A century in pursuit of freedom

Who would have thought that in 2021, an American corporation known to harvest private communications for corporate profit would stand up against the Indian Government, defending the Right of Privacy of Indians. Ironically, here we are in the middle of the pandemic, worrying about how police can zoom in to suspend our fundamental right of expression, or walk into our homes and take away all that is ours, when the administration should, in fact, be ensuring that not one more person suffers, or dies, of COVID.

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Restoring ecosystems to address NCD pandemic

The rise in these two NCDs is largely attributed to degradation of our ecosystems due to urban proliferation with decreasing open green spaces, change in lifestyle over the years driven by the nerve-wracking GDP based economic engines, and socio-cultural changes, with a host of other factors contributing to these conditions.

Bengaluru’s ecosystem once comprised of open green spaces such as parks, urban forests, lakes and open public spaces. Such spaces help reduce temperature, improve air quality, cut noise, and provide space for physical activities such as walking, cycling, playing, exercising that help reduce the burden of these NCDs.

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COVID-19: Why we must reorganise cities to deal with the third wave

There have been innumerable efforts in the past by civil society, trade unions, academia, public health experts and others who repeatedly stressed the crucial importance of strengthening local governance as key to mitigating and managing problems. These efforts have reached various High Courts and the Supreme Court too as Public Interest Litigations, trying to make local governance work. But the hubristic reliance and faith in centralised management has been such that even court orders directing public involvement in decision-making have all been disregarded. The whims and fancies of a few in power have prevailed with technology-based solutions for the pandemic.

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Making Turahalli a model for urban forests

by  Bhargavi S Rao. As the world has become predominantly urban, with the impact of climate change being experienced worldwide, protecting forests everywhere, particularly close to urban areas, is critical.

Forests, especially those near cities, serve in regulating local temperatures, cycling water and nutrients, as repositories of biodiversity, and as a critical resource for the sustenance of rural, pastoral and forest dependent communities. Forests are also sacred spaces for communities that continue to revere shrines inside such spaces. 

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Changing Lives and Livelihoods of Challakere: First impressions of the Unscientific Science City

By Ashwin Lobo, Research Associate, ESG. In January 2021, the ESG team visited these villages to understand the futuristic Science City means to the local communities. The stories we heard left us grasping for reason, as we struggled to fully comprehend just how much they have lost; We also were amazed by their resilience, particularly their feisty spirit to struggle on and protect the last remaining patches of these once pristine grasslands.

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