In-depth Features & Reported Pieces

Inside a relief camp in Kokrajhar district of Assam where many families have been residing since the aftermath of an ethnic riot in 1996.


‘Not worthy of a democracy’: Behind India’s slide on press freedom – The Christian Science Monitor
India’s press freedoms were spiraling long before authorities targeted the BBC. Trends of anti-media violence, censorship, and legal intimidation could have disastrous consequences for the world’s largest democracy.

Boom and bust: How Indian billionaire’s rise left the nation vulnerable – The Christian Science Monitor
Billionaire Gautam Adani became a symbol or prosperity and economic opportunity in modern India. As his fortune comes under scrutiny, so does India’s economic model and the country’s relationship with its super rich.

Trading privacy for safety? Being a woman in the most surveilled city in the world – Missing Perspectives
The Indian government is investing heavily in tech surveillance for women’s safety. But experts say this is a protectionist approach that does not help prevent crime or make cities safer for women and is instead being used to screen people and make arrests.


Uprooted – Fifty Two
Residential schools for indigenous people have a long and dark history around the world. In Odisha, children are recognising how these schools, newly funded by mining companies, are changing their lives—and that of their communities. Reported with support from the IWMF.

Judgment Vs Reality: The state of reproductive rights in India – Missing Perspectives
India is considered to have one of the more liberal abortion laws which are fairly broad in its ambit. Ideally, the result should be easy access to safe services, better maternal health, and rights. But 67% of all abortions in the country are classified as unsafe.

Indian police use facial recognition to persecute Muslims and other marginalized communities
After the 2020 riots in northeast Delhi, hundreds of arrests were made on the basis of surveillance footage. But the tech is dubious and reflects the biases and prejudices of the government.

Does rape within marriage count? To India’s courts, no – The Christian Science Monitor
India is one of the few countries that does not recognize marital rape as a crime. Recent petitions to change that – and the backlash they’ve sparked – shine a light on how the Indian government and society continue to view women’s right to bodily autonomy.

How uptick in anti-Christian violence threatens Indian democracy – The Christian Science Monitor

A rise in attacks against Christians across India raises serious questions about the country’s secular promise. A report based on interviews with victims and experts.


Indian anti-terror law snags more than terrorists – The Christian Science Monitor
The Indian government is using exceptional laws designed to curb terrorism in order to silence peaceful dissenters. That risks undermining the rule of law and threatens India’s democratic heritage.

Where are the women in India’s labor force? – The Juggernaut
Female workforce participation in the country has been declining since the 1990s, and fell to a record low of 15.5% last year. So, as the Indian economy has grown, why has it shut out its women?

Asian Workers act to hold brands accountable for working conditionsDriving Change
AFWA’s legal challenges are using the concept of joint-employer liability as a way to hold brands accountable under each production country’s national laws for what it calls “wage theft” during the pandemic.

The Vaccine Gap: Why more men than women are getting vaccinated in IndiaIMPACT by Les Glorieuses
In India’s patriarchal society, a myriad of reasons — like the lack of decision-making power and access to the right information, household responsibilities, and restriction on movement — are keeping women from being vaccinated. I speak to a number of women and experts to find out.

Pandemic left many children without parents. Can nations boost support?The Christian Science Monitor
COVID-19 will leave its marks for years to come, especially for children who lose a parent. Will the crisis prompt reforms in children’s welfare that family advocates say are long overdue? My report from India, along with colleagues in Mexico and the US.

Foundations & NGOs step in as India struggles with vaccinesDriving Change
India’s faulty vaccination strategy has led to lack of access and inequity for many Indians, as well as middle and low-income countries globally. Civil society and local communities are helping bridge gaps, but it may not be enough.

Gasping for Breath: Women provide a glimpse into India’s COVID disaster – Fuller Project
India is drowning in an ocean of loss and pain, caused by the latest surge in COVID-19 cases. As with all disasters, the burden of this one falls disproportionately on already marginalized groups, women among them. Some windows into their experiences, I contribute along with other female reporters across India.

Global populism: Big promises, poor pandemic resultsThe Christian Science Monitor
Populist leaders swept to power in recent years on a wave of promises. But confronted by a public health emergency like COVID-19, they have performed significantly worse than traditional politicians. My report from India, along with colleagues in Brazil and the US.

Enough Heat – Enough Media
In India and across the world, heat and heat stress is only getting worse, severely affecting residents of urban slums, especially women. In Ahmedabad, organizations and residents are coming together to find, use, and advocate for solutions.

Vaccine Diplomacy: Will free shipments pay off for India? – The Christian Science Monitor
Home to a massive vaccine industry, India sees an opportunity to expand its leadership among countries feeling left behind, as others stockpile for themselves. It may be generous, but it’s also a boost for New Delhi’s goals.

Uttar Pradesh’s beacon of hope for India’s interfaith couples – Article 14
“Even in the direst of situations, there is love. The question remains, how do those in love find a way to be together?” In the face of increasing state and societal harassment, courts provide some hope to interfaith couples.


PowerFifty Two
An open letter to the Supreme Court changed the way many Indians thought about women’s rights. The rest should be history.
A longform reported essay about a moment in India’s feminist history that sparked a discussion on consent and sexual violence with long-term significance till date, and also the things that they left unsaid and undone.

Why India’s protesting farmers aren’t going homeThe Christian Science Monitor
Agriculture employs hundreds of millions in India. But that’s not the only reason farmers’ protests have resonated so widely. They tap into concern over shrinking space for consultation, debate, and dissent.

Love and the law: Hindu-Muslim couple challenges India’s marriage ruleThe Christian Science Monitor
Concerns about intolerance in India have been mounting for years. But in the face of fear and prejudice, some interfaith couples are speaking up to celebrate their love and try to smooth the path ahead for others.

Offline and Out of School – Foreign Policy
India has among the world’s highest gender gap in access to technology — a crucial factor in how girls access education as schools remain closed. How are state governments and educators ensuring that they aren’t left behind? In-depth piece that looks at challenges and solutions.

Family planning efforts upended by the coronavirus – Foreign Policy
In India and around the world, community health workers are being rerouted to deal with the pandemic — with dangerous results.
In-depth piece reported with inputs of health workers and experts in India, Nepal, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

What a lockdown means when home is hundreds of miles awayThe Christian Science Monitor
“Stay at home” is a common refrain as countries announce lockdowns against COVID-19. But that can be practically impossible for society’s most vulnerable. That challenge has played out on a massive scale in India.
A short report on the crisis migrants are facing.

As Delhi riot wounds heal, neighbors look for ‘the way ahead’The Christian Science Monitor
One of the casualties of Delhi’s riots is trust: trust that India’s capital is safe for Muslims and Hindus alike, despite historic tensions. Yet even with those doubts, neighbors are helping each other rebuild some sense of security.

Rage against India’s citizenship law rooted in complex history of nation-buildingPublic Radio International
The act struck a nerve in a nation where, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist agenda, secular freedoms, pluralistic principles and Indigenous rights enshrined in the constitution have eroded.


In Odisha’s residential schools for tribal girls, education comes at a costIndiaSpend
Odisha government has been pushing for institutionalised system of education for children of tribal communities. But the residential schools are poorly run and ripe for abuse, with many reported deaths and cases of sexual abuse.
A longform report based on a year-long follow up.

A city in India almost ran dry. What will prevent a repeat?The Christian Science Monitor
The threat of taps running dry grabs attention. But what happens when water starts to trickle back through? As Chennai breathes a sigh of relief, many highlight the long-term need for more sustainable policies. A ground report.

The biggest gender pay gap in Asia: why are Indian women so undervalued?South China Morning Post
Female participation in the workforce is lower in India than almost any other country on Earth, creating a lack of financial freedom. Tackling the underlying societal and cultural reasons behind this absence of women in the workforce may prove to be an uphill battle.

How Indian women silently suffer the consequences of unpaid workTRT World Magazine
With the highest chore gap in the world, women in India currently spend 352 minutes per day on unpaid work, compared to the 52 minutes that men spend carrying out unpaid tasks.

Letter from India: Lessons from an election with 900 million voters – The Christian Science Monitor
Many fear that the rise of Hindu nationalism has tied ‘Indianness’ to religion. But being Indian also means taking part – not just on election days, but every day – in the largest democratic experiment on earth. 

Thousands of Bengali women must prove their citizenship or face statelessness. Most can’t. Public Radio International (PRI)
Women in the state of Assam are indiscriminately affected by a process to identify illegal immigrants. “Lack of education, awareness, poverty and a larger patriarchal structure has rendered many women invisible, and when the state started enumerating, they had no proof to support their identity,”

To fight trafficking, Indian groups turn to the experts: survivors – The Christian Science Monitor
Survivors’ perspectives are key to prevention and rehabilitation efforts, advocates argue. Young women are helping each other heal, while challenging the attitudes that contribute to trafficking in the first place.


India’s hill country is the first stop on heroin’s deadly route – Foreign Policy
Mizoram has an HIV rate of almost 20% among injecting drug users — highest among all states in India. How it’s handling the HIV and opioid crisis then becomes extremely important. I try exploring how community and faith based groups are at the frontline of the struggle but they’re also coming in the way of finding real solutions for people.

Why the opioid crisis in a remote state in India requires the church’s interventionThe Sojourners
Even as the government in Mizoram announced its plans to roll out prevention and aftercare programs for drug users, there continues to be consensus among residents that the church has to play a major role for any intervention to be successful. A village is setting an example for the rest of the state.

How 5 Catholic nuns are propelling India’s #churchtoo movement – The Sojourners
A short report on the protests in Kerala by Catholic nuns demanding the arrest of a Bishop accused of sexual abuse.


The Price of Life – The Caravan
In the July issue of The Caravan magazine – my longform reportage (9 pages in print) on the trafficked children of Silchar’s red light area (in Assam) and how authorities failed them. Reported over a period of eight months.

Assam floods drive trafficking, child marriage and women’s ill-health – News Deeply’s Women & Girls
A short report on the disastrous effect of annual flooding in Assam on women and girls.Women lose access to adequate sanitation and maternal healthcare, while girls are forced into child labor or marriage to make ends meet.

In Sikkim, football is weaning drug users away from the dark – Mint on Sunday
My reported feature on the way football plays a therapeutic role in the lives of many former drug users in Sikkim, giving them a healthier identity and creating much-needed support systems.

In Nagaland, missing health services are a matter of life and death – The Wire
Massive central funding for health and development go missing on the ground, leaving residents of remote districts to fend for themselves. My reported story on this human cost of corruption.

Text messages save lives in state with highest maternal deaths – IndiaSpend
A reported feature about the problems faced by pregnant women in accessing healthcare in Assam, and the efforts made by a non-profit project to reduce maternal deaths by training women of the marginalised Adivasi community to report violations.

Why a rich, orderly Himalayan state has India’s highest suicide rate – IndiaSpend
Despite all-round progress, the state of Sikkim has been recording India’s highest suicide rate, has high unemployment rate, and also widespread abuse of pharmaceutical drugs. In this cover story for IndiaSpend, I investigate the link between suicides and drug abuse in Sikkim – problems made worse due to government apathy.
The piece has been republished by several publications like Hindustan Times,, and Firstpost, among others.

In Northeast India, women run the streets – The Development Set
Manipur’s women are seen as a mighty force when they protest, but 100 years on, they are still locked out of politics. What lessons can they offer Women’s March participants?


The ascent of Manipur’s women – and their descent into drugs – IndiaSpend
Dire circumstances have been leading hundreds of women to drug abuse in the conflict-ridden state of Manipur. A longform reportage about their lives and struggles as well as the kind of health mechanism and social support that exists for them.
The piece has been republished by several publications like and Business Standard, among others.

This Village in India was completely relocated because of elephants – TakePart
Longform reportage about a conservation and development project in Assam that is helping a village co-exist peacefully with elephants, and an in-depth look at the lives of its residents.

These Kids in India are saving others from a Life of Child Slavery – GOOD
Illiteracy and poverty in many parts of the Indian state of Assam has been leading to child trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation. A few programmes attempt to educate and empower children to stand up for themselves.

India’s Nagaland drowning in Taxes and Corruption – Al Jazeera English
Residents claim they are being mercilessly taxed by armed groups, and short-changed by a corrupt state government.

India’s ‘gun widows’ on the road to recovery – Al Jazeera English
Young widows who have lost husbands to gun violence face financial, legal and social hardships in India’s Manipur.

Hope for a better life on the India-Bangladesh border – The Atlantic’s CityLab
A historic agreement in 2015 was supposed to bring 162 isolated villages into the modern world. A lot of them are still waiting.


India – The disappearing children of Assam – Al Jazeera English
Children are being trafficked into forced labour and sexual exploitation in large numbers from Assam state.

Hunting down witches in Northeast India – Al Jazeera English 
Accusations of black magic causing disease and death have led to dozens of deaths during mob attacks in Assam state.