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Deepanwita Niyogi

New Delhi, India
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About Deepanwita
I am an independent journalist based in New Delhi, India. After working in the desk as a copy editor and page designer in my initial years in top publications like Hindustan Times and Asian Age, I shifted to reporting while working in Down To Earth. 
I mainly cover environment and development, though am open to covering any interesting story. Currently, I contribute to Mongabay-India, Tehelka, Village Square, Gaon Connection (English), Zenger, Caravan and a few more.
Science & Environment

Khajuraho Tourism Picks Up With More Women Involved

13 Jan 2024  |  thecitizen.in
Khajuraho's tourism sector is experiencing a revival with increased involvement of women, thanks to initiatives by Adhar and the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board. These initiatives aim to make the region a safe destination for female travelers and provide job opportunities for local women in various roles such as cooking, housekeeping, and front office management. Training programs, including self-defense and e-rickshaw operation, are part of the effort to empower women and ensure their safety. The program has trained 200 women in Khajuraho and seeks to train 800 across nearby tourist destinations. Challenges such as family opposition remain, but the program has successfully placed 120 women in hotel jobs. Additionally, Stargazing India is training residents in astronomy to promote night tourism. Local hotel owner Avinash Tiwari notes the city's reliance on tourism and the need to address issues like lake cleanliness and street vendor management.

Eco bricks offer hope against plastic pollution

17 Aug 2023  |  villagesquare.in
In Angul Municipality of Odisha, the Sathi Parivar group has transformed over 4 quintals of plastic waste into more than 6,000 eco-bricks. These bricks, made from various plastic waste, are now utilized in local schools for bins, storage, and flower pots. The initiative has involved the community and plans to expand to household collections, marking a significant step in combating plastic pollution and reshaping the district's identity.

One Drop At A Time

06 Aug 2023  |  thecitizen.in
In Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh, water conservation efforts are being made to address agricultural distress and prevent migration. Farmer Virendra Giri Goswami, among others, has constructed a farm pond to store rainwater for irrigation. The Manjari Foundation, in collaboration with MGNREGA, has been instrumental in creating water harvesting structures like farm ponds and check dams. These initiatives have helped recharge groundwater, provided irrigation, and reduced distress migration. However, issues such as delayed MGNREGA payments and non-judicious water use persist. The local government acknowledges the need for quality and community ownership in these projects.

Queer community needs access to housing, health and jobs

30 Jun 2023  |  villagesquare.in
Rajesh Srinivas, executive director at Sangama, discusses the organization's efforts to support the LGBTQIA+ community in India, particularly in Karnataka and Kerala. Initiatives include Namma clinics and centres providing health services and safe spaces, advocacy for decriminalizing homosexuality, and working with marginalized groups such as sex workers and the urban poor. Despite the 2018 Supreme Court judgment decriminalizing homosexuality, challenges persist in accessing housing, health, and jobs, with societal change being a slow process.

Amrit Sarovars rejuvenate Haryana villages, resolve wastewater problem

28 Jun 2023  |  101reporters.com
In Haryana, the Mission Amrit Sarovar initiative has led to the rejuvenation of village ponds, resolving wastewater issues and promoting groundwater recharge. The project, which began a year ago, has seen the transformation of cesspools into idyllic spots for local communities. Non-profit organization GuruJal has been instrumental in reviving 17 ponds in Gurugram district, with a focus on treating greywater and involving the community. Despite challenges such as algae formation and plastic waste, the initiative has made significant progress, with 1,518 ponds completed out of 7,691 identified sites in Haryana. The project aims to develop 50,000 ponds across India by August 15, 2023, as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, celebrating 75 years of Independence.

Assam villagers dread wrath of ravaging river

05 Jun 2023  |  villagesquare.in
Villagers in Kalakhowa, Assam, including Disku Payeng and Kalla Pegu, face the threat of displacement due to the Subansiri river's erosion and flooding, exacerbated by a dam construction. The Mising tribe, known for their flood-proof houses, has been severely affected, with many losing their land and becoming landless laborers. Despite protests, villagers have not received government compensation. Experts like Dr. Shukla Acharjee note the dam's impact on river sedimentation and morphology. The Brahmaputra and its tributaries have caused significant land loss over the past six decades, leaving the future of these communities uncertain.

Less methane means more income for Gujarat herders

26 May 2023  |  villagesquare.in
In Limbala village, Gujarat, the ration balancing programme (RBP) implemented by the National Dairy Development Board and Aga Khan Rural Support Programme India is improving milk production and reducing methane emissions by providing a balanced diet to livestock. The programme has led to a 23.9 percent reduction in methane emissions per day and an increase in milk yield, resulting in an average net gain of Rs 53.22 per day for livestock owners. Currently in the pilot phase, the plan is to enrol 500 animals by the end of 2023, with the potential to significantly reduce livestock methane emissions on a larger scale.

Machine eases work, empowers Andhra women labourers

25 May 2023  |  villagesquare.in
In Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, a simple innovation called the 'double wheel marker' has transformed the labor-intensive process of sowing maize, reducing the physical strain on women laborers and increasing their wages by 33%. The device, designed by scientists and Dr Reddy’s Foundation and improvised by a local farmer, L Satyanarayana, allows for quicker sowing without ploughing the soil, a technique known as 'zero tillage.' This method not only increases crop yield but also saves on labor and time, potentially closing the wage gap between men and women. The foundation has expanded zero tillage to cover 50,000 acres in Srikakulam and provided 800 devices to lead farmers. Women laborers, who also manage household chores, hope for continued wage improvements as farmers save on machinery costs.

Sariska sets its natives on tiger’s trail

24 May 2023  |  villagesquare.in
Sariska National Park in Rajasthan, home to 28 Royal Bengal tigers, employs local trackers like Mukesh Kumar Balai and Kaluram Gujar to monitor tiger movements. The park, which lost all its tigers by 2005 due to poaching, has seen a successful reintroduction program with the help of the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Wildlife Institute of India. Local knowledge is harnessed for conservation, with villagers being offered jobs as trackers. The ICICI Foundation supports the project, and trackers are equipped with necessary gear. The article also touches on the challenges of human settlements within the park and the relocation of villages.

Do elephant reserves fulfil any purpose?

16 Mar 2023  |  tehelka.com
Elephant reserves in India, numbering 33 across 14 states, primarily serve administrative purposes and lack the significance and investment of tiger reserves, despite elephants having the highest protection under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Human-elephant conflicts are on the rise, with habitat encroachment by human activities. Innovative community measures like lemongrass and chilli cultivation, and bee-hive fencing, have been somewhat successful. Experts argue for the creation of suitable habitats and corridors for elephants, regulation of mining, and increased forest staff to manage conflicts. The Singhbhum Elephant Reserve, the first of its kind, is criticized for its size and lack of focus, with calls for a consolidated effort among states to address the issue.


Stories published in Down To Earth

05 Nov 2020  |  www.downtoearth.org.in
The article discusses the efforts of wildlife officials in Chhattisgarh's Achanakmar Tiger Reserve to increase the population of tigers. It references a recent report by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) which highlighted a significant decline in the number of tigers in Chhattisgarh, from 46 in 2014 to just 17. The article likely covers the strategies being implemented to track and protect the tigress population, the challenges faced by the conservation team, and the importance of tiger conservation for biodiversity. It may also touch upon the broader context of tiger populations in India and the effectiveness of conservation efforts nationally.

Stories published by Mongabay-India

08 Mar 2022  |  Mongabay-India
Deepanwita Gita Niyogi has written a series of articles focusing on various environmental and agricultural issues in different regions of India. Topics include the prevention of erosion and the attraction of birds through plantation on a barren hillock in West Bengal, the use of solar power for irrigation in water-scarce Bastar, the impact of iron ore mining on deforestation in Chhattisgarh, and reforestation efforts in the Durg forest division. Other articles discuss water-saving sugarcane cultivation in Uttar Pradesh, plans for biofuel production from paddy in Chhattisgarh, bamboo forest regeneration, identification of wildlife corridors for conservation, the emergence of sustainable chocolates, protection of Chhattisgarh's state bird, revival of ponds in Bundelkhand for water security, the potential declaration of a new tiger reserve, the threat of bauxite mining to a wolf sanctuary, and the conservation of the world's largest mountain goat in Jammu and Kashmir. The articles also cover India's policy on millets and its direction.

Mushrooms support forest dwellers

02 Nov 2020  |  htsyndication.com
Sukhwara Bai, a resident of Achanakmar village inside the Achanakmar tiger reserve in Chhattisgarh, India, collects the Pihiri mushroom during the monsoon season. Despite the challenges of entering the jungle and dealing with insects, Bai finds the mushroom's taste to be worth the effort. The Pihiri mushroom is a seasonal delicacy enjoyed both fresh and dried in the sun across Achanakmar.

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