I am a half-daughter of India. I have watched the South Asian nation develop since I first visited Madras as a young girl, my Indian father bringing his fair-skinned American wife and my brother and me from America on multiple trips to visit dozens of relatives along the shores of the Bay of Bengal.
In the forty years since that first visit, the country has undergone a whole-scale transformation. Never have there been so many humans with so much elemental need for healthy food, clean water, and dependable energy systems. How will India bring these basics to her citizenry?
In recent years, I have visited as an environmental journalist and Fulbright scholar to seek out the answer to this question, investigating the state of India’s natural world and exploring how the elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether – are faring. I found a subcontinent in crisis, but I also found individuals and organisations reinventing their landscapes and lives.
Whether they will receive support from the government remains to be seen.