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Tea-plucking machines threaten Assam livelihoods

Tea-plucking machines threaten Assam livelihoods | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Tea plucking machines are threatening the livelihoods of tea pickers in the Indian state of Assam, reports Mark Tully.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Tea is the backbone of the Assam economy, their tradition is to hand pick the tea leaves making it expensive. In Assam some estates are running into the risk of having to begin to rely on machines to pick their tea. This is because of a shortage of willing workers. Another problem they are facing is that they are being beaten out because their tea is highly priced compared to other estates. This is a big threat to the Assam and something that there economy relies on so heavely.  

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 11, 2013 10:03 AM

To modernize or not?  A great question.  Young people don't want to do this traditional work, it is expensive for the owners while others are using machines, the quality may be better, but the other brands are cheaper and selling more.  They exports have dropped becuase of the price of cheaper teas that don't have the same quality, but it seems that price is the more determining factor.  What is the owner to do?  If he changes and sells more his quality goes down, and a ton of people lose their jobs, however with less and less people willing to do the work...is it even necessary to keep this way???  A vicious circle..I think so.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 6:35 AM

I found it interesting that the estates choose to maintain a womb to tomb economy for their workers.  The cost they said was higher than in other tea producing models but they felt that it was something that safeguarded quality.  The introduction of machines would not only reduce quality but it would reduce the workforce, which would displace workers.  But this choice may be taken from them as younger workers leave to find work elsewhere. 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 11, 1:42 AM

This article details how globalization is damaging the high-end tea industry of India. The Assam company, which produces high quality tea, is under pressure to mechanize their 100% human tea production due to competition. Vietnam, Kenya, and even other Indian companies produce significantly cheaper tea due to their willingness and ability to cut costs by using machines and paying their workers less. A cultural stigma toward tea workers is making hiring difficult for Assam, compounding the problems with competitors and forcing a switch to mechanization which will produce an inferior product.

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The Corner Where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan Meet

The Corner Where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan Meet | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
In the dusty triangle where Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan meet, there is more than one war going on.

 

Geopolitically, there is a fascinating confluence of competing interests at this border.  This is "the scariest little corner of the world." It's a dangerous place that is often beyond the authority of any of state.  It also represents (depending on how you divide the world up) at the intersection of the three major regions in the area: Central Asia, the Middle East and South Asia.      

 

Tags: Afghanistan, political, borders, MiddleEast, SouthAsia, Central Asia, unit 4 political.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

This is a dangerous place with no authority. This area is filled with fighting, bombing and constant war. But this area is also an important intersection for three major regions Central Asia, Middle East, and South Asia. 

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Cam E's curator insight, March 4, 8:35 AM

A meeting of different worlds at a border. I can't imagine the things one would see or hear living or growing up on a border of conflict such as this. Refugees are a common site, and no authority can dominate the others, making the area effectively lawless.

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'Sharp drop' in India poverty

'Sharp drop' in India poverty | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Poverty in India has dropped sharply thanks to increased spending on rural welfare programmes, the country's Planning Commission says.

 

KV: Government intervention has decrease poverty in rural India. More people are getting out of poverty in rural areas than urban areas. Programs funded by the government to help the poor has significantly changed many lives. People are given education, welfare, and proper sanitation. Once assistance is provided to the poor, the welfare and well being drastically changes for the better. As the Indian government prospers because of new business ventures, some of the increased revenue should be set aside to help many regions that are affected by poverty.

 

SD: For more resources on population, see this scoopit topic on the environment and society by KV.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Poverty in rural India has declined drastically, and much faster then in urban India. The decline is due to increased spending on rural welfare programmes, and rural poverty fell by 8% while urban poverty fell by 4.8%. I think this is great that the government is finally taking action and helping their people, instead of just 'sweeping them under the rug' in a way and pretending the issue isnt there.

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Eliza Thng's curator insight, February 1, 2013 9:03 AM

This article says that the number of people suffering from poverty in India has decreased. I'm glad that the government is finally doing something to help the less fortunate.The government is finally doing their job by looking over the welfare of people. It's touching just by the thought of lesser people suffering from poverty. Just increased spending on rural welfare programmes is able to make a 7.4% decrease percentage of people living in poverty. I think they should continue having these welfare programmes and they should also spend more time and money caring for the less fortunate. I wonder if other countries will attempt to do the same thing as India's government so as to decrease the number of people suffering from poverty in their own country.

Bryan Tan's curator insight, February 2, 2013 7:54 AM

After reading this article, I am convinced that the gorverment in India know and want to do something about their currebt situation of being one of the poorest state in the world. Poepla are treated better given benefits, edeucation,welfare of the citizens and hygiene are all being taken care of by the gorverment. The gorvement starts improving their ties with other countries in the world helping it to gain more advantage. This helps to decrease the rate of poverty in India.

luisvivas64@hotmail.'s comment, February 3, 2013 7:19 AM
La pobreza es el càncer de la sociedad humana, ojalà sea posible reducirla, aunque soy escèptico, el dinero es muy sabroso y los pocos que lo tienen no lo sueltan, de allì las revoluciones, guerras ect.
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Dhaka: fastest growing megacity in the world

A five-part, multimedia series on the coming dystopia that is urbanization.

 

This is a great introduction to the explosion of the slums within megacities.  This video as a part of the article is especially useful.   Click on the title to read the accompanying article.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The city of Dhaka has experienced a massivie boom in population. Both the rich and the poor are flowing into this city causing many problems that all complain the government is ignoring instead of fixing. The city is very inefficient, with traffic so bad that it is costing the city millions of dollars. There are frequent water shortages resulting in protests in the streets. There is much infrastructure throughout the city as well. But it is also represents a sense of hope to the people that are coming in and moving into the slums, that with the better jobs and money they will be able to get they can better provide for themselves or their family.

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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, November 19, 2013 7:58 AM

This video is incredibly interesting in that it describes just what it means to be the fastest growing megacity in the world.  Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are moving to Dhaka, Bangladesh from smaller towns outside the capital city.  The current population of Dhaka is 15 million but people are migrating to the city so quickly that it does not take very long for the census data to become outdated.  People are moving to Dhaka with hopes of a better life for themselves and their families.  Their situation upon moving goes from worst to bad.  People move out of slums and squatter settlements in their hometowns into other slums and squatter settlements in Dhaka, but they still believe they are beginning a better life.  There are many interesting aspects of this video.  For one, there is a girl who is happy because she works in a fabric factory and she might receive a $4/month increase in pay.  To us in the United States, this is nothing, but to her, it is a huge help to her and her family.  Also, there is a girl who could rarely afford fish or meats but she can now buy one good piece of meat each week because she can afford it in Dhaka.  While there are many glimpses of hope and opportunities to live better lives in Dhaka as seen in this video, there are many geographical implications for Dhaka as it becomes larger and larger each day.  The government is very informal and people who move to Dhaka do not have any land to build homes on, so they build illegally on someone else's land.  Also, traffic on Dhaka's streets is, for lack of a better term, insane.  The city just cannot handle all of the migration from elsewhere.  Resources such as clean water and food are very slim.  Even though Dhaka might suffer as a city due to its rapid growth and inability to support everyone, newcomers still choose Dhaka as the gateway to a better life.

Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 19, 2013 11:21 AM

I recently did a project on the topic of megacities in the past, present, and future and how the natural risks they posed.  In past decades there was Tokyo, New York City, or even Mexico City.  I also covered present cities such as Shangai and Los Angeles to name a few.  The city that basically topped the growth charts in my statistics was Dhaka.  The city literally is growing like a chia pet, but with no direct plan or proper use of land.  According to future calculations, the city of Dhaka can reach roughly 23 million by 2025, that's about 600,000 new people coming in every year up until that point.  This video is just an example of how poorly planned this megacity is, and what the future holds for all of the people living there.  It's simply chaos.  There are already squatter settlements and unorganized living conditions for the current residents, picturing the population to grow even more is outrageous!

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 6, 8:23 PM

Dhaka is the fastest growing city in the world, as rich and poor people move to the city everyday. So many poor people are moving here due to the fact there is no other place worth living in Bangladesh. The city is facing many problems, such as lack of traffic signals, minimal clean drinking water for residents and horrible housing for many people. However, some feel the city’s slums offer the best chance for an improved life.   

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Pakistan: Flood impact to worsen unless aid increases

Pakistan: Flood impact to worsen unless aid increases | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Pakistan’s monsoon floods have devastated millions of lives, but one month on, the international response remains sluggish, raising fears of a worsening humanitarian situation.

 

With the strong concentration of the population living in floodplains, the seasonal monsoons will always be a major struggle for South Asia.


Via CGIAR Climate, Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Pakistans monsoon floods have devastated millions and international response remains slow. They are not coming forward to provide funds and about 850,000 people live in shelters because of the flooding. Three million acres of crops were destroyed, a third cattle lost and half a million homes lost. Because so much of the population lives in the flood plains the monsoons are a constant struggle for South Asia. 

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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 21, 2013 9:53 AM

The flood impact in Pakistan has already been a devastating one, and it is only going to continue as time passes.  The flood has not been a center story for media coverage which has made the problem even worse.  Many people do not know that Pakistan is battling a flood, so aid has not increased.  Pakistanis are still recovering from a 2010 flood, which makes the current situation even more difficult.  Why is the international response so small?

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Why leave the West for India?

Why leave the West for India? | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Rising numbers of people of Indian origin born in the West are moving to the country their parents left decades ago in search of opportunity and a cultural connection, reports the BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan.

 

Since 2005, the Indian government has been encouraging people of Indian descent and former Indian nationals to return to India.  For many Indians living in the UK, there are more and better economic opportunities for them within India.   Migrants have many reasons for moving (including cultural factors), but the primary pull factor is most certainly India's ascendant importance in the global economy and rising IT industries. 

 

Tags: India, South Asia, migration, immigration, Europe, colonialism, unit 2 population. 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

There is a rising number of Indian origin born in the west that are moving back to India. One reason would be India's economy is growing faster then the US and England's. India has many more opportunities for new wealth and it is attracting the young entrepreneurs as well. Another reason they are moving back is for cultural connection that they are not recieving where they are now. Many have said that they are looked at as different and not accepted and that is why they want to go back to India, so that they feel that acceptance. 

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Emma Lafleur's curator insight, April 13, 2013 3:14 PM

First, this shows how India has changed. Many people left India in search of a new life and jobs and the opportunities promised in Great Britain and America. However, one generation later, the immigrants children are moving back to India. India is becoming more Western and its economy is growing and therefore has a lot of opportunities and in many ways more opportunities than America and Great Britain. Parents moved out of India for a better life and children are now moving to India for a better life. India is growing, and it is growing rapidly.

     Also, the article shows how children of immigrants are almost at a disadvantage because they are seen as Indian in the eyes of the British or Americans, but they are not truly Indian because they do not know the full culture as their parents do. It is a new situation for many children, and it has both advantages and disadvantages. They grow up with a snapshot of the culture of their parents at home, but with western culture in school. They know that they are Indian in ethnicity, but they do not really know the culture so they move to India to learn where they come from.

    Finally, India is moving toward becoming a new developed country and a real power in the world. They have a lot of people and the resources to do so. Both Great Britain and America are invested in India as they give many children of Indian immigrants visas to live in India and start companies and help build that country. However, although India is growing, it still has a lot of problems. India has a very large population that the government has trouble supporting so there is a large portion of the population in poverty. These people moving back to India may be able to help out with this problem because they have the resources to start new companies and create more jobs. Overall, this teamwork between America, Great Britain, and India, I think, will benefit India greatly because it will help India grow more and it will help these people find their identities.

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McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
McDonald's plans to open the first in a series of all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. But rest assured, in most locations around the world, meat will stay on the menu.

 

Many of the most successful global companies or brands use highly regional variations that are attuned to local cultural norms and customs.  The McAloo Tikki burger— which uses a spicy, fried potato-based patty — is the Indian McDonald's top seller.

 

Questions to ponder: What are the forces that lead towards an accelaration of human connectivity around the globe?  What are the postive impacts of this increased connectivity?  What are some negative impacts?  Are these impacts the same in all places?  Explain. 

 

Tags: Globalization, food, culture, unit 3 culture and SouthAsia.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

In India 20-42% of the population doesnt eat meat, because of this McDonalds will be opening a vegetarian only resturant right near the Golden Temple which is a pilgrimage site sacred to Sikhs. This will be a prime location because the temple doesnt allow meat so this is a solution. It is amazing to see how big buisness like McDonalds will completely change in order to be able to thrive and succed in another country.

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Cam E's curator insight, April 1, 8:47 AM

At the very least Mcdonalds is changing its menu to fit the culture, rather than making the entire world eat Big Macs and Cheeseburgers. One would be surprised that many times you don't have to go too far to find variances in fast food menus. Some could say I was a "Big" fan of fast food when I was younger, and I remember the Taco Bell in Arizona selling different food than the one in Rhode Island. Or even Canadian KFCs offering Poutine when they won't right over the border in the US.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 7:05 AM

McDonald’s is a company that is good at adjusting their brand to fit into the markets they are trying to enter.  This shows a positive side to globalization, in my opinion, because it shows that a large company is sensitive to the needs and wants of the place they are going into and is willing to find ways to adapt to the culture they are entering.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 14, 8:21 PM

I believe this is a wise decision by McDonald's to adjust their menu for the people of India who are vegetarian. India's population is over one billion now; many of those people are vegetarian. McDonald's is one of the world's most successful fast food chains and they have a chance to lure millions of new customers into their restaurant. This is a great example of a global company making small changes in order to attract people with specific customs and cultural norms. 

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History of the India-Pakistan Border

History of the India-Pakistan Border | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
The weird, violent history of the Indo-Pakistani border.

 

Geography rarely makes sense without the added lens of history.  This fantastic article chonicles the history of the geopolitical conflict between India and Pakistan, centering on the disputed Kashmir region.  This border is tied into colonial, cultural, political and religious layers of identity.  As one of the great unresolved issues of the colonial era, this standoff may loom large as India becomes increasingly significant on the global scale.     


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

This article chonicles the history of the conflict between India and Pakistan, focusing on the disputed Kashmir region. The violence over the border is spurred by religion and political issues. But with India increasingly becoming bigger in a global scale what does that mean for this conflict with Pakistani? 

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 12, 2013 4:41 PM

Colonialism rears its ugly head again, this time not in Africa but in India/Pakistan..but with the same result.  Borders drawn arbitrarily did not work in Africa, nor did it work in India.  It just casues the people there to try and work out and fix problems that the former colonial rulers casued.  They tried here to do it so that there was a land for the Muslim population to have a nation on the subcontinent and not subject to Hindu majority rule.  However Britain never looked at what would happen with a area that had a Hindu leader with a Muslim population.  He wanted to be independant, but the Muslim population wanted to go to Pakistan, so he went to India for help...sound confusing..it is..much like the Northern Ireland/UK/Republic of Ireland debate..there is no easy answer and it looks like we have to try to fix colonialism's problems again.

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How did Pakistan get it's name?

How did Pakistan get it's name? | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it

"The name of the country Pakistan has a fascinating history - it is essentially an acronym!  Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan. The name had been developed by a group of students at Cambridge University who issued a pamphlet in 1933 called Now or Never."

 

In a country with such great ethnic divisions, a common religion is a powerful nationalizing force.  As the capital city of Islamabad's toponym powerfully states (the house or abode of Islam), religion remains an important element of national identity for Pakistanis.   


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to this region and named it Pakistan. The name was created by a group of students at Cambrige University and used the names of their homelands. Punjab, Afghania  Kashmir, Iran ,Sindh, Tukharistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan is an acronym! 

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Robert T. Preston's comment, June 6, 2013 6:28 PM
Most sites agree that this is how the country got it's name. "Stan" means homeland, but the rest of the nation's provinces provided the name when combined.
Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, November 14, 2013 6:06 AM

It is interesting to learn how particular countries got their names.  Pakistan was a British colony until 1947 and it was given the name Pakistan as an acronym for the 8 homelands in the country.  Pakistan is so ethnically divided that religion is really important for the country to stay together.

Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 19, 2013 11:27 AM

When you take in the way that the British Empire controlled many colonies and tried to spread their culture to such diverse regions, it is no suprise that Pakistan was named essentially by a game of Scrabble.  I suppose the naming is somewhat creative and certainly unique compared to how other countries get their names, yet just picturing a group of colleagues naming a country is strange.  Though the U.K. did grant them independance, how independant were they really if they weren't even given the right to name their own land.