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Nominated | Book Awards 2021 | Writings for Young Adults


‘Carefully researched and lucidly written . . . the book covers a wide range of themes—forests, agriculture, air and water pollution—with balance and clarity. I recommend Unearthed to Indians of all ages seeking an accessible overview of our en vironmental challenges’ RAMACHANDRA GUHA, AUTHOR OF ENVIRONMENTALISM: A GLOBAL HISTORY

Full Title: Unearthed: The Environmental History of Independent India

Author: Meghaa Gupta
Publisher: Penguin Random House India

Award Category: Writings for Young Adults
About the Book: 

Protesting against dams, protecting tigers, hugging trees, saving seeds, making room for elephants, battling mountains of waste, fighting air pollution, coping with soaring temperatures—India and its people have shared a remarkable relationship with the environment.
From the Green Revolution to the National Action Plan on Climate Change, Unearthed: An Environmental History of Independent India chronicles the country’s historical movements and significant green missions since 1947. Interspersed with lots of trivia, tales of eco-heroes and humorous cartoons, this easy-to-read account uncovers the story of a past with the hope that we will rewrite India’s future.

About the Author: 

Meghaa Gupta's tryst with environmentalism began in 2013, when she was commissioned to compile a book on environmental courses and careers for students in India. From passionate teachers and students to eminent professionals, the journey exposed her to the fascinating work being done in this field. Her writing has also appeared in TerraGreen, Careers360 and The Hindu and she has contributed to WWF-India's One Planet Academy. She is deeply interested in exploring how young people relate to the natural world and has conducted a series of workshops with school and college students in association with WWF-India. Meghaa works in children's publishing and this is her third book.


If you were a child growing up in 1947, your life would have been shockingly different from what it is today. The city you live in today might have been a village; you may have lived without electricity, relying on pankhas to keep yourself cool and kerosene lamps for lighting. You wouldn’t have known about electronic gadgets, such as televisions, computers and mobile phones, which surround us today. You may have had to walk several kilometres to go to school and probably not have sat in a car. You also wouldn’t have heard of pollution or climate change.
The story of how independent India went from being a largely underdeveloped, rural land to one of the fastest growing countries in the world is a fascinating account of development. Development gave us many comforts that we often take for granted today. But it came at a price—the takeover of nature.

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