Floods, Papers and a Survival Strategy

While discussing about environmental calamities, we talk about destruction, damage, loss – of lives and of property, relief, and donations. These information mostly come to us through televised news reportage, newspapers, digital news platform, etc., and are either transmitted with a lot of theatrics (Bengaluru floods 2022)  or just passed off casually (Assam or Bihar floods generally, Maharashtra droughts, etc).

Somewhere between these two extremes, can be situated the many stories of loss that humans undergo while battling these calamities. Loss is always subjective. But sometimes, the stories, or rather, the fear of loss might cross the liminiality of subjective experience and become a frame work through which a community, that stands on throes of encountering loss, might perceive and even device a coping mechanism to, if not resisting, than at least minimalising the loss. Debashree Chakraborty explores.

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Optimism Bias: A Major Challenge in Refugee Responsibility Sharing

At the end of 2021, 89.3 million people were forcibly displaced across the globe as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, or other major disturbances of peace. The increasing number of forcibly displaced populations emphasises the cruciality of refugee responsibility-sharing as an international duty of the States. But, is fulfilling this responsibility really possible when the traditional theories of International Relations are primarily motivated by concerns of national interest that views refugees and the internally displaced as people who frequently pose a threat to regional, national and occasionally even global security? Sangamithra S explores.

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A Report on “The Unseen Game: Infrastructure, Labour, and the City”

Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group, in collaboration with DW Akademie, organised the second online discussion by South Asia Network for Communication, Displacement and Migration (SAN-CDM) on “The Unseen Game: Infrastructure, Labour and the City” on 15th December,2022. Supratik Sinha reports on the proceedings of this roundtable discussion.

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Three history books for children: Desher Bhasha, Desher Manush, Deshvaag

‘Can you gather a sense of history simply by being perceptive to your surroundings? How to attain an awareness of history?’ – such are the fundamental questions that lie at the heart of the ‘Itihashe Hatekhari’ book series. As a part of the project ‘Revisiting the Craft of History Writing for Children’ (2022) by Institute of Development Studies Kolkata (IDSK), funded by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (RLS), these three history books – Itihase Hatekhari: Desher Bhasha (The Languages of the Nation), Itihase Hatekhari: Desher Manush (The People of the Nation) and Itihase Hatekhari: Deshvaag (Partition) have been produced for children aged between 12 and 14. Sohini Sengupta reads the books to assess their relevance in contemporary Bengal.

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Transhumance Pastoralism in Kashmir: Case of the Gujjar- Bakarwals

Pallavi Sareen presents an overview of the multiple hazards faced by pastoral transhumance communities in Kashmir in the wake of climate change. Sareen was a participant in CRG and Commonwealth Journalists’ Association- India’s collaborative workshop “Climate Change, Disaster, Displacement and Role of Media”, organized in Kolkata, India on 24-25 August, 2022.

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A Report on “Climate Disaster, Migration, and News Reporting: A South Asian Discussion”

Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (www.mcrg.ac.in), in collaboration with DWAkademie(DWA), announced the launch of a network titled South Asia Network for Communication, Displacement and Migration (SAN-CDM) with an online discussion on 27th October, 2022. Supratik Sinha reports on the proceedings of this inaugural meeting on Climate Disaster, Migration, and News Reporting.

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Migrant worker deaths: The dark underbelly of Qatar Football World Cup

Two weeks before the football World Cup begins in Qatar, the forcible eviction of migrant workers from dozens of buildings in Doha’s Al Mansoura neighbourhood made headlines. The evictions were a bid to make Doha look like another international city in the first world. In some cases, the migrant workers were reportedly given just two hours’ notice to vacate the area.

Thousands of football fans from around the globe will stay, November 20 onwards, in the neighbourhood where the hundreds of migrant workers lived. The airports, railway tracks and roads they will use to travel to the seven world class football stadiums have been built by migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and elsewhere in Asia and Africa. What they will not know is how they were treated, their working conditions or how many died to make the tournament possible. Bharat Bhushan writes.

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Media Approach towards Climate Refugees, Disaster and Displacement in South Asian Economy and Society

Shahenoor Akhtar Urmi presents an overview of media approaches to climate induced displacement. Urmi was a participant in CRG and Commonwealth Journalists’ Association- India’s collaborative workshop “Climate Change, Disaster, Displacement and Role of Media”, organized in Kolkata, India on 24-25 August, 2022.

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The not so Great Escape: Assam’s trafficked workers’ horrific account of forced labour in Arunachal Pradesh

Farhana Ahmed reports on the horrific ordeal of workers from the Indian state of Assam who were lured by traffickers and trapped in a Border Roads project camp, from which, only a few could escape with their lives. Ahmed was a participant in CRG and Commonwelth Journalists’ Association- India‘s collaborative workshop “Climate Change, Disaster, Displacement and the Role of Media”, organised in Kolkata, India on 24- 25 August, 2022.

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