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Navdanya, Dehradun, Uttarkhand, India
October 7, 2012

This a picture of two of the eight varmi-compost pits at the Navdanya seed bank in Dehradun. Along with varmi-composting, Navdanya also employs several other composting methods. The varmi-compost process is the quickest of all the composting processes, taking only 45 days to mature a batch of fully functional compost. The practice consists of laying down a bed of cow manure in a concrete pit which is full of earth worms. (more...)

tags: Environment, Food Security, Ecosystems: Balance and Imbalance, Environmental Ethics and Sustainability, Natural Inhabitants and Landscapes

location: Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

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Yamuna Aarti
October 7, 2012

Our group of Lewis & Clark travelers joined 30 or so Vrindaban residents and spiritual seekers in their nightly Aarti on the banks of the river Yamuna. An Aarti is an ancient traditional Hindu ceremony of worship for a diety involving candles and lamps as offerings. Aartis originate from the Vedic fire ritual Homa. Each Aarti is conducted differently depending on location and the diety to which it is devoted. (more...)

tags: Rituals, Culture and Religion, Religious movements/communities

location: Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

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Ravidas Gate, Banaras, Uttrapradesh, India
October 7, 2012

Ravidas Gate sits at the intersection of Nagwa and BHU road in the Lanka neighborhood. Ravidas Gate receives almost all the traffic traveling through the busy Lanka neighborhood and overlooks the bustling traffic circle. At the side of Ravidas, a temporary temple or pandal is erected for the Durga Puja Festival. Visitors visit the Ravidas Gate pandal to view a depiction of the goddess Durga slaying the demon king Ravana. (more...)

tags: Music, Festivals, Varanasi, Rituals, Pandals, Culture and Religion, Varanasi Neighborhood Culture, Ganga Culture

location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

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(Re)searching Community and Commerce in Madanpura: view of Madanpura from atop one of its many 6 story brick towers
October 7, 2012

Madanpura is distinguished at a distance only by its tall 5 story buildings. These buildings are as all buildings in Banaras, made of brick. Densely constructed, hardly 5 feet separate each of these towers. The thin alleys which weave through Madanpura are like the dark forest floors of tropical rain forests, hardly any light pierces through the thick canopy of brick and concrete above. (more...)

tags: Environment, Development, Neighborhood Development, Poverty/Wealth, Financial Development, Natural Inhabitants and Landscapes, Social Issues/Civil Society, Varanasi, Varanasi Neighborhood Culture

location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

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(Re)searching Community and Commerce in Madanpura: comparison of a weaver's home to a wholesaler's
October 7, 2012

Located in the geographic center of Madanpura lies the largest house in sight. In stark contrast to the towers which house the weavers and their families this building is not made of sharp corners and exposed brick but of smooth modern lines, contemporary glass windows, and a polished finish. This building, as tall as the others, stands quite literally apart. (more...)

tags: Environment, Development, Neighborhood Development, Poverty/Wealth, Natural Inhabitants and Landscapes, Social Issues/Civil Society, Varanasi, Varanasi Neighborhood Culture

location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

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(Re)searching Community and Commerce in Madanpura: a dyer lifts a saree that has been soaking in boiling dye to be moved to the dryer
October 7, 2012

Abdul is 27 years old and has been managing the family dying business for the last 15 years. Adbul told me that his workers earn approximately 3,000 Rs a month, near half that of Nassir’s weavers. Like the weavers, the dyers too usually occupy the ground floor of a residential building. The walls are shelved with powdered dye, chemical bonding agents, and tanks of propane. (more...)

tags: Environment, Development, Neighborhood Development, Poverty/Wealth, Natural Inhabitants and Landscapes, Social Issues/Civil Society, Varanasi, Varanasi Neighborhood Culture

location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

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(Re)searching Community and Commerce in Madanpura: a young child and a middle aged man work together to weave a brilliant blue saree
October 7, 2012

The type of small silk factory I observed in Madanpura held 5 or 6 looms and employed 12 to 18 weavers. Children as young as 5 years old diligently work the looms, often accompanied by an older more experienced worker to instruct and discipline them accordingly. All weavers, young and old, work 12 hour shifts and the looms are never idle. The weavers are all part of the owner’s extended family and are paid by the meter. (more...)

tags: Environment, Development, Neighborhood Development, Poverty/Wealth, Natural Inhabitants and Landscapes, Social Issues/Civil Society, Varanasi, Varanasi Neighborhood Culture

location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

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(Re)searching Community and Commerce in Madanpura: a small factory owner and helpful informant
October 7, 2012

This is Nassir. He is my informant. This is his sister's roof. Nassir is a muslim weaver living in the neighborhood of Madanpura, a neighborhood of muslim weavers. Nassir owns a factory of about 5 looms and 15 workers. Nassir has many contacts throughout Madanpura and through his own answers, and residents he put me in touch with, I was able to being constructing an image of the workings of Madanpura.

tags: Environment, Development, Neighborhood Development, Poverty/Wealth, Natural Inhabitants and Landscapes, Social Issues/Civil Society, Varanasi, Varanasi Neighborhood Culture

location: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

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Waste Disposal, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
October 7, 2012

This is the waste management center at the Christian Medical College in Vellore. The waste management program here was designed off of a zero-waste integrated waste management design but has since strayed from the path. The hospital processes 3 tons of food, industrial, and medical waste a day. Sorting of plastics and other materials is rudimentary at best and the working conditions are far from ideal. (more...)

tags: Health, Environment, Environmental Ethics and Sustainability, Population Impact, Social Issues/Civil Society

location: Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

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