कोरोनावायरस, पर्यावरण और हम 

Sunday, March 29, 2020
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Image by Mohamed Hassan/Pixabay

बीमारी और पर्यावरण का सीधा नाता है। प्रकृति का संतुलन बनाए रखना हमारे अस्तित्व के लिए ज़रूरी है, यही आज की आपदा का संदेश है, भविष्य के लिए। कोरोनावायरस से पहले ऐन्थ्रैक्स, जीका, ईबोला और निपाह जैसे वायरस पिछले कुछ सालों में फैले हैं। यह सब वायरस जानवरों से इंसानों में आए हैं और वो भी सबसे ज़्यादा जंगली जानवरों से । कईं जानवरों के शरीर में वायरस  और बैक्टीरीआ घर बना लेते हैं उन्हें बिना नुक़सान पहुँचाए पर इंसानों में यही वायरस महामारी का रूप...

Historical Lapses in Deporting Bangladeshis

Saturday, March 7, 2020
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Bangladesh-India Border sign. Photo by Nahid Sultan/Wikimedia

From the time of independence, India has seen many refugee /illegal migration problem. Many people migrated to India from neighbouring countries fleeing persecution in their homes or looking for better work opportunities. Though India dealt with most migrant crisis systematically, migration from Bangladesh has always been a knotty affair. In past there have been reports of many immigrants being ‘pushed back’ along the Indian border by the BSF...

Waterways spell disaster for Gangetic dolphins

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
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The Gangetic dolphin. Image by Arati Kumar Rao

Whales and dolphins are especially vulnerable to underwater noise as they depend almost entirely on pulsed and tonal sounds for long-distance communication, finding food, navigation, and sensing their environment. Dredging for waterways in Ganga can lead to stress among river dolphins by physical and bio geochemically disturbing riverbed sediment and impacting fish prey. Dolphins show a...

The promised land that never was

Monday, February 3, 2020
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here are 56 percent households in rural India which do not own any farmland. Pic by Manu Moudgil

There are 56 percent households in rural India which do not own any farm. On the other hand, around 7.18 percent households own more than 46.71 percent of total agricultural land thus signifying that few people continue to hold on to large resources. Land reforms failed in their main task of empowering the poor who continue to suffer due to current market-led reforms. Average availability of...

Why sanitation workers continue to carry our filth

Thursday, January 16, 2020
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Kaverappa being lifted out of a pit by Muniraju in Bengaluru. By: Water Aid / CS Sharada Prasad

Manual scavenging is a hereditary occupation that predominantly involves forced labour and is mostly done by Dalits. It is estimated that 1-3 sanitation workers die cleaning sewers every five days in India.  A recent report identified 1,686 workers in 12 districts of four states who were engaged in different kinds of manual scavenging. Inadequate government schemes, poor social and financial...

Why Punjab failed to douse farm fires this year

Wednesday, January 8, 2020
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Farmers burning straw in Punjab. Source: Neil Palmer Wikimedia Commons

Paddy stubble burning in Punjab is often blamed for air pollution in north India. The government has been introducing alternatives over the years but these are yet to make a substantial impact on the ground. High operational cost of machines weighs heavy on the already indebted farmers. Additionally, lack of training in machine-use results in higher input cost and lower production. Local solutions and traditional...

Why North East has erupted against Citizenship Bill

Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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Protests in Assam against Citizenship Bill. Source: Mohammad Belal Shaikh Hussain

Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill triggering widespread protests in north east India. The bill changes definition of illegal migrants by providing citizenship to non-Muslims coming from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. North east people fear influx of outsiders and loss of indigenousness with these new rules. It also nullfies the NRC exercise in Assam to identify illegal immigrants irrespective of religion. It also...

E-cigarette bill is not worth the paper it is printed on

Monday, December 9, 2019
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Electronic cigarette is one of the nicotine delivery devices.

The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill 2019 is an absolutely diluted piece of legislation, which fails to address the grave issue of nicotine-laced products. It’s just an all bark no bite legislation, not worth the paper it’s printed on. It partially addresses only e-cigarettes, which is less than one percent of the real problem of nicotine abuse. Such piecemeal restriction of...

Controversy around electoral bonds

Monday, November 18, 2019
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Political funding is still a grey area in India.

Electoral bond is an instrument to donate money to political parties  and can be purchased from State Bank of India and identities of donor and receiver are kept secret. NDA government rejected objections of RBI before passing the law. The government claims that electoral bonds will weed out black money from political funding but opposition parties and Election Commission feel the bond scheme promotes anonymous funding and favours the BJP. ...

Indian policy in times of climate strike

Sunday, October 20, 2019
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A climate strike in progress. Source: Extinction Rebellion India

Under the Paris agreement of 2015, 196 countries came up with nationally determined contributions (NDCs). India’s NDCs, however, fail to make any big commitments and may trample upon people’s rights over natural resources. India said that coal will remain our main source of energy and gives no limit or target date by which the peak emissions will come down. It also says that 40 percent of...

'Uniqueness value of forest is irreplaceable'

Wednesday, October 2, 2019
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Valuation of ecosystem is gaining ground.

A recent study by IIFM found that 10 select tiger reserves of the country provide economic benefits worth Rs 5.96 trillion. Globally, efforts are being made to assess the benefits of conservation on economy and various methods and formulas have been devised to evaluate these aspects. Critics, however, believe that ecosystem valuation can lead to commodification of nature and its sale to the highest bidder. ...

किसानों और जंगली जानवरों का लफड़ा क्या है

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
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क्या सच में किसानों का लालच हाथियों के घटते रहवास के लिए जिम्मेदार है? Source: Need Pix.com

ये सच है कि जंगल साफ़ करके खेत बनाने की प्रवत्ति किसानों में बहुत पुरानी है। आदमी और जानवरों की लड़ाई भी बहुत पुरानी है। लेकिन इस सब में हम ये भूल जाते हैं कि बहुतायत भारतीय किसान अपने उत्पादन का अधिकतर हिस्सा घरेलू जरूरतों के लिए इस्तेमाल करते हैं। लेकिन औपनिवेशिक काल के ये उद्योग किसकी भूख को ध्यान में रख कर बनाये गए थे, क्या इसमें हमें कोई हिस्ट्री क्लास चाहिए? जिस औद्योगिक नीति से...

How India's tiger conservation plan works against people and forests

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
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Silent Valley National Park in Kerala. Photo by S. Gopikrishna Warrier/Mongabay.

Increase iin number of tigers is a cause for happiness, but it has come with high social, economic and ecological costs for the tribal communities that have been living in the forests for generations. Forest management that relies on no intervention is not necessarily the best practice, since it can lead to changes in the forest structure, spread of invasive species and increased human-wildlife conflict. Forests have been appropriated from...