Global populism: Big promises, poor pandemic results – The 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.
Power – Fifty 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.
Why India’s protesting farmers aren’t going home – The 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 rule – The 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 away – The 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-building – Public 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 cost – IndiaSpend
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 work – TRT 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
Survivor’s 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 intervention – The 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, Scroll.in, 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 Scroll.in 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.