Charkha Feature English – 2022

How Covid-19 Impacted Pregnant Women And ASHA Workers In Uttarakhand

In April 2021, during the second wave of Covid-19, a curfew was imposed in the state of Uttarakhand, just a month before Laxmi Devi, 26, delivered her first child. Laxmi, a resident of Pipaleth village in Narendra Nagar block in Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand, was one among several new mothers in this hilly region for whom availing maternity services had become

Keeping Kalbeliya tradition beaded together

I grew up in Ganahera village on the outskirts of Pushkar city. From the time I can remember, I was very fond of dancing. I would break into a dance whenever I heard a song.  I always dreamt of becoming a famous dancer. I used to watch a couple of girls in our community and my mother and aunt dance. I was probably in class I when I became a child bride. He was much older.

The Kalbeliyas of Rajasthan

Most famous for their ‘snake charmer’ dance, the Kalbeliya tribes have another precious legacy they are desperate to preserve and earn a livelihood from – the unique bead jewellery that is part of their costume. Tiny, shiny colourful beads strung together into exquisite jewellery. You are mistaken if you thought only women wear ornaments made of these beads.

Unfulfilled dreams of physically disabled people in Mandi, Poonch

Late Fatima Begum died waiting for her a house of her own. When she was alive, Fatima, who was physically disabled, lived in a dilapidated room in Sawajian panchayat in Mandi block in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir without any state assistance. Although she had some support when her husband was alive

Lives that Matter

Recently deceased Fatima Begum, had to spend a life full of miseries while she was alive. A resident of Sawajian panchayat in Mandi block in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, this physically disabled woman spent years in a dilapidated room without any support. As long as her husband was alive, she could receive some assistance, but when he passed away in 2017, she was left to fend for herself. She struggled to make ends meet as she received no benefit from schemes meant for people with disabilities.

How Women Are Changing The Course Of Bihar Politics

Last year, the Panchayat elections in Bihar witnessed an increasing number of women contesting the elections. Altogether, the voting for the Panchayat election took place in 11 phases. While the first phase began on September 24th, 2021, the last phase was held on December 12th, 2021. As per a report, according to the commission, five to ten percent more women than men participated

A laudable initiative to end discrimination against the girl child

Ratanpur, a village in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, recently saw the planting of a fresh gooseberry sapling (amla), named as Sonam in front of a small dwelling. For the first time in the village, something was dedicated in the name of a girl child. It is not unknown that boys are given preferences in every aspect of their upbringing, be it education, food

The Increasing Human-Wildlife Conflict in Poonch

A year ago, forty-nine-year old Ghulam Nabi, as a routine, stepped out of his house to perform ablution before offering Namaz (prayer). As soon as he started walking away from his house, he was attacked by a full-grown bear. A resident of Baila village in Mandi tehsil of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir, Ghulam received critical injuries on his face and head and is yet to recover fully.

Living without a shelter

Ulfat Bi, a sexagenarian, is a resident of Mankote tehsil in the Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir. In 2019, she had applied for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). Her neighbour, Mohammed Shakeel had assisted her in submitting the required documents to reap the benefits of this scheme, but three years later, the status of the application remains unchanged.

21-year old with sign boards on Ladakh streets is helping change how residents manage waste

The Union Territory of Ladakh, with its exponential rise in tourist footfall, is grappling with the problem of waste disposal. The locals, on the other hand, get rid of their garbage by burning it. The waste produced inside their houses goes into the ‘bukhari’ or heater, also known as the ‘thab’ in the colloquial

Bihar’s Weavers Are Still Reeling Under The Impact Of Covid-19

Priyanka Devi and her family from Rampur village in Gaya district of Bihar have been weaving blankets from sheep wool for several generations now. The Covid-19 outbreak and its subsequent lockdown, however, has made it difficult to sustain this age-old occupation. “Due to lockdown, we had a hard time selling our blankets.

Rural Women from Jharkhand Benefit Through Lemon Grass Cultivation

Rural women from nondescript villages in Jharkhand’s Dumka district are treading on a new, self-reliant path by growing lemongrass along with traditional crops like wheat, paddy, pulses and oilseed. As part of a project called Jharkhand Opportunities for Harnessing Rural Growth (JOHAR) implemented by the Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS)

Life in the Human- Wildlife Conflict Zone

In July 2021, Ghulam Nabi, 49, like any other day, went out of his house to perform ablution before offering Namaz (prayer). As he moved a few steps, a full-grown bear attacked him. Ghulam, a resident of the remote Baila village in Mandi tehsil of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir, received such serious injuries to his face and head that even a year later, he has not fully recovered.

21-YO With Sign Boards on Ladakh Streets Is Helping Change How Residents Manage Waste

The Union Territory of Ladakh, with its exponential rise in tourist footfall, is grappling with the problem of waste disposal. The locals, on the other hand, get rid of their garbage by burning it. The waste produced inside their houses goes into the ‘bukhari’ or heater, also known as the ‘thab’ in the colloquial Ladakhi language.

No Treatment for Rural Poor — A Tale of J&K’s Kishtwari Rural Areas

The lack of proper healthcare infrastructure – centres, doctors and paramedical staff in several remote villages in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir has made lives of residents of this hilly region difficult. Left with no option, they are forced to travel 200-250 km all the way to Jammu, even for basic treatment.

Silence of the looms

Priyanka Devi and her family — from Rampur village in Gaya district of Bihar — have been weaving blankets from sheep wool for several generations. The Covid-19 outbreak and its subsequent lockdown, however, has made it difficult to sustain this age-old occupation.

Lemongrass proves an income-booster for rural women

As part of a project called Jharkhand Opportunities for Harnessing Rural Growth (JOHAR) implemented by the Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS), women from four blocks – Dumka, Shikaripara, Masalia and Ramgarh – are being encouraged to cultivate medicinal plants. In these locks, 1200 elderly women are cultivating lemongrass as their primary source of income.

Long way home

In 2019, Ulfat Bi, a resident of Mankote tehsil in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, applied for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). Earlier known as Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), it was revamped as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) with effect from 2016-2017

Ajmer Girls are Rewriting the Rules of Patriarchy through Football

A group of adolescent girls from rural Rajasthan are moving the goalposts against patriarchy. In our world, where dreams and aspirations of young girls are often limited due to absence of resources, this group of girls has come together to fight the system and create

Lack of Awareness on Menstrual Hygiene among Gujjar-Bakarwal Community

Last year, in collaboration with Sakriya Charitable Trust, a Bengaluru-based organisation, I organised an awareness camp on menstrual hygiene at Sawani High School in a remote area of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir.

A hospital too far

The lack of proper healthcare infrastructure — centres, doctors and paramedical staff — in several remote villages in the Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir has made the lives of residents of this hilly region difficult. Left with no option, they are forced to travel 200-250  km

Lacking Awareness on Menstrual Hygiene

Last year, in collaboration with Sakriya Charitable Trust, a Bengaluru-based organisation, I organised an awareness camp on menstrual hygiene at Sawani High School in a remote area of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir.

Rewriting the Rules of Patriarchy Through Football

group of adolescent girls from rural Rajasthan are moving the goalposts against patriarchy. In our world, where the dreams and aspirations of young girls are often limited, these girls fight the system together, creating a space for their goals. Even with opportunities

Politics of Gender

Last year, the panchayat elections in Bihar witnessed an increase in the number of women contesting the elections. The voting for the panchayat election took place in 11 phases. While the first phase began on September 24, the last one was held on December 12. As per a report

Airwaves To The Rescue

“Who on Earth will marry you and how are we going to arrange for a groom for you? This is what I hear all the time from my parents and relatives,” said Madhu (name changed). Madhu is from a village in backward Mewat region of Haryana and is constantly taunted, harassed and discriminated

Take a Pause – Plan for Sustainable Tourism

Poonch, the border district of Jammu and Kashmir, is slowly gaining popularity as a tourist destination. Known to some for its pristine beauty, this place is endowed with natural resources. The tourism department has been continuously promoting several

Factors behind decreasing fertility rate in Jammu and Kashmir

Ruqaya Jan, a resident of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district, had married when she was thirty-six. In India, where girls are forced to marry as a child, Ruqaya’s decision to focus on her career was a tough one. With less opportunities in the valley, she had to migrate to Delhi.

Infertility on the rise

Ruqaya Jan, a resident of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district, had married when she was thirty-six. In India, where girls are forced to marry as a child, Ruqaya’s decision to focus on her career was a tough one. With less opportunities in the valley, she had to migrate to Delhi.