India: Balancing tradition and progress in a modern world

Meera Subramaniam set out to study vultures. The environmental journalist was interested in determining why the scavenging bird of prey was suddenly dying off by the millions across its natural habitat in India. What started as a research project on vultures turned into a ‘conversation of a sustainable environment, not just in India.’

That dialogue was recently published in the book, A River Runs Again: India’s Natural World in Crisis, from the Barren Cliffs of Rajasthan to the Farmlands of Karnataka, which Subramaniam discusses in a visit to Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies last Thursday. The book shares five stories of India’s natural world in crisis.

Balancing rich tradition and progression, India is a country in flux. From villagers who refuse to use ‘clean’ stoves out of habit to young women who set out to become the first in their village to learn reproductive education to farmers sold a ‘bill of goods’ during the Green Revolution, there are lessons to be learned. Are the solutions practical for a country deeply divided between tradition and progression?

Read more of Meera Subramaniam’s research here:

The Christian Science Monitor – ‘A River Runs Again’ tells five tales of India at the crossroads

Washington Post – These cheap, clean stoves were supposed to save millions of lives. What happened?

Public Radio International – India brings back ancient wisdom to fight its modern environmental problems



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