Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Introductory chapter -Puzha Malayalam

Most of the world's rivers have become dumping yards for urban communities. As a result, river-centric settlements, are seriously threatended. The first chapter begins with a quick
look at the alarming status of rivers across the world. This is followed by an update ont he status of rivers in India and the pecularities of the Kerala situation. Acknowledging that it is the flawed understanding of rivers that is responsible for many of the problems, this chapter sets the tone for rest of the book.

Puzha Malayalam is an exploration of Kerala and her rivers; a journey that begins with Kerala's cultural history and wends its way to the environmental degradation of the state. It is a book that illustrates how rivers are a part and parcel of the Malayalee way of life. A book that reminds us that the death of a river is the death of Kerala itself and that only way to protect life is by protecting rivers. This is a book that offers glimpses of hope, even as it underlines the burning realities of environmental degradation in the state. Written in the language of love, this is a book that every Malayalee who cherishes rivers.

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What was once the life line of Kerala, is today a decaying, dying river. It is out of concern for Bharatapuzha (River Nila): the erosion of the river banks, the dilution of its culture, neglect and depletion of its resources - that the Nila foundation was formed. The foundation intends to provide a common platform for those who are concerned about rivers in general and River Nila in particular.