November 23, 2018

In Odisha, Congress Won’t Let Naveen Patnaik’s BJD Have it Easy

Image source: TheQuint.com
With the assembly elections due in Odisha in early 2019 alongside the parliamentary elections, the bugle has been sounded.

Although there is still time for the Central Election Commission to make necessary notifications for the Lok Sabha and assembly polls in Odisha, political parties in the state have begun their election-related exercises already.

A few media and survey agencies have also started fuelling the political mood of an election through different speculations.

November 22, 2018

How an Odisha Village Saved its Forest From an Upcoming Brewery


Photo: Basidev Mahapatra
The village of Balarampur, barely 20 KM from its district headquarters town of Dhenkanal and 80 KM from Odisha’s capital city of Bhubaneswar, has scripted a success story while adopting the methods of the famous Chipko movement to save trees from the vagaries of an allegedly ill planned alcohol plant and bureaucratic insensitivities towards the green.

Led by the women folks of the village, it brought wisdom and forced the Odisha government to order for relocation of the project respecting the voice of people, making the case first of its kind in Odisha during the Naveen Patnaik regime.

November 17, 2018

Make in Odisha 2018 ignored farmers and the brands of Odisha

Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha,
addresses investors at Make in Odisha Conclave 2018.
Picture courtesy: Odisha Government
Though the Make in Odisha Conclave 2018 is being termed by the state government as a successful event mainly by virtue of the promises it has drawn, to a lot of Odisha's ordinary population, it failed in many aspects.

Started in Bhubaneswar on November 12, 2018, the event was participated by India’s top industrialists like Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries, Kumarmangalam Birla of Aditya Birla Group, Naveen Jindal of Jindal Steel, Anil Agrawal of Vedanta Resources among many others who for a day made the state capital city the point of highest attention.

October 18, 2018

Cyclones buffet Odisha as temperatures rise


The rise in temperatures due to climate change has increased the vulnerability of Odisha on the east coast of India to intense cyclonic storms

Cyclone Titli made landfall on October 11, 2018,
and caused extensive damage in coastal areas of
Odisha and Andhra Pradesh
The southern coast of Odisha, with the small port town of Gopalpur at its centre, seems to have become a favoured destination for tropical cyclones occurring in the months of October-November in the Bay of Bengal. This year, coastal districts of Odisha and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh on the east coast around Gopalpur faced two intense tropical cyclones — Daye in September and Titli in October.

Gopalpur has been facing a constant threat of post-monsoon tropical cyclones since at least 1999 when it was badly hit by a devastating tropical cyclone 10 days before the super cyclone of 1999. The later one hit near Odisha’s port town of Paradeep in the early hours of October 29 ravaged large parts of coastal areas, leading to at least 10,000 deaths.

October 16, 2018

Assam: Skill training empowers girls, raises hope for gender parity

#GenderEmpowerment

Skill development trainings are not only helping rural communities fight poverty in Assam but are also empowering girls to aspire big, overcoming challenges posed by social stigma and deep-rooted gender disparity


After her training in office administration skill, Kakoli Bora, 25, now works as assistant manager with a microfinance company in Assam.

October 15, 2018

A year on, Odisha yet to ensure justice in Kunduli gang rape case


Image source: Citizens for Justice and Peace
A year on, the case of alleged gang rape of a minor girl by men in uniform in Kunduli area of Odisha’s Koraput district has become a point of discussion again. After dismissal from Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Dr. Damodar Rout, lawmaker as well as former minister in the Naveen Patnaik cabinet, sparked fresh controversy by making statements that evidences were manipulated, destroyed and altered in the case to protect one alleged rapist, a constable in paramilitary forces.

However, scientific experts reject Rout's charges while inviting him and all to prove the reports wrong.

September 22, 2018

BJD mustn't take people of Odisha for granted all the time

Political warmth is on an increasing trend in Odisha as elections are on the head and many expect it to happen earlier than usual.

Confident about its electoral success until a few weeks ago, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) now seems to be worried a lot since dismissal of the veteran politician Dr. Damodar Rout and the speculations following it over formation of another regional political outfit to challenge the ruling party on the lines of the true ideology and dreams of late Biju Patnaik, the legendary person whom people of Odisha consider the icon of pride. 

September 12, 2018

Women farmers suffer due to unequal land rights

Although they are often the actual cultivators, the lack of land rights among women farmers in Odisha has resulted in chronic distress because they are unable to get government loans or compensation over crop loss
Since her husband migrated out of Odisha for work, it fell upon Remati Majhi (25) of Dhamnaguda village in Nuapada district to cultivate rice in the fields owned by her husband. But she could neither avail any government loan nor insure the crop because she didn’t have title over the land. So, she had no option but to arrange the required resources through private moneylenders.

August 09, 2018

Warning for Odisha Govt: 56K Adolescent Girls Drop Out of School

Two ministries of the Odisha government are at loggerheads over the dropout rate of ‘adolescent girls’ from school, in the state. Last week, based on a baseline survey, the department of Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti (WCD-MS) claimed that nearly 56,000 girls, in the age group of 11-14, are out of school.