Book / Post pandemic realities in Kerala

Mathew, Jomon and Jins Varkey, editors. (2020) COVID 19: Unmasking the post pandemic realities
Kottayam: DC Books. ISBN: 978-93-5390-552-1 Rs. 250/- Pages:184.
URL – https://dcbookstore.com/books/-covid-19-unmasking-the-post-pandemic-realities-405308641646

Following papers in the book are on Kerala:

Covid-19, public health system and local governance in Kerala by T M
Thomas Isaac and Rajeev Sadanandan

Covid-19 lockdown: Protecting the poor means keeping the Indian
economy afloat by K P Kannan

Covid-19 and development path – A Kerala experience by T P Kunhikannan
and P K Sujathan

Social Sciences in Kerala in the context of Covid-19 by Shelly Johny

How to combat Covid-19: Lessons from Kerala experience by P K
Sujathan, Prasad M G and Azad P

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Journal article / Status of Mangrove Forests in Kerala

Sreelekshmi, S., Bijeesh Kozhikkodan Veettil, S. Bijoy Nandan, and M. Harikrishnan. ‘Mangrove Forests along the Coastline of Kerala, Southern India: Current Status and Future Prospects’. Regional Studies in Marine Science 41 (January 2021): 101573.

Abstract (edited): Mangrove forests are considered some of the world’s most productive ecosystems. However, these unique ecosystems are under pressure due to natural as well as anthropogenic threats globally.

Kerala has lost 95% of its mangroves during the last three decades. The floristic diversity of mangroves in Kerala was represented by 18 species of true mangroves of which, Sonneratia alba, Avicennia alba, and Ceriops tagal were found to be rare in the state.

This review examines the current status of mangrove vegetation along the Kerala coast, factors responsible for the decline of mangroves, various conservation measures adopted, and future prospects.

It was found that scientific information on the mangrove area of many districts in this state is still lacking. In this context, GIS and remote sensing would be effective tools for the identification and mapping of various mangrove patches in Kerala.

Furthermore, the conservation and restoration programmes of mangroves in the state have been accelerated after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunamis.

Since mangroves are separate and unique ecosystems in the marine environment, exclusive mangrove forest conservation laws need to be framed, legislated, and enforced. Along with this, site-specific and community-based mangrove rejuvenation and restoration programmes have to be employed for the long-term management and conservation of this fast-dwindling ecosystem.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rsma.2020.101573

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Book chapter / Adaptations in Tourism After the 2018 Flood

Azzali, Simona, Zilmiyah Kamble, K. Thirumaran, Caroline Wong, and Jacob Wood. ‘Mitigating Impact From Natural Disasters, Building Resilience in Tourism: The Case of Kerala’. In Economic Effects of Natural Disasters, edited by Taha Chaiechi, 119–29. Academic Press, 2021.

Abstract: The spate of natural disasters in recent years has spawned a great deal of research on various challenges in disaster preparation, response, and recovery. Not much attention has been given to scholarly analyses of policies adapting to post–disaster management that have implications for key sectors of a country’s economy.

The strong inverse relationship between tourism and natural disasters underscores the vulnerability of tourism determined by the extent of direct and indirect impact from natural disasters, hence a need to evaluate post–disaster management.

This study examines the 2018 Kerala flood and its impact on tourism through a critical assessment of the responses of government agencies and organisations. Understanding the extent of policy adaptations during and after the 2018 Kerala flood in India allows us to develop a framework for policymakers and other stakeholders to consider impact-limiting measures and construct built-in resilience in the tourism industry.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-817465-4.00008-X

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Journal article / Yoga as a Psychosocial Tool for the Flood-Affected

Mathew, D. ‘Yoga as a Potential Psychosocial Tool: Results from a Quasi-Experimental Study on Victims of Flood-Affected State of Kerala’. Advances in Integrative Medicine.

Abstract (edited): Natural disasters of any form leave individuals in agony. Mental and social health are among the notable domains affected by such disasters. According to WHO, 22% of the people living in an affected area express the symptoms of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.

Thirty-two participants (Mean age 37.8 years) victims from a flood-affected state of India were enrolled for 15 days of yoga interventions after obtaining written consent. Breathing exercises and guided relaxation techniques were provided as intervention after obtaining a self-rated visual analog scale (VAS) for fear, sadness, anxiety, and lack of sleep.

All the participants completed the study. Statistically significant changes were observed in all the VAS-dependent scale variables, such as fear, sadness, anxiety, and lack of sleep. No adverse events were reported.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aimed.2021.01.004
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Journal article / Mitigating the Long-Term Psychosocial Impact of a Disaster

Kiran, P. S., Bindu Mohan, V. Abhijith, Amal Abraham, G. Anoop, R. S. Dinesh, Hareesh Krishnan, et al. ‘Framework for Strengthening Primary Health Care and Community Networks to Mitigate the Long-Term Psychosocial Impact of Floods in Kerala’. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 52 (January 2021), Article 101947.

Abstract (edited): Individuals who encounter disasters experience negative consequences across physical, mental, and psychosocial domains. Impacts on mental health and psychosocial domains are more common, and last longer than physical health problems.

In August 2018, Kerala witnessed unprecedented floods that resulted in 483 deaths and significant loss of property and livelihood. Project ‘Pariraksha’ was implemented by the Government of Kerala, to mitigate the long-term psychosocial impact of the disaster. It has been one of the largest comprehensive post-disaster psychosocial projects in India, aimed to benefit approximately 2 million people across 93 panchayats which experienced severe flooding and loss of life.

This paper describes the detailed methodology of this project. In addition, the supplementary material includes the technical manuals that were prepared and are freely accessible to personnel in disaster-affected zones. Counsellors were newly appointed in all the primary health centres in affected panchayats to provide mental health and psychosocial support. Accredited Social Health Activists (community-level health workers) undertook home visits to ensure early case detection.

Medical officers in affected areas received booster training regarding pharmacological management of mental health issues. Multidisciplinary mobile mental health teams were constituted to ensure the availability of specialised mental health inputs locally. The project integrated additional mental health resource personnel, into the existing health care system. Existing health care personnel received training to improve competency in dealing with post-disaster psychosocial issues. This framework is expected to ensure early detection and intervention, thus facilitating timely psychosocial recovery of communities impacted by the floods.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2020.101947
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Journal article / Social Vulnerability Index for Coastal Thiruvananthapuram

Shaji, J. Evaluating Social Vulnerability of People Inhabiting a Tropical Coast in Kerala, South West Coast of India. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 56 (1 April 2021). Published ahead of print, 17 February 2021.

Abstract (edited): Coastal Social Vulnerability Index (CSoVI) studies have drawn considerable attention in recent years due to their significance in identifying the spatial variation of socially vulnerable people inhabiting the coast. CSoVI provides a comparative spatial assessment of human capacity to respond to coastal hazards.

The present study is an attempt to compute CSoVI for the coast of Thiruvananthapuram, which is densely populated and beset with several problems. This coast stretches for 75 km covering nine panchayats and two urban centres with an average population density of 3,119 persons per sq km.

CSoVI has been defined in this study in terms of eleven quantifiable variables, comprising four demographic, three economic, and four infrastructural variables. Social Vulnerability Index (CSoVI) of each coastal panchayat was computed after adding the factor scores of extracted four PCs placed in an additive model after adjusting their cardinality on social vulnerability.

The study reveals that about 25% (19 km) of the coastline in Thiruvananthapuram is high socially vulnerable. Medium Social Vulnerability is found in three local bodies of the coast and covered 55% (41 km) of the coastline. Low Social Vulnerability is observed for about 20% (15 km) of the coastline.

The findings will be useful for the concerned departments, Trivandrum Corporation, and coastal panchayats of Thiruvananthapuram district in framing out various strategies for disaster risk reduction and resilience increase in the coast.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102130
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Event / ISHORE Webinar on opening a unique Dutch window to Kerala history

I-SHORE (Institute for Social Science, Humanities and Oceanic Research), Kozhikode is organizing a webinar series titled Intersectional Confluences.

Prof. Jos J.L. Gommans (Colonial and Global History, Leiden University, The Netherlands) will deliver the inaugural lecture.

Topic : Cosmos Malabaricus: Opening a unique Dutch window to Kerala history?

Date and Time : 25 March 2021, 6pm IST.

About I-SHORE: The Institute is an attempt to promote advanced studies and research in the Humanities and Social Sciences in Kerala, and to create an independent academic space for local, national and international scholars and researchers who are interested in the socio-cultural and economic traditions and conditions of the region with a wider focus in the Indian Ocean world.

To participate in the event, register by sending an e-mail with your full name, college/university and mobile number to ishorekerala@gmail.com

More info : https://www.facebook.com/ishorekerala/

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Shared to KSM by Ashok R. Chandran, Publications Officer, Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai.
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Book / (OA) Resistance to Ecological Conservation in Idukki

Suresh, Lavanya, and M. Suchitra. Suicidal Resistance: Understanding the Opposition Against the Western Ghats Conservation in Karunapuram, Idukki, Kerala. CDS Monograph Series: Ecological Challenges & Local Self-Government Responses 2. Thiruvananthapuram: Centre for Development Studies, 2021.

ISBN 9788194819547 / ebook / 186 pages / Free (Open Access publication)

About the book: This is the second in the series resulting from the small research projects supported by the Research Unit on Local Self-Government at the Centre for Development Studies on Kerala’s emergent ecological challenges and the preparedness of our local democracy to tackle them.

The study area is situated in Idukki District and seeks to understand how far ecology is included in local governance, in the context of the discourse around the protests against the recommendations of the Gadgil and the Kasturirangan committees.

In this work, a journalist and a researcher collaborate to present the underlying social, political and economic factors that drive local resistance to ecological conservation.

Table of Contents

Nalpatham Number Mazha: A Gentle Rain that Vanished from the Mountains
M. Suchitra

Who Wants to Conserve the Western Ghats? A Study of Resistance to Conservation and its Undercurrents in Karunapuram Panchayat, Within the Cardamom Hill Reserve in Idukki District
Lavanya Suresh

‘Strengthen Democracy: That’s All We Can Do’ (Interview)
Madhav Gadgil / M. Suchitra

CHR on the Verge of Collapse: A Photo Essay
Vidhya C. K., M. Suchitra, and Surendranath C.

About the authors: Lavanya Suresh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), Pilani, Hyderabad Campus. M. Suchitra is a senior journalist based in Ernakulam, Kerala, focussing on ecology, climate change, sustainability and equity.

More info and full text (OA): https://cds.edu/wp-content/uploads/Western-Ghats_MonographSeries2.pdf

KSM Editor’s note: Publications in the series are available for free download from the series webpage of the Research Unit on Local Self-Government at Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram.

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Book review / Hereditary Physicians of Kerala

Cleetus, Burton. Review of Hereditary Physicians of Kerala: Traditional Medicine and Ayurveda in Modern India, by Indudharan Menon. Asian Medicine 15, no. 2 (February 2021): 342–44.

Excerpt: Menon interviewed many vaidyans belonging to the prominent vaidya families and has presented their views on a  medical domain which is often unwritten and not found in the mainstream historical writings of the region.

After an introduction, four chapters follow on the background, on the contexts, on folk healing, poison therapy, and Muslim Ayurvedic lineages, and lastly on the Ashtavaidya physicians of Malabar.


More info: <https://doi.org/10.1163/15734218-12341478>

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Journal article / The Gendered Film Worker: Women in Cinema Collective

Mannil, Bindu Menon. ‘The Gendered Film Worker: Women in Cinema Collective, Intimate Publics and the Politics of Labour’. Studies in South Asian Film & Media 11, no. 2, 191–207.

 

Abstract: Although Indian cinema studies as a discipline has long been involved in various theoretical elaborations of film production, not until recently has it engaged with the question of the gendered nature of film work. In this piece, I attempt to develop a framework centred around the politics of labour to provide a useful case to highlight how thoughtful engagement with these categories provides immense value for both contemporary film scholarship and feminist histories of media.

In trying to situate Women in Cinema Collective, the first collective of women film workers to be formed in India, in the larger history of labour politics and women workers collectives of the recent past, I try to disaggregate a larger episteme of women’s work that emerges across the flexible labour economies of the neo-liberal present.

Through examining the Women in Cinema Collective’s social media campaigns, advocacy work, petitioning and legal counselling, I argue that Women in Cinema Collective emerges as a tenuous collective whose work moves across the porous boundaries of a new social movement, workers collective and an autonomous women’s group.

More info: https://doi.org/10.1386/safm_00028_1

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