Informal Sector

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October 21, 2019 In this interview, Joy talks about his work as an activist working in rural Maharashtra, and how he came to work on water conflicts in India.
KJ Joy speaks at a felicitation for the late Professor Ramaswamy Iyer.
September 24, 2019 Policy matters this week
Despite the ban, manual scavenging continues. (Image courtesy: The Hindu)
September 13, 2019 Arecanut farmers in Karnataka are reeling from dipping groundwater levels and infrequent water supply for irrigation. In this article, some solutions are proposed.
Young arecanut trees grown in drylands of Tumkur region (Gubbi Taluk, Hodalur Village) Pic Credit: Chandana Eswar
August 19, 2019 Mitul Baruah from Ashoka University narrates personal experiences of people affected by floods in Majuli, Assam.
Floods in Majuli Assam. Photo credit: Mitul Baruah
August 13, 2019 Magsaysay award winner & founder-editor of PARI, P Sainath analyses India's water scarcity, the agrarian crisis & farmer suicides, before asking: what can we do about it?
Picture: The semi-arid regions of the Moyar-Bhavani River basin in Tamil Nadu. Picture credit: Prathigna Poonacha, Tanvi Deshpande; Indian Institute for Human Settlements from India Water Portal on Flickr. Picture used for representational purposes only
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 6 months 4 weeks 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)
Agriculture and food security challenges amid Covid-19
The pandemic has bared our vulnerabilities and shaken our collective consciousness to focus on agriculture and rural economy. Amita Bhaduri posted 8 months ago

India has seen large scale rural-urban migration of people trying to escape rural distress in the last few decades.

Women farmers produce vegetables through innovative farming practices in Banka, Bihar. They can sell their produce at regional markets, and earn a better income for their families. (Image: USAID, Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Nashik civic body frees Godavari using riverfront development funds
News this week Swati Bansal posted 8 months ago

A civic body frees a river instead of concretising it, for the first time

Godavari river (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Ganga's riverine communities in troubled waters
The fishing community is the most vulnerable as its members come into direct contact with the river water and thus, suffer the maximum impact of pollution. Amita Bhaduri posted 8 months 1 week ago

A large section of the population living in the Ganga river basin still depends on the river for daily use activities and livelihood. Hence, the cleaning of the Ganga river’s water and making it safe for use remains a major goal for policymakers.

There is a need to formalise the traditional occupation of riverine fishing by providing proper licensing facilities to allow for targeted policies for the community in order to mitigate the livelihood challenges being faced by it. (Image: Pikrepo)
Decentralised governance key to handling Covid-19
There is a positive correlation between the panchayat raj system and effective handling of Covid-19, says Mani Shankar Aiyar. Amita Bhaduri posted 8 months 2 weeks ago

Panchayats have been the core of India's rural governance even before they received the constitutional mandate through the 73rd constitutional amendment in 1992, forming the basis of decentralization in the country. There are 2.5 lakh gram panchayats; over 6 lakhs villages; around 4500 urban local bodies and 4000 census towns in the country.

A first time Sarpanch of Lahora Gram Panchayat in Rajasthan’s Tonk District, stands committed, guiding the community with her political acumen. (Image: UN Women;CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Think, before you have your cup of tea!
Women workers from tea plantations in India are overworked and underpaid. Voiceless, without any rights at the workplace, and their health compromised, they continue to suffer in silence. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 8 months 3 weeks ago

India is the second largest tea producer in the world, with production at 1.2 million metric tons

Women workers at a tea plantation in Assam (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Water projects get priority in MGNREGA amidst COVID-19
Efforts needed to better utilise MGNREGA funds to deter vested interests from misappropriating. Amita Bhaduri posted 8 months 3 weeks ago

Lockdown in April to May 2020 due to COVID-19 led to the mass migration of workers from the cities to villages. Despite strict measures by the government to stop any movement, people facing lost jobs and high cost of living in the cities began to walk back or use whatever transportation was available to travel to their home villages.

Work in progress at an MGNREGA site (Image: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh)
Monsoon experiences a countrywide deficit of 10 percent in July
News this week Swati Bansal posted 8 months 4 weeks ago

Monsoon 2020: Countrywide deficit of 10 percent in July; September may have heavy rains

July experiences rain deficit of 10 percent (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Migration and the state amid the Covid-19 pandemic
The Covid-19 prompted migration crisis brought India’s inequalities into sharp relief. Amita Bhaduri posted 9 months ago

Through no fault of their own, migrants were forced to leave the cities after the government imposed a Covid-19 induced national lockdown in late March. After losing their work, fearing they would run out of cash and food they trudged back along with their families to the villages in search of humanity, food, and a place to live.

Migrants contribute enormously to urban society and economy (Image: Pexels)