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Valleys in despair: Beyond the reopening of Kedarnath Yatra

By Sunandita Mehrotra

Though the Kedarnath route has been reopened, major issues of rehabilitation and basic survival are being neglected: thousands of families still have no clue how to manage basic livelihoods in the region

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How not to manage disaster relief

By Ravleen Kaur

Victims of last year’s flash floods in Leh find little use for the costly prefabricated rooms they were provided as disaster relief under CSR schemes. Their breath turned to ice in them. They have begun to rebuild their mud homes which insulate them against the extreme cold

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Famine-like conditions in Aila-affected areas

By Somnath Mukherji

In its continuing coverage of the cyclone-affected Sunderbans, Infochange finds some 700 families in the K-plot island close to starvation. Nothing grows here any more, and rice is priced at Rs 22/kg. Villagers are desperate for work under NREGS

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'Give us food or jail us'

By Panchali Ray

Four months after Cyclone Aila, surveys reveal that only 1.38 kg of foodgrain are being distributed per adult per month, against a Famine Code requirement of 12 kg per head. No compensation for destroyed homes is forthcoming yet, and little work is being provided under NREGS. There is a dangerous unrest growing at state apathy, according to this special report from affected districts in West Bengal

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Kosi tragedy poses serious livelihood challenge

By Anosh Malekar

Five months after the Kosi deluge of August 2008, fields remain waterlogged, boats are still plying in paddy fields and thousands have lost their livelihoods as their cultivable lands have been permanently ruined. Around 500,000 people are believed to have migrated in search of livelihood

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The politics after the flood

By Rashme Sehgal

While the Centre and the Bihar state wrangle over who should repair the destroyed embankments, those displaced by the recent floods seem destined to spend the winter in the relief camps

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After the flood

By Rashme Sehgal

A large majority of the flood-affected at Behli and other camps set up by the administration in Bihar are women and children. Our correspondent travelled to the worst-affected districts in Bihar to find out how the administration is coping with a disaster that has affected 3 million

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Letter from Dhaka: Year of the rats

By Khademul Islam

The bamboo has flowered, rats have invaded the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The indigenous people here are suffering severe food shortages. Around 600,000 have left their homes in search of food

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A lot more boats but very little fish

By Mari Marcel Thekaekara

Three years after the tsunami there are a lot more boats in areas affected by the disaster. But yields are low and there's a new fear of the sea

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Wanted: Post-disaster housing audit

By Mari Marcel Thekaekara

Three years after the tsunami, hundreds of ugly cement houses have been built along the Nagapattinam coast by different NGOs. Many are sub-standard, some actually below sea level, many unoccupied. Why do we keep repeating the mistakes of Latur, Gujarat, Orissa?

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Falling off the map: Orissa's submerged villages

By Richard Mahapatra

In 1930, land records show an area of 320 sq km for the Satabhaya cluster of seven villages near Paradip in Orissa. Land records for 2000 indicate that this area has been reduced to 155 sq km. Five of the seven villages have been swallowed by the sea. Several other villages in Orissa are likely to suffer the same fate. Is Orissa paying the price of climate change? This special series by Richard Mahapatra investigates

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Sea levels are rising: People's perceptions and scientific projections

By Richard Mahapatra

Are Orissa's coastal villages paying the price of global warming? The scientific community studying Orissa's tryst with disasters is polarised on the issue. But most scientists agree that the state's geographical location at the head of the Bay of Bengal, with a landlocked sea and a deltaic plain, makes the state extremely vulnerable to rises in sea level caused by global warming

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Death of the seasons

By Richard Mahapatra

The people of Orissa have given a clear verdict: from the number of seasons to the mating habits of birds, they say everything has changed as a result of climate change

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Ready for change

By Freny Manecksha

Village vignettes from the two-month-long padayatra that wound its way through drought-affected regions of Maharashtra

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Disaster dossier: The impact of climate change on Orissa

By Richard Mahapatra

For over a decade, Orissa has been teetering from one extreme weather condition to another: from heatwaves to cyclones, drought to floods. The state has been declared disaster-affected for 95 of the last 105 years. Why is this happening? Is it the result of global warming and climate change? Richard Mahapatra, who has been awarded the CCDS-InfoChangeIndia Fellowship for development reportage, explores these questions in the first of a series of articles

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Drought padayatra: Special Report Agricultural crisis in Vidarbha

By Freny Manecksha

Lured by the promises of seed merchants, Gajanand Dhapse of Kathoda village in Yavatmal cultivated Bt cotton on his 10 acres. His input costs soared, yields dropped, even as the minimum support price dropped. Dhapse is one of hundreds of farmers in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region who are experiencing the devastating effects of degraded lands, unsuitable cropping patterns, and lack of accurate information and institutional credit

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Abandoned victims of the Kosi embankments

By Dinesh Kumar Mishra

January 2005 marked 50 years since the foundation stone was laid for the building of embankments on the Kosi river, to help control the flooding. It also marked 50 years of neglect of the 'embankment victims' who are forced to live trapped within the structures that were supposed to transform their lives

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Coastal follies

By Manju Menon and Ashish Kothari

Over 40% of India's mangroves have been destroyed. Coral reefs have been damaged in the Gulfs of Kutch and Mannar, and the Andamans. In Great Nicobar, 21 beaches have been lost to sand mining. Post-tsunami, we've got to rebuild our natural coastal defences

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Environmental lessons from the tsunami

By Mari Marcel Thekaekara

Indian law prohibits encroachments within 200 metres of the high tide line and 500 metres in certain sensitive areas, for example where turtles are nesting. But the coastal regulations have been repeatedly diluted to promote commercial interests

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Daily disasters

By Nityanand Jayaraman

Post-tsunami, organisations are vying to adopt this village or set up that school. But tsunami or no tsunami, the urban fisherfolk and coastal poor live in miserable conditions. Why does it take a sudden disaster to mobilise us? What about the daily disaster of living experienced by India's poor and pollution-impacted communities?

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Adrift on the Brahmaputra

By Kirti Mishra

The crisis of livelihood in flood-affected Assam has reduced former landowners to illegal foragers of driftwood from the river

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Living with floods

By Naren Karunakaran

There was a time when the people of north Bihar, India's most flood-prone state, celebrated the monsoons and lived with floods. How and when did they become victims of floods, struggling to control the waters? Now, a silent movement to empower citizen's groups to re-establish their cultural ownership over rivers is taking shape

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Survivors of Latur

By Meena Menon

A decade after the Latur quake killed 8,000 and injured 16,000, there is plenty of evidence of poorly planned and executed disaster management interventions: villages relocated several kilometres from the fields where women work; new toilets constructed but unused because there is no water; newly-built settlements so flimsy that people are afraid to sleep in them

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Gruel centres across Andhra Pradesh feed the starving

By Meena Menon

In drought-hit Andhra Pradesh, even tea and tubers are no longer available. The thin gruel doled out at various centres keeps hundreds of starving people going

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Women 'major' in disaster management

By Shruti Gupta

The terrible aftermath of the Orissa supercyclone in 1999 prompted UNDP to launch the Community-Based Disaster Programme (CBDP) which trains small armies of volunteers to handle evacuation, first aid, reconstruction, carcass disposal and counselling in disaster situations

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Living through the great drought

By Yana Bey

Yana Bey travels through the poverty-stricken Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput region of Orissa, meeting villagers with long memories of hard times and starvation

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Roughshod democracy

By Meena Menon

Rakesh Sharma's film tells of how the GMDC has capitalised on the Gujarat quake to displace the gullible population of two tiny villages. Using a natural calamity to speed up land acquisition speakes of the inhumanity of corporate and State processes

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