yasmin Rahman. As India’s urban and rural poor reel from a state-made economic crisis, this revealing study takes on an urgent relevance….
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How caste shapes water conflicts in drought-ridden Maharashtra
27th November 2019
Anuj Ghanekar writes: Drought affects everyone, but the Dalits are the worst affected. They often become targets of threats and violence in different ways if they try to access water or demand rights for water, with several atrocities on record. One study noted several instances where water sources used by Dalits were deliberately contaminated with human excreta….
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The fate of Ladakh in the Age of Ambani
11th November 2019
Padma Rigzin writes: Ladakh’s folk religion teaches that humans do not form the centre of the natural world but are merely inhabitants. So much so that my ancestors would not move a rock to build a house. Unfortunately, people in Leh are shouting the tune of the mainstream. Ambani has already started knocking our doors….
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What’s polluting Delhi’s air?
5th November 2019
We don’t seem to have decisive answers to simple questions like how polluted is Delhi, what are its main sources, and where to start controlling it. Here, Dr. Sarath Guttikunda attempts to answer one perpetual question, what are the sources of air pollution in Delhi? Interestingly, this commonly asked question is also the most confusing and unanswered….
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