Beas · Dams · Environment · Environment Impact Assessment · Environmental Flow · Fish · Fish, Fisheries, Fisherfolk · Free flowing rivers · Gharat · Himachal Pradesh · Hydropower · Rivers

Muktadhara Tirthan

How one fish and many people saved a river

“Hark! What is that? What is that sound? It is laughter, bubbling up from the heart of the darkness. It is the sound of water! There is no doubt. The water of Muktadhara is free!”

As I stepped on the wooden slats across the joyously gurgling Tirthan River, I remembered Rabindranath Tagore’s lines from his first play, Muktadhara (Free-flowing). I was in the Himalayas to listen to the story of Tirthan, a Muktadhara in her own right! Tirthan is the rarest, possibly the only river valley in India to be declared as a “No-Go Valley” for hydropower or dam development, protected in perpetuity.

Continue reading Muktadhara Tirthan
Gharat

घराट: सामाजिक देखभाल, सरकारी सहयोग की राह देखती लुप्त होती धरोहर

पनचक्कियां सदियों से उत्तराखंड के पर्वतीय समाज का अटूट हिस्सा रही हैं। स्थानीय तौर पर इन्हें घट, घराट आदि अनेक नामों से जाना जाता है। कुछ दशक पहले तक ये घराट अनाजों को पीसकर आटा बनाने का प्रमुख साधन रहे हैं। परन्तु कालांतर में अनेक कारणों से यह परम्परागत तकनीक, समाज और सरकार की अनदेखी का शिकार होकर विलुप्त होती जा रही है। ऐसा ही कुछ पौड़ी गढ़वाल स्थित चौथान पट्टी में देखने को मिल रहा है। यह लेख चौथान क्षेत्र में घराट संस्कृति के क्रमिक परित्याग की वजहों के पड़ताल की दिशा में एक प्रयास है।

Continue reading “घराट: सामाजिक देखभाल, सरकारी सहयोग की राह देखती लुप्त होती धरोहर”
Dams · Gharat · Gharat · Mountain Rivers

Gharat: Traditional wisdom seeking community care, govt support

Water mills, also known as gharat have been serving native communities in hills of Uttarakhand possibly for hundreds of years. Till a few decades back, the indigenously developed technique was only source of crushing variety of grains to produce flour. The symbols of ancient wisdom have been mostly lying in ruins in Chauthan patti (belt). This account explores reasons behind the gradual desertion of gharat culture which was once indispensable part of the local community there.

Continue reading “Gharat: Traditional wisdom seeking community care, govt support”