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Sudip Maiti

Kolkata, India
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About Sudip
Sudip Maiti is a independent journalist based in Kolkata, India.
Bengali English
Documentaries Photography Interview
Science & Environment Social Cultural

Women shed ‘forest encroachers’ tag, turn land owners

01 Oct 2023  |  www.villagesquare.in
The article discusses the transformation of women in Vanardihi, Odisha, from being labeled as 'forest encroachers' to becoming landowners. The Forest Rights Act of 2006 played a crucial role in this change, allowing villagers to claim land rights. With the help of the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) and local resource person Anjali, documentation errors were rectified, and 29 families received land titles, with women's names included. This development has improved their economic conditions and provided them with dignity and identity.

This is Pulikkali — Kerala’s roaring Onam dance

06 Sep 2023  |  www.villagesquare.in
Pulikkali, a vibrant and captivating dance form, is a significant part of Kerala's Onam festival. The tradition involves local enthusiasts painting themselves to resemble tigers and performing in a lively manner. The article is authored by Joyel K. Pious, a Kerala-based photographer, writer, and editor.

Right to education: Where there is a wall, there is a way

05 Sep 2023  |  villagesquare.in
Deepnarayan Nayak, known as 'Raster Master', started an outdoor school in a tribal village near Asansol in 2014, using mud walls as blackboards to educate underprivileged children. His 3G model includes three generations and has expanded to nearly 50 centers with 150 teachers and 10,000 students. Despite India's free elementary education system serving 131 million students, many schools lack standards, leading to high dropout rates, especially among girls. Nayak's model, highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, could ensure the right to education for every child, even in challenging circumstances.

First musical band of high-altitude Ladakh riding high

10 Jun 2023  |  www.villagesquare.in
Dashug, Ladakh's first musical band, has gained popularity by blending traditional Ladakhi tunes with rock music. Formed in late 2020, the band has captivated audiences with its unique sound and has collaborated with major corporations and other distinguished bands. Their music addresses social issues, aiming to inspire change. The band has also established the Musical Society of Ladakh to promote and preserve local folk music, organizing workshops and publishing an annual magazine. Dashug's efforts have revitalized interest in Ladakh's folk music, providing a contemporary twist to traditional melodies.

Horseshoe crab: The granddaddy of sea creatures needs help

10 Jun 2023  |  villagesquare.in
The horseshoe crab, an ancient marine arthropod, is facing extinction due to human activities such as unregulated fishing, habitat degradation, and increasing water pollution. Found in Indian waters off Odisha and West Bengal, particularly in the Sundarban delta, the horseshoe crab's blue blood has significant medicinal value. Despite surviving five mass extinctions, the species is now at risk, with the International Union for Conservation of Nature listing it as endangered in Asia.

Horseshoe crab – the living fossil on brink of extinction

08 Jun 2023  |  www.villagesquare.in
Horseshoe crabs, ancient marine creatures older than dinosaurs, are facing extinction in India's eastern waters due to overfishing, habitat degradation, and climate change. These crabs, crucial for marine ecosystems and medical testing, are being caught as bycatch and left to die, while their blood is used for critical medical tests. Conservationists are raising alarms about the potential collapse of coastal ecosystems if these keystone species disappear. Efforts are being made to promote synthetic alternatives to crab blood to ensure their survival.

Women’s quota in panchayat polls not mere rubber stamp

24 Apr 2023  |  www.villagesquare.in
The article discusses the issue of 'sarpanch pati' in India's panchayati raj institutions, where male relatives often perform the duties of elected female representatives. Despite constitutional amendments reserving seats for women, patriarchal attitudes hinder their active participation. Dolly, a sarpanch from Bihar, shares her experiences and highlights the need for stricter laws, capacity building, and societal support to empower women leaders and ensure they are not mere figureheads.

5 books on rural India to add to your reading list

23 Apr 2023  |  villagesquare.in
The article lists five books that provide insights into rural India, covering historical events, the reality of rural policies, farmers' lives, marginalized communities, and the Santhal people. The books are 'Sky is My Father: A Naga Village Remembered' by Easterine Kire, 'Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India’s Poorest Districts' by P. Sainath, 'Baawre Beej' by Vishakha Chanchani, 'Broken Ladder: The Paradox and The Potential of India’s One Billion' by Anirudh Krishna, and 'The Adivasi Will Not Dance' by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar.

Racing with the tides- Earth Day

22 Apr 2023  |  villagesquare.in
Biswajit Sahu, a fisherman in the Sunderbans, has created a museum in his residence showcasing a collection of over 10,000 artefacts, including fossils, terracotta figurines, and ancient scripts, revealing the region's history. Despite facing financial struggles and the threat of climate change, Sahu continues to expand his collection, which has earned him recognition and awards. However, his efforts are challenged by the lack of proper infrastructure and preservation techniques, as well as the need to relocate due to rising sea levels.

The Ganga’s Trail of Erosion and Woe in West Bengal

26 Jan 2023  |  Frontline
The article discusses the severe impact of the Ganga river's erosion and flooding on the communities in West Bengal's Malda and Murshidabad districts. It highlights the annual destruction caused by the monsoons, which displaces hundreds of families, leading to migration, increased child labor, and health risks from occupations like beedi binding. The Farakka Barrage, operational since 1975, is identified as a contributing factor to the exacerbated destruction, disturbing the natural flow of the river and causing significant ecological damage. The author, Sudip Maiti, visited affected villages in October 2021 and observed the plight of both lower-income groups and the well-off, who are forced to relocate and lose property to erosion. The government's temporary solution of sandbags is ineffective in preventing the recurring problem, and no permanent solution has been found.

In West Bengal, human-elephant conflict worsens each year as Asiatic elephants from the Dalma forest roam freely.

13 Dec 2022  |  Orato
The article discusses the escalating human-elephant conflict in West Bengal, India, where Asiatic elephants from the Dalma forest are causing destruction to local agriculture and property. With the arrival of winter, these elephants damage paddy fields, crops, and mud huts, leading to confrontations between the villagers and the elephants. Despite the villagers' efforts to protect their livelihoods using various deterrents, there have been numerous casualties and injuries on both sides. The conflict is partly attributed to human encroachment on elephant habitats. The state has recently introduced 'Gaja Mitra' or elephant watchers to monitor and manage the movements of elephants to prevent further conflicts. The article also includes a disclaimer about the accuracy of translations provided by Orato World Media.

Tiger attacks fisherman as he naps on his boat, fisherman recalls the feeling of tiger’s skin

09 Nov 2022  |  Orato
The article recounts the harrowing experience of a fisherman in the Sundarbans of West Bengal, India, who survived a tiger attack. The fisherman, who has been fishing in the area for 16 years, was attacked by a Royal Bengal Tiger while napping on his boat. His crew managed to save him, and he was taken to a hospital where he spent two weeks in a coma. The attack left him with severe injuries, requiring multiple surgeries and causing financial hardship for his family. His son had to migrate to another state for work, and his wife took a job at a tourist resort to make ends meet. The story highlights the dangers faced by those living in close proximity to wildlife and the challenges of recovery after such traumatic events.

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