articles by Manish Kumar

India

Child marriage, malnutrition plague tribal children in Odisha's Nagada; villagers, mostly illiterate, pin hope on govt for healthcare facilities

Although largely clueless about politics and political leaders, the villagers of Nagada in Odisha continue to pin their hopes on the state government to take care of their health, development and infrastructure needs.

India

Seven decades after Independence, many in Odisha's villages still drink contaminated water from pits

A large section of the rural populace of Keonjhar district in Odisha is struggling for access to a basic survival need.

India

Odisha's tribals who gather and sell minor forest produce left at the mercy of dysfunctional market with no govt support

The Odisha government has plenty of funds to implement the Forest Rights Act to benefit tribals, so it can't blame a low budget for the poor enforcement of the law.

India

Swachh Bharat Mission: How tulsi saplings, rangolis helped Odisha's Ganjam district in ending open defecation

The Ganjam district administration, roped in women self-help groups (SHGs) and swacchagrahis to take an innovative way to ward off open defecation.

India

Swachh Bharat Mission in Odisha hits roadblock as abundant open defecation, insufficient toilets defeat cleanliness drive

Statistics claim that the Bantaligram panchayat, which hosts 1,293 households, has only 234 toilets constructed, while 1,059 toilets are yet to be constructed.

Politics

Residents of Chhattisgarh's Lakha village, displaced for construction of Kelo Dam, vow to boycott BJP in polls

Nearly a decade has passed since the Kelo Dam was constructed in Chhattisgarh, but many displaced villagers are waiting to get full compensation from the BJP government that took over their land.

India

Gurupriya bridge: Political slugfest undermines big step towards development as parties fight over credit and rivals allege scam

Nonetheless, the 910-metre bridge has proved to be a boon for around 30,000 tribal villagers residing in a zone cut-off from mainland Odisha for more than five decades in the absence of any concrete road or proper river link.

India

Gurupriya bridge: New communication link kindles hope for development in Maoist-infested hinterland of Odisha

Despite the area’s history of terror and frequent attacks and bloodshed, the newly constructed link is now being used en masse by the villagers of the cut-off zone.

India

Gurupriya bridge: Proposed in 1982, opened in 2018, this Odisha bridge bears testimony to decades of frustration

While the villagers recalled their daily struggles, they have now pinned all hopes on the bridge changing their lives and bringing them quick development.

India

India's water crisis: After govt apathy, Odisha farmer carves out 3-km canal from hills to tackle scarcity in village

In an effort that earned him the moniker of the "Dashrath Manjhi" of his district, Nayak not only resolved the problem of water scarcity in his village, but also provided his people with cleaner water than what was available to them earlier.

India

Anatomy of lynching: Hapur violence exposes police failure in controlling mobs; tightening intel, raising awareness are key

Hapur is notorious for cases of mob violence. Several videos have appeared showing Dalits being thrashed and local goons being left at the mercy of the people.

India

India's water crisis: Parched Odisha villagers start informal barter system to cope with trying times

Water-starved villagers in Odisha have started an informal “barter system” in which not money or commodities but precious drinking water is lent by surplus households to those in dire need in times of emergency. Such is the state of affairs in this coastal state reeling under a water crisis, more so in the western and southern parts.

India

President 'harassed' at Puri temple: Incident only shines spotlight on servitors' many misdeeds, claim devotees

Reports of servitors of Puri's Jagannath Temple allegedly misbehaving with President Ram Nath Kovind and his wife have brought to light some of these holy men's purportedly unholy deeds ahead of the famous Rath Yatra on 14 July.

India

Mystery of the missing keys triggers treasure hunt at Puri's Jagannath Temple

The Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha ordered a judicial inquiry after the keys were reported missing on 4 April.

India

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan ground reality: Painting, remodelling of toilets sparks sanitation revolution in Odisha

Odisha, which has an abysmal record when it comes to access to toilets, has seen some startling success stories from a few villages of this laggard state.

India

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan ground realities expose poor sanitation coverage, hyped 'open-defecation free' claims by districts

Four years into Swachh Bharat, districts have been vying to declare themselves open-defecation free, but only on basis of number of toilets built, not usage

India

Narendra Modi govt claims 100% electrification in villages: Ground realities in Odisha's rural districts bust Centre's euphoria

A reality check in some remote rural and tribal districts in Odisha gave a lie to Centre's 28 April announcement of having achieved 100% electrification.