The numerous brooks, streams, and rivers of the forests of the Maikal Hills in Madhya Pradesh are the origin of the river Narmada. They are also home to two major forest-dwelling communities, the Baiga and the Gond. The Budhner River in this picture is an important early tributary of the Narmada. For the people of the Maikal Hills, Budhner is Boodhimāi, the mother of the Narmada.
By Ovee Thorat
As a woman, my engagement with communities during the fieldwork has hugely shaped the research I do. While each gender has its advantages and disadvantages during data collection from the field, what I wasn’t ready for, was a huge advantage my gender gave me while working with a very conservative community in the Banni grasslands of Kachchh. I travel extensively in these landscapes to collect data for my Ph.D. research.
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Bats have long received scorn as ‘bad omens’, ‘dirty’ or ‘creepy creatures’, across the world. Except for some eastern countries, where bats indicate good fortune, in much of the world they are still shunned. However, these unique flying mammals are in fact the second most speciose order (~1200 species across the globe) and form a crucial part of our surroundings.