Travel

Tourism Regulatory Framework

Although the Indian government has myriad schemes to promote tourism, there is no regulatory framework for the sector. If tourism is to be sustainable, with minimum impact on biodiversity and the environment, a regulatory policy framework is urgently needed.

Wildlife

Monkey Menace

Deforestation and habitat degradation have primarily contributed to monkeys moving into human settlements over the last few decades. Long-term scientific measures are the only solution to the monkey menace.

Wildlife

Elephantine Trouble

Elephants are today endangered due to fragmentation of habitat, reduction of forest cover, and the hostility of local communities to wildlife. A holistic approach to conservation is the best solution to benefit all concerned.

Travel

A Tranquility Called Lansdowne

The trek. Profile of ridge after ridge. Tall sturdy pine and rhododendron trees. The Garhwal Rifles. Hilltop houses. Village Zehrikhal. Laxmi from another village on another hill. Children back from school. The market downhill. Pocket sized shops. The effervescently handsome CD woman. Hot buns off the divinely fragrant bakery. Whitewashed buildings with ornate gates. Kitchen gardens or lack of it. Yellow and white daisies. Sharp strong sunlight. Bungalows under construction, dust, cement, bricks and stones. St. Mary's Church and battle mementos. Waiting endlessly for lunch and dinner. Shaggy dogs and stocky horses. Goat crossing. Birds all over. Tents with a view

Women Studies

Women Empowerment: An Overused Term

Women Empowerment is a much used cliched term that has outlived its utility. Women can become independent only when they are self motivated and no amount of imposition from the outside can be classified as empowerment.

Livelihoods

Unemployment Sops by the Haryana Government

In a bid to appease local youth, the BJP-led Haryana government has announced a scheme for the educated unemployed. The Shikshit Yuva Sammanit Huva is an employment sop that promises hundred hours of work in a month to the unemployed post graduate youth at INR 9000. Touted as a populist move by experts, the present Haryana government is trying hard to lure its youth, considering that the State is ready to go for the polls in two and half years. The scheme does not address the deep-seated problems...

Oceans # Wildlife

The Olive Ridleys of Gahirmatha

Before you start presuming that we are referring to Mr. Riddle of Batman fame, let us quickly clarify that Olive Ridleys are poor green turtles, high on the endangered list, while Gahirmatha is this muddy beach beside a luxuriant patch of mangrove forest, along the coast of Odisha. Have you ever wondered about the many beautiful creatures that are lost forever in the onslaught of our ever-growing concrete jungles? Encased prettily in jars filled with liquid, creatures large and small will meaninglessly...

Wildlife

Fifty Years of Gir

The Asiatic lion, Panthera leo persica, the flagship species of India, is today synonymous with Gir- the sanctuary which has just completed 50 years of its existence. Gir is perhaps one of the few abodes left of this majestic species which once roamed Eastern Europe, West, Central and South regions of Asia. Uncontrolled 'hunting for sport', shrinking habitats and tigers,  in some areas, have all been instrumental in wiping out the Asiatic lion population. In the early twentieth century, 1913...

Tribes

Oraons and Pygmies, a review of new-determinism

Bare, glistening bodies. Colourful, feathered headgear. Menacing, long spears and incomprehensible, muttered incantations. Thanks to the tinsel worlds of Hollywood and Bollywood our image of the tribal inhabitants of this world is complete, though not always correct! Let us set aside this image for a moment and see the world of the tribes in plain black and white. The world of the tribes is a world, which is fast losing its cultural matrix to the struggle for survival and, to the demands of `development...

Livelihoods

Where are our Mahajanapadas today?

Anybody with basic political awareness is fairly well acquainted with the location and administrative functioning of states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Most of you may also be residing in cities like Patna, Lucknow, Varanasi, Meerut, Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain etc. But have you ever imagined that the above mentioned cities and states which you live in, were once occupied by mighty and prosperous kingdoms around 2,500 years ago i.e., around 5th- 6th century BC. The importance...