இயற்கையை அழித்தா வளர்ச்சி?

Unabridged Tamil version (Translated by P. Jeganathan) of “The long road to growth”  by T. R. Shankar Raman that appeared in The Hindu on 19th March 2015. Abridged version of this article appeared in The Hindu Tamil on 18th April 2015 (see here). கடந்த ஆகஸ்டு 2014 மற்றும் ஜனவரி 2015 நடந்த இரண்டே தேசிய காட்டுயிர் வாரியக் (National […]

Blowin’ in the wind – II

Cross-posted from View from Elephant Hills From a boat on Assam’s Deepor Beel—the freshwater lake lying south-west of Guwahati, the largest city in India’s northeast—you can look east past thousands of waterbirds and a carpet of floating leaves to see the city’s seething, smoking garbage dump. Under spotless blue skies, a thin brown haze blankets […]

A red flush of leaves

(By T. R. Shankar Raman and Divya Mudappa) Splashes of red dot the evergreen canopy, like blood on green canvas. The canarium, stately white and tall, holds a red flush of new leaves above verdant, multi-hued forest. Skimming spectacularly over the trees, a great hornbill brushes grandeur onto the canvas. In the company of hornbills, […]

The elephant in your coffee

Got a cup of coffee in hand as you read the paper this morning? Much of the coffee we drink in India is grown in the hilly, southern districts of Coorg, Wayanad and Nilgiris. To the east of these picturesque and popular holiday destinations is a vast tract of impoverished dry-land agriculture. Farmers here have […]

Keeping a culture of co-existence

Nagaraja Shetty did not want the day to dawn. It would mean that he could see exactly how much the elephants had taken. But the remorseless sun did rise, only to reveal a completely destroyed paddy field. Nothing was left of his meagre one acre. Starvation and deepening debt stared him in the face, but […]

Death on the highway

This article was published in The Hindu Survey of the Environment 2009 (pages 113 – 118) without the supporting footnotes. The original article with footnotes and photographs is reproduced here. Crunch! Splat! Thud! A daily massacre is occurring under the wheels of our vehicles. Thousands of lives are snuffed out tragically, instantaneously, and yet, we hardly […]

The road to Vazhachal

Vazhachal is a small rainforest-clad region in Kerala located near the Anamalai hills. It forms a contiguous stretch of forest extending almost 2400 sq. km. through Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary to the north and thereafter through Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and Eravikulam National Park. It is among the last wild habitats in Kerala where […]

Living on the edge

You are Mallesha. A fifty-six year old farmer. You live in Maguvinahalli, a village on the northern edge of the famous Bandipur National Park. Every year, at the end of summer, you till your meagre 4 acres, sow some jowar and some sunflowers. For weeks you work in the baking heat. Once the monsoons arrive, […]