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Private Sector

Maize Mania

Issue Date: Aug 15, 2011
In the lush forested uplands of Koraput, Domu Matpadia, a Paraja tribeswoman, is coming face to face with modern farm technology. A representative of Charoen Pokphand, a Thai agribusiness multinational, is telling her how to grow its hybrid maize seeds that the state government has given her free along with a kit of fertiliser and pesticide. The seeds that she cradles in her palm with wonder are the key to a plan that Odisha has drawn up to get its farmers to give up their traditional rice cultivation in the uplands and take to hybrid maize instead to boost income.

Road to disaster

Issue Date: Jun 15, 2011
Acheja, a small farming village in Gautam Budh Nagar district in western Uttar Pradesh, had never seen such a large congregation as it did on May 12. The venue was a rice mill. Its verandah was crammed with farmers in white kurta pyjamas and Gandhi caps. They were discussing the recent violence in the area in high-pitched voices. Once in a while, the crowd shouted: “Jab tak dukhi kisan rahega, dharti par toofan rahega (As long as farmers are unhappy, the earth will be in turmoil).”

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.

Run from cover

Issue Date: Dec 31, 2009
Saif Siddiqui spent a little under Rs 14,000 on his appendicitis operation three years ago. The 35-year-old dentist from Bhubaneswar relied on an insurance cover for his family from Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd. He paid Rs 5,184 as premium for the policy.

Get your own vaccine

Issue Date: Jul 15, 2009
Shuvam Kumar lay on an iron cot in the tetanus ward of the Nalanda Medical College and Hospital in Patna, Bihar. After four days in the hospital, with stiff jaws and high fever, the two-yearold was too weak to cry when the nurse gave him an injection. There is little hope left of his survival, the family had been informed. His father, a labourer in Galurghat village in Gaya, regrets not getting Shuvam to Patna for the tetanus vaccine immediately after he stepped on a nail in the village. Shuvam was not administered the vaccine after birth either. The vaccine is not available in the village.

The weather mart

Issue Date: Jul 31, 2009
Archita Bhatta and Rohini Rangarajan Met department is not the only one predicting weather in India. Forecasts are now sold by businesses to businesses

Myth of power

Issue Date: Sep 15, 2008
  Hydroelectric projects in Alaknanda and Bhagirathi river basins  

Fanning an alternative

Issue Date: Aug 15, 2008
Today Maharashtra is second only to Tamil Nadu in terms of installed capacity to generate wind power; as on March 31 this year 1,756 mw. The potential? A whopping 3,650 mw in 28 feasible sites.
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