articles by The Third Pole

long-reads

In Bangladesh, a fishing community lives in a boat village, dissociated from mainland, government assistance

The locals consider them to be lower caste people. The land dwellers are the main customers of these fishers, as they do business with the ‘Babaija’. It is a relation of monetary transactions, not one of kinship.

long-reads

Central to disaster relief efforts in Pakistan's mountain villages, women scale heights with rescue teams

Dedicated teams of women volunteers are an important part of working with communities in effective ways during disaster relief operations.

World

As Nepal's Budhi Gandaki hydro project is put on hold, flooding threatens lives of thousands

The project was meant to be finished by 2022 but the China Gezhouba Group Corporation shows no sign of starting work.

India

Discovery of Hangul carcass in Dachigam Sanctuary fuels concerns over suspected poaching of Kashmir's iconic deer

Along with the poaching of Hangul, leopards, bears, musk deer and other mammals, poaching of birds is also worrying wildlife lovers and experts in Kashmir.

World

In a Nepali wetland, a traditional craft helps a community earn a livelihood and keeps invasive weeds in check

While such initiatives will not permanently eradicate the invasive plants, uprooting large quantities helps to safeguard the ecosystem.

long-reads

In photos: The story of Nepal's first, and now nearly forgotten, hydropower project

This was only 30 years after the installation of the world’s first hydropower plant on Fox river of Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1882, and a year before China built its first hydropower plant in 1912 in Yunnan province.

long-reads

Markhor struggles to survive in Kashmir as its Hirapora habitat is overgrazed, fragmented by roads and power lines

Markhor (Capra falconeri) – the largest wild goat in the world – was in the near-threatened category on the IUCN red list when the most recent assessment for the species was made in 2014. The mountain goat’s habitat ranges over the north-western parts of the Hindu Kush Himalayas, in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

long-reads

A Himalayan community's efforts to contain COVID-19 attest to power of outreach, and need for better healthcare

Residents, medical workers and a youth group mitigated a dangerous rise in COVID-19 recently in the district of Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh, but the pandemic exposed a desperate need for better healthcare in this remote part of India.

Lifestyle

For West Bengal's indigenous communities, farming innovations reduce dependence on forest reserves

The situation was vastly different some years ago, when water was scarce, farming was not an option and the community was forced to venture into the forest to earn a living. They encountered elephants, leopards and other wild animals in the reserve.

World

Bhutan's hydropower exports flourish during lockdown, but for rural communities it's a mixed blessing

For many rural communities, having hydropower stations nearby is a mixed blessing. Houses in these areas have developed cracks that often reappear even if they are fixed. Much of the damage remains unrepaired.

Lifestyle

In a bid to lower carbon footprint, a group of Indian designers turns food waste into haute couture

Orange peel, lotus stems, betel nut husks, rose petals, sugarcane, pineapples, coffee grounds, eucalyptus and even fish scales are no longer just food or waste. They are the fashion frontline in combatting climate change.

World

In Nepal, lentil farmers battle climate change, poor management as govt policies challenge domestic production

Lentils are an important part of the famous ‘dal-bhat’ (rice-lentils) combination that many Nepalis, especially in the hills swear by. Lentils are an important source of protein in the Nepali diet, especially for poor families that don’t earn enough to eat meat or eggs regularly.

long-reads

In Bangladesh, abuse of Madhupur's indigenous people persists amidst government's 'social forestry' programmes

The Garos of Madhupur Sal forest have been struggling for the right to access the forest since 1962, when the Madhupur forest was declared a national park by the Pakistan government, which then administered the land.

Lifestyle

1968 Koshi flood victims in Nepal have waited 52 years for compensation, but justice eludes generations of families

In 1968, the Koshi river swept away hundreds of homes, destroying land and livelihoods. Generations later, villagers in Nepal’s Sunsari district are still waiting for help from the Indian and Nepali governments.

World

With rampant habitat fragmentation, how the Hindu Kush Himalayas could be the next pandemic hotspot

The HKH region is warming up to three times faster than the global average. This creates a perfect storm for new diseases to emerge.

Lifestyle

Sudipta Sengupta shares her story of ascending Lalana, tragedies and triumphs along the treacherous trek route

The aim of the expedition was to climb an unnamed virgin peak (20,130 ft/6,136 m) in the Lahoul Himalayas. If successful, we planned to name it Lalana, which means woman in Bengali.

long-reads

Nomadic nature of Pakistan's Bakarwals in danger, as community faces weather, administrative issues

For centuries, Bakarwals have centred their lives around rearing sheep and goats (bakra in Urdu) and even today accompany their herds across mountains and meadows.

long-reads

Case of the disappearing hilsa: Prized catch eludes fishermen's nets in Bangladesh's peak season

Overfishing had decimated Hilsa stocks in this part of the world until the Bangladeshi government imposed a ban in March and April, when the juvenile fish are growing up and moving out to sea.

India

In Darjeeling's Singalila National Park, red pandas and pangolins are being trafficked into extinction

Illegal wildlife trading has become easy and profitable in the Singalila Ridge. Poaching and trafficking is increasing – not only of pangolins and red pandas, but also of insects and medicinal plants.

World

Pakistan government re-opens Gilgit-Baltistan to tourists, but upholding COVID-19 safety protocols remains challenge

Tourists have crowded into Gilgit-Baltistan as hotels open up, but scant enforcement of social-distancing rules is heightening fears that the pandemic will spread.