World TB day at GRAVIS: Solidarity Against the Disease


Globally, tuberculosis continues to be a severe public health issue. In India, the threat is even more alarming. India accounts for over a quarter of global TB burden. Over 2 million new TB cases are detected every year in India, with nearly nine million people in the country living with the disease. Hence, TB is a critical health challenge in India and needs a comprehensive approach to solve the problem. Continue reading “World TB day at GRAVIS: Solidarity Against the Disease”

Women March for Equal Rights on International Women’s Day

int womens day2

International Women’s Day fell on Sunday the 8th March this year, and presented a valuable opportunity for GRAVIS to promote women’s rights issues in the areas in which we work. The day kicked off with a large demonstration in Soorsagar, a mining community on the outskirts of Jodhpur. Hundreds of women joined in on a protest march which travelled through the area, demanding equal access to education, food and healthcare for women of the local community. Continue reading “Women March for Equal Rights on International Women’s Day”

ICRISAT and GRAVIS develop models for sustainable management of community silvi-pasture systems in Jodhpur, Barmer and Jaisalmer

Dhaman grass growing in a community-based silvi-pasture system.

In western Rajasthan the common pastures resources are very important for sustaining rural livelihoods, with livestock being the most resilient component in such ecosystems.  However, the common pastures in this region have become severely degraded making the rural poor households more vulnerable to climate and market risks. Continue reading “ICRISAT and GRAVIS develop models for sustainable management of community silvi-pasture systems in Jodhpur, Barmer and Jaisalmer”

GRAVIS improved community-based silvi-pasture in Osian block with the support of ICARDA

Increasing desertification and deforestation is major concern in western Rajasthan. Due to recurring droughts and famines, the number of cattle decreased significantly. But, the hardy animals like goat and sheep increased to a substantial level, due to their ability to consume less palatable species and graze closer to the ground. State-owned rangelands on which the cattle used to graze have decreased due to degradation as well as encroachment of cultivation. The forest area in the region is also in poor shape and does not serve as a significant forage source. As a result, the total pasture area in the region has been reduced over the past four decades. If this trend continues, more grazing land will be lost which will force agro-pastoralists to migrate with their cattle. To alleviate the gap in feed resources and enhance the resilience of the agro-pastoral production system, GRAVIS has developed a silvi-pasture improvement activity targeting the common property resources (CPRs) of Baithwasia Panchayat in the Osian block. This activity is undertaken in collaboration with the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and with financial support from the CGIAR Dryland Systems (CRP DS) for South Asia. Through facilitation from GRAVIS Panchayat members and local village leaders in Panchayat 10 hectares land of Karnipura which is adjoin to the Consortium Research Programme site Maansagar is being rehabilitated using a community participatory approach. DSC07248

AIDS 2014 takes off in Melbourne to discuss the pandemic’s future

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was sadly at the centre of discussions as the AIDS 2014 Conference commenced in Melbourne on 20 July.

Several colleagues, including Dr Joep Lange, the former International AIDS Society President, were on the doomed flight. They will be missed deeply in the crowd of over 15,000 international delegates in Australia. Senior AIDS experts died in a region that needed them the most: Eastern Europe, where HIV infection is on the rise due to legal suppression and drug use issues. Continue reading “AIDS 2014 takes off in Melbourne to discuss the pandemic’s future”

Bioversity International Presents Preliminary Findings

Bioversity International Presents Preliminary Findings

By: Raj Bhagat

Bioversity International recently presented some preliminary findings of their research project in partnerships with GRAVIS and the CGIAR program. The presentation was led by Dr. Mauricio Bellon of Bioversity International and guests included Beate Koch, a graduate student from Germany and myself, a volunteer research assistant at GRAVIS from Toronto, Canada. Continue reading “Bioversity International Presents Preliminary Findings”