Pollution and displacement increasingly threaten the life and livelihood-indeed the very existence - of several rural communities. Panchayati Raj can play a very important role in checking this, but this potential has not been adequately realised yet. A lot of work needs to be done to realise this potential of panchayat raj in checking pollution and displacement.

In the course of a visit to about 25 villages located in four districts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, the author came across several examples of village communities coming together to fight pollution and displacement. In some cases a leading role has been played by elected village pradhans.

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