Rebuilding same or rebuilding different? Critical questions in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan

by Upasona Ghosh, Shibaji Bose, Debdatta Chakraborty, TAPESTRY project “We will build it again. We have done the same before and might have to do it many a time in future,” says Rakesh Mondal, a middle-aged resident of Kultoli block in the Indian Sundarbans, looking at his near-flattened house. The house took a direct hit…

A Kharai camel stands with factory chimney stacks behind it on the horizon.

How pastoralists in Kutch respond to social and environmental uncertainty

The TAPESTRY project is working in three different ‘patches’ across India and Bangladesh, creating opportunities for interactions with communities in marginalised environments to co-produce transformative change in sustainable development. In this blog post, Lyla Mehta (IDS), Mihir Bhatt (AIDMI) and Pankaj Joshi (Sahjeevan) introduce the research that TAPESTRY is undertaking together with the Kutch camel…

Migrant workers queue for food in Delhi

COVID-19, science and governance: lessons from India

by Dinesh Abrol, Ritu Priya and Pravin Kushwaha, South Asia Sustainability Hub The pandemic is global, but the response is local. In India, the first case of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was reported on 30 January 2020. Immediately, scientists from the government’s Indian Council of Medical Research, Department of Health Research began working with colleagues…

Men walking in the street carrying large bags of food

The COVID-19 pandemic shows how power produces poverty

by Saurabh Arora and Divya Sharma Responses by governments to the COVID-19 pandemic around the world reveal how poverty is produced by social power. The pandemic points, in particular, to the culpability of power exercised through the state. Consider the Indian government’s top-down lockdown imposed on 24th March 2020. Arguably “the world’s strictest lockdown”, it…

Sharing knowledge instead of food: TAPESTRY at the Versova Koli Seafood Festival

The TAPESTRY project is working in three different sites across India, creating opportunities for interactions with communities in marginalised environments to co-produce transformative change in sustainable development. In this blog post, Lalatendu Keshari Das shares news from the project’s Mumbai team, which is conducting action research that examines the ways in which fishing communities adapt…

India’s new citizenship act threatens the country’s constitution

A version of this post first appeared on the Institute of Development Studies website. Since the end of 2019, India has been rocked by protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens Register (NRC). Protests initially began in Assam, West Bengal and New Delhi and have since spread across…

What is revolutionary about the Green Revolution?

The dramatic increase in yields of wheat and rice in the 1960s and 1970s in India, along with many other countries in the post-colonial world, was framed as a technological breakthrough made possible by miracle hybrid seed varieties. This breakthrough ostensibly averted mass scale hunger and was central, so the story goes, to realising substantive…

water pipe

Water crisis’ disproportionate toll on women can no longer be ignored

STEPS member Lyla Mehta has written an article with Ria Basu for the Indian magazine Firstpost about the impacts of ‘water crisis’ on women. Often, access to water is about power and social relations, not just physical scarcity. For most of us, accessing water is as simple as turning the taps on in our kitchens…

small fishing boats with flags waving in the breeze

Views from the coast: uncertainty beyond climate change

Coastal areas are a poster child for climate vulnerability. They are marked and scarred by sea level rise, salinization, warming water, declining fish stocks, storms, changes in currents and weather patterns. But there are other currents and other patterns too. Against the global background of climatic change, a more careful look at places and communities…

Gurgaon skyline with skyscrapers and construction

The Power of a T-Lab: Sharing lessons on water and justice in Gurgaon, India

by Dinesh Abrol, Pravin Kushwaha and Bikramaditya K. Choudhary, South Asia Sustainability Hub & Knowledge Network. As big cities change rapidly, people moving into them can struggle for access to basic services like clean water and sanitation. One such city is Gurgaon, a secondary city that’s experienced rapid urban transition over the last two decades….