Indus valley - India
The Indus Valley civilisation, one of the oldest in the world, dates back over 5,000 years. Aryan tribes from the northwest invaded about 1500 B.C. and their merger with the earlier inhabitants created the classical Indian culture.
By the 19th century, Britain had assumed political control of virtually all of India’s land until non-violent resistance to colonialism under Mohandas Gandhi led to independence in 1947. Today, India’s fundamental concerns include the ongoing dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir, massive overpopulation, environmental degradation, extensive poverty and ethnic and religious struggles.
Although rich in biodiversity, India struggles with many life threatening environmental problems including deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; desertification; air pollution from industrial effluents and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage and dangerous run-off of agricultural pesticides.
Irrigation has been practiced since the earliest times with agriculture the main source of livelihood. Important crops include sugarcane, groundnuts, oilseeds, cotton, bananas, potatoes, tea, and spices. Major forest products are timber, sandalwood, pulpwood and fuel wood, while the minor products include bamboo, eucalyptus, rubber, tea, cashew and honey. The growing population (62 million plus - census 2001) overstrains its natural resources so, understandably, water has become a vital resource for economic growth and sustainable development.
For over a decade, Onaway has supported projects in the southern state of Tamil Nadu – formerly Madras. This Southern Indian state brims with green paddies and palm fields in the East, alluvial plains stretch tothe Coromondel Coast in the West while high rocky hills cover the North. Tamil Nadu borders Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.
"We should give everyone his due. What is not edible for a man, give it to a cow, what is not edible for a cow, give it to a dog; what is not edible for a dog, throw into a lake for fish to eat. But never waste." Ma Saradadevi