ence of Hindu and Sikh populations originally from Pakistan has contributed to the sociocultural diversity of the region. Like Kerala, Haryana is one of India's smaller states; it covers an area of 44,212 square kilometers and has a population of about 16.5 million. On the basis of physiography and drainage, the state can be divided into an eastern semiarid but well-irrigated plain, a western arid plain which has severe wind erosion, sand dunes, and a deeper water table, and a southern plain which has the rocky outcrops of the Aravalli hill range.
In contrast to Kerala, the climate of Haryana is continental, with a hot, dry summer from March to June, a rainy monsoon season from July to September, and a cold winter from October to February. Winter rains are scanty but important for the winter crops. The deep, loamy alluvium of the semiarid part of the state supports a variety of crops such as wheat, maize, pulses, millets, sugarcane, and cotton under irrigated conditions. The sandy and sandy loam seric soils of the arid zone are largely planted in millets and pulses, grown under rainfed conditions.
The rice–wheat rotation predominates in the Haryana region, as well as in the rest of the Indo-Gangetic plains. Rice is sown during the warm monsoon season, and wheat is the crop of the winter months. The last few decades in Haryana have seen extensification, intensification, and diversification in the cropping patterns for cereal crops, oilseeds, and cotton, largely as a result of government policies, although economics also has been an important driver of change. The adverse environmental consequences of these pressures on the land have been felt most in the arid zones of the state. Intensification of agriculture has led to a declining water table and salinization in both the semiarid and arid regions, but more so in the latter.
Another important land-based activity in the state is livestock—cows and buffaloes for milk production, goats and sheep largely for meat and some wool. Indeed, Haryana is a major dairy center, and the local consumption levels and exports have contributed to the health of the people and the economy of the state. Because the land needed for fodder production has to be apportioned from the cropland area, this dimension has had its own impact on land use dynamics, apart from the land degradation caused by overgrazed pastures.
Haryana's literacy rate is lower than that of Kerala and is only a little above the national average of 52 percent. Patriarchy has deep roots in Haryana. Women there, in contrast with those in Kerala, may have a greater role in land use-related work, but they remain subordinate to men in all areas of life. Moreover, the custom of early marriage and high fertility rates, although affected somewhat favorably by rapid economic development, particularly in urban centers, still persist among the rural population—a big contrast from the situation in Kerala.
In short, the Indian study sites offer contrasting ecological, social, economic demographic, and gender dimensions of the problems associ
Environmental improvements in India
The quality of the environment has a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of residents. The National Green Tribunal is an environmental court that was set up in India in 2010. It deals with issues of environmental protection and conservation and it can make companies and individuals pay compensation under the 'polluter pays' principle. India is the third country to have this type of system (Australia and New Zealand have similar systems).
The National Green Tribunal is helping to clean up India's cities. An example of this is the emergence of e-waste recycling, where old computers and electronic equipment is broken down and re-used. Also, in cities like Mumbai, a new Metro system, a ban on diesel cars and regular checks on factory waste are improving the quality of the environment for the people living there.
E-waste is sorted and sold on a street in Kolkata