Sanjiv Phansalkar

Sanjiv Phansalkar
Sanjiv Phansalkar is Programme Director at Tata Trusts. He was earlier a faculty member at the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA). Phansalkar is a fellow of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad.
March 29, 2017
Despairing farmers driven to suicide has become a common phenomenon in India. (Photo by Prabhu B Doss)

Droughts, floods, and suicides: What Bihar can teach Maharashtra and other states

A deeper dive is needed to draw insights from the low prevalence of farmer suicides in Bihar than in more developed regions of India such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh

March 15, 2017
The Barak River routinely floods its banks in the rainy season every year. (Photo by Monica Roy)

Living with the clockwork floods of Barak River

The state seems to be indifferent to the plight of the large number of people settled in the Barak Valley in southern Assam, and they are left to fend for themselves when the river routinely floods its banks every monsoon

March 1, 2017
The food supply chain from farms remains weak in India. (Photo by Mallika Viegas)

Land comes in between plough and plate

Increasing fragmentation of cultivated land in most parts of India makes it difficult to build supply chains of produce from farm gates to end consumers in an efficient and viable manner

February 15, 2017
In many villages, an informally decided upon time is kept aside for women taking a bath in a group. (Photo by Adam Cohn)

Rural men must realize women need secluded bathing spaces

Women taking a bath in the open is a common enough sight in the countryside, which needs to change. For that to happen, it is important to change the mindset of men and their insensitivity towards the issue

February 3, 2017
The 2017-18 budget has made notable allocations for agriculture and allied activities. (Photo by Kannan Muthuraman)

Budget has prepared ground for states to usher in transformation

Finance Minster Arun Jaitley has paved way for making significant transformation of rural areas a reachable dream. It is now up to the states to get their acts together and not fritter away the substantial allocations for agriculture and rural development

January 25, 2017
Women carrying head loads is a common sight all over India. (Photo by Curt Carnemark)

Women are still considered beasts of burden in rural India

Women carrying enormous head loads remain a common sight in large swathes of the country, indicative of our gender insensitivity and skewed priorities

January 11, 2017
Rearing fish spawn in cages in Andhra Pradesh.

India should gear up for a blue revolution

The productivity of inland fisheries can be boosted massively if governments get out of the way of operations and let fish enterprises grow across India

December 28, 2016
Marathwada suffers from a chronic shortage of water and rainfall is often scanty. (Photo by Harini Calamur)

It’s much better to dig than to build for water

Learning from some exemplary instances in drought-prone Marathwada, it makes sense for government programs to dig tanks and deepen streams for water sufficiency instead of building expensive structures

December 14, 2016
A field laborer carrying paddy transplants in Tamil Nadu. (Photo by ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss)

Convenience drives farm practices more than sustainability

For all talk of sustainable farming practices than often entail increased drudgery, there is a clear trend that farmers are swayed by convenience and ease of use more than anything else

December 2, 2016
Those in the supply chain of perishable farm goods are suffering the most. (Photo by Patrik M. Loeff)

Small vegetable and poultry farmers severely affected by demonetization drive

Three weeks into the surprise announcement by the government to withdraw high denomination currency notes from circulation, it is now clear that producers of perishable commodities such as vegetable and poultry have been seriously impacted

November 18, 2016
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Demonetization and the rural poor in five dimensions

The junking of high value currency notes has led to an unprecedented situation where the poor are more at risk from manipulation by the unscrupulous than from any crippling financial loss in the short or medium terms, barring exceptions

November 4, 2016
A mother prepares flat bread from pearl millet in Andhra Pradesh. (Photo by L. Vidyasagar)

Tackling malnutrition in India needs thinking out of the box

If India has to improve its rank on the global Hunger Index, there has to be an emphasis on alternative and participatory approaches of delivering nutrients to underserved populations

October 21, 2016
Celebrations at a community meeting place in a tribal village in Chhattisgarh. (Photo by Collin Key)

Can this crisis in the heart of India be allowed to continue?

The economic exploitation and developmental neglect of the core tribal areas of India’s eastern plateau and hills across Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have to be tackled through practical solutions unhindered by ideological blinkers