What the Similipal forest fire is whispering to us

  By Sanjib Sarangi, IGS   Similipal is a UNESCO-designated and Asia’s second largest biosphere reserve and one of the country’s largest natural heritage sites. The first half of March 2021 saw forest fire sweeping through Similipal. Was it climate change playing out? Did the State forest department’s protocol to tackle this annual phenomenon fall short? Or was there more to it this year? Simlipal Biosphere Reserve Similipal, which derives its name from ‘Simul’ (silk cotton) tree, is a national park and a tiger reserve situated in the northern part of Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district. Similipal and its adjoining area, covering 5,569 sq km, was declared a biosphere reserve by the Government of India on June 22, 1994. Once a hunting ground for royals and declared a national park in the 80s — it stands out for its ecological diversity. Some 1,078 species of plants, including 94 species of orchids, are found here. The forest is known for its tigers and elephants among 55 species of mamma

Farm, Farming and Farming Community - Past, Present and Future

by Hareshwar Prasad Singh (ex-staff, Indian Grameen Services) Farming is at the root of development of civilizations, as it paved the way for humans to begin a settled life from nomad character and enabled them to think further on different aspects of life, and from here a new era of life was initiated with development of hamlet, villages and cities. For a long time (may say for centuries) , there was no crisis of  food  and people were leading a happy life as the needs were also limited and farming was considered as most respectable occupation in the society with strong Social Fabric. But the development of a materialistic society, growing population, and never ending needs (or greed) have put the farm, farming and farming community under extreme pressure threatening life and livelihood on this beautiful planet which is the only known safe haven for humans in this universe. Till the early 1980s, our rivers were so clean and clear that their water was being used for cooking. But today