Society

Bardhaman town, renowned for its Bengali sweets like mihidana and sitabhog, is also famous for its rich tapestry of folk culture and heritage sites. The town has immense potential for tourism. But the question arises, how much of it has been explored?   This article aims to shed light on Bardhaman's historical sites, the initiatives to promote tourism while addressing the civic issues hindering its progress, and highlight the need to balance tourism with sustainable development.  Heritage sites of Bardhaman Sher Afghan’s tomb  Located beside Pir Beharam, close to Rajbati, lies the  tomb of Sher Afghan, the resting place of the last…

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In December 2021, the Tamil Nadu government introduced the Nam Kudiyiruppu Nam Poruppu scheme for residents living in low-income, government housing and resettlement sites managed by the Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUHDB). In this scheme, residents form associations to oversee the maintenance of these sites, with the intention of transferring ownership of their living spaces back to them. This move is significant, especially for the resettlement sites, considering the minimal consultation and abrupt evictions relocated families have faced during the process. What the scheme entails The scheme also aims to improve the quality of living in these sites.…

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Murshidabad was once the capital of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa and was known as the abode of Nawabs. But the present reality is different — one of the minority-dominated districts of West Bengal, it is now labelled ‘backward.’ The district does not even have a full-fledged university.  The district lags in socio-economic terms due to the lack of employment opportunities. One part of Murshidabad relies on agriculture, while the other depends on migrant labour. Consequently, many workers in the district are forced to migrate to other States for sustenance. Murshidabad has the highest percentage of workers from Bengal, who are…

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Any pet parent will tell you that dogs need a safe space where they can be free and get their requisite daily exercise. Leashed walks can fulfil only a part of their exercise requirement. Especially dogs belonging to larger breeds are more energetic and need to run free to expend their energy and to grow and develop well. This is especially difficult in a city like Mumbai where traffic concerns and the territorial nature of street dogs makes it impossible for pet parents to let their dogs off the leash even for a moment. My German Shepherd herself has developed…

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Once a year, I inadvertently overhear someone wondering aloud about the sea level while crossing the Mahim or Thane Creek bridges without realising that the sea has tides. Similar conversations are heard at the beaches too. The Bandra Worli Sea Link, which now features in almost every movie about Mumbai, as seen from Mahim. Pic: MS Gopal Not being aware of tides often leads to lovers being stranded on the rocks along the coast, or even people getting washed away by waves during the monsoons. People regularly throng the sea-fronts of Mumbai - sometimes the beaches, sometimes the promenades, but…

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A little white disc flies through the air; chased by many, and caught deftly by a girl, who then sends it whizzing across the sandy shore. This is a scene that often unfolds along Chennai's Besant Nagar beach, next to the red police booth. The vast, open space afforded by the beach sets the stage for a fun sport, involving a 175g white disc. Ultimate Frisbee is fast-paced, involving seven players from each team on opposite sides of the field, throwing the disc to each other, racing to catch it and passing it along to teammates. The most popular format…

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In view of Women's Day, observed on March 8, Citizen Matters conducted an online survey on women's safety in Chennai. As many as 171 women took part in this survey between the age group of 18 to 51 years. These women were from areas like Sholinganallur, Adyar, T Nagar, Kotturpuram, Thiruvanmiyur, Royapuram, Perambur, Madipakkam, Anna Nagar and other parts of Chennai. Though we circulated the survey across Chennai, many of the responses were from women in the Southern parts of Chennai, indicating the lack of access for women from areas of North Chennai to take part in such online surveys.…

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At 16, when Jency* got married to a man her family chose for her, she dreamt of a blissful life. Her husband, a carpenter, toiled to make ends meet, while she was a homemaker. Life was tough but they were content. "During weekends, he would take us to the beach and once in a while we went to the movies. Eating Delhi appalam and walking along the seashore at Marina Beach with my husband and my two kids is one of my favourite happy memories," she says. That was Jency's life in the past. The sole breadwinner of her family,…

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The delusional bubble of our so-called ‘progressive society’ is broken every year on International Women’s Day. Irrespective of how far we have developed, we still struggle to comprehend and respect simple concepts of freedom and equality, especially concerning women.  A woman's identity is not tied to a man The identity of a woman is somehow still rigidly bound by her association with a man, be it her father or her husband. A single woman is often judged. It is not just society that ties a woman to a man’s name, but also the government with some regressive policies. The recent…

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It was a balmy day in a crowded antenatal clinic in the small town of Haliyal in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. The medical officer indicated to me that he was doing a great service to humanity by killing unborn girls. He would go to villages nearby, on a designated day once a month, to hold mobile clinics and conduct sex determination tests on pregnant women. If the results showed the unborn child was a girl, more often than not, the expectant mother — at her husband's family's behest — would come back to the clinic for an illegal abortion.…

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