Dear Reader,

As Joshimath, in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, at once sacred and strategic, sinks, it has triggered the evacuation of thousands, even as the threat of a larger catastrophe looms. Environmentalists lament the umpteen unheeded warnings and the “arrogance” in seeking to dominate nature.

Mojo Story talks to Sunita Narain, India’s leading environmentalist and the editor of Down To Earth, who decries the “mindless and senseless” development in the Himalayas, without heed to the fragile and seismic ecology resulting in calamities like Joshimath.

The Probe speaks to citizens, hoteliers and activists in Joshimath, who point out that the first warnings against the unbridled construction and development in the Himalayas were sounded as far back as the 1930s given the “unstable” nature of the region. These were followed up in later decades by further warnings, including from the Geological Survey of India. All of which were ignored and turned a deaf ear to.

Amidst the growing disquiet on how the State in India collects, protects and uses citizens’ data, MediaNama reports that the Chennai Police is on the way to institutionalising a “police surveillance network in the city” - mostly without the citizens’ knowledge or approval.

As part of its ‘Mega City Policing project’, Chennai Police is set to procure 750 vehicle tracking devices, 2,900 surveillance cameras and 7 drone units. Chennai is already the city with the most CCTV devices worldwide, averaging 657 cameras per square metre.

And, even after being the dominant workforce in the weaving sector, with more than 70 per cent share, women’s contribution is understated and under-rewarded. Feminism in India reports from Uttar Pradesh on the state of women in India’s weaving sector - the second largest employer in the rural areas after agriculture.

For more such stories from the grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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"Himalayas are not Greater Kailash Parking Lot" - Joshimath Sinks

Mojo Story talks to noted environmentalist Sunita Narain and delves into what and who is responsible for the disaster in Joshimath and the broader question of sustainable development.

Watch Here

Joshimath Sinking: Multiple governments ignored warnings from scientists and geologists

Despite dire warnings by multiple experts, including the Geological Survey of India, decades ago, successive governments have chosen to ignore the assessments of the Himalayas being incapable of sustaining large-scale construction. The Probe talks to experts and local citizens.

Read Here

Explainer: Learn About Chennai’s Mega City Policing A.K.A. ‘Surveillance’ Project

MediaNama reports on a widespread surveillance mechanism being put in place in Chennai by the city police without the knowledge or approval of the citizens.

Read Here

Patriarchy And Weaving: The Curious Case Of Uttar Pradesh’s Women Weavers

Feminism in India reports from UP on the patriarchy that defines the role of women in the weaving and allied sectors.

Read Here

More from the grantees
Five Imperatives Of Budget 2023-24
With the Union budget just weeks away, Swarajya looks at five things that the Union Finance Minister should address in her speech -- the fiscal deficit, simplifying capital gains taxation, incentivising the new income tax scheme, privatisation, etc.
Reforming the Doctoral Programme: To What End?
The meddling with the long-standing autonomous and self-regulating system that oversaw the PhD programmes has eroded the autonomy of universities, says The India Forum.
"So, Did You Dance All Night Too?" - Tribals Reject Oppression
The Citizen reports from Majhauli, some distance from the district town of Robertsganj (Sonbhadra) in Uttar Pradesh, on the life and struggles of the Gonds, one of the largest and most ancient Adivasi communities in India.
Patna: आइये जानते हैं कि आपके घर को साफ करने वाले अपना दिन कैसे गुजारते हैं
Democratic Charkha focuses on the life and struggles of the sanitation workers in Bihar’s capital Patna.

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