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Crosscurrents

Chipko's triumphs extend beyond the forest

Issue Date: Apr 30, 1993
TWENTY years ago, the people of the remote Garhwal village of Mandal decided to resist commercial felling of the trees on which they depended for their basic needs. Their resistance soon spread to other parts of Garhwal and Kumaon, where local pressures on the area's limited grazing resources had reduced them to near unsustainability.

Personality clashes lead to internal schisms

Author(s): Ramachandra Guha
Issue Date: Apr 30, 1993
CHIPKO was the culmination of a century of popular resistance to commercial forestry in the Uttarakhand Himalaya. And its timing was right.

The dream remains confined to Garhwal

Author(s): Madhav Gadgil
Issue Date: Apr 30, 1993
THE BRITISH blamed the improvidence of the Indian peasantry for the destruction of India's forest wealth.

Uneducated villagers bring about a miracle

Author(s): Anupam Mishra
Issue Date: Apr 30, 1993
AS A PEOPLE'S movement, Chipko's achievements are well beyond the ordinary. Launched by a small organisation called the Dasholi Gram Samaj Mandal in the tiny village of Gopeshwar in the Garhwal region of Uttar Pradesh, Chipko exerted an immense impact on environmental movements throughout the world. This, despite Chipko's members being mostly simple, uneducated villagers.

Putting an end to commercialisation

Author(s): Virendra Kumar
Issue Date: Apr 30, 1993
WHEN I first visited the Alaknanda valley in the 1960s, there were few footprints on the path leading to the Hemkund-Lokpal shrine and the Valley of Flowers and nature was resplendent in all its pristine glory.

Education must boost unity, end superstition

Author(s): Brahm P Gupta
Issue Date: Apr 15, 1993
THE PEOPLE'S level of education is considered an index of development and a nation's potential for growth. The concept of education needs to be defined in the context of its ability to meet the challenge of social change.

Kerala brick industry taking over rice fields

Author(s): S Unnikrishnan
Issue Date: Apr 15, 1993
IMMEDIATELY after the monsoon, most of the paddy-fields in central Kerala are prepared -- not for cultivation, but for brick making! Brick-making has been gaining momentum during the last 15 years because it is easy money. From about one hectare of paddy-field leased from farmers, a brick manufacturer can rake in a whopping annual profit of more than two lakh rupees. And, because the brick manufacturer can afford to pay more, most of the women who used to work in paddy-fields have switched to the brick industry.

Neglect robs Saurashtra park of greenery

Author(s): Rupa Desai Abdi
Issue Date: Apr 15, 1993
TUCKED away on the southern outskirts of Bhavnagar town is a dreary stretch of wilderness that once was a beautiful forest with leguminous trees and bushes spread over the rocky terrain. Creepers wove a delicate tapestry of bright flowers on the spiky branches of acacias and jujubes. Nilgai, jackal and other animals roamed freely in the forest and its small lakes were home to a variety of water birds.

Simple systems available to treat sewage

Author(s): Soli J Arceivala
Issue Date: Apr 15, 1993
INSTEAD of energy-consuming systems, simple sewage treatment methods such as oxidation ponds could be utilised in Indian cities and towns. Oxidation ponds are lagoons or basins in which waste water is cleansed through sedimentation and the action of microorganisms.

Industries get long rope to rein pollution

Author(s): Gopal K Kadekodi
Issue Date: Mar 31, 1993
ECONOMIC reforms launched in India in July 1991 were aimed at bridging fiscal and monetary imbalances and reducing the balance of payments. Associated with these conspicuous disproportions was the environmental imbalance, which economists set aside as externalities. But with increasing global concern about the environment, India, too, has started responding to the problem.
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