Showing posts with label Odisha. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Odisha. Show all posts

March 07, 2020

Life skills education prevents child marriages among Odisha tribes

Photograph © Basudev Mahapatra.
Life skills education empowers tribal girls with knowledge, self-awareness and decision making capacities, helping them rise above social customs and pressures. It has resulted in decline of child marriages

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.

June 05, 2019

Can Bhubaneswar’s smart city infrastructure withstand summer heat stress?


Cyclone Fani in early May was one more reminder for Bhubaneswar of its vulnerability to extreme weather events, and the massive damage to urban infrastructure that such events could bring about, even in an upcoming ‘smart’ city.

Fani left Bhubaneswar in shambles in its trail, with uprooted trees all around falling on roads and buildings, disrupting major services like supply of water and electricity as well as Internet connectivity. Life in the city remained miserable for weeks. Last year too, life in the city had been severely disrupted, as it almost went under water following unusually heavy rainfall of nearly 200 mm in a day.

May 25, 2019

Mandasaru: Biodiversity takes centre stage in Odisha’s silent valley

Photograph: VillageSquare/ Basudev Mahapatra
Forest communities of Mandasaru hills are taking steps to conserve biodiversity in Odisha’s silent valley, even as the world celebrates International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22.

May 12, 2019

Post Fani, Bhubaneswar Continues To Fight For Electricity & Water

Photograph: The Quint/ Basudev Mahapatra
With thousands of trees uprooted, property damaged, Cyclone Fani has left a trail of destruction in its wake. Life after Fani continues to remain nightmarish for the people of Odisha’s capital city Bhubaneswar, with basic amenities like clean water, electricity and mobile connectivity still not available. A week since the cyclone, residents of Bhubaneswar's Nayapali area are barely managing without these basics.

April 25, 2019

In Bhubaneswar MP race, winner will have to meet voter expectations on local issues

Two retired bureaucrats — IAS and former commissioner of Bhubaneswar Municipality Corporation (BMC) Aparajita Sarangi (BJP) and retired IPS officer and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Mohan Patnaik (BJD) — along with Janardan Pati, the CPI (M) candidate supported by Indian National Congress (INC) were among the 13, mostly fresh, faces in the MP elections in Bhubaneswar. The city voted on April 23rd to elect both MLAs for the Odisha Vidhan Sabha and MPs to the 17th Lok Sabha.

April 06, 2019

Social audit empowers Odisha’s rural poor

With only two members enrolled in her public distribution system (PDS) ration card, Balmati Bhumia had to feed her five-member family with only 10 kg of rice distributed under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013. Names of three of her children didn’t feature in the card despite grievances filed at the gram panchayat (village council) office.

April 05, 2019

Mahanadi needs rejuvenation plans to remain a live river system

Mahanadi River at Mundali barrage near Cuttack city, Odisha
Photograph: Basudev Mahapatra

At the centre of the dispute, since 2016, between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over sharing of water, River Mahandi is getting overstressed and its basin ecosystem degrading day by day

Mahanadi is the sixth largest river of India. It originates from a pool, 6 KM from Farsiya village of Dhamtari district, in the State of Chhattisgarh, and flows about 851 KM east through Odisha to reach the Bay of Bengal near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district.

March 26, 2019

Can water ATMs ease the daily struggle of the poor in Bhubaneswar?

At Mamata Gharana, Bhubaneswar’s first community home for members of the transgender community, Madhuri Kinnar, 38, is happy that she and her mates — over 70 others who stay here — now have access to clean water in their own slum for consumption.

“Over the last two decades, we have faced lots of problems in getting water. We had to go to Vani Vihar or Rasulgarh, both kilometres away from the Kinnar Basti (transgender slum) to collect water for our consumption and other daily uses,” Madhuri, President of All Odisha Transgender Association, said, “You can imagine how difficult it is to fetch the entire amount of water we require from such distant places.”

March 15, 2019

Community interventions reverse desertification trend in Odisha’s Balangir


Byasadev Bhoi, 58, of Pandel village of Odisha’s in Balangir district was very excited while showing the pond the villagers have dug. The pond has changed their lives by ensuring water to irrigate about 150 acres of agricultural land even during dry seasons between the months of January and May. Byasadev is happy that the young members of his family don’t need to migrate to other states in search of jobs anymore as they are now able to grow more than two crops in their fields.

Balangir district being chronically drought-prone, this was not the life villagers of Pandel lived before. 

Women’s control over food brings nutritional equity in Odisha’s KBK region

Pramila Behera, 27, of Pengdusi village in Thuamul Rampur block of Odisha’s Kalahandi district has started her nutrition garden over two decimal of land beside her house. The small garden offers her the freedom to decide what kind of food items she is going to offer to her husband, daughters and son. 

Though the idea of nutrition garden is quite like a traditional kitchen garden. But, the difference here is that Pramila grows a wide range of vegetables, legumes and leaves in her nutrition garden so that it can give her control over food and fulfil the micronutrient needs of her family.