Equity

Featured Articles
December 4, 2019 To adapt well & build resilience, climate change strategies need to factor in efforts towards water security, writes Vanita Suneja, Regional Advocacy Manager (South Asia), WaterAid.
Image credit: WaterAid/Prashanth Vishwanathan
December 2, 2019 Water stewardship is an approach predicated on the concept that water is a shared resource and so water risks are also shared risks that everyone in a catchment will face
Picture credit: Romit Sen
November 18, 2019 Bangalore's water utility is understaffed, under financed and unable to service the city's water needs.
Image credit: Citizen Matters
November 15, 2019 On World Toilet Day, we bring to light the labour of India’s sewer workers - those who do the unclean work that a Clean India relies on.
Photo credit: Sharada Prasad
November 11, 2019 Study points to vulnerabilities faced by women in the mountains and plains of Uttarakhand, which is likely to only increase with climate change.
Ganga's riverflow at Rishikesh in Uttarakhand (Image courtesy: Ankit Singh; Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)
November 6, 2019 The number of people vulnerable to floods triggered by climate change by 2050 is triple that of previous estimates, according to a new study.
Aerial view of Chennai during floods 2015 (Image: Veethika, Wikimedia Commons, CC-SA 4.0 International)
Women hold the key to dietary diversity
A study finds that women's control over income and better decisionmaking power can go a long way in improving dietary diversity and tackling malnutrition in rural India. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 6 months 3 weeks ago

Evidence world over shows that small scale agricultural production does very little to deal with malnutrition and food insecurity among rural poor.

Empowering women to improve nutritional outcomes (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Not in the interest of women farmers!
The new farm related bills will spell doom for women workers who form the bulk of small and marginal sections of Indian agriculture, warns Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch (MAKAAM). Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 7 months ago

Three farm-related Bills were recently passed in the Parliament by the BJP led government at the Center, which have subsequently received presidential assent.

Farm women, overworked and underpaid (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Groundwater recharge needs grassroots solutions: A study of two techniques in Kerala
Although groundwater is emerging as a critical issue and has managed to encourage new government schemes, a generic solution of rainwater recharge cannot be applied across different regions. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months ago

In Kerala, around half the urban population and 80% of the rural population depend on open wells on their domestic water needs. But in the last decade, the majority of observatory wells recorded an average annual decline of half a meter.

Rainwater is captured from the rooftop of the community hall and diverted to the sump before it is pumped into the open well. (Image by Authors)
A rainbow recovery post-COVID
The movement towards radical ecological democracy needs to combine the practical and policy-level grassroots work with broader mobilization. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months ago

There is a disquieting hush across the world as the linkage between the planet’s health and human well-being became pronounced during the times of the pandemic. The deepening socio-economic and ecological crises caused by patterns of production and consumption are being increasingly recognised.

The women of Deccan Development Society sanghams move towards more localized natural resource management (Image: Deccan Development Society, Facebook Page)
How forest-dwelling communities are braving the pandemic
Local communities and gram sabhas better understand the local complexities than the local administrations while dealing with a crisis situation. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months 1 week ago

The pandemic and lockdown measures have had a drastic impact on a large population of poor and marginalised communities, causing loss of livelihoods and employment, food insecurity and socio-economic distress. While vulnerabilities, atrocities and injustices faced by forest communities due to forest, conservation and economic policies have increased d

The non timber forest products collection season, which is mainly in the months of April to June coincided exactly with the lockdown (Image: CIFOR, Flickr Commons)
Poor implementation of forest rights act hurts tribals
Need to recognise the rights of forest-dwelling and tribal communities over their traditional lands. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months 1 week ago

In pre-colonial times, India’s forestlands were mostly under the use of the local communities. Forest policies led to centralisation in colonial times with forestland being subject to commercial over-exploitation for revenue generation purposes. This, in turn, led to land alienation of forest dwellers and an overall increase in deforestation.

Indigenous groups that lived and helped maintain the forests for centuries have been undermined (Image: Baiga women, Wikimedia Commons; CC BY-SA 3.0)
Governance lessons that could keep us prepared for pandemics
Leo Saldanha of Environment Support Group speaks on rethinking aspects of our governance system in post-pandemic times. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months 2 weeks ago

Unabashed assaults by human beings on the natural ecological system have caused the coronavirus to spread in the first place.

Decentralised governance systems that allow to adapt and learn are best placed to deal with disasters (Image: Kantsmith, Pixabay)
Pandemic impacts on women – Stories of survival
Women experience the effects of the COVID-19 crisis in different, often more negative ways. How are they coping? Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months 1 week ago

The pandemic has wrought havoc on the entire world. Pessimism, suffering, unemployment, hunger and poverty resound in all corners. To survive is a physical, mental and financial battle. And every family and individual has an anecdote to narrate that speaks volumes about their combat strategy, losses and victories.

Gender dimensions of the pandemic (Image: Gby Atee)
The women sanitation champions of Angul
Residents confronted with poor sanitation conditions come together and organise for effective sanitation service delivery in crowded, low-income neighbourhoods in Angul, Odisha. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months 2 weeks ago

Sita Behera, the 35-year-old mother of two lives in the Radhamadhavapura unauthorised slum in Angul. She is the President of the Ward Sanitation Committee (WSC) that is leading the work on making the slum open defecation free. Driven by the desire to improve the living conditions for her children and the neighbourhood at large, she prompted 140 families to construct latrines over two years.

Women come together in multi-layered sanitation institutions in Angul set up under Project Nirmal to improve the sanitation chain. (Image: SCI-FI, CPR)
Gendered impacts of COVID-19
The pandemic affects rural women disproportionately with damaging impacts on their employment, health and security. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months 2 weeks ago

COVID-19 has unleashed one of the greatest human tragedies of the contemporary era demonstrating our fragility and has laid bare severe and systemic inequalities at all levels. It provides several lessons in the conduct of all aspects of human personality, professional, societal, and institutional lives globally.

The time-use survey indicates that women are now spending more time on unpaid domestic and care work (Image: Sunita, Pixabay)