Paralegals: When people learn to use environmental law

Monday, April 16, 2018
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A paralegal enables people to be the change agents. Source: CPR, Namati

These are people from villages and towns trained in basic law, legal procedures and in skills like case documentation, negotiation, mediation and advocacy. They act as a crucial link between justice delivery system and people facing the negative consequences of development projects. The paralegals thus enable the people to move from being mere victims to become change agents. This action is...

The Adivasi will not Dance and Santhal Identity

Tuesday, March 27, 2018
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Jharkhand govt has banned this book claiming misrepresentation of Santhal women.

The Adivasi Will Not Dance, a book of short stories by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, has been banned by the Jharkhand government with claims that it is hostile to the nobility of Santhal ladies. Some additionally affirm that it is obscene. The characters of the novel are largely Santhali, and this follows from the fact that the writer belongs to the same community. Set on Chotanagpur plateau,...

Timeline of electoral reforms in India

Saturday, March 17, 2018
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An old man being carried for voting during 1952 General Elections in Delhi. Source: Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India

The pace of electoral reforms in India is tardy and often times regressive as in the case of recent relaxation in disclosure norms for corporate donations. On the other hand, demands like state funding of elections, putting political parties under RTI and declaraton of paid news as electoral offence remain unresolved. This timeline is an attempt to look at how we have fared over the years....

Women cops satisfied with work, not with set up

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
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Two police women in Chennai. Source: John Hill/Wikipedia

Despite the changing ethos and increased interest among the women to engage in police organisations, their composition has not gone beyond 7.28 per cent nationally, shows the latest government data. It is believed that presence of women in the police force will encourage women victims of crime to approach the police stations without any inhibitions especially considering that overall crimes...

Shodhgram: Where science meets compassion

Sunday, February 25, 2018
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The in-patient ward and rooms for patients, all on the pattern of traditional hutments

Founded by doctor couple, Abhay Bang and Rani Bang, and run on Gandhian philosophy of Gram Swaraj (self governance), Shodhgram offers affordable and compassionate services to the people, especially tribals of the region. It has also devised unique solutions to the most pressing community health issues. For instance, Indian government replicated Shodhgram’s concept of home-based mother and...

'Current policy on stray dogs has created a hate-filled environment'

Thursday, February 1, 2018
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Millions of homeless dogs die every day in India. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Despite spending crores of rupees on the birth control programme, the population of stray dogs has been increasing across India resulting in more attacks on humans, especially children, and retaliatory attacks on dogs. Stray dogs are also a great danger to wild animals and livestock in villages and protected areas. A petition currently being heard in the Supreme Court raises many questions...

Farmers unite to rescue their land from Lantana

Thursday, January 25, 2018
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Women harvesting a small millet from the farm which was earlier infested with Lantana

Lantana was introduced as an ornamental plant to India in 1800s but has since infested the forests, grazing grounds and farms taking over 13 million hectare, which is around 4 per cent of the total land area of the country. Removal of Lantana is problematic as the traditional methods of cutting, burning or haphazard uprooting leads to recurrence. Collective action and good science, however, can do wonders as shown by villagers in Madhya...

The most civll uncivil woman

Friday, January 12, 2018
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Chughtai had a feminist approach but was not essentially a feminist writer. Source: Wikimedia Commons

There existed once an outspoken woman who went an extra mile to challenge the “second sex” conception of women with breathtaking honesty. She turned out to be a rebellious and provocative writer with her voluminous writings tracing a successful path towards a very ‘uncommon’ approach. She bravely challenged the “other” image or position of women in the society.  

Here is what India can do to avoid medical tragedies

Sunday, December 17, 2017
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Government health system expands and begins to provide quality care. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The recent incidents of medical negligence and over pricing have spurred strong criticism of private players with Delhi government cancelling the licence of one hospital. What escapes the eye, however, is the constant support since 1990s that has led to growth of private sector at the cost of affordable government or public healthcare. The only solution is roping in private resources for ...

Remember Bhopal through images and voices

Monday, December 4, 2017
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This collaboration transformed four rooms and one hall way of a rented duplex flat into a lived experience.

At ‘Remember Bhopal’, the first community-led museum of India, voices of survivors lead you through the biggest industrial disaster of the world that killed over 5,000 people, maimed hundreds of thousands and continues to contaminate land and water even after 33 years. The ltragedymade it to the history textbooks but it’s here that one confronts the enormity of this man-made tragedy. ...

How distressed rural migrants shelter in cities

Thursday, November 16, 2017
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In a roadside ghetto, Akila Bibi and others after a day’s hard work, separating white paper shreds from the colored ones for recycling. Earning Rs 3 a kg, they manage 30 kg to 50 kg a day. (Photo by Manipadma Jena)

Flood and drought often drive the rural poor to cities. Those who are landless often stay on. Risking lives under the open sky, they hope a city’s many work opportunities will help them survive somehow. At least 1% of every Indian city and town population is homeless. India’s urban population is 377 million, which means 218,750 shelters are needed across the country.

Why pesticide deaths will continue

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
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Photograph of one of the farmers who died while spraying pesticides. Source: Kavitha Kuruganti

As many as 50 persons died and around 1,000 were hospitalised with 25 losing their vision after exposure to chemical fumes from spraying of pesticides in Yevatmal district of Maharashtra. Most of those affected were farm labourers who neither had any safety apparatus nor were guided on the ideal way to use the pesticides. These cases hence were unlike intentional intake of the pesticide by...

Law of the land: Tweaked and Twisted

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
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The protest against land acquisition at Singur, West Bengal, in 2006. Source:  Indiamike

Land acquistion was at the centre stage till two years back due to controversial changes introduced by the NDA government in the legislation. While the proposed amendments are currently on hold, several states have brought about similar changes through Rules under Section 109 of the Act or have enacted their own state-level land acquisition laws to tide over opposition.