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.