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Life in Kerala India

Can’t Get Online? If You’re in India Just Call the Question Box

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Download   For those with access, being online has changed their lives.

The internet gives farmers current crop prices, students research without setting foot in a library and job seekers the latest in employment options.

But for most of the world getting that information isn't possible.

Over five billion people are in a knowledge vacuum, living without the internet.

It is a disadvantage which can make their daily life more difficult.

The Question Box is being touted as a unique solution.

It is bringing the internet to India's rural poor.

Michael Atkin went to Poonah to find out how it works.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 May 2010 14:28 )

India’s Green Gold

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Download   Green gold is the nickname people in Kerala have for bamboo.

It's a crop which is environmentally friendly and the source of income for thousands.

Bamboo is being used to make floor tiles, furniture and even toothpicks.

It is a traditional industry in the South Indian state, however the Keralan government is using technology and innovation to modernise production and it’s starting to pay off.

But bamboo is not only a money spinner. It is also being touted as a resource to combat climate change.   

Michael Atkin has more for Asia Calling.


Last Updated ( Monday, 19 April 2010 10:11 )

Financial Crisis Ends Golden Dream for Kerala Migrant Workers

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Download  South Asian migrants have rushed to the Middle East in search of riches.

Migrants are chasing a desert dream paved with gold, earning many times what they could at home.

The South Indian state of Kerala has more than two million workers in the Persian Gulf.

They work as doctors, plumbers and labourers and usually send home more than 10 million US dollars in total each year.

However, that all changed when the global financial crisis hit the Middle East.

Migrant workers lost their jobs and took out loans after they had their wages slashed.

Michael Atkin has more for Asia Calling.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 April 2010 16:36 )

Replacing India's Deadly Stoves

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Cooking a lentil curry in rural India is deadly work.

Indoor air pollution from the use of traditional stoves leads to the deaths of almost 500,000 Indians each year.

When the stove is lit a toxic blend of smoke and gases are released into the home.

The exposure leads to lung cancer, pneumonia and low birth weight.  

It's not just a problem in India, half of the world burn biomass fuels like wood, dung and crop waste when they cook.

The fumes are not only lethal but they also contribute to climate change.   

Envirofit is an organisation, which claims it has a solution.

They are selling an alternative stove to India's rural poor, which they say can save lives and minimise the environmental impact of cooking.

Michael Atkin went to the village of Keerhukara in the south Indian state of Kerala for Asia Calling.


Last Updated ( Monday, 22 March 2010 10:22 )

Cleaning up India’s Venice of the East

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Cruising Kerala's backwaters in a houseboat is an experience which brings tourists closer to nature.

But is this closeness contributing to the pollution of the area's ecosystem?

Houseboats are a major tourism draw card in the South Indian state and the main employer in several towns

In Alappuzha, nicknamed the Venice of the East, 25-30,000 people work in the tourism industry and it has changed the face of the town.

Resorts and houseboats line the shoreline and large houses with luxury vehicles are showy evidence of the prosperity tourism has delivered.

But environmentalists claim the new found wealth has come at a hefty price.

Michael Atkin has more for Asia Calling.


Last Updated ( Monday, 15 March 2010 12:07 )