Posts Tagged 'Tamil Nadu'

In Memoriam: Pondicherry’s Beautiful Sandy Beaches

Pondicherry Coast 2006 satellite image

Yesterday, I took a boat ride with some friends up the Pondicherry coast, and beyond into Tamil Nadu. The coastal erosion is really quite horrific. As you can perhaps make out in the 2006 satellite image, above, more than 98% of the beach to the north of the harbor has completely disappeared, replaced by rip-rap seawall. Seven kilometers of beautiful white sand are gone in Pondicherry, and the environmental disaster now stretches well into Tamil Nadu.

Continue reading ‘In Memoriam: Pondicherry’s Beautiful Sandy Beaches’

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Malgudi Days

Malgudi Days

More than one friend has complained that I have neglected to report on Tenzing’s visit to South India at the end of March. I have been a bit busy. But better late than never.

Continue reading ‘Malgudi Days’

Pondicherry Beach Erosion: a Man-Made Environmental Disaster

The citizens of Pondicherry are finding their voices, and it is inspirational to see. They are crying out against the crooked deal which proposes to place a new deep-water port at the south end of tow, vast profits in the hands of private developers, and environmental disaster throughout Pondicherry and into the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu.

Usually, the corrupt public officials and venal private developers are a winning combination in India; the public interest and the health of civic institutions take a beating. This time, up against smart, informed citizens’ action groups that cannot be bought-off, it looks as though truth, decency, and the environment have a fighting chance.

There are a number of environmental, livelihood, and criminality issues at stake in the proposed development of a port in Pondicherry by Subhash Projects Marketing Limited and Ohm Metals, but perhaps the beach-sand issue is at the heart of the fight. To better understand how a new port would starve the coastline of sand, create penetrating erosion, and cause salinity in the watertable and topsoil, click here to view an excellent slide presentation (in pdf format).

The proposed port in Pondicherry must be defeated for many reasons. Hopefully, this presentation will help clarify one of the important environmental issues.

Pondicherry’s Sandy Beaches Imperiled by New Port Development

sob-banner.jpg

Study the photos above. In less than two decades — and it may have been much more rapid than that — Pondicherry’s beautiful sandy beach along the the main promenade of the town has completely disappeared, leaving a rough coastline of riprap boulders, brought in with heavy equipment to staunch further erosion.

What happeed to the gorgeous beach front? It eroded away, largely as a function of breakwaters (stone jetties that protrude into the sea to arrest wave action), which were built between 1986 and 1989 at the harbour entrance where the Ariyankuppam River joins the sea.

And now the Government of Pondicherry is planning to compound the damage.

Continue reading ‘Pondicherry’s Sandy Beaches Imperiled by New Port Development’

Gandhi Rural Rehabilitation Centre Has a New Website, Courtesy of CharityFocus

Gandhi Rural Rehabilitation Centre, Alampoondi

In December, we spent a few days in the beautiful village of Alampoondi, in rural Tamil Nadu, visiting the Gandhi Rural Rehabilitation Centre. GRRC runs a variety of educational, medical, and livelihood programs for physically and mentally challenged adults and children in the villages near Alampoondi in central Tamil Nadu. They now have a shiny new web presence, thanks to volunteers at CharityFocus!

Visit the new website at www.grrc.org.in.

And if you are in the market for excellent handloomed cottons, consider buying from GRRC’s excellent artisans. I just had three great new kurtas made from their wonderful fabrics — you should too!

Monsoon

Monsoon in Tamil Nadu

A number of factors kept us in the states beyond our scheduled departure date in early October, and we didn’t land in India until early December. November is the heart of monsoon in Pondicherry, where we live, though it is common for the rains to linger a bit after the calender page has been turned. When we arrived to day-after-day of clear blue skies, it seemed plain that we missed monsoon this year.
Continue reading ‘Monsoon’

Scenes of Alampoondi

Alampoondi Alampoondi
Continue reading ‘Scenes of Alampoondi’


Blasts from the Past

Man Up!
Man up you pussy!

... because the idiocy of manliness is an evergreen topic.

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Talking Turkey
how to cook a perfect turkey in half the time

... because Canada and the US will celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays and, regrettably and preventably, not 1-cook-in-10 will serve a decent turkey.

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Filial Piety Awareness Day
Kaki Tusler, Mother's Day Celebrant

... because everyday is Mother's Day.

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America Dreaming Small
American Dream

... because the American Dream seems but a distant memory, given the country's dominant ethos of small-mindedness.

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Serenity and Gratitude to Bring in the New Year
New Year's Eve at Tibetan Pavillion

... to remind us that not every mix of Tibetans and Western spiritual seekers has to be nauseating.

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Incredible Vision
Infinite Vision

... to celebrate the new edition of Infinite Vision published in India.

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Expelliarmus! Harry Potter and the Path to Gandhian Nonviolence
Expelliarmus, Potter, Gandhi, Nonviolence

... reprised because military strategy seems more cruel and less effective than ever -- and certainly there is a better way.

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India Going Nowhere Fast
Nano in Flames

... because cars are ruining Pondicherry, where I live. How badly are they fucking up your Indian town?

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Understanding the Gift Economy
Gift Economy Explained

... reprinted because more-and-more people seem want to understand the gift economy. (Yeah!)

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