Author: South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People

Dammed or Damned: Why Are Dams Undesirable In The 21st Century?

Rivers in different parts of the world have been dammed to fulfill human needs like water for irrigation, industries and domestic supplies, to control floods, and to produce electricity. These have often been celebrated as human victory over nature, glorified as engineering marvels and claimed variously as highest, longest, etc as a matter of national pride. But rarely has there been a holistic assessment, or appreciation of what a dam does to the natural entity called a river and its adverse impacts on all the associated life forms, including humans.

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Kirtinasha To Vidrupa: The Lesser River Goddesses Of South Asia

“Ahalya, you will be an eternal dry river. Your path will be rocky and parched. You will receive water only when you meet the pious Godavari. That will be your only redemption”. Thus spoke Sage Gautam, pushing his wife Ahalya into a quagmire of dark desperation for ages. Ironically, it was Indra who, driven by lust, impersonated Sage Gautam and met Ahalya. In some versions of the story Gautam curses Ahalya into a stone slab, in some she becomes uncultivable, barren land. Till date, there exists a marriage custom in certain communities where the newly wed girl touches a dry stone by her feet, it should remind her of her fate if she “strays” like Ahalya.

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How Much Longer Will Goa Remain Otter Worthy?

My deep engagement with Goan rivers began almost half a decade ago, when I started researching otters in the state. In this short span of time, an otter’s life has seen its ups and downs, and I don’t mean the daily rise and fall of tides that are critical to wildlife adapted to the mangroves!

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