Farming, tourism, poor fishing practices along with misdirected policies are muddying the famous backwaters of Kerala, one of India’s best known holiday destinations. Nowhere is this misuse more visible than in and around the 95-km-long Vembanad Lake.
Ashik Rehman, 47, worked as a labourer in the southern Indian state of Kerala. He left for Saudi Arabia two years ago, hoping to earn enough to buy a house in his native place. Now he is back and staring at a bleak future.
For the first time in over four decades, the number of people migrating out of the southern Indian state of Kerala, home to 33.3 million people, is on the decline.
For half a century cardiovascular disease has been the largest killer in Western countries, but recently it has started to dominate the health statistics in the South as well. In India coronary heart disease is already the biggest killer, and strokes are about to rise to second place. Globally, cardiovascular disease now kills about 17 million people a year, and a growing number of people are having heart attacks or strokes as early as their 40s or 50s.
Far-flung South Asian communities, from the high Himalayan slopes to the Indian Ocean coasts, united in the face of extreme and uncertain weather, continue to hold on to the hope that the Rio+20 focus on disaster risk reduction (DRR) will positively influence national policies.