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Brishti Bandyopadhyay

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Abdul Kareem’s Forest

A lush green forest in the middle of a rocky mountains
A lush green forest in the middle of a rocky wasteland. No, this paradise is not an illusion. Abdul Kareem has created it with his own hands.Kareem's 30-acre forest is in Kasargode district, Kerala. It is home to 1,500 medicinal plants, 2,000 varieties of trees, rare birds, animals and insects. Agricultural scientist, MS Swaminathan, has called the forest a...

These Bold Police Women

April 21: These days Nirbhay (Fearless) Singh Gujjar, is not really living up to his name. This dreaded outlaw who operates in India's most notorious dacoit-infested region, the Chambal Valley in the Bhind district of northern Madhya Pradesh, is on the run because he is scared of a 28 year-old police officer.Her name is Priyanka Mishra and she is...

The Kiwi is Australian!

March 14: The kiwi bird is one of the most common symbols of New Zealand. It is also the country's national bird. And that's not all. It features as an insignia on New Zealand's coat of arms as well.New Zealanders consider the kiwi their most enduring national symbol and until now, they believed that the bird did not even...

All for One

February 26: What happens when someone in authority takes advantage of the position that he is in, to harass someone weaker? In India, more often than not, the victim ends up doing nothing about it. Why not? Fear forces him or her to keep quiet.But not everyone believes in living up to the image of the powerless Indian. And...

The Circle of Life

February 5: Young Vittal Partani is one of many volunteers who has been engaged in a singleminded task these last few days in the town of Bhachau that was devastated by the January 26 earthquake, in Gujarat. But there is something special about the 20 year-old and the youngsters accompanying him on the rescue mission.All of them are orphans...

Mahavir Jayanti

Jain statue, Khajuraho
You must have often wondered about the monks with shaven heads, a white robe and a fine muslin cloth covering their mouths and noses. They are monks who follow the Jain religion. They cover their mouths and noses to avoid any involuntary killing - even of germs.Sometimes they also carry small brooms to remove any small creature out of...

A Debt Repaid

February 14: More than 60 years ago, the Maharaja of Jamnagar, a princely state in Gujarat, offered shelter to 600 Polish child refugees who had got orphaned during the Second World War. The children were housed near Balachadi, near Jamnagar. It was a deed that the Poles did not forget.For, as the news of the devastating earthquake that hit...

This Bird Paradise Stinks!

March 19: Are you a bird lover? If you live in Delhi, then the river Yamuna is the place to go to. Yes, that same river that was once Delhi's pride but has got reduced to a polluted dump with mounds of plastic islands floating on its surface and toxic effluents flowing in from fields.And yet, birds flock to...

The China Doll

December 9: A country's national identity is very much like an individual's identity. Each country has a name, a past from which it traces its origins and a few distinguishing characteristics that make up its overall personality. Yes, nations have personalities. Just like human beings, those countries with strong personalities are the ones with a sure sense of who...

Death Threat

March 19: The Olive Ridleys are olive-green coloured sea-turtles that have existed for more than 200 million years. The Gahirmatha beach in Orissa is one of their nesting sites, but unfortunately the fishermen have started catching these turtles for meat to sell in the local market.This has alarmed environmentalists. Nature lover and scientist, BR Ray says that this trend...

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