Poverty, Climate Change and Livelihood: A Way Out

As the world struggles to come to terms with the shapeshifting Covid-19 virus, the views of the Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, become particularly resonant. Writing about the relentless drive to control nature and exploit its resources, he urged a reflection on how nature, through the pandemic, is telling “us to acknowledge with humility our quintessential equality and interdependence.” This is a view that is difficult to disagree with. Many scientists have voiced that the pressure on natural habitats and the decreasing distance between humans and other organisms have rapidly spread such infections and perhaps destroyed earlier immunity.

भारत रूरल लाइवलीहुड्स फाउंडेशन (बीआरएलएफ) ने हिंदी पखवाड़ा मनाया

भारत रूरल लाइवलीहुड्स फाउंडेशन (बीआरएलएफ) की स्थापना भारत सरकार द्वारा एक स्वतंत्र संस्था के रूप में ग्रामीण विकास मंत्रालय के अधीन की गयी थी, जिसका मुख्य उद्देश्य केंद्र व राज्य सरकारों के साथ भागीदारी करते हुए मध्य भारत के आदिवासी क्षेत्रों में आजीविका सृजन करना है।

The Springs of Life and Livelihoods

Mountain springs are a major source of water supply for rural households in the Himalayan region. Of the 5 million springs in India, about 3 million are in the Himalayas[i]. However, spring water supply has increasingly become uncertain in recent times due to several reasons such as impact of climate change and anthropogenic agents such as change in land use, increased demand, and ecological degradation. Some of these change agents impact the rainfall pattern leading to high intensity rainfall with reduced spread. This naturally leads to increased runoff and reduced capture as ground water.

Presenting a short video directed by Surendra Kumar Singh showcasing the COVID-19 relief work in Jharkhand carried out by Vikas Sahyog Kendra with Support from BRLF.

Bheema Adiwasi, 40, is a Sahariya tribal. Like most members of his community — one of the poorest and impoverished in India —- he has no steady income; he occasionally earns some money by working in the fields of a local landlord in the Vijaypur block of Sheopur district, Madhya Pradesh. Bheema is entitled to Rs 600 per month disability pension from the government, but unfortunately the allowance does not reach his account every month.

Sarajmuni Soren, 31, is a resident of Majhali village (Angrabhasa-II Gram Panchayat), Nagrakata block, in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal. Her husband, Sushil, is a daily wage worker, and they have three children: Two daughters (seven years and four years) and a one-and-a-half-year-old son.

Bikas Sardar, 34, has been working as a migrant labourer for more than 10 years. He is semi-literate and unskilled, and, therefore, Sardar never had the luxury of holding a permanent job at one particular location. Sardar went where the labour contractor took him. In the last four years, he has been working at construction and pipeline-laying sites in Bengaluru, Chennai, and Kolkata.


Is ‘out of sight’ truly ‘out of mind’? That’s what many water experts in India believe when it comes to our groundwater. The fact is, as a country, we are greatly dependent on groundwater, being the largest users in the world. According to reports, at just over 260 cubic km per year, India uses 25 percent of all groundwater extracted globally, ahead of the US and China.Equally significant, 70 percent of the water used in agriculture today is groundwater.In fact, according to a report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in 2012, 90 per cent of rural water and 48 per cent of urban water supply is sourced from groundwater resources. Thus, it is evident that groundwater is a lifeline for the country. That said, there is little understanding of the importance of groundwater, in both the policy and public spheres.