Charkha Feature English

Rain, Snow, & Animals – Women Postmasters Brave All in Himachal’s Toughest Terrains

Raksha, a Gramin Dak Sevak posted at Sarsoo Post Office in the Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh, walks 10 to 12 kms every day — trekking on the meandering trails in the mountains to deliver mail to people residing in some of the most far-flung villages. Travelling to some of the backward villages means passing through dense jungles on foot – be it summer, winter or monsoon. During the rainy season, especially, the risks increase many fold. Poisonous insects, snakes and other animals hiding in the wild growth pose a huge danger as she walks through the forest to deliver letters.

“I have to deliver the mail and carry pension payments to people in about 15 villages that come under this post office,” says Raksha, whose designation is that of Assistant Branch Post Master (Mail Deliverer). Risky or not, she has to carry on undaunted to ensure that the mails reach their destinations on time. Despite the dangers though, Raksha enjoys her work and is committed to the job.

Shabnam, another woman Gramin Dak Sevak posted at Kolang in Mandi District, agrees that the rainy season is the worst when rills turn into brooks that are difficult to cross. “Four years ago, when I started working, it took me quite some time to adjust to the job, which meant walking for hours. With time, roads and bridges have been constructed, making it much easier to deliver mail to people in the villages that fall under my branch post office,” says Shabnam.

Against all odds

Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi while speaking at the centenary celebrations of Aligarh Muslim University said that there has been an unprecedented increase in the rate of Muslim girl education in the country. It is due to the government policies, he said, that the dropout rate of Muslim girls reduced from 70 per cent to 30 per cent in the last decades. The suggests that the government is investing steps in the right direction.

Breaking chains

Azaadi hai toh sab hai (where there is freedom there is everything),” said Rehana Begum, who along with her husband and children, was rescued from a Municipal Corporation toilet compound in 2017. Originally from Purnia in Bihar, the family moved states looking for work opportunities. “My husband and I were married without the permission from our families, so we had no place to fall back on, that is the price one pays for being a woman who dares to love.

An echo of silence

Worldwide, an estimated 12 million girls are wed every year before the age of 18. In India, as per UNICEF, 1.5 million girls get married before the legal age of 18 every year. Fortunately, the combined efforts of the respective state governments and non-government organizations engaging community level workers in remote villages are providing agency to adolescents to fulfill their dream.  In Odisha, as per the National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4), underage marriages have reduced from 37. 2 per cent to 21.3 per cent over a decade and is better than the national average of 26.8 per cent. Although, there are 16 districts where child marriage is above the state’s average percentage, but the sincere efforts are going on to control the situation here. 

An arduous journey

Pooja Mudhane, a nineteen-year-old girl from Virar — a town in Palghar district of Maharashtra — was exposed to the ugly reality of caste system when she was in Class-III. The school had announced the final exam results in which Pooja had secured top position. She was eager to show the report card to her friends but her father stopped her from doing so. He said, “Our caste, Mahar, is mentioned in your report card. You don’t have to show it to others.” Pooja asked, “Why should I hide my caste?” She didn’t understand the concept of caste system, however, she did sense the shame associated with it. “At that point, I was made to imbibe that it’s not ok to display my ‘lower caste’, it was to be concealed. But now I am trying to unlearn that belief because I am not ashamed of it.

Strengthening the Public Healthcare infrastructure in Border areas

The several questions that should bother each one of us regarding the health care services in our country, the most crucial one that we must ask ourselves is – should there be a moral obligation to make healthcare accessible to everyone as needed or it should be treated as a commodity and subjected to similar marketplace influences? In our country, where a large number of people are living a life of abject poverty and under unsafe conditions with poor access to health and hygiene services, answer to this one question will decide the road ahead. India is among the countries with the least public health spending. Between 2009-10 and 2018-19, public health expenditure as a percentage of GDP increased by only 0.16 percentage points from 1.12% to 1.28% of GDP.

She, the change

Two Indian Air Force women officers broke the glass ceiling on January 26 by becoming the first women pilots to participate in the Republic Day parade. They represent the valor of millions of women of our country who, in their respective ways, are challenging the patriarchal patterns of our society.

A long walk

Uttarakhand, which has been separated from Uttar Pradesh with the expectations of better roads, health, education, employment and livelihood, is still craving for the basic needs. Even after 20 years of establishing the state, the residents of this mountainous state are struggling for the basic necessities of life. During the outbreak of COVID, thousands of migrated youths came back to their villages for employment.

A glimmer of hope

In Odisha’s Balangir district, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGA) has given villagers hope to earn and feed their families during the pandemic. Twenty-five-year-old Jadupati Biswal, a second-year postgraduate science student at KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, now works as a daily wage labourer in Belpada block. After returning to his village due to the sudden nationwide lockdown in March, Jadupti had no option but to sit idle.

Meet Ramzan Sheikh, The Young And Empathetic Arbiter For Children’s Rights

19-year-old Ramzan Sheikh from Maharashtra is a second-year student pursuing Bachelor of Arts. Born in a lower-middle class family, Ramzan’s life has been about struggle and compromise. His father is a daily wage laborer while his mother is associated with a non-profit organization ‘Saryjani Mahila Utkarsha Sanstha’ engaged in TB control and Family Development programmes in the bastis of Bhiwandi. Having lived a life full of struggles, Ramzan is empathetic towards other young children and works towards supporting them through their challenges.

Fighting For Child Rights And For Herself, Meet Fiza Yusuf Sheikh

How do we measure merit and accomplishment? Why is the applause reserved only for the rank holders and successful students? Is academic success the only criteria of meritocracy? When you meet the 17-year-old Fiza Yusuf Sheikh from Bhiwandi you realize the unjust system of merit which is often a product of privilege. This teenager has done commendable work in her community, from stopping child marriages to persuading parents to seek immunization for their children but has failed to crack the Secondary School Certification (SSC) exam. 

A cause of concern

Did you know that Jammu and Kashmir have a very important place in power generation? Well, the estimated hydro power potential of the UTs are around 20,000 Megawatts (MW), of which about 16,475 MW have been identified. This comprises 11,283 MW in Chenab basin, 3,084 MW in Jhelum basin, 500 MW in Ravi basin and 1,608 MW in Indus basin. One can pretty much imagine how many benefits it can bring along with it. Undoubtedly, an increase in demand for power suggests growth of the economy i.e. industrialisation, modernisation and improvement in basic amenities, further creating countless opportunities for the people of the region.

Fighting For Identity

A few years ago, the residents of Mumbai were barely aware that a forest existed within the city, let alone the fact that Adivasis lived in it. One can only imagine the problem of identity that young Adivasis would face living in a city. With one part of life enveloped within forests and another amidst the chaos of a city, the Warli tribe has spent their life navigating this identity. Life of Manisha Dhine, a local Adivasi girl from this tribal community in Aarey, is a reflection of their struggles to fight for the right.

Currently a student of Mass Media, Manisha is the sole Adivasi girl in her class. She is often confronted with the notions that students from relatively urban sectors have about the Adivasi life and culture. Manisha was once asked by her professor about why an Adivasi would pursue a career in the field of mass media. She gracefully explained her motivations for choosing the field. Like this, she has to burst many myths around the tribal life. It was in 2019, when her fight for her identity took a different turn.

Jasoda – A Role Model For Girls Of Her Village

Western Rajasthan is known for its beautiful sand dunes. But harsh climate, formidable distances and water scarcity pose a lot of hardships and challenges for the people living in this part of the state.  The limitations, however, are not just limited to infrastructure deficiencies or climatic conditions alone.  There are a lot of traditional barriers as well specially when it comes to girls’ rights. 

The Osian block of Jodhpur district is no different from many other Rajasthan villages deeply steeped in old mindset.  To cultivate a change is not easy but ‘if winter comes, can spring be far behind’!  At least 13 villages of the five panchayats falling in the Osian block have started witnessing a breakthrough, thanks to an initiative launched by Save the Children in association with a local NGO the URMUL Trust.  This initiative seeks to improve ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights.

Rural women are unaware of the risk of breast cancer

Hailing from a rural area in Bihar, Kusumlata had to have her breasts removed due to breast cancer, as otherwise it posed a high risk to her life. Though she was saved, her life became more traumatic after the mastectomy. After the breasts were removed, her husband stopped caring for her, because he no longer saw his wife attractive enough.

The road not taken

Well, it wouldn’t be wrong to state that India is one of the fastest developing nations today, be it in terms of industrialisation, education, health or fashion. However, there are still certain ‘basic’ domains where the country is lagging behind. The Border Roads Organisation was established a long time ago to secure India’s borders and develop infrastructure in the remote areas. Undoubtedly, BRO has done commendable job in connecting remotest of places to the rest of the country but away from highways, there exists a world where there is no road connectivity. Villagers in these nondescript hamlets are till date deprived of access to all-weather roads. They have been migrating to other cities due to cross-border firing and shelling.

Collective Silence on Violence Against Women Rings Loud in the Kashmir Valley

On a cold December morning, the family of 65-year-old Noor was mourning the death of their 21-year-old daughter who had been abducted from a marriage party by two men in October and then raped. After the incident, she was admitted to a hospital in Srinagar where she fought for almost a month before succumbing to multiple-organ injuries.  In the last week of October, Noor’s daughter, a final year Arts student, had gone to their relatives’ house to attend the wedding of her cousin, in the Akhal hamlet in the same district. On October 31, at around 10 am, the young woman had left to collect the wedding dress of the bride. As she was returning, two men abducted her. “After they kidnapped her, they took her to a dense orchard where they raped and brutalised her,” recalls one of her relatives.

Miles to go

As an immediate response to the intensifying water crisis in the country, a unified Ministry of Jal Shakti was launched in May 2019 by the Central Government — soon after attaining power for the second term. The previously existing departments and ministries were brought under this new ministry and within a month, on July 1, the government had launched Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA), an intensive campaign aimed at making water conservation a JanAndolan (people’s movement) through asset creation and extensive communication. It focusses on five aspects — water conservation and rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies, reuse of water and recharging of structures, watershed development, and intensive afforestation. 

A ray of hope

According to reports published in different national newspapers, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is likely to announce a three trillion electricity distribution reform programme in the Union budget. As per the report, the objective is to help reduce losses and improve the efficiency of power distribution utilities. The reliability and quality of power supply will also be improved as part of the reform. This step certainly brings hope for the people residing in rural and remote areas of the country awaiting to receive power supply for decades now.

Market to the rescue

Kohiti Bai, a resident of Dhaneli village in the Naxal-affected Kanker district of Chhattisgarh, was at the mercy of quacks for her treatment of an unknown ailment. It was during a random health check-up at the Haat Bazaar (local market) Clinic at Tarandul, where she was diagnosed with high sugar levels. Hailing from a pahunch vaheen (inaccessible due to Naxal activism) village, the former sarpanch Kohiti was initially reluctant and insisted on continuing her treatment with a local quack.

Meet 16-Year-Old Zosha – A Child Rights Advocate From Mumbai

Born into the most ordinary circumstances, 16-year-old Zosha Khan’s story is full of strength and spirit. This young girl from Goregoan, Mumbai city in Maharashtra trying to make a difference by advocating for Child Rights. Her father is a salesman in a furniture shop and mother, a home maker. She has three siblings. The family finds it difficult to make ends meet with meagre salary that the father gets. But that is no deterrent to Zosha who thinks ‘will assumes more power than money’ and is herself a living example of this adage.

Limitless And Emboldened: Rutuja Raorane’s Journey Has Just Begun

In a widely acclaimed interview with the Science Times in 2011, Stephen Hawking famously advised people with disability to focus on things which their disability does not prevent them from doing. He said, “Don’t be disabled in spirit, as well as physically”.  It is a piece of profoundly powerful advice from one of the greatest thinkers ever lived. Rutuja Raorane, an 18-year-old from Kankavli, Maharashtra, India embodies this advice. This is an account of a young change-maker who has been channelling her life experiences in creating a positive impact around her. It is her story of determination and a yearning to be independent. Rutuja was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the age of 3. It is an incurable genetic disease that causes loss of muscle mass and progressive weakness. Rutuja’s parents – Deepak and Shweta Raorane, did not realize the specifics.

Break the cycle of abuse

Last week on November 25, people from across the world protested violence and abuse against women on International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women. In the context of the ongoing pandemic, a United Nations report suggests that all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic, has intensified. Several women’s rights organisations across the world are demanding their respective governments to take effective measures to safeguard young girls and women caught in the cycle of violence. Considered to be the ‘Shadow Pandemic’, growing amid the COVID-19 crisis, the UN has stated that to stop the same, global collective efforts are needed. “As COVID-19 cases continue to strain health services, essential services such as domestic violence shelters and helplines have reached capacity.  More needs to be done to prioritise addressing violence against women in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts,” highlighted the report published by the UN.

Electricity a must for Digital India

In 2018, the Indian Government had announced electrification of all inhabited villages in the country. This massive accomplishment had filled new hopes in lives of millions of people residing in the rural and remote areas. After waiting for several years, a power line had finally reached their area. After completing the first most important process of electrification, the task at hand for the Government now was to connect each household with the power line. Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, or Saubhagya aimed at achieving exactly this by ensuring electrification of all willing households in the country in rural as well as urban areas.

In November this year, villages in some of the most isolated regions of Jammu and Kashmir which were deprived of electricity since independence finally received electricity connection under the Saubaghya scheme. Now, the third step for the Government is to ensure uninterrupted electric supply. In J&K’s border district of Poonch, villagers are waiting to get continuous supply of electricity for several years now. Shendra village in Haveli tehsil of this district consists of two panchayats and is inhabited by a population of about 10,000 people. One of the prime concerns of this area is the severe shortage of power supply.

Creating a safe space

Joe Biden, the newly elected President of the USA had vowed to enact the Equality Act in his first 100 days of commencing the office. The said Act would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protection for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, federally funded programmes and jury service. In India, after decriminalising homosexuality in 2018, the legality of same-sex marriage is now being raised in our courts.

The Teenage Activist Who Uses Gandhian Methods To Fight For The Rights Of

Saloni Todkari, a class 10 student, immediately after joining her new school at Kalyan was informed by her teacher that bindi and bangles were mandatory for girl students. Saloni and her friend Rekha (name changed) who wore neither the bindi nor the bangles, failed to understand the teacher’s insistence while the rule book of the school didn’t mention it. The overzealous teacher would often reprimand them and would offer these two ‘erring’ students the accessories from her stock – only to be rejected. Their behavior was soon reported to the principal who summoned the duo and asked for an explanation for not following the dictate of the school. She attempted at brainwashing the girls into conforming to the ‘good practices’ of the school and explained how ‘bindi’ is part of our culture with proven scientific benefits but the girls were not convinced.

Instrument of progress

In 2011, Panchayat Elections were held in the then state (now a Union Territory) of Jammu and Kashmir after a long gap of 33 years. The event promised hopes to the residents of J&K who were more than eager to participate in the democratic process of electing their local leaders. But the hopes died within the next five years as the representatives of local self-government — sarpanches and panchs — felt demoralised and saddened by their experience as they demanded 73rd amendment prior to the 2016 elections. It is important to note here that the 73rd amendment of the Panchayati Raj Act that advocates decentralised planning and offers more powers to panchayats, is not applicable in J&K.  Now, a frontline organisation of elected panchayat members — The All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) — has reiterated its demand for complete empowerment of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in the Union Territory by implementing this amendment in entirety.

Bring back the rare and precious

Himachal Pradesh, the scenic Himalayan state in Northern India, is known across the world for its natural beauty, adventurous treks and fascinating cultures and traditions. The state also flaunts a rich heritage that includes a wide variety of arts and crafts that dates back to second century B.C. Over the years, while some of these art and craft forms have flourished, there are some almost on the verge of extinction.

Rain, Snow, & Animals

Raksha, a Gramin Dak Sevak posted at Sarsoo Post Office in the Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh, walks 10 to 12 kms every day — trekking on the meandering trails in the mountains to deliver mail to people residing in some of the most far-flung villages. Travelling to some of the backward villages means passing through dense jungles on foot – be it summer, winter or monsoon. During the rainy season, especially, the risks increase many fold. Poisonous insects, snakes and other animals hiding in the wild growth pose a huge danger as she walks through the forest to deliver letters.

Left out in the cold: The Chopan shepherds of Jammu & Kashmir are without identity or many rights

Around this time of the year, in October, the Chopans make their way down from high altitude pastures, with sheep that they will hand over to their respective owners. Once they do that, they will retire to a life of stillness in their little huts and wait for the summer to come around again. 

The Chopans are a nomadic community, scattered across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). They usually own no livestock of their own, but take care of sheep belonging to local farmers. It is not uncommon to see these shepherds dotted across the hilly pastures of J&K, in the summer months negotiating treacherous mountain roads to reach high flung meadows where they graze the sheep till the onset of winters. The farmers pay them to look after their sheep. 

A Permanent Route

In August last month, Jammu & Kashmir Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam shared that with the help of the centre, Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh UT administration are planning to connect all picturesque tourist resorts through a new 600 km-long highway circuit. The `8,000 crore road project will aim at connecting Gulmarg with Kargil and Drass in Ladakh making it favourable for the tourism industry in the region. The news certainly brings hopes for the residents of the two newly-announced UTs, especially the ones dependent on tourism for their livelihood. He also shared that the Jammu & Kashmir administration has intensified construction of rural roads. This statement, in particular, brought back hopes for thousands of residents of a distant village in J&K’s border district Poonch who have been waiting for a road for almost eight years now.

Disabled children struggle to study amid pandemic in Kashmir

Mohammad Saeed Bhat, a resident of South Kashmir’s Dialgam area in the newly announced Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, had enrolled his daughter, Iflah Saeed, in one of the schools in Srinagar’s Solina area meant for disabled children. After passing Class 8 examination, 15-year-old Iflah was looking forward to continuing her education. However, a week later, nationwide lockdown was imposed in the wake of global pandemic Covid-19 and all her hopes were dashed. 7 months have passed and Iflah has been sitting idle at her home in Anantnag district. Unlike other students who can study online, Iflah is hearing and speech impaired. She is the eldest among three siblings. Her 14-year-old brother Mehran Saeed, who is studying in class 8th, is also hearing and speech impaired. Only their 12-year-old sister is without any disability.

Impoverished Workers – trapped helplessly in a bitter coil

The life of migrant workers in Maharastra’s sugar plantations is hard, working logn hours with no child care support or social benifits, only to fall deeper into debt. Thousands of children of such workers are bereft of an ideal nurturing enveronment as their parents struggle to keep the famiilies afloat.

It’s 7 am on a chilly December morning. The sugercane fields of Someshwar in Pune District’s Baramati reverberate with the sound of powerful hacks. Meera Gade, her sister-in-law, Pushpa and their fellow agricultural workers have already been hard at work for three hours straight, since the crack of dawn, cutting sugarcane.

Keep the spirit alive

The law of love could be best understood and learned through little children,” believed Mahatma Gandhi who always had a special place for children in his heart. His immense belief in children has, undoubtedly, inspired generations and the values he had advocated continue to guide the young minds even today. One such young mind following the teachings of Gandhi is Maharashtra’s 16-year-old Saloni Todkari.

“Non-violence is a successful strategy. It is a tool that we use to fight for our rights such as right to education and right to healthy childhood,” believes Saloni who has been protesting against injustice using Gandhian methods since she was just 12 years old. Saloni’s journey into “activism” began when she had started attending the Baag Shala (garden school) of Maitrakul — a residential study centre for students run under the aegis of Chhatrashakti Sanstha. Maitrakul is an abode for children from the weaker sections who find it difficult to pursue school education due to challenging circumstances at home.

Including Communities for Successful Implementation of Schemes

The efficacy of any government is often measured by the successful execution of the social welfare and infrastructural schemes launched during its tenure. Money is invested and resources are utilized to conceptualize, design and implement these schemes on the ground

Ear to the ground

Farmers across several states are opposing the Centre’s agriculture-related ordinances. In Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana, protests have been staged against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection)

Leave no one behind

Vinayak Sonar is 14-year-old. Every day his friends visit his home to invite him for an evening stroll around the village — a regular ritual for this young group of boys. One day when the boys asked Vinayak to come along, something was different. His mother Chandrakala Sonar told them that he was washing utensils and will join later.

No One to Heal

Covid-19 – the global pandemic has exposed the lack of basic health care facilities not only in developing countries, but many first world countries have also faced criticism for lapses in their health services. As per a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), developed countries like the USA spends 16.9% of its GDP on healthcare (out of pocket and public) while India, on the other hand, spends only 3.6% on its total healthcare – the least among BRICS countries. Despite spending a good percentage of GDP on their healthcare, the US witnessed a nightmare.

Among the poor and marginalised women and children suffer the most

Be it the occurrence of a natural hazard or a human-induced event, it is the people belonging to the lowest strata who suffer the worst consequences. The vulnerabilities even in these disadvantaged groups are not homogenous, the challenges faced by sub-groups are also different. Women and children, for example, are the ones who suffer the most. The impact of the ongoing pandemic, COVID-19, on the lives of several women is heart-wrenching.

Need to protect education in J&K

Muhammad Ayub Kataria As the nation celebrated Teachers’ Day on September 5, teachers across the country couldn’t help but wonder how Covid-19 pandemic has changed the education scenario in the last few months. It transformed the space in which the teachers and students operated – conducting classes online became the new normal. One would believe that the struggles have been similar across states for the entire teacher.

COVID-19 exposes fissures in our education system that discriminates against rural kids

On July 29, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved a New Education Policy (NEP) that has proposed drastic changes in the school and higher education. The Union education minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal, while announcing the NEP, described it as the beginning of a new era in the field of education and said it would be uniformly implemented across all Indian schools keeping the ‘diversity’ in mind. This new education policy has come after a long gap of 34 years. India has been following the National Education Policy of 1986 until now.

Chhattisgarh fuels rural economy using cow dung; also makes vermicompost more accessible

Farmer Rati Ram Kumeti of Mungwal village in Bhanupratappur development block in Kanker district does not own any cattle. But, she’s making money by selling their dung. She’s a beneficiary of the Chhattisgarh Government’s Godhan Nyay Yojana, under which cow dung is procured from livestock rearers and converted into organic fertilizer. “After completing my farming chores, I walk around the village collecting cow dung. This way, I am able to sell about 70-80 kilogrammes (kg) a day to the committee that comes to collect it,” she said.

Marriageable age : Law reform proposals are just not enough

Geeta is 13 Living in one of Jaipur’s urban slums she attends a nearby government school. She enjoyes school but often has to skip classes to help her mother, Malti, a domestic worker, employws in several houses. Malti, a widow from Bengal’s Cooch Behar ,needs to work to bring up her three chidren – all girls.With the pandemic and fear of coronavirus infection, She now wants Geeta to droop out school and get married so that she will have one less mouth to feed.

Children have found a way to channelize their energy by participating in Covid-19 rescue and relief work

In early April a tweeter user had put up a post saying that his children have given away all their savings towards Prime Minister Care Fund. A number of children have joined hands with citizen’s groups and NGOs to reach out to the communities who had lost their livelihood due the lockdown.

Lack of Girls-only Institutes in Poonch

In June, people in a village in Rajasthan’s Jaipur were protesting the establishment of an English medium Government school as it would mean that the existing girls’ school is converted into a co-ed.The reason for the protest was the fact that the parents of girls do not feel comfortable ‘allowing’ their daughters to study with boys. Not just in rural Rajasthan but parents in even metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Surat etc.

No promises

Rampuriya, a small hamlet in Rajasthan’s southern hilly district Pratapgarh, has been able to largely escape the Coronavirus onslaught. Till last month, there were around 182 reported cases, out of which 160 had recovered while three lives were lost. Had there been cases like the rest of the country, the total lack of basic health care services in this remote region would have made it challenging for the administration to control the situation.

Walking an extra mile

As all education institutes had to be shut in the wake of Coronavirus, a programme Har Ghar Pathshala was recently launched by the Himachal Pradesh Government. For the last few months, the programme is being implemented by holding digital classes, forming WhatsApp groups

Leave no one behind

It was the third week of March. The teachers had almost completed the syllabus and the schools were busy preparing for the final exams. Computation of the average of the unit test scores of each student was being done. At that juncture, the novel Coronavirus had advanced and bared its fangs in India.

Against all odds

Barack Obama once said, “You know, we’re in a sports centre. Imagine if you have a team and you don’t let half of the team play. That makes no sense. Isn’t it?” Similarly, the communities that don’t give their daughters the same opportunities as their sons, they are most likely to lag behind.

Stories of hope and despair

Reverse migration of the workers and the distressing visuals of their hardships while returning to their villages during and after the lockdown have raised some important concerns. Be it the video of a migrant worker improvising a wooden cart and pulling his pregnant wife

Go the last mile

It is rightly said for Jammu and Kashmir that it has always been more than just a mere place. The state, now UT, breathes within its locals and visitors alike with a pulse that they can sense, a heartbeat that they can feel and an expression that they can personify.

The tough get going

Earlier this year, in April, as Asia’s largest slum reported its first Corona positive case, everyone had predicted that it might soon become one of the largest containment zones as it was already an overpopulated area.

Busting One Menstrual Myth At A Time In Rajasthan Villages

A total of 12 Gram Panchayats of Talera block in the Bundi district of Rajasthan collectively represent the Barad region, which shares its border with the Chittorgarh and Bhilwara districts in far south-west direction.

Adolescents in Rajasthan villages discuss periods and reproductive health

A collective effort by a local organisation and an international organisation has led to adolescents in villages breaking taboos by openly discussing and spreading awareness about periods, sexual and reproductive health and rights.