Articles by: Rosamma Thomas

Villagers help leopard clamber out of well

Villagers help leopard clamber out of well

The people of Navalewadi village in Pune district awoke to the panic-stricken roars of a leopard on Tuesday morning. A healthy two-year-old female leopard had been splashing around in a 25-feet-deep well, and seemed exhausted. The villagers alerted the forest department. A team of four, comprising forest staff joined by members of NGO Wildlife SOS was dispatched to the spot.[Read More…]

by April 14, 2021 Environmental Protection
Babulal Gandhi: Over 90 years old and still a hardy farmer

Babulal Gandhi: Over 90 years old and still a hardy farmer

When Yogesh Gandhi set up his medical store in Phaltan about 100 km from Pune in Satara district of Maharashtra, he invited his uncle, natural farmer Babulal Gandhi, to make an inauguration speech. “We should not be having medical stores in our cities – we should instead provide good food and a clean environment, one that fosters health and well-being.[Read More…]

by April 8, 2021 Counter Solutions
Activist KV Biju thrashed for campaigning against BJP in Kerala

Activist KV Biju thrashed for campaigning against BJP in Kerala

KV Biju, national coordinator of the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh, one of groups under the umbrella of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha that has been leading the farmer protests on the borders of the national capital, was among two people thrashed late night on March 30, 2021, while out pasting posters urging voters in Kerala to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party candidates[Read More…]

by April 2, 2021 Human Rights
Vivek Gour Broome’s food forest

Vivek Gour Broome’s food forest

Vivek Gour Broome looks the personification of that nursery rhyme, “Old McDonald had a farm…” His farm west of Pune, beyond Hinjewadi in the village of Marunji, is an island of biodiversity – the crows were flying in to the shade of the trees the morning this writer visited. The farm has several different varieties of bamboo, including the thorny[Read More…]

by March 18, 2021 Life/Philosophy
Humidifier Disinfectant Victim outside RB headquarters in Seoul demanding investigation against Gaurav Jain on November 26, 2020

CEOs and Poisoning

In 2016, when CEO Ata Safdar of Reckitt Benckiser, a UK-based firm, offered an apology to all those who had been affected by a toxic product that his firm sold in South Korea, an angry relative of one of the victims slapped him – an act caught on camera. RB’s toxic humidifier disinfectant had caused over 1,500 deaths, many of[Read More…]

by March 12, 2021 Environmental Protection
Afrin Kale: How an engineer found her calling in farming

Afrin Kale: How an engineer found her calling in farming

Afrin Kale is a farmer with a degree in civil engineering. A resident of Pune city, her five-acre farm is in Pimpalgaon Ghode village of Ambegaon Tehsil of Pune district, about 80 km from the city. She travels once or twice each week to the farm, and she has hired Ravi and Roshni, a young couple, to live in the[Read More…]

by February 28, 2021 Life/Philosophy
Don’t be addict selling family silver: Goa Foundation on draft mining law amendment

Don’t be addict selling family silver: Goa Foundation on draft mining law amendment

A draft proposing amendments to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, was released on February 9, 2021 on the website of the Ministry of Mines seeking public comments until February 24. Just as the three new farm laws that are being vigorously opposed by farmers camping on the border of the national capital for nearly three months,[Read More…]

by February 25, 2021 India
US farmers, food justice advocates throw their weight behind India’s protesting farmers

US farmers, food justice advocates throw their weight behind India’s protesting farmers

Food justice advocates and many US farmers on Wednesday issued a statement expressing solidarity with the farmers on protest at the borders of India’s national capital for over two and a half months. The unjust farm laws will increase the stranglehold of agribusiness on the food system, the statement said, adding that the three new Central laws were passed in[Read More…]

by February 18, 2021 India
 Pensioners’ protest: Why are pension payments blocked in Jharkhand?

 Pensioners’ protest: Why are pension payments blocked in Jharkhand?

Anthi Devi of Chungru Panchayat in Barwadih, Latehar district, Jharkhand, cannot control the tremors in her body. She is evidently suffering from symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but she too is among those protesting in Jharkhand seeking their monthly pension. Her Rs1,000 pension per month stopped five years ago, and she does not know why. https://twitter.com/roadscholarz/status/1355141137284034565 Social security pension, despite the[Read More…]

by February 17, 2021 India
Why Rs2 lakh is too little compensation for the dead in Uttarakhand

Why Rs2 lakh is too little compensation for the dead in Uttarakhand

Soon after the disaster in Uttarakhand on February 7, 2020, when a deluge washed away two hydropower plants and left at least 100 dead, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that a sum of Rs2 lakh each would be given to the families of each of the dead, and Rs50,000 each to those who have sustained injuries. PM Modi’s monthly salary[Read More…]

by February 9, 2021 India
How alert shopkeeper brought missing child back home 

How alert shopkeeper brought missing child back home 

On February 3, 2021, Nitin Negi, who runs an electronics goods repair shop in Uttam Nagar, New Delhi, found a toddler outside his shop, no trace of his parents. The shopkeeper asked the little fellow what his name was, what his mother’s name was, and what his father was called. The toddler said he was Nana, his mother Anju and[Read More…]

by February 6, 2021 Human Rights
Everything false is not fake: What’s the difference?

Everything false is not fake: What’s the difference?

As fake news becomes a propaganda tool, there is also great outrage about everything that is not true. I want to share a recent experience on a Whatsapp group meant solely for journalists, which set me thinking about the difference between false and fake. I shared a video that I had received on another group, of two women being crushed[Read More…]

by February 3, 2021 India
David Weiller: Meditating on the world’s rainforests

David Weiller: Meditating on the world’s rainforests

On January 1, 2021 Frenchman David Weiller found a unique way to greet people a happy new year – on his YouTube channel, he posted a six-and-a-half minute video of monarch butterflies fluttering by the thousands and landing on a tree. All the ambient sounds were captured too – the birds, crickets. There was no music on the video, no[Read More…]

by January 14, 2021 Life/Philosophy
 Recalling Gandhi: Resisting without violence

 Recalling Gandhi: Resisting without violence

Man over Machine: A Path towards Peace is the kind of book you might want to preserve and return to, every once in a while. Author Bharat Dogra has worked for long years as a freelance journalist – never taking on a full-time journalism job in order to be completely free, and writing a prodigious number of articles, many of[Read More…]

by January 11, 2021 Book Review
Amnesty International: Modi gets stinker from three UN Special Rapporteurs

Amnesty International: Modi gets stinker from three UN Special Rapporteurs

UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression Irene Khan, and Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders Mary Lawlor wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2020 expressing grave concern over[Read More…]

by January 5, 2021 Human Rights
Protesters ask GE to pull plug on coal; firm set to provide turbine for Godda

Protesters ask GE to pull plug on coal; firm set to provide turbine for Godda

The proposed 1,600 MW Godda Power Plant in Jharkhand, to be set up by the Adani Group with the aim of supplying power to Bangladesh, is to get its turbines from General Electric. A press conference on Friday, December 11, 2020, conducted online by civil society groups from Kenya, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Bosnia and Herzegovina urged GE to pull[Read More…]

by December 14, 2020 India
ICICI Pru Life: Sponging off India’s poor?

ICICI Pru Life: Sponging off India’s poor?

  Narayan Govind Sagar, a 74-year-old farmer in Sangli district of Maharashtra, holds a Below Poverty Line ration card. He has four acres of land, but ground is rocky and there is little water, so farming is hard. Despite all this, though, he is quite parsimonious and managed to save Rs25,000. He went to the ICICI Bank at Khargani village[Read More…]

by December 7, 2020 India
Democratic values, like Humpty Dumpty, could have a great fall: Former SC judge

Democratic values, like Humpty Dumpty, could have a great fall: Former SC judge

“Democratic values, like Humpty Dumpty, could have a great fall. And no one will be able to put them together again,” said Justice Madan Lokur, retired judge of the Supreme Court who currently serves on the Supreme Court of Fiji. Justice Lokur, who served in the SC from 2012-18, is the first Indian SC judge to serve another nation’s SC.[Read More…]

by November 30, 2020 Life/Philosophy
Walking for peace: Pandemic halts Gandhi-inspired world march

Walking for peace: Pandemic halts Gandhi-inspired world march

  On Gandhi Jayanti 2019, a group of 50 people, 35 of them Adivasis from different parts of India, set out on what they called a ‘World Peace March’ – the plan was to walk all the way to Geneva, crossing seas by flight and getting permission to cross international borders on foot. They started from the Gandhi Samadhi in[Read More…]

by November 28, 2020 India
Health experts warn PM Modi against rushing COVID-19 vaccine

Health experts warn PM Modi against rushing COVID-19 vaccine

A group of public health experts in India including Dr Narendra Gupta, based in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan and Dr Gopal Dabade in Karnataka have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider fully the as-yet-unknown consequences of large scale vaccination of the whole population against the SARS-COV-2 disease. This is not a “sound, rational, scientific or intelligent” approach for India, the experts[Read More…]

by November 24, 2020 India
Women huddle over strategy to prevent sexual violence

Women huddle over strategy to prevent sexual violence

Historian Uma Chakravarti said there was cause for hope, as more young women were getting together and organizing, and the state apparatus appears to be reacting in some panic when a case of sexual violence is reported. She was commenting on the hurried cremation that the Uttar Pradesh police felt forced to give to the victim in Hathras, whose body[Read More…]

by November 20, 2020 Patriarchy
Swadeshi Andolan writes to Prez, PM; seek probe into FM’s role in Vodafone tax matter

Swadeshi Andolan writes to Prez, PM; seek probe into FM’s role in Vodafone tax matter

In a recent blog post, former Union finance secretary SC Garg said he sought voluntary retirement from the IAS prematurely as he did not get along with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Now, Swadeshi Andolan, a group of mostly farmer activists who have taken up a large number of public interest issues, has written to President Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister[Read More…]

by November 16, 2020 India
Sharat Chander Nagra

Insider struggles for document as outsiders can buy land in J&K

The new Jammu and Kashmir Development Act is being celebrated as a special achievement of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra tweeted, “OUSIDERS CAN NOW BUY LAND IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR”. At least 11 land laws in the state have been amended, without inputs from residents of the state. Seven political parties, under the umbrella[Read More…]

by November 15, 2020 India
Tribute to Jayesh Solanki, face of Una protests

Tribute to Jayesh Solanki, face of Una protests

In the afternoon of October 28, poet, theatre artist and Dalit rights champion Jayesh Solanki died by suicide at his home in Bhuvaldi, about 50 km from Gujarat capital Ahmedabad. During the Asmita Yatra after the flogging of the four youth at Una in 2016, Jayesh had emerged as a charismatic leader of Dalits on protest in Gujarat, vowing to[Read More…]

by November 11, 2020 Life/Philosophy
New Hampshire report raises concerns on evolving 5G technology

New Hampshire report raises concerns on evolving 5G technology

On November 1, the Commission to Study the Environment and Health Effects of Evolving 5G Technology in the US state of New Hampshire submitted its report to the governor of the state. It noted that the permissible radiation exposure rates in the US are among the highest in the world, and recorded that research within the country exists to show[Read More…]

by November 9, 2020 World