August 22, 2012

Climate change badly affects agriculture, threatens food security in Odisha

Climate change has made the agrarian communities living in coastal, tropical and sub-tropical regions of Odisha its worst victims. The change in the time and amount of rain during the cropping seasons has badly hit the agriculture making it an unviable livelihood option. As a result, the communities’ vulnerability to livelihood loss and food insecurity has increased and Youth of the communities are now forced to migrate as labourers.

August 07, 2012

Odisha under US Scanner for delaying justice to victims of Kandhamal violence

Placing the violence of Kandhamal in Odisha as one of the worst of its kind in the country and listing it among three major instances of violence like the Gujarat violence of 2002 and the Anti-Sikh riots of 1984, the commission’s report mentions that, “In December 2007, in Kandhamal, Orissa, violence between Christians and Hindus resulted in several deaths, dozens of injuries, churches and homes destroyed and displacement. The murder of an influential Hindu political leader in August 2008 sparked a further violent campaign targeting Christians, even though Maoist extremists claimed responsibility.

July 04, 2012

Violence Against Women: Issue of women safety needs to be seen from social perspective


Since the murder of a woman journalist Chhabirani in the year 1980 till date, thousands of women in Odisha have fallen victim to the heinous instincts of men. As per claims made by the President of Odisha Congress’ women wing on the basis of a white paper tabled in State Assembly, about 4,100 cases under section 376 (rape) were registered in different police stations of Odisha during last three years. The statistics is not only shocking but is also loud to explain how women have become vulnerable to the unmanly instincts of men in the society.

Maoist hostage crisis in India: government indifference makes Maoists give up on mediation

Mediation has been successful at bringing down levels of violence and bringing popular welfare and social justice demands onto the political agenda. These gains are  under threat as the government fails to take the process seriously.
Banned since 2009 as a terrorist organisation Communist Party of India (Maoist) armed cadres now have a presence in more than half of India’s 29 States. Maoists have adopted the tactics of abduction of civil servants and lawmakers since the 1980s. In the last 15 months, Maoists have made three abductions in Odisha and one in Chhattisgarh. However, while the earlier abductions were aimed at a prisoner swap, the recent abductions have raised the possibility of establishing peace by minimising violence and establishing dialogue.

February 19, 2012

Climate Change Impact may force Olive Ridley Turtles to abandon Odisha beaches for mass nesting

Higher degree of erosion at many points of Odisha's coastline poses serious threat to the routine activities of marine turtles and raises doubts about the continuity of the tradition of mass nesting by the Olive Ridley marine turtles called ‘Arribada’. The nesting grounds are being squeezed alarmingly and the coastal vegetation that plays a vital role in providing food to lakhs of mother turtles and their hatchlings is vanishing rapidly because of coastal erosion and aggressive persuasion of development projects like port infrastructure by Odisha government across the coastline. In regard to the nesting activities this season (2012), things look quite uncertain as the beaches near Gahirmatha river mouth, Devi river mouth and Rushikulya river mouth, that have been the regular nesting grounds for the turtles, have lost most of their space in the Bay of Bengal because of erosion. 

August 04, 2011

POSCO's Orissa Project is not all about Steel


More than just industrialisation and economic development, POSCO's Orissa Project has become a political phenomenon with South Korean president trying to push it as an agenda in diplomatic talks and the Prime Minister’s Office in India expressing its support to the project undermining the public opposition on the ground since last six years. Even without a valid MoU, POSCO was given environmental clearances by the union ministry of India to go ahead with its project works at the proposed area near Paradeep and Orissa government started acquiring land for the POSCO Project. One has to check, if such things are possible in any other country across the globe just to honour a large foreign investment.