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"A village awaits doomsday" - Stories of displaced people who lose their home, hearth and land to "progress": A book by Jaideep Hardikar

A village awaits doomsday

Forced to part from their lands to make way for progress and development, ordinary people are displaced from their roots. The land that was theirs to till on and live on, is overrun by dams, national parks, factories, SEZs, mines and thermal power plants. Every displaced individual made homeless and rootless by this frenzied growth has his or her own personal saga to reveal.

The book ’A village awaits doomsday’ strings together stories of such affected people. It also analyzes the reasons why and how people react, retort and protest against such acquisitions. Why are the conflicts between the disposed and project creators increasing day by day ? What are the laws the government exercises to achieve this? What are the existing policies for land acquirement, and the rehabilitation and resettlement guidelines; all of these are examined in the book.

About the author

Jaideep Hardikar, a Nagpur based journalist, currently works with theTelegraph as the central India correspondent. He has written extensively on the continuing suicides among farmers in the cotton belt of Vidharba, Maharashtra, which motivated the creation of government relief packages for the farming community. He has won several fellowships and awards, including the Sanskriti Award for young journalists in 2003 for his reportage on rural issues. 

A TEDx talk by him on the problems affecting rural India, can be viewed below:

Jaideep Hardikar speaks on the rural issues in India ( Source of video: TEDx)

To read more from Jaideep Hardikar’s blog, click here.


‘Lets catch the rain’: A fun way to learn about water harvesting

An innovative and fun way to learn more on saving rainwater!

Lets catch the rain

A book ‘Lets catch the rain’ delivers the simple message of catching rain where it falls. A short animation film on rainwater harvesting illustrates the how and why of rainwater harvesting. And for the enthusiasts there is a rain game where you win by catching raindrops and loose points when the rain goes down the drain!


River Bagmati: Bounties become a curse – A book by Dinesh Kumar Mishra


In this book, Dr. Dinesh Kumar Mishra has tried to put all the available information about the river Bagmati in one place. He has explained not only about floods but also about politics of embankments and its relevance. He reviews events from ancient time to the present based on historical review and first-hand knowledge of the ground realities and social conditions by visiting most villages in the basin and engaging with the local people. He has also suggested some alternatives about how to manage the river so that people of the area can be saved from deluge.

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Machhu dam disaster of 1979 in Gujarat – Discussion on a book by Tom Wooten and Utpal Sandesara

Guest post: Amita Bhaduri

A discussion was organised on a new book by Tom Wooten and Utpal Sandesara - "No one had a tongue to speak" that spectacularly reconstructs the 1979 Machhu dam disaster in Gujarat, one of history’s worst disasters. The meeting was organised by SANDRP at India International Centre, New Delhi on 30th July, 2012. The authors began their work in 2004 and uncovered critical facts that have long remained hidden from the public. They were able to write a complete history of the disaster based on 148 interviews of flood survivors, relief workers and government officials and perusal of thousands of pages of government documents.

The book reveals that the flood resulted from large-scale government design failures rather than from mismanagement by dam workers. The book also reveals how the government of Gujarat quashed a commission of inquiry set up to investigate the disaster so that embarrassing facts would not become public. It also tells the stories of those who lived through the disaster, and have remained neglected for more than thirty years.


Image courtesy:

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Conservation at crossroads – Science, society and the future of India’s wildlife – A talk by Ghazala Shahabuddin

Guest post: Amita Bhaduri

Ghazala Shahabuddin’s recent talk on 30th August, 2012 at IIC, New Delhi focused on the malaise underlying India’s dominant conservation paradigm, which is for the most part one of top-down control and exclusion. Her lecture drew heavily from her book by the same name where she has used the Sariska Tiger Reserve as one of its major anchors, to analyze the historical, socio-political, and biological contexts of nature conservation in the country.

Ravi Singh, WWF India while chairing the session drew attention to how in India, the issue of relocation has ac­quired centre-stage in debates on biodiversity conservation. He attempted to reconcile social equity with biodiversity goals. He also spoke about the commonly held notion that environmentalism is “elitist" and how this influences on the credibility of environmental research.


Tiger at Sariska Reserve, Image courtesy:

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"Excreta Matters" - A profile of the water and sewage situation in 71 Indian cities - A report by the Centre for Science and Environment

Guest post by: Amita Bhaduri 

The just released Citizens’ Seventh Report on the State of India’s Environment, “Excreta Matters: How urban India is soaking up water, polluting rivers and drowning in its own excreta” deals with where Indian urban centers get their water from and where their waste goes.

The report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) calls for using correct technology, planning for cost recovery and resource sustainability, building and renewing local water resources and designing sewage systems differently. It also calls for a law on the right to clean water.


Source: Excreta Matters, Centre for Science and Environment, 2012

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Water - Asia's new battleground by Brahma Chellaney - A new book from the Georgetown University Press

Article and Image courtesy: Georgetown University Press
Author: Brahma Chellaney

Water - Asia's new battleground by Brahma Chellaney - A new book from the Georgetown University PressThe battles of yesterday were fought over land. Those of today are over energy. But the battles of tomorrow may be over water. Nowhere is that danger greater than in water-distressed Asia.Read More


Jungle Trees of Central India - A field guide for Tree-spotters by Pradip Krishen - A preview Trees of Central India - Pradip Krishen - Cover

Content Courtesy: Flowers of India

Jungle Trees of Central India is a lovingly detailed field guide to every tree you're likely to see in the magnificent dry, deciduous forests of the region. Bigger than France and encompassing 5 of India's most visited Tiger Reserves, Central India is home to the classical types of wilderness that one associates with the term 'Indian Jungle'.Read More

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Jungle Trees of Central India - Pradip Krishen - Basic Layout and Design (2010)11.68 MB

Managing Water in River Basins - Hydrology, Economics and Institutions by Dinesh Kumar - Book Review

Content Courtesy: Financial Express
Author: HS Saini

Managing water in River basins

It is a Himalayan task to make a realistic assessment of the status of water availability in Indian landmass, its demands, depletion and recharge. Even more difficult is the future prospects of availability with respect to emerging consumption trends and anticipated global warming. Read More


Water Governance in Motion: Towards Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Water Laws

Article and Image Courtesy: International Environmental Law Research Centre

Water Governance in Motion

Water Governance in Motion: Towards Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Water Laws focuses on the work undertaken by International Environmental Law Research Centre IELRC on water law reforms in India. It seeks to provide a broader understanding of the conceptual framework informing existing water law and ongoing reforms.
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