2013 in review: Most popular on The Alternative

A lot happened around the world and in India in 2013 that has been dissected over and over again at dining tables, coffee shops, street corners, in bus rides and more. On The Alternative, too, we’ve had a lot to talk (and read) about with respect to sustainable living, society, travel, and more. Here’s a […]


A lot happened around the world and in India in 2013 that has been dissected over and over again at dining tables, coffee shops, street corners, in bus rides and more.

On The Alternative, too, we’ve had a lot to talk (and read) about with respect to sustainable living, society, travel, and more. Here’s a list of the top posts on TA that you, the readers, have loved the most:


Travel

40 places to Volunteer Travel in India
A list of organizations to volunteer travel in India, compiled by The Alternative & India Untravelled, which you can travel to, to volunteer your precious vacation time & skills.

Winter Beckons: Top 10 Winter Destinations in India
In current times, we don’t hibernate in the cold, we get out to explore winter destinations in india that become even more enchanting with fallen leaves, snowfall and fauna at their misty best.

A guide to pandal hopping during Durga Puja
Food, friends adda and of course pandal hopping. This comprehensive guide helps you see it all in Kolkata during Durga Puja!

Top 10 places to go rafting in India
The mighty rivers flowing down from the heights of the Himalayas make India one of the world’s best places for the adventure of river rafting. Here’s 10 places you can try it out.

5 Unexplored Places in Kashmir
With the summer heat in full blast and plans to head to the hills, here are some places lesser known in Kashmir worth every dime and effort.

Arts & Culture

10 interesting facts about Karnataka
The first woman to lead an armed rebellion, the most number of Jnanapith awardees, musical greats, birthplace of Akashvani – 10 things you should know about Karnataka.

Shahrukh Khan and violence against women
While Bollywood heroes have wooed women by fighting to protect their ‘honour’, along came this floppy haired actor to let them just be.

Mr. and Mrs. Koovagam
[Photo Essay] Every spring, the transgender community in India descends into a small village called Koovagam in TamilNadu to celebrate recognition, liberation and desire. And to be the one thing that society will never permit them – a bride for a day.

The grammar of non-apology and the penance of Tarun Tejpal
Aravinda Pillalamarri examines Tarun Tejpal’s letter to Shoma Chaudhury to reveal how much accountability he has taken for his actions.

Navratri Narratives: Pati’s Bommai Golu – The tales of story-telling dolls
As a Tamilian living in North India, Deepa Ranganathan has celebrated all forms of Dussehra – Ramlila, Durga Puja, Garba. But, here, she says the Bommai Golu will always be special to her.

Education

30 years of crafting with waste
A chance meeting with a girl making cars out of matchboxes changed Arjumand Fatehalli’s life. She dedicated the next 30 years to crafting out of waste.

The myth of the misbehaved child
A set of parents asked Aditi Mathur, almost as a matter of fact, “So how do you handle a child who misbehaves”? She writes about her response and how to deal with children.

Read With Me: 10 books for children that teach diversity
Teaching children about diversity though important can be quite challenging for many Indian moms. Here are 10 books for children that can help.

Home is where the school is
Frustrated with the traditional Indian education factory, some parents are taking matters into their own hands and homes. Shalini Subbiah takes a closer look at ‘homeschooling’ and ‘unschooling’ as alternative ways to get an education.

“Youth can change the future of education in India”
Milind Nagda, an ex-Teach For India fellow is convinced that youngsters are the answer to ending education inequity in India.

Environment

No quinoa for me, thanks!
Why ship grains halfway across the world, when India is the largest producer of the nutritious eco-friendly wondergrain, millets?

Where to buy organic food in Bangalore
Looking to buy organic food in Bangalore city? Here is an exhaustive list of stores that you can take your basket to and shop.

12 super creative waste recycling ideas from across the world
12 incredible ways to showcase how waste has been decreased by a huge quantum by reducing and recycling it.

Bangalore’s Greenest Homes: AR Shivakumar’s Sourabha literally catches every drop
Nature has all the answers, demonstrates Sourabha. Built in 1994, the house runs completely on rain water, hasn’t paid the water bill in 19 years, heats and lights up on solar energy, cools naturally and has water bodies all around to refresh the air.

Wasted food: Journey of that half eaten plate
In a country where 230 million people go hungry everyday, it feels criminal to waste any food. Yet, managing to make or procure just the right amount is complex, be it a vegetable vendor or a sous-chef. Kalpana Aravamuthu explores the art and science of managing food.

Inclusivity

A brief history of poverty counting in India
Poverty has indeed fallen in India, declares the Planning Commission from time to time, opening up the debate on poverty measurement all over again. Here’s a visual look at the debate-filled history of counting the poor in India.

24 ridiculous ways women (try to) avoid rape
“Many of us have a rape-calculator working in our head that never runs out of battery, works day and night, whether we are sleepy or wide-awake,” says Adithi Muralidhar.

‘बे दाग’ सफेदी: When would you protest for me?
Anam Mitra asks a hard hitting question – Are our protests reserved for but a few cases of gender violence?

Ten LGBT stereotypes that we need independence from
Debunking some of the stereotypes surrounding sexual minorities in India that we’d be a lot better off without.

Spocial Revolution: The Ultimate Frisbee – More than just a flying disc
Ultimate Frisbee is a fun and fair game open to one and all, requires no referee to observe the rules and has empowered kids from lesser privileged backgrounds. Sushmita Azad tells us how.

Social Business

Using wireless sensors to solve Himachal Pradesh’s water problems
How wireless sensor networks are used in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, to solve the water problem in the hills.

Is India on the verge of another balance of payments crisis?
The frequent and drastic fall of the Indian Rupee is indication of the debt crisis we are in and the bad shape of our economy today.

Pharma Secure: Fighting fake drugs in India
Fake drugs form 20% of the 40,000 crore pharma market in India. What was once confined to exotic and costly pills like Viagra has now proliferated to cough syrups, vitamin supplements, painkillers and the like. We catch up with Pharma Secure, a social enterprise that has developed an SMS drug authentication technology, to learn more.

Work With A Purpose: ‘We have to go beyond the economic security our parents sought’
At an age when most are counting cars and properties, Arun Patre, a financial analyst, chose a career in sustainability with SELCO.

Work With A Purpose: ‘There are so few women working in areas like water’
Shubha Ramachandran, Biome Environmental Solutions, on the journey from IIT Powai and a 11-year-old career in Infosys to rain water harvesting and sewage treatment.

Special sections

Kitchen Gardener

The Kitchen Gardener: ‘My kids now spend more time growing what we eat than watching TV’
From growing one Tulsi plant to farming vegetables and grain on 10,000 sq.ft , Badri’s kitchen gardener story is the journey of a family towards food freedom.

The Kitchen Gardener: S Laxminarayan – ‘We have to eat and hence, have to grow’
One of Bangalore’s most active urban farmers, ‘SL’ multi-tasks an engineering job with a community farm in Malavalli, playing Frisbee and teaching kids gardening, while working on a green thumbs course for middle school children.

The Kitchen Gardener: Vani Murthy – ‘Once you compost, you HAVE to garden!’
Vani Murthy’s is the extraordinary story of a homemaker, caregiver, mother, wife, friend and much more who has transformed over the last 3 years to practice, guide and inspire many to pioneer with her the cause of waste management, home composting and terrace gardening.

The Kitchen Gardener: Hariram Sreenath – ‘Experimenting is the best way to learn about gardening’
The IT professional turned kitchen gardener, experimenter and teacher talks about his 450 sq.ft. ‘lab of love’

The Kitchen Gardener: ‘I spend an hour just talking to my plants’
‘There is no economics without ecology’ , says Ananya Mehta, who left her 13-year-old software engineering career to grow her food. In conversation with our kitchen gardener of the week.

Bangalore’s Greenest Homes

It’s all sun and earth at the Muthiah home
A house that is completely off the grid for energy, a family that uses rain water for its everyday needs and a lifestyle that presents a perfect blend of sustainability and  native wisdom is what Chockalingam Muthiah’s home welcomes you with.

Living on good earth at the Ganapathy home
This is a house that thrives completely on rain water, runs only an oven on its electricity connection, and grows its own food on space that is half as big as the house!

Made lovingly by hand
You know you have entered the home of someone who crafts with her hand when everything – from the rustic earthy flooring and furniture to the stone sculptures – evoke a sense of familiar native warmth combined with a fine sense of design aesthetic.

How mud bricks helped the Hegdes go sustainable
Here is a home made of solid mud bricks, has solar heating and lighting, is natural cooled through its roofs, walls and skylights, harvests water and all of this at a 20% saving over a regular house!

The red laterite house of Indradev Babu
The desire to live in a place which not only takes care of the family’s needs but is also considerate towards the environment got Indradev Babu to shift to a house built entirely of laterite.


  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created--created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. more

   FOLLOW US

   SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
  Top Stories on TA






  Top Stories in EDITORIAL POSTS






   Get stories like this in your inbox

  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created--created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. more
   What's Good

Discuss this article on Facebook