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Who speaks for the adivasi’s right to the forests?

By Aloka Kujur, Ranchi

It has been a long history of struggle for adivasis in Jharkhand to retain what has been theirs for centuries, the right to access the forest for their needs. This makes complete sense not only for their sustainability but also for the protection of forests. There has equally been a move from those in authority from the colonial times to the present to subvert this right. more...

An identity crises for tribal communities

By Baljeet Kumar, New Delhi

While a plethora of programmes exist for tribal communities, referred in the Constitution and in all government parlance as ‘ST’, the definition of the term is not clearly spelt out. What are the set of characteristics that identify an ‘ST’ say from other forest-dwelling communities? Indeed there are wide differences in this across states and regions. Does this mean that the schemes and programmes for their development are based on flimsy ground? And do some communities fall through the cracks? more...

Retaining the ‘organic’ in farming

By Baba Mayaram, Hoshangabad, M.P

We cannot afford to let agricultural output decline especially of foodgrains. For this it is crucial that it be viable for the farmer who invests his all in the crop and depends on what it fetches in the market. Any technique, which reduces input costs and improves yields, must be taken up whole-heartedly. This is exactly what a Farmers’ Collective in Bilaspur district, Chhattgarh is doing. more...

Create a pure environment by listening to the voice within

By Stanzin Kunzang Angmo,Leh

Why is one of the most beautiful terrains in the icy heights of the Himalayas being reduced to a garbage dump? Why is its pristine pure waters being polluted and most important why are the locals allowing this degradation, even partaking in it? It is of course a matter of corrective action at the policy level but is not each on of us responsible to retain what our ancestors preserved over centuries and infact enhance it? more...

Conflict of Interest in Agriculture

By Yogesh Dewan, Bhopal

For millions of people across India, agriculture is a source of livelihood, to keep body and soul together. For corporates and agro-business, it a sure way to make profit through cultivation and retail. In this dichotomy, what is the government’s stand? Will it sing the tune of corporates or abide by the mandate given by the people to better their lives? more...

The Mandate of the other half

By Rajiv Kumar, Patna

The six-phase Assembly elections in Bihar which returned the JDU to power with a thumping majority was the first time when women turned out in such large numbers to vote. Yes it is a reiteration of Nitish Kumar’s policy to bring development centre-stage in sharp contrast to the caste-based politics of the past. Now with the renewed mandate, he needs to consolidate on the gains. Equally important - he needs to heed the aspirations of women in the state for a greater participation in all aspects of the development agenda. more...

A Himalayan Rally of another kind

By Dinesh Pant, Pithoragarh

Poets, social activists and development workers are calling attention to a horrifying spectre of plunder of the natural resources of the Himalayan region, all in the name of development. There are a number of states falling within this region and they all reflect policies, which not only alienate people from their natural environment but lead to its destruction. What is urgently required is not only a reprioritizing of state government’s policies but also a coordinated effort for a harmonious development of the region. more...

Does development justify degradation?

By Mohd Iqbal, Leh

With glaciers melting at a faster rate, snow disappearing from the mountainside, the increased construction activity, water shortage and piles of waste being generated by a bludgeoning tourist trade as well as the presence of the Army, the pristine terrain of Ladakh is under severe stress. Is it too heavy a price to pay for the prosperity and development of a region which remains not only a highly ecologically sensitive zone, but also home to a unique culture and way of life? more...

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