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Kiran Pereira

Kiran Pereira

London, United Kingdom

Kiran Pereira is the Founder and Chief Storyteller of SandStories.org, a platform dedicated to creating awareness about this little known global environmental crisis - sand mining.

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Pre-orders

517

Funded

$10,200

Days left

0

517copies
0 250 500 1000
Success! Sand Stories sold 517 pre-orders by April 6, 2018, was pitched to 101 publishers, and will be published by Ingram.

$15 eBook only

67 readers

If you like to curl up with your Kindle, get yourself an eBook of Sand Stories at a discounted price. Simple, convenient and quick! For a limited period only.

Ebook included

$20 Limited Offer Sold out

50 readers

You'll get one copy of Sand Stories in print and ebook form, plus you’ll get exclusive access to updates and an invite to join the Sand Stories community. *This bonus is limited to the first 50 readers.

1 copy + ebook included

Free shipping

0 of 50 left

$25 VIP

45 readers

You'll get one signed & personalised copy of Sand Stories in print and ebook form, plus you’ll get exclusive access to updates and an invite to join the Sand Stories community.

1 copy + ebook included

Free shipping

$59 Cool Cat

20 readers

You'll get 3 signed & personalised copies in print, ebook AND audiobook form + a HUGE thanks from me in the acknowledgements section. In addition, you will get a cool, lightweight aluminium water bottle that you take along to the beach or your next hike.

3 copies + ebook included

Free shipping

$99 A Behind-the-scenes Video

6 readers

You'll receive 5 copies of my book, signed & personalised, plus your name in the book as a sand supporter. You’ll also get exclusive access to an hour-long video. If you've ever thought of writing a book, allow me to shorten the learning curve and help you get started on making your dream come true too. This video will reveal behind-the-scenes stories of the creative process from both the first-time-author's perspective as well as the artist's perspective.

5 copies + ebook included

Free shipping

$299 SANDBOX

4 readers

You'll receive 15 copies of my book, signed & personalised, plus your name in the book as a sand supporter. You will receive the video from the previous bonus. In addition, I will assemble a surprise box, full of items that I find interesting, fascinating and inspiring. Example items range from favourite books/DVDs to nourishing teas.

15 copies + ebook included

Free shipping

$500 Fine-dining in London with Kiran

1 reader

You want this book to reach a group of people and contribute to this campaign in a big way! You'll receive 25 copies of Sand Stories, get recognized on the first page as a Patron, and also get any of the above bonuses. As a special thanks, I will also organise a dinner for you and a guest at a fine London based restaurant. We can talk Sand Stories, artwork, travel, or whatever else you'd like. Excludes travel.

25 copies + ebook included

Free shipping

$1000 Sand Patron + Premium Artwork

0 readers

This is where the numbers start to become BIG. You'll be considered a sand hero ;) You'll receive 50 copies of the book and get recognized on the first page as a Patron.

As a special recognition, you will receive an original artwork replication (chosen from three print designs) from the illustrator behind the cover and art in Sand Stories, Michelle Bauer. Michelle is a very talented artist based in Switzerland. Her support has been invaluable throughout this journey.

50 copies + ebook included

Free shipping

$1500 Online Lecture

0 readers

This is for sustainability-focused organizations, small groups or interested private individuals who want to help spread the word and become Patrons of Sand Stories.
You'll receive 75 copies of the book and get recognized on the first page as a Patron + get a 1-hour online lecture on sand-related issues followed by a 30 minute Q&A portion.

75 copies + ebook included

Free shipping

$1800 Professional Photoshoot & Corporate Video

2 readers

You'll receive 90 copies of Sand Stories and get recognised on the first page as a Patron. In addition, you will get a professional photo shoot and a corporate video from www.paulcapelliphotography.com for a key event or for your marketing requirements. Includes the photographer's travel and shooting for 1 day anywhere in Europe.

90 copies + ebook included

Free shipping

$2400 Hire to Speak!

0 readers

Hire me to speak at your event and I'll bring 120 copies with me for you and your guests to take home.

I will share both heartbreaking and heart-warming sand stories. We'll talk about wars between the Davids and Goliaths of our world, the Geopolitics of Sand and how we need to design solutions with women in mind.

120 copies + ebook included

Free shipping

$5000 All Inclusive Weekend

0 readers

Ok, here is where you'll officially become a sand saint ;) You will have my gratitude forever and 250 books to distribute to your community.

I will organise an all-inclusive weekend of discovery for you in Northern Ireland. We will spend time doing nice things such as visiting The Giant's Causeway, a World Heritage Site. We will also visit another gem, Lough Neagh. It is the biggest freshwater lake in Britain. To put it in perspective, Lough Neagh is bigger than Malta and it is designated as a European Special Protection Area.

Unfortunately, this Jewel is threatened by unlawful sand extraction. To give you an idea of the scale, the sand extracted from it in one year could fill over 10,000 volleyball courts. We will meet a community deeply impacted by this activity.

For more information about Lough Neagh visit: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/northern-ireland/lough-neagh-why-europes-wildlife-jewel-needs-space-breathe

Includes travel from mainland Europe or UK for 1 person.

250 copies + ebook included

Free shipping

Sand Stories

About the Most Consumed Commodity on Earth

Sand Stories sheds light on why sand is the most consumed commodity on Earth. It examines the problems caused by indiscriminate mining across the world and offers potential solutions.

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Science Environment
60,000 words
50% complete
21 publishers interested

Synopsis

Sand has always been perceived to be a symbol of abundance in many cultures. It is popularly believed to be both renewable as well as inexhaustible. This book will challenge that perception and draw the reader's attention to a common yet surprising phenomenon of the scarcity of sand as a resource. From glass to urban infrastructure, from silicon chips to pharmaceutical products, sand is used in mind-boggling volumes.  But extensive consumption has resulted in several social, environmental, economic and geopolitical impacts across the globe. Although specific industries have already begun to find alternatives due to shortage of sand, the gravity of the situation hasn't percolated into the mainstream yet. This book attempts to fill that void and make the subject readily accessible to those who wish to delve deeper. The language used in the book is not academic although reference is made to available literature. 

I grew up in Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India. As the city grew exponentially, I recall reading numerous newspaper reports about rivers being damaged due to incessant sand mining, yet I remember seeing miles and miles of sand laden trucks along highways. The topic always surfaced whenever there was a particularly serious problem but then receded in the media's eternal quest for new stories. From 2010 - 2011, I did a Masters in Environment and Development from King's College, London and I chose sand mining as the topic for my dissertation. After graduation, I continued to research and write blogs to raise awareness about this pressing environmental issue.

I believe I am the right person to write this book because of my wide variety of skills, experiences, and demonstrated passion. My forthcoming book will re-examine the way our society engages and deals with sand as a resource. Most importantly this book will bring a unique 'join-the-dots' perspective to the subject as it connects today's problems with potential solutions. Together with you, I hope Sand Stories will be another step towards creating greater global awareness and advancing a platform for change in our lifetime.  


Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. The Making of an Oxymoron
  3. It's a Third World Problem. Or is it?
  4. A Victim of its Versatility
  5. Hiding in Plain Sight
  6. The Elephant in the Room
  7. How Does it Look?
  8. Let it Flow
  9. Too Much of a Good Thing
  10. Why Mark Twain would have been Surprised
  11. The Currency of Development
  12. Cracking the Cradle
  13. Private Gain at Public Expense
  14. The Dark Side of Development
  15. Builders vs. Fishermen
  16. Stranger to the Seasons
  17. Gazing into the Mirror?
  18. Rebuilding the Tower of Babel
  19. Mind Your Own Business. But...
  20. Could Architecture be the Bridge?
  21. Digging Deeper into the Cost of Convenience
  22. I Wasn't Exposed
  23. Beware of False Prophets
  24. The Circle of Life in the Anthropocene
  25. The Magic Wand
  26. Designing Solutions With Her in Mind
  27. Through the Eyes of Faith
  28. The Final Answer


Audience

This book is written particularly for those who are passionate about topics related to the environment and sustainability. It is a surprising inquiry into the production of a resource that is often taken for granted - sand. Sand is the world's most overused, yet undervalued resource after fresh water. Even though sand is part of nearly every square metre of what we see in our cities, it is truly the forgotten foundation of modernity. 

A brief introductory video from Al Jazeera English

This is what Dr. David Tickner, Chief Freshwater Advisor WWF-UK had to say about the topic on Twitter:

"#Sand might well be the biggest, least well known environmental issue on the planet. Huge implications for #cities#finance#rivers#coasts#crime

There is much to be said and much more to be learned. My book is an attempt to humanise our ceaseless demand for sand. It will appeal to anyone who self-identifies as an eco-conscious individual. In addition, professionals such as Architects, Urban Planners, Landscape Architects, Civil Engineers, Geologists, Environmental Lawyers, Water Sector Professionals, Coastal Engineers and Professionals working in the Sustainability Sector would also find it interesting. 

Although the term 'Sustainable Development' is highly contested, the concept of sustainability is becoming more important by the day. The UN has chosen 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. In our resource-constrained world, what were once simply 'externalities' are fast becoming material. In their article in the Harvard Business Review, Lubin and Esty (2010) have proposed that sustainability is an emerging megatrend. This presents a huge challenge as well as a great opportunity. Since the key focus of the book remains on solutions, it would appeal to Change-Makers, Activists, Journalists, as well as Entrepreneurs working on green solutions. 

Promotion

Social Media is a key part of my campaign. I post regularly on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus as well as LinkedIn. I have an active website with a growing community of subscribers. I plan to reach out to key audiences through various groups on facebook and yahoo. I am also in talks with a few in the teaching community to use the book in their curriculum.

I have invites to speak at conferences as well as editorial articles and guest posts in the pipeline. Once the book is completed, I plan to host live events as well as virtual summits to bring together a diverse set of stakeholders and spark conversations around the book.

With the right publisher, we will work together to leverage my social capital and your marketing resources to ensure the book reaches the widest and most relevant audience.

Competition

Book 1:

  • Title: Impact of Sand Mining and Effluent Pollution on Rural Communities.
  • Publisher: Lambert Academic Publishing
  • Author: Manjunatha Arahalli Venkataronappa
  • Publication date: 2011
  • Description: The book is based on a specific case study on the north Pinakini river basin of Karnataka, India and offers scientific evidence on the negative impacts that sand mining has on groundwater of a region. The book provides a theoretical and empirical analysis of sand mining and distillery effluent impacts on groundwater use and possible solutions for internalisation of negative externalities. It serves as a useful read for economists and policy makers to understand this subject better.
  • How my book is different:  The above mentioned book is a direct result of academic work and it does not make for an easy read, particularly for a general reader or one who doesn't know enough about the topic. In addition, since it is based on a specific academic study, it does not offer a global perspective nor a comparative analysis of similar cases elsewhere. These points are addressed in my book.

Book 2:

  • Title: Sand Mining - Environmental Impacts and Selected Case Studies
  • Publisher: Springer
  • Author: D. Padmalal and K. Maya
  • Publication date: 2014
  • Description: This is one of the earliest books on the subject that offers a succinct overview on the environmental impacts of sand mining, particularly in river ecosystems. It examines case studies from South West India and gives brief snippets of information on river sand mining in other countries. It also touches upon non river sources of sand and uses of sand very briefly. The book is well written and well illustrated. Despite the fact that it's largely aimed at an academic audience, it does make for a very interesting read even for a general reader.
  • How my book is different:  The academic nature of the above mentioned book limits its scope. Even critical topics such as hydraulic fracturing which use enormous quantities of sand, (albeit of a very specific kind) fall outside the scope of this book. As a result, the pervasiveness of sand in various industrial processes and the global impact of classifying sand as a low-value resource does not come through to the reader.  My book will also focus a lot on solutions - current and potential.

Book 3:

  • Title: When the Hills are Gone: Frac Sand Mining and the Struggle for Community
  • Publisher: 
  • Author: Thomas W. Pearson
  • Publication date: 2017
  • Description: This book offers a vital insight into America’s environmental battles along the unexpected frontlines of energy development. It tells the story of Wisconsin's sand mining wars using a creative blend of ethnography, social theory and the author's own point of view. 
  • How my book is different:  While this book is specifically about the Frack Sand Industry, mine offers a more general overview of the myriad uses of sand. However, I too will attempt to tease out the struggles over community and democracy in various parts of the world.

Book 4: 

  • Title: The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How it Transformed Civilization
  • Publisher: Penguin-Random House
  • Author: Vince Beiser
  • Expected Release Date: Aug 2018
  • Description: Although specific details are yet to be revealed, this book is bound to be a page-turner. Vince is an award-winning journalist and a master of his craft. He is also a grantee of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. He has written several articles on the topic in highly reputed publications and I cannot wait to get my copy of this book :)

21 publishers interested
Anthem Press logo Anthem Press

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We relish our individuality and the breadth of our interests – being entirely independent, we are free to pursue our ideas and inspirations; we shall continue to build on our reputation for scholarship, innovative publishing and the very highest standards of book production.

Moreover, through our experience and careful outsourcing, we hope we can publish more effectively and more nimbly than some of the bigger companies. We set out to publish fast, paying careful attention to what is special about each book, and giving personal attention at all times to our authors and to every aspect of our publications.

Many of our books are published in association with a wide variety of other organizations, including scholarly international institutes, non-governmental organizations, financial institutions and other publishers around the world.

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Black Rose Writing's success with their authors is due mainly to their many lines of promotion, (examples: showcasing book titles at festivals, scheduling book events, flexible marketing programs, and sending out press releases and review copies, etc.) and they provide a broad distribution (Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more...) that larger book publishers also reach. We are proud members of IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association), a recognized ITW (International Thriller Writers) publisher, members of Publishers Marketplace, and currently serving on the Ingram Publisher Advisory Board.

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Our books have been recognized with awards and national and regional review attention. We have had many titles reach Nielsen BookScan category top 50 status in retail sales, illustrating that readers have responded by purchasing Blue River Press titles.

Our distributor, Cardinal Publishers Group, has placed our books in chain and independent book retailers, libraries of all sorts, mass-merchant retailers, gift shops, and many specialty retail and wholesale channels.

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Imagine! is the adult nonfiction imprint of Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc. We publish 8-10 new titles per year, primarily in the areas of history, women's studies, gender studies, multicultural studies, politics, nature and the environment, as well as cooking, health and wellness. We are especially seeking fresh voices with new approaches to topics that matter most in our lives.

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Koehler Books offers you tremendous value, worldwide distribution channels and superior marketing guidance. Our authors span nearly every continent and every region and state in the US, and are consistently recognized nationally and globally for their work. Our titles are broad based and include nearly every major non-fiction and fiction genre.

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Cranthorpe Millner logo Cranthorpe Millner

Too many beautifully written books are rejected on a regular basis because the submitting author doesn’t have a strong enough author platform.

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By operating a hybrid publishing model, Cranthorpe Millner can invite authors to publish with us based on the merit of the manuscript alone.

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Creativia logo Creativia

We are a hybrid, Rapid Versatile Publisher with 450 published titles in Amazon, 36 of which are bestsellers in USA, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. Our approach to publishing is slightly different: we are a community-driven, social group with strong knowledge of how modern publishing works, and how to succeed in the extremely competitive market of today. We are also a BookBub partner, which gives us direct marketing access to millions of readers.

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eBooks2go logo eBooks2go

eBooks2go, Inc., was founded in 2011 to provide the missing link for all your publishing needs. Our end-to-end solutions provide the guidance and support that enable publishers and independent authors to pursue their passions. To date, we have helped more than 750 authors and 100 publishers worldwide.

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eBooks2go is where dreams get published! We are devoted to grooming authors and publishers for long-term success. We strive to deliver high-quality products, sustainable marketing strategies, and a positive customer experience throughout the entire publishing process. Our experienced staff will directly work with you to help your books enthrall and entertain readers.

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eBooks2go offers an array of simple and affordable solutions to assist self-publishing authors at every stage of the book publishing process. Our comprehensive service offering includes editing, print and eBook production, book marketing, cover designs, ISBN registration, and even website designs. We are the single source for all of your publishing needs.

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eBooks2go is invested in your publishing goals! Follow your ambitions and contact us today to learn more about the personalized publishing experience we offer!

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Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Cookbooks, Food & Wine, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Journalism, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & the Future, Travel

Worldwide

Prodigy Gold Books logo Prodigy Gold Books

The History
Prodigy Publishing Group was founded in 2009 and has been steadily publishing distinguishable trade paperback fiction since. Its flagship imprint Prodigy Gold Books is spearheading its journey with a fall 2017 line up that includes four novels by four authors sure to delight readers. Prodigy Gold Books is dedicated to publishing a variety of must-read books on a wide array of topics and genres.

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Our mission is to showcase established voices and to introduce emerging new ones—both fiction and nonfiction genres.

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Congratulations on writing your book!

Options abound in today's publishing world, and it can be difficult to tell the difference between traditional publishers, hybrid publishers, subsidy publishers, and self-publishing companies.

1106 Design offers independent publishing as it was initially intended, with you, the author, as the publisher. We don't publish your book, you do, and we'll show you how with our signature hand-holding at every step.

We offer publishing-house-quality manuscript editing, cover design, interior design and layout, proofreading, eBook formatting, author websites, and book marketing assistance, to help you produce a beautiful, market-ready book. Then we'll help you obtain printing and distribution in your name, so 100% of the proceeds are paid directly to you.

Work with us, and you'll retain complete control of the creative process, your design files, and your revenue stream, and your book will be available for sale in a matter of months.

Here's a price summary of our most popular services for books 50,000 words and under:

Cover Design starting at $995
Interior Layout with Proofreading starting at $1,530
Copyediting: $36.30 per thousand words
Ebook Formatting starting at $775

You can find the prices for all our services here:

https://1106design.com/services/

Is it worth it? Click the links below to view our cover and interior design samples and customer reviews to decide for yourself:

http://1106design.com/samples/

http://1106design.com/customer-reviews/

If you would like a custom quote, please email your completed manuscript to md@1106design.com and let us know which services you need. Don't worry; we won’t share your manuscript with anyone else.

Questions? We'll be happy to talk to you!

At 1106 Design, we love helping authors create great books! We hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,
Michele DeFilippo
Owner

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Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bookmobile provides book printing, graphic design, and other resources to support book publishers in an ever-changing environment. Superior quality, excellent customer service, flexibility, and timely turnarounds have attracted nearly 1,000 satisfied clients to Bookmobile, including trade houses, university presses, independent publishers, museums, galleries, artists, and more.

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Gladiator Publishing Co. has held a reputation in the Literary Industry for nearly 100 Years as a Writer-Loyal company. Nearly 100-years later, Gladiator Publishing Company still maintains that strong characteristic. We place our Authors publications first and foremost. You may hear many other "Publishing entities" state that they are "the first" to do this or the "originator/pioneer" of that. If everyone is using the same marketing, promotional, and advertising pipelines what makes them so original?

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Full Editing Services (substantive, copy, formatting, proofreading, story flow, line) are INCLUDED in the price. No hidden fees, no extra cost for something that Publishing Services should be more than happy to provide to benefit the manuscripts success. The industry has turned toward greed and away from literature. It's sick and inappropriate, it's ok to agree, they know it too.

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We have helped 250+ authors to get their books self-published, hit the #1 position in the Amazon bestseller charts and also establish their author website & brand to grow their business. And the best thing is, we do all this without taking away your rights and royalties. Our publishing packages start at $699! Let's schedule a call to discuss the next steps in your book project: www.happyselfpublishing.com/scheduler

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At PRESStinely our most paramount purpose as a publishing service organization is to partner with authors and entrepreneurs to bring their creative projects to life. Deciding to be an author is terrific; determining to be a published author is impressive; deciding to properly write, edit, design, market and launch your book is a must. Collaboratively, we strategically move through the publishing process ensuring mistakes are avoided and the end product is not only a book you are proud of but will be used as a tool to build your brand.

Partnering with PRESStinely means you as the author retain all creative control, all future revenues from your book. Our approach is simple -1 - Partner with authors and entrepreneurs to guide them through the entire publishing process. 2 - Customize every package offered to fit each client's needs. Pricing for our partner services vary from $500 USD - $7,500 USD. 3- Provide the vision, skills, and tools necessary to ensure success. When our clients succeeds, we succeed. 4 - Identify gaps and opportunities to build a brand efficiently. 5 - Become our client's “right hand” and bring their creative vision to life.

You should spend as much time publishing and marketing your book as you did writing it, together we will leave a mark on the world.

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ShieldCrest are book publishers based in the UK who fill that vital gap for talented authors where mainstream publishers are unwilling to give them that chance. We strive for excellence and invest in our authors and are listed in FreeIndex as the number one independent publisher in the UK for price quality and service rated author satisfaction. We publish books of all genres including; fiction, historical, biographies and children's books.

ShieldCrest publishing continues to grow rapidly with satisfied authors throughout the UK and overseas. Our range of products includes paperbacks, hardbacks and digitised e-books in all formats used globally in the myriad of e-readers.

In addition to the above, ShieldCrest provides a complete range of services including book design and layout, illustrations, proof reading and editing. For marketing we offer author web page, press releases, social media marketing packages and many other support services to help both first time and experienced authors get their books into the market quickly and maximise on the opportunities available.

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Our clients include established authors such as Diane Marshall who has been acclaimed as the best writing talent to come from Scotland for years by The Scotsman newspaper, and Prof Donald Longmore OBE, who performed the first heart transplant in the UK and has sold thousands of medical books used by students throughout the world. We also recently released "Martin Foran-The Forgotten Man" by J.R. Stephenson, which features fraud within the police, abuse within the prison service and injustices in the courts and has been featured in the press and on TV.

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Bhaskar Rao Patil looks weary as he talks about his experience with declining catches over the last few years. He is the president of the fishermen’s colony in Bankot, a small fishing village near Mumbai on the Western coast of India. The lines on his face tell the story of his life. His hands are calloused, gnarled and strong. One can tell that he has seen better days. His clothes look clean but threadbare. Seated in very modest surroundings along with a few other fishermen, he talks wistfully about bygone days, while the others nod in agreement. “Gone are the days when we could fish easily. We could catch 50 pamplets (the local term for pomfrets, a high value catch) in one hour. Today it’s hard to find 5 even if we fish for the whole day. In the past, five people depended on one boat but today one boat can support only one to two people. Our life is under pressure.”  His deep-set eyes turn to the horizon far away. He points to the dredgers and the big barges in the distant part of the river. They are his nemesis. The barges are filled to the brim with sand, a commodity that is dredged up from the rivers and transported to the trucks waiting along the banks. He explains how the local fishermen today live in constant fear for their livelihood because of them..

From a distance, the dredgers and barges look pretty harmless, but, they’re destroying the livelihood of these fishermen and many others in the region. Up close, the barges look big enough to hold about 10 to 20 boats of these fishermen. And when they are filled to the brim with wet sand, no prizes for guessing who wins if they crash into small boats of simple fisher folk. The fishermen say accidents happen fairly often and their nets too are frequently damaged but local officials are unwilling to register complaints against the barges as they are owned by ‘Big hands’ (i.e. elites). It feels like a losing battle for these local fishermen. They are up against a powerful, wealthy, well-connected and sometimes ruthless politician-builder nexus. The dredgers use suction pumps to suck up as much sand as they can, all of which is headed to the construction industry in Mumbai, the financial hub of the country. The commodity they take away to build a thriving city is the very lifeblood of these fishermen’s livelihood. 

Fishing is a seasonal occupation here as one cannot fish in the monsoon season which lasts from June to August. What the fishermen earn in three to five months of the fishing season is what they and their families have to survive on for the rest of the year. But seasons don’t matter to the dredgers and barges. They operate non-stop, all year round, shipping away precious sand to more profitable places. Most of the fishermen in these communities are illiterate. The few that can read and write have only completed primary education and most aren’t trained on any other income-generating skills. In the absence of alternate employment, they have to depend on money-lenders and fish traders to survive the lean period and this keeps them in a state of perpetual indebtedness. As the talk continues, Bhaskar Rao Patil’s wife Kanti Bai enters the room with a tray of steaming hot tea and some snacks. She chips in with her part of the story. The women of the village play an equal role in society in these villages. The men fish, but it is the women who sell the fish in the markets. With tears gleaming in her eyes she says “We’d like to send our children to good schools but we hardly make any money to spare these days.” 

Rampant illegal sand mining has resulted in falling fish stocks because dredging destroys the spawning habitat of the fish and muddies the water. As a result, only a few of the most resilient of fish are able to survive and they are not as profitable for the fishermen. When their boats are damaged by the barges, they are often unable to get bank loans to repair or replace them without a registered police complaint and lack of collateral property. So it drives them deeper into poverty. These people have been fishermen for generations and they know their river like the back of their hand. But sand mining is soon making their traditional knowledge obsolete. Indiscriminate sand mining makes rivers more violent as it deepens river channels and causes erosion of riverbanks. With families to feed and fewer fish left in the rivers, the fishermen are forced to head deeper towards the sea. But they are ill-equipped for the dangers this presents and they face a double whammy. Out in deeper waters, the tides have almost doubled in height, thanks to land reclamation around Mumbai. These fishermen are completely out of their depth in these waters and the only skills they have are rendered inadequate.  

It is said that Jesus called his disciples and made them fishers of men. But here around Mumbai, with no leader to show them a way, 80,000 fishermen have turned to fishing for sand. They know for certain that their actions ensure their children will never be able to fish in these waters. At least not the kind of fish they used to catch. They know their identity and way of life is at stake. But that seems to be the only way they can feed their families. They pin their hopes instead on getting their children educated and sending them to the cities so they will never have to live a life of such hardship. For now, they are able to get by. The demand for sand has been increasing. 

Mumbai, a city that never sleeps and never stops. With an urban population pegged at just over 22 million, it is the most populated city in India and the eighth most populated city in the world. The massive growth in population has occurred over a relatively short time span though. In 1991, the city had just 9.9 million people. Nearly half of the influx has been due to the search for better employment prospects. The number of super-rich too has increased exponentially. Across 25 global cities, Mumbai has witnessed the highest growth in the number of  Ultra-High Networth Individuals over the last decade. The world’s most expensive home (at the time of completion) - Antilia , 27 storeys tall, with 3 helipads, underground parking for 160 cars and a staff of 600 people to maintain the house can be found here. It is named after a mythical island in the Atlantic. For the owner, it was the fulfilment of a long-cherished dream. Mumbai after all is the ‘City of Dreams’ and millions flock to the city hoping for a chance at a better life. It plays host to a wide range of industries right from manufacturing to cutting-edge technology and  houses 2 major stock exchanges. The Headquarters of many Multi-National Companies and large Indian companies are based here. The city is also a hub for cultural export in the form of the thriving Bollywood industry. Mumbai alone is responsible for over 6% of India’s GDP. The ports too are a critical part of its success. There is no dearth of jobs or talent in Mumbai. But there is one thing it is short of.

Space. This is its most precious commodity. A prominent journalist Bachi Karkaria says the built environment has increased fourfold since 1925 – and at its fastest rate over the past 30 years – all at the cost of green cover and wetlands. She writes ‘There’s less than 0.03 acres of open space per 1,000 people. The global norm is four; London has a profligate 12.’ Most of the working class lives in Chawls. These are multi-level tenements with small single rooms (usually used by a whole family) with a shared bathroom for each floor. Middle-class families on the other hand, live in one or two bedroom apartments. A luxury in comparison, but it is still a tight squeeze.  Affordable housing is in dire shortage. In the rest of the country, people manage to buy their own homes by their mid 30s. But here in Mumbai, people work well into their late 40s or 50s before they can pay off the mortgages on their homes. The demand is so huge that the government simply cannot keep pace and they turn to the private sector for help. Naturally, developers are hungry for as much sand as they can get. But for various reasons, sand is in short supply. They blame the politicians and the environmental lobby. ‘Roti, Kapda, aur Makaan (loosely translated as food, clothes and shelter) is the dream of every citizen’ says Satish (name changed), the director of a successful construction firm.  ‘How can you deprive them of this dream? It is easy to ban anything but it’s important to provide alternatives.’

‘In thirty years of my career, I have never heard of such a thing. Shortage of sand?!’, he snorts incredulously. ‘It’s not that there is no sand. This is all just a ploy to make you pay more’, he says. To Satish and his colleagues, the hullabaloo around the supply of sand makes no sense. They are more than sceptical and they harbour a deep mistrust. To them, sand is abundantly available and they feel the whole situation has just been engineered to create an artificial shortage. Once the prices go up by more than hundred percent, they never come back to the original price. Instead, they settle at about sixty-seventy percent of the previous price and that then becomes the new norm. ‘In the end, it is the consumer who pays the price. I run a business, not a charity. I simply have to pass on the costs to the customers.’ 

On the condition of anonymity, he talks at length about how developers are forced to buy sand from certain suppliers. He talks about how each region is controlled by powerful vested interests. ‘You can buy sand from elsewhere but you still have to pay these guys if you want your consignment to actually reach you. So in the end, you might as well buy from them.’ In sticky situations, some developers compromise on the quality of materials he says while others like him compromise on the price. ‘Sand used to be about 4-5% of the project cost. Now it is about 20% of the cost. We don’t worry about cement anymore. We worry about sand. Cement, you can pay and tomorrow you will get it. Sand - you will not. The sand supplier used to be the last person who would get paid. We used to stock sand outside and when it rained, it would often wash away. Not anymore.’ Reports indicate that sand is in such short supply that the Government has had to import sand from Indonesia and the Philippines. 

While developers come to terms with the new reality, the government is working hard to promote affordable housing. The Mumbai Development Plan 2034 suggests that it intends to make additional land resources available for development by changing No Development Zones that include salt pan lands and coastal wetlands where scores of migratory birds seek refuge in the summer. Fierce protests are on to save eco-sensitive zones such as Aarey Forest that once used to be a part of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. But many Mumbaikars have no time for this debate. With exhausting commutes and long work hours, all they want is ‘Roti, Kapda aur Makaan’ and some fun along the way. A Mumbaikar friend explains. ‘Yaar (my friend), people buy apartments like they buy a pizza. You don’t care about what goes into it as long as it looks great’. 


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  • Kenda Cunningham
    on March 5, 2018, 11:26 a.m.

    Best of luck and thank you for working on such an important topic!

  • Karine BRULE
    on March 5, 2018, 2:42 p.m.

    Good luck Kiran! I think you for bringing awareness on the sand issue xx

  • Ana Osuna Orozco
    on March 5, 2018, 3:33 p.m.

    This will be a seminal book about an urgent issue that is rarely talked about. Well done for being a pioneer expert on sand stories, Kiran! Very much looking forward to reading the finished product.

  • Chendil Kumar
    on March 5, 2018, 5:12 p.m.

    Done, Kiran. All the very best in your efforts. Regards, ck

  • Jurijus Kravcenka
    on March 5, 2018, 9:26 p.m.

    Hi Kiran!
    Go ahead! Let the world be better place to live!
    Juri

  • Alexsandra Sena
    on March 6, 2018, 3:39 a.m.

    Congratulations on your book and all the best of luck in getting it published.

  • Peggy Koniz-Booher
    on March 6, 2018, 11:50 a.m.

    Fascinating! Best of luck with your campaign. I will spread the word. Peggy (colleague of Kenda Cunningham)

  • Allison Hunter
    on March 7, 2018, 2:53 p.m.

    Fantastic to see this out there Kiran - well done for bringing this subject to everyone's attention! Best wishes, Allison

  • Ben+Marta Freund
    on March 7, 2018, 3:09 p.m.

    Thankyou for keeping inspiring us! Great work! Look forwards to reading, lots of love Marta and Ben

  • Meena Raju
    on March 8, 2018, 12:35 p.m.

    Can't wait to read the book Kiran! Best wishes! xx

  • Shirin Ayandeh
    on March 9, 2018, 10:26 a.m.

    It looks like an interesting read, I'm excited to start :)

  • Mauro Massari
    on March 10, 2018, 8:08 p.m.

    God Speed Kiran, people like you are then ones that make it happen. Way to go...

  • Giorgia Donin
    on March 15, 2018, 11:53 a.m.

    You are such an amazing woman Kiran, way to go girl! Can't wait to read your book! G.

  • Juan Trell
    on March 15, 2018, 10:02 p.m.

    Well done Kiran!! All the best!!

  • Samir Akber
    on March 20, 2018, 8:38 a.m.

    Kiran I wish you the very best. I know how hard you have worked on this subject.

  • Charles Fattouche
    on March 22, 2018, 9:56 p.m.

    You deserve so much to get published!!! All the best for your campaign!! Fingers crossed, I'm sure you're going to make it!!!

  • Sarah Sannen
    on March 23, 2018, 12:19 a.m.

    Really looking forward to reading! It's definitely an issue we need to get out to the world

  • Kaustav Chakravarthy
    on April 1, 2018, 1:12 p.m.

    Great to see you emerge as an author to reckon with. Knowing the effort and focus you conscientiously bring to your endeavours, I know this book will be not just informative and relevant but a great read as well!

  • Manisha Sharma
    on April 2, 2018, 6:22 p.m.

    Wish you all the very best with your first publication. :)
    Manisha

  • Manoharan Gurusaravanan
    on April 3, 2018, 12:17 p.m.

    Best wishes Kiran :) Looking forward to read the full book and collaborate with you in future.

  • Sheetal Peter
    on April 5, 2018, 1:13 p.m.

    Super proud of you....Congratulations and wishing you the very best....God bless!
    Regards
    Sheetal