Scattered across 240 sq km on the remote Niyamgiri hill range in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, an ancient tribal group known as the Dongria Kondh have earned themselves a reputation as trailblazers.
“Swachh Bharat”, or Clean India, is a slogan that most Indians today associate with the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his first nation-wide campaign launched soon after taking office in 2014.
Home to an estimated 3.74 billion people, the Asia-Pacific region holds over half the global population, determining to a great extent the level of economic stability, or chaos, in the world.
"I was brutally raped thrice by my husband. He kept me under surveillance in his Dubai house while I suffered from severe malnutrition and depression. When I tried to flee from this hellhole, he confiscated my passport, deprived me of money and beat me up," recalls Anna Marie Lopes, 28, a rape survivor who after six years of torture, finally managed to board a flight to New Delhi from the United Arab Emirates in 2012.
In the course of human history many tens of thousands of communities have survived and thrived for hundreds, even thousands, of years. Scores of these largely self-sustaining traditional communities continue to this day in remote jungles, forests, mountains, deserts, and in the icy regions of the North. A few remain completely isolated from modern society.
As India paid glowing tributes to Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, the architect of its constitution and a champion of the downtrodden, on his 124nd
birth anniversary last month, public attention also swivelled to the glaring social and economic discrimination that plagues the lives of lower-caste or ‘casteless’ communities – who comprise over 16 percent of the country's 1.2 billion people.
Kama Pradhan, a 35-year-old tribal woman, her eyes intent on the glowing screen of a hand-held GPS device, moves quickly between the trees. Ahead of her, a group of men hastens to clear away the brambles from stone pillars that stand at scattered intervals throughout this dense forest in the Nayagarh district of India’s eastern Odisha state.
HuligeAmma, a Dalit woman in her mid-forties, bends over a sewing machine, carefully running the needle over the hem of a shirt. Sitting nearby is Roopa, her 22-year-old daughter, who reads an amusing message on her cell phone and laughs heartily.
Vinita Panikker, 26, considers herself "the world's most unfortunate woman".
University lecture halls in North America are no strangers to the ''cli-fi" genre of climate-themed novels and movies, but now India is getting into the act as well, thanks to the pioneering work of Professor T. Ravichandran of the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) in Uttar Pradesh.
As more and more people in India enter the ‘senior citizen’ category, ugly cracks are beginning to appear in a social structure that claims to value the institution of family but in reality expresses disdain for the bonds of blood.
Driven by solar and wind, world investments in renewable energy reversed a two-year dip last year, brushing aside the challenge from sharply lower oil prices and registering a 17 percent leap over the previous year to stand at 270 billion dollars.
It calls itself the ‘world’s largest democracy’ but the 380 million working-aged women in India might disagree with that assessment.
In November last year, India’s power minister Piyush Goyal announced that he plans to double coal production
in India by the end of this decade and, in an effort to enhance production, the Indian government has started a process of auctioning coal blocks.
India’s Government under Narendra Modi is in overdrive mode to please businesses and investments in the country. The much aggrandised ‘Make in India
’ campaign launched in September 2014 is a clarion call for spurring investments into manufacturing and services in India and all eyes have turned to the power sector which is expected to undergo dramatic shifts.