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Andhra Pradesh

Cold takes south India by surprise

Author(s): Dinsa Sachan
Issue Date: Jan 20, 2012
Southern parts of the country have been hit by an unexpected and unprecedented drop in temperatures. While the government has not confirmed this, media reports claim that several people have died of the cold in Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad saw a decline of four degrees in its maximum temperature, while its minimum temperature dropped by 2°C.

Cheated for bauxite

Author(s): M Suchitra
Issue Date: Jan 31, 2012

A million opportunities lost

Issue Date: Dec 15, 2011
This is the little known big story of India’s nationwide rural employment programme. In the past five years the programme has sought to create tanks, ponds, wells and revive traditional water conservation structures at a scale and pace not witnessed before in the country. Millions of people in the countryside seeking jobs under the programme embarked on building or reviving 3.4 million water conservation structures, according to the Union rural development ministry. This is unprecedented given that before 2005, all the public wage schemes together created just about two million structures in six decades.

Lives of others

Issue Date: Oct 15, 2011
BEYOND USUAL SUSPECTS A case for neglected species in wildlife research and conservation For most of us wildlife is represented by large mammals like elephant, rhino, lion and tiger, may be birds like hornbill, raptors, peafowl and waterfowl and awe inspiring reptiles like marine turtles, crocodiles, python and king cobra. The fact is that wildlife ranges from very small insects to gigantic trees and from coral polyps to whales. Unfortunately, only a very small number of species have received attention of researchers and conservationists. While charismatic species largely drive the conservation scenario, they also seem to be the focus of wildlife research mainly because of the availability of funds and the role of charismatic species in setting our wildlife policies.

Wealth of forests withheld

Issue Date: Sep 15, 2011
Some 40 years ago an experiment began in Arabari forest range of West Bengal that caught the fancy of the nation. The forest authorities roped in the people living in the area in regenerating degraded forests. In return they offered them a share in forest resources and revenue. It worked. Two decades later the Centre adopted the Arabari model to start the Joint Forest Management programme. The response was such that today it involves 25 million people.

How Bellary was laid waste

Issue Date: Aug 31, 2011
The all-powerful iron ore mining mafia of Karnataka has hurled red dust into the eyes of democratic India with impunity, and for long. Convinced of their invincibility, the Reddy brothers, along with their mentors and cohorts, have ravaged the state’s rich mines. Between April 2006 and July 2010 the state lost Rs 16,085 crore due to illegal mining.

Polavaram fraud

Issue Date: May 15, 2011
Fear of submergence haunts Kurturu, a village nestled in the Papi hills of the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh. In 2005, a band of officials, an unusual sight in this remote village in West Godavari district, visited the place and marked a rock.

Unhealthy countryside

Issue Date: Apr 30, 2011
Skinny and visibly weak, 39- year-old Rajkumar Haribhajan Patil had been suffering from contractions in the chest, and feeling panicky and restless for the past five years. In January 2010, he suffered severe palpitations and was rushed to a private clinic in Warud, in Maharashtra’s Nagpur district. Doctors diagnosed him with hypertension.

Profit from the poor

Issue Date: Nov 30, 2010
Ega Mounika was born into debt, lived in debt and died with debts. The college-going 20-year-old of Warangal’s Karimabad village immolated herself on September 25; three days later, she died. “My daughter wanted to release us from debt,” said her father Laxmi Narayan who sustained burn injuries trying to rescue her. He owns a paan shop and always had debts, which is why no bank found him worthy of a loan. So five years ago, when a microfinance institution (MFI) approached her mother, a beedi roller, offering a loan of Rs 10,000, Mounika was quick to say yes. She bought a sewing machine with the money, started a tailoring business, dividing her time between studies and the new machine. “Things were fine for two weeks,” said Narayan, “then we began to default.” Loan repayment is usually weekly in microfinance.

Saving rice

Issue Date: Dec 31, 2010
Something is stirring in paddy fields across India. New seeds, new crop management techniques and newly minted food security policies are about to hit the countryside. Not all of the changes that are being forged in Krishi Bhawan, headquarters of the Union agriculture ministry, in the top-flight research institutions across the country, and in the boardrooms of leading global and domestic seed companies are visible as yet. But these policies could transform the country’s rice landscape, perhaps, in an unalterable manner.
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