January 31, 2020

January 20, 2020

Bhubaneswar needs to act fast to achieve sustainability

© Basudev Mahapatra
Bhubaneswar, set to transform into a smart city, is facing cyclonic storms and experiencing extreme weather events more frequently than a few decades ago, city dwellers observe.

January 03, 2020

Odisha's Kondh women lead a kitchen revolution in their backyards

Overcoming taboos and becoming more knowledgeable about abundant local foods, malnourished Kondh people in Odisha are bringing diversity to their food baskets through backyard kitchen gardens

Kaikeyi Majhi of Kalahandi's Kamegaon village irrigates
her kitchen garden. © Basudev Mahapatra
“Unless we consume a variety of foods that include vegetables and greens, pulses and legumes, and meat and fish along with rice, where will we get adequate nutrition? How can our children have proper physical and cognitive growth?” asked Golapi Kanhar.

The question from Golapi Kanhar (35) of remote Kasirikhol village in Kandhamal district, a Kondh woman with primary education, reflects increasing awareness about nutrition and food diversity within the community.

December 20, 2019

People’s movement brews against Subarnarekha Port Project

© Basudev Mahapatra
As the government of the eastern Indian state of Odisha has pursued works to realize its dream of Subarnarekha Port, the third non-major port of the state, people of Chaumukh village prepare for their second battle, after the famous Baliapal movement of the 1980s raised against a proposed missile test base.

“This land is dear to us because it has everything to offer for our livelihood. This is a fertile land mass where we grow paddy and many other crops. The Subarnarekha River has been a perennial source of fish, crabs and lime shells for land holding as well as landless villagers to gather food and earn a livelihood. The port will disrupt all these ecosystem services,” said Subash Chandra Chaudhury, 72, a retired school teacher of Chaumukh village.

September 25, 2019

Odisha’s tribal women discard tradition to space out childbirths

Odisha’s tribal women, suffering the adverse health effects of childbirths in quick succession combined with strenuous agricultural and household work, are breaking community norms to use contraceptives

© Basudev Mahapatra
Rita Mandal (34) of Bali Sahi, a hamlet under Dhepaguda panchayat of Gajapati district inhabited by Saora tribes, gave birth to five children, of which three died. Though a series of pregnancies without interval led to ill health, she felt helpless because women of her community had no choice regarding pregnancy

Similar were the cases of Sumitra, Sebati, Sugami and most other women between 30 and 40 years of age. Pregnancies without space led to ill health of most of these women. “Due to physical weakness, it was painful for me to go to the forest to collect firewood and other forest produce or work in my family farm,” said Arati Raita (32), mother of three children.