In the Malwa region of Punjab, villages wear a deserted look as large groups of farmers are in Delhi protesting against the three agri laws. Hundreds of women back in these villages have taken over farming activities, as their menfolk are away in Delhi, they say, ‘fighting’ for their rights.
Climate change-induced shocks are claiming lives, damaging health and disrupting livelihoods. The recently released 2020 report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change presents a grim picture of India with an increase in extreme weather events, health impact and loss of livelihoods.
The Chhattisgarh government has mapped 1,955 rivulets in the state under the Narwa Vikas Yojana of which 800 have been revived from April 2019 till now. The target is to rejuvenate 8,821 rivulets by Financial Year 2023-2024. The programme has provided employment to thousands of people under MGNREGA and CAMPA.
Chopta is unique in its amalgamation of meadows, and forests of Birch and Rhododendron. In summer, the whole mountain facade blooms with blossoms in varying hues of red, pink, and white.
In The Slow Cafe with Neelesh Misra, environmentalist Sunita Narain speaks about the Centre For Science and Environment’s pathbreaking research on adulterated honey and why following the trail to its logical conclusion is important.
Rural India deals with harsh realities such as starvation and lack of access to healthcare. They have to be factored in too as India gears up for a gigantic COVID-19 vaccination programme.
The air is full of winter perfume – the uplifting Parijat or Shiuli is throwing its blossoms on the ground, the orange stems of the flower sticking up as the white flower falls face-down. And there’s the Saptaparni, whose fragrance you will never forget.
Agriculture policies should address the diversity of Indian farmers in terms of landholding size and socio-economic conditions, area wise market linkages, types of crops and agro-climatic conditions.
The virus is spreading in rural areas but we don’t know to what extent because there is no disaggregated data in the public domain. But it is clear that even remote tribal areas are not totally untouched.
There was monsoon in the air. I was under the pretty skies when I heard the sound. A buzzing…like a distant helicopter. Anyone who has spent time near wetlands will instantly identify it.
About 0.1 million stranded seafarers on sea lack clean water, fuel, food and legal help, besides the immigration papers that will help them disembark, or the money that will get them home.
With the advent of borewells and pumps, people in southwest Haryana are digging deeper to access water. The region has one of the country’s worst cases of groundwater depletion.
More than 500 allopathic doctors and nearly 50 nurses in India have died due to COVID-19. What explains the increased risk they face, and what is the way forward?
The Nadi Mitra Mandali established by Jayakant and his friends now also promotes sanitation, natural farming, solar power and more.
A rapid survey by Gaon Connection found 59% respondent farmers demanding a mandatory MSP law in the country, while 33% feared the new central agri laws would end the MSP system.
In the Gaon Connection’s recent rapid survey, 39% fear the minimum support price will be abolished due to the farm laws, whereas another 39% believe the mandi system will be done away with.
Gaon Connection’s ‘The Rural Report 2: The Indian Farmer’s Perception of the New Agri Laws’, shows that farmers’ opinion on the new agri laws is divided. On both the sides — 52% opposing or 35% supporting these laws — many are unaware of the details of the acts.
Of the 49 per cent farmers who are aware of the new contract farming law, over 46 per cent said the law was in favour of the farmers, while 40 per cent did not think so.
With highest awareness about the new farm laws among the farmers in the west zone (82%) of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, slightly more than half the respondent farmers support the new central agri acts.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis and the lockdown, millions of rural residents in the northeastern states struggled to keep their families afloat. For 82% rural households in Assam, making ends meet was ‘extremely’ or ‘quite’ difficult.
The COVID19 outbreak has added to the water woes of hundreds of rural women. The government and health agencies recommend frequent handwashing to avoid the spread of coronavirus, but where will this water come from?
After travelling hundreds of kilometres, braving heat and hunger, migrant workers reached their villages, majority were quarantined. Many centres lacked power, toilets, and food facilities.
Unprecedented COVID19-led reverse migration has wreaked havoc in the lives of millions of men and women who now face unemployment and despair back in their villages.
The recent lockdown created unforeseen havoc affecting millions of Indians. Every class of worker was hit hard – farmers, shopkeepers, weavers, cottage industry workers and the salaried class.
In a first of its kind survey, Gaon Connection delves into the depths of the agony suffered by rural India, especially its farmers, during the lockdown.
Gaon Connection’s national rural survey found that nine out of 10 rural citizens faced some sort of financial difficulty during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Pregnant women’s healthcare suffered in the lockdown. In West Bengal, only 29% households with pregnant women confirmed checkups and vaccination; Rajasthan reported the highest at 87%.
On Neelesh Misra’s The Slow Cafe, the celebrated stand-up comedian on his early years, how grief led to humour and why he wants to gift laughter.
In The Slow Cafe with Neelesh Misra, the writer-actor-director-producer on her childhood influences, her lived experiences and why it is important to tell a story...
During the course of 40 minutes, the ace actor speaks about his quest to return home, the concept of home, and why the COVID-19 lockdown is a life-defining period.
Neelesh Misra nudges Raina to speak about the little things that got left behind, his inspirations in life, and gets him to sing too, in this two-hour film that comes close to a real-life conversation.
In this 'slow' interview, folk singer Malini Awasthi, a Padma Shri, talks about women, folk music, and the intricacies of marriage, and how her husband motivated her to start singing again
He feels the quality of persistence in him comes from his village upbringing, and many of the characters that he has played are inspired by some of the people he has met in his village
Nawazuddin Siddiqui has been impressing us with his acting abilities, but these days netizens can't stop raving about Ganesh Gaitonde – the character he plays in Netflix series Sacred Games
Son of a farmer, Manoj says buying vegetables helps him connect with the outside world and that keeps him rooted. He is someone who likes to keep it simple and he loves to laugh at himself
Ayushman Khurana, who calls himself an old-soul, said he was an extremely laid-back. It was his father who made him ambitious. But what he is today is because of his mother and his wife
There are separate rules for girls set by others. Like, they must wear 'proper' clothes, sit cross-legged and look down while walking, said Taapsee and added she has started questioning these rules
Every day 27 children with thalassemia are born in India. This genetic blood disorder requires regular blood transfusion for lifetime. Since the lockdown, blood banks are facing an acute blood shortage
Over 40 families in Hobjapara village at Kolkata’s outskirts have lost both their homes and livelihoods due to the double whammy of COVID-19 lockdown and Cyclone Amphan.
Many urban poor women are the sole bread winners for their families. Due to the lockdown, they have lost their livelihoods. Now they are under acute mental stress to feed their children
Due to the stigma attached to the disease, life is tough for the leprosy patients. But, those living in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, said they haven’t got adequate medical help ever since the lockdown
The tea industry in Assam, reeling under adverse effects of climate change, suffered more this year due to the COVID-19 lockdown. The small tea growers are the worst affected.
The Supreme Court of India had directed the States and UTs to ensure children get mid-day meals. Despite that, children in Bihar's Gaya were eating only roti-onion, or rice-pickle, or starch rice.
Baaja is the soul of every pahadi wedding. With the COVID-19 lockdown, bajantris have lost their only source of income. Some are looking to work in apple orchards, others as MGNREGA labourers.
Himachal's Rs 4,000-crore apple industry is heavily dependent on the Gurkha labourers from Nepal. But the recent tension between India and Nepal is hampering their availability.
While teachers and students in urban areas have resorted to distance learning, children in rural areas have missed out on education as they don’t have the luxury of attending online classes
After facing crop losses due to locust attack and unseasonal rains, jeera farmers in Rajasthan complain they are unable to transport their harvested produce to Unjha mandi in Gujarat. State officials claim no such restrictions. Come monsoon rains and the cumin seed produce may go waste
Under the Odisha Livelihoods Mission, to address under-nutrition and anaemia in young women, about hundred thousand vegetable ‘nutri gardens’ have already been set up by the women self-help groups. This year the target is five lakh such kitchen gardens.
This year in Chhattisgarh, a three-tier purchase model was activated to buy minor forest produce from tribal gatherers after the lockdown was announced in March.
Gharials are a unique crocodilian species presently found only in the 14 widely-spaced riverine ecosystems in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Over the years, threats like river fishing, entanglement in nets, and riverbank erosion causing loss of nests during the breeding season have led to a decline in their population. The Bihar government and the Wildlife Trust of India joined hands to save them
They were recently airlifted from Leh by the Jharkhand government, which brought to light the plight of migrant workers building roads in the country’s border areas
During the lockdown, when only a few shops were open, the stocks of sanitary pads had flown off the shelves. An initiative to make cloth sanitary pads was launched by Vatsalya and was a big success
Anganwadi workers and helpers are walking an extra mile to home deliver wheat, rice, pulses, oil, in some states even eggs and milk powder, to the beneficiaries of the government's supplementary nutrition programme
More than half the population in Kedia village, which is 20 kms from Jamui district in Bihar, has switched to organic farming. It is the first village in the state to switch to organic farming. People living in this village are eating chemical-free food and are also saving money
In Jakariapura village in Anand district in Gujarat, the government has built biogas plants and is buying the slurry for Rs 1 to 2 per litre. This has increased the income of farmers
From a very young age, Akash Mishra wanted to do something different to ensure he didn’t have to live his entire life in his village. His passion for football took him to Germany. He is now all set to go places
The fisheries sector provides employment to more than 14 million people. However, these fisherfolk are staring at a gloomy future as livelihoods get affected and unemployment looms
Broadly, seven communities in Rajasthan are categorised as traditional folk musicians. Dholi community is associated with nagara, the traditional drums, whereas the Bhand community members sing to entertain. All these musicians have lost their traditional source of income and now looking for other daily wage works.
Three natural calamities -- COVID-19 crisis, Cyclone Amphan and now, the heavy rains, have struck traditional artisans who make idols for Durga Puja. At least 2.5 lakh artisans affected in Kolkata alone. Financial losses run into several lakh rupees.
If people aren’t leaving their houses, a puppeteer wouldn’t have audiences. That’s what happened with Raees Ahmed, a puppeteer who has been telling stories of, and through, Gulabo and Sitabo, his two puppets, when lockdown was imposed in the country.
Four decades ago, Baburhat had over 4,000 handlooms and all villagers were engaged in weaving traditional costumes. Now its last handloom mill is struggling to keep the weavers engaged, as orders are cancelled and there is no sale due to the COVID19 lockdown.
The artistic toys and utensils made from red clay here are famous not only in India, but also among the foreign tourists who come to visit Rajasthan. About 200 families here survive on the pottery trade
Their earnings were never consistent. Once the lockdown ends, they won’t immediately start getting orders as people would prefer to save and not buy expensive Madhubani paintings
For generations, the inhabitants of Raghurajpur village are narrating mythological stories through their world-famous paintings — pattachitra — and palm leaf engravings. Gaon Connection travelled to this heritage village in Puri district of Odisha and caught up with the artisans
A visual treat to anyone who lays his/her eyes on it, Phad is a form of scroll painting which has, over the centuries, narrated stories to people in village gatherings. Now, Kalyan Joshi, a veteran of the Phad art form, is using his scrolls to narrate stories about the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown
Mandana art form, passed on from mothers to daughters unlike other art forms, is now practiced only by a few. If we don’t preserve it, Mandana will vanish, much like the mud houses it once adorned.
An initiative to preserve Gondi, the language a large section of tribal communities in India, by teaching it in primary classes using computers has begun in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker.
Tribal women in a hamlet in Thane are earning a living by selling eggs during COVID-19 crisis. They are also addressing malnutrition among women and children.
In the heart of eastern India, teenagers of the Santhal tribe begin to chronicle stories of their ancient cultural heritage using modern tools – DSLR cameras and the Internet.
Minor forest produce, such as mahua, tendu patta, chironjee, sustains the tribal communities of Chhattisgarh for six months a year. But, this year, due to excess pre-monsoon season rainfall, a large chunk of the forest produce was lost. The lockdown has further aggravated woes of forest-dependent communities
These tribes living in small hamlets not very far from Pune are at the mercy of the housing society nearby for drinking water. They often buy discarded vegetables – their only meal
Laws enacted to protect the rights of tribal and forest dwelling communities have failed to deliver. Poor, marginalised tribal communities residing in resource rich districts face maximum land conflicts
Since time immemorial, tribals have resided in forests, thereby conserving it. But they are the ones who have been subjected to social exclusion and are also called ‘destroyers of the environment’
Bangladesh is a country that's bearing the brunt of climate change. With cyclones and monsoon floods, the coastal villages in the country see many climate refugees.
The Manta community of Bangladesh has been living on boats for over 100 years. They spend all their lives – from birth to death – on boats. These people live the most unusual life.
Delay in warning and lack of communication lead to hundreds of fishers in Tamil Nadu and Kerala to go missing in Ockhi cyclone. Bodies of some dead fishers were found. Many are still 'missing'.
People of Uppada, a village in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, are facing nature's wrath. The village has had to move multiple times due to coastal erosion
India’s captive-reared vulture release programme, a first-of-its-kind initiative to study the massive decline in vulture population, has been delayed. Again.
In its final order on the multimillion-dollar wedding extravaganza in eco-fragile Auli meadow last June, the high court has termed the state government’s decision to allow the mega event of Gupta brothers a ‘grave error’.
Between 2014-15 and 2018-19, the human-elephant conflict killed 2,361 people and 510 pachyderms in India. In the last three months of the lockdown, a series of elephant deaths have rocked the country. But the Union environment ministry is clearing projects in the key elephant habitats
The Bishnois have been around even before the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. For them, the need to save nature arises from an inherent understanding of knowing that we exist because of nature
Plants and trees are the accurate indicators of the presence of pollutants. We should study plants to know about the presence of pollutants and use this as an effective tool in pollution monitoring
Honey collection is a major source of livelihood for many. But changing farm practices, reducing forest cover, increasing use of pesticides and growing cell phone penetration are killing honeybees
Conservationists attribute the decline in the population of house sparrows to the unfriendly architecture of our homes, chemical fertilizers in our crops and noise pollution
In the past few decades, the aquatic life has been adversely affected due to human intervention. Agricultural use of pesticides is the leading cause of death among amphibians like frogs
Many of us have cherished memories of spotting and catching fireflies that twinkled as if stars. But kids of today may not grow up with similar memories. That’s because fireflies are disappearing
With the change in season, many areas in the country witness the arrival of migratory birds. However, factors like the pastures being robbed off their greenery and destroying of the traditional water resources have made the advent of these migratory birds increasingly difficult
Home-birth enthusiasts are rooting for the practice to be made mainstream by integrating traditional midwives, and midwifery in general, to the Indian health infrastructure.
Sex workers in Maharashtra are struggling to make ends meet, but not risking contracting COVID-19. They are certain sex trade will not stop, and have devised new methods to 'stay safe'
Over 1,000 women in villages along the southwest coast of Bangladesh, adjoining the Sundarbans mangrove forest, are ostracised because their husbands were killed by Bengal tigers.
Women associated with self-help groups in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district provided employment to about 70 male migrant workers who returned from cities and were jobless. The acknowledgement has motivated more women to come forward.
Koli fisherwomen in Mumbai have not earned a penny in the last almost three months. Fishing ban in June and July, with no monetary compensation, may tip them over the edge
India has an estimated 1.2 million sex workers who have no clear legal standing, thus making these marginalised women ‘criminals'. To break the coronavirus chain, social distancing and isolation are crucial. But, how are women sex workers coping in such a scenario? A Gaon Connection report from Hanuman Tekdi, a red-light area in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra
Women’s empowerment will not have any meaning without tackling anaemia. While the governments are working to deal with this, there is a need for greater awareness to tackle this problem
A girl living in Sitapur district in Uttar Pradesh was raped when she was 19. It has been two years since the incidence. Now she feels she will not get justice. The police for long said they can’t do much against the accused for ‘misbehviour’ because the girl did not use the word rape in the FIR
The percentage of those in the 18-24 age group enrolling for higher education has more than doubled since 2005-06. The government has set a target of 50% Gross Enrollment Ratio by 2030
Members of the third gender are invited to celebrate a birth or a wedding. They say they would rather prefer a normal existence than the special treatment they get only on some days
Residents of 36 villages in Kusheshwar Asthan Purbi of Darbhanga are displaced due to floods for more than a month now. Over 200 families here are living under tarpaulins on Kosi’s embankment.
In this photoblog, Abhay Kanvinde looks at the most polluted and populated stretch of Mutha River in Pune and astounds us with the life that abounds here.
An intricate network of rivers and beels (wetlands) forms the natural drainage system of Guwahati city on the banks of the Brahmaputra river. Last few decades, these water bodies have been encroached upon, thereby contributing towards an increased incidence of urban flooding
Apart from being illegal, such a facility is an environmental disaster. The Yamuna river floodplain should not be made a sacrificial goat at the altar of short-sighted developmental needs
The Bahini-Bharalu, Guwahati's main river, carries a large chunk of untreated sewage and empties it into the Brahmaputra river. Polluted sewage also flows into a bird sanctuary. The sewage generation is expected to go up ...
With ambitious solar power plant projects, India may be charging towards its 100 GW solar power capacity goal but, tackling solar waste will be key to safeguarding the environment.
In spite of lightning sensors, alerts through mobile apps, over 2,500 people die annually due to lightning strikes in the country. The state governments need to bridge the last-mile communication challenge to reduce these preventable deaths.
Mining and combustion of coal, a fossil fuel, is linked to both environmental pollution and climate change. India’s first climate change assessment report warns of an average temperature increase of 4.4°C by the end of the century, along with an increase in heatwaves, droughts, and intense cyclones
An artificial reef has helped restore a part of the Puducherry beach. But, more interventions are needed to complete this pilot project that can guide beach restoration along India’s coastline
Both pre-monsoon and post-monsoon cyclonic activities are on the rise in the Arabian Sea. Climate scientists blame this on the rapid warming of the ocean
Cyclone Amphan intensified from a category-1 cyclone to category-5 within 18 hours. Meteorologists attribute this to record high sea-surface temperatures and ocean heat content. As oceans heat up, intense cyclone formations are expected
Every year, about 300,000 tons of human hair is treated as waste. Its accumulation in waste streams poses serious environmental problem. Scientists have fixed this problem
With Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerji, and Michael Kremer winning the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, there is renewed interest and discourse around randomised controlled trials
The year 2019 will be remembered for breaking several previous records of extreme weather events be it the cold wave, large-scale rainfall anomalies, or the number of cyclones
In the fourth part of our series ‘Corona Heroes’, meet Prashant Gade. He has been making affordable prosthetic arms, but he recently designed a ventilator that costs just Rs 30-35,000
Experts blame road widening projects and hill cutting works for causing widespread landslides in the state, as villages are cut-off and standing crops destroyed.
As Oil India Limited struggles to douse the fire at its Baghjan Oilfield in Assam’s Tunsukia district, an expert committee report before National Green Tribunal finds many faults with its operations.
Bangladesh is no stranger to monsoon flooding, but the flooding this year has been the longest since the floods of 1988. One-third of the country has been submerged.
At least three breaches reported in the embankments of river Gandak in north Bihar leading to inundation of hundreds of villages in Gopalganj and East Champaran districts.
About two months back, on May 20, Super Cyclone Amphan crossed West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts causing extensive damages. Two months later, poor in coastal Bangladesh continue to suffer the cyclone’s impacts. A Gaon Connection photo feature.
Every year during the monsoon, Assam faces floods. But this year the crisis has magnified, as the state is handling multiple disasters while the COVID-19 cases are also on the rise. The oil well at Tinsukia is on fire since June 9.
Small and marginal farmers in seven villages of Soegaon taluka in Aurangabad have suffered losses worth Rs 40 lakh as one night’s heavy rainfall has destroyed their cotton and ginger crops. Panchnamas still not done; farmers have no money for second sowing
The Met department has issued flood warning in Bihar due to continuous heavy rainfall expected over the region for the next two to three days. Meanwhile, several families displaced due to last year’s flash floods are still living under tarpaulins with no basic facilities
A joint survey by the National Fishworkers’ Forum and Maharashtra Machhimar Kriti Samiti has recorded extensive damages in the coastal districts of Raigad and Ratnagiri due to the Cyclone Nisarga. But, timely warning and evacuation helped save lives
Almost a month after the Cyclone Amphan made a landfall in the Sundarbans, power supply is restored in Sagar Island. But, no source of income as both farmlands and fishing ponds are destroyed
For generations, the inhabitants of Raghurajpur village in Puri district of Odisha have been narrating mythological stories through their world-famous paintings — pattachitra — and palm leaf engravings
The earliest evidence of kite flying can be seen in Mughal paintings. From being a stress-busters for the Mughals in India, to being used in military operations in China, the kite has come a long way
Gurpreet Singh, who lives in Punjab, is an engineer by profession. He has this unique habit of collecting old, discarded stuff. He creates something useful out of those things that are considered to be useless
Sugar production involves two operations -- processing cane into raw sugar and processing the raw sugar into refined sugar. Watch to understand the process of making sugar from cane
In Dumaria village in Purnia district in Bihar, farmers have taken up marigold farming, which fetches them more than maize and paddy. They sell these flowers across India and Nepal
These weavers work long hours but don't get paid enough. They want to take up other jobs but most of them don’t have any other skillset. The next generation is already moving out
The animal husbandry ministry provided biogas plants to houses having milch animals and bought the slurry in return. The ministry claims it has increased the farmers’ income by three times
The small-scale traditional fishers in India are facing many challenges. T Peter, secretary, National Fishworkers' Forum, believes the government should give some subsidy to the fisher folk
Amul belongs to 36 lakh farmer families of Gujarat, said its managing director RS Sodhi. The best thing about Amul is that the profit from value addition goes directly to the accounts of farmers
In an interview with Gaon Connection, Uttar Pradesh Rural Development Minister Rajendra Pratap Singh spoke about gram panchayat elections, the housing scheme, MGNREGA and lot more ...
It’s white, soft, sweet & fluffy … it simply melts in your mouth! Malai Makkhan is a dessert that truly has a nawabi touch. It is believed that the Mughals used to polish this delicacy off in minutes. Head to Old Lucknow to have the best malai makkhan
Meticulously measured ingredients and a practiced technique makes the perfect biryani. The evolution of biryani spans many centuries, many cultures, many ingredients and many cooking styles. Head to Lalla’s in Old Lucknow for some yummy biryani
A hole in the wall shop in Barabanki district in Uttar Pradesh, just 60 kms from state capital Lucknow, has been selling finger-licking kachoris for years now. Head to the shop — fondly known as Tandon jee kachori wala — for some yummy kachoris
The pride of Bundelkhand, these are songs of the battlefield, songs of bravery from a bygone era. Sung in Veer rasa, Aalha songs are sung by sword-wielding men and women in very powerful voices
If you are in Rajasthan, chances are that you will find many folk artists playing this instrument, commonly known as the Ravanhatha. There are not many artists who play the instrument now, but its melodious tune will attract you to the folk artists instantly
Jhumar is a folk-dance form from Bihar. It is said women express their joy and happiness through Jhumar when their husbands, who have been away from them, return home after a long time