India

India Steps Up Citizen Activism to Protect Women

Last month, Delhi Police launched a unique initiative to check spiralling crimes against women in the city, also known dubiously as the "rape capital" of India. It formed a squad of plainclothes officers called "police mitras" (friends of the police) -- comprising farmers, homemakers and former Army men -- to assist them in the prevention and detection of crime and maintenance of law and order.

Debate Roils India Over Family Planning Method

The Indian government's decision to make injectable contraceptives available to the public for free under the national family planning programme (FPP) has stirred debate about women's choices in the world's largest democracy and second most populous country.

The Perils of Writing about Toilets in India

Journalist Stella Paul was midway through an interview about toilets when she found herself, and the women she was speaking to, under attack from four angry men.


Water Bodies Central to Urban Flood Planning

“The rain was our nemesis as well as our saviour,” says Kanniappan, recalling the first week of December 2015 when Chennai was flooded.

India and China, a New Era of Strategic Partners?

Despite bilateral dissonances and an unresolved boundary issue, India and China -- two of the world's most ancient civilisations -- are engaged in vigorous cooperation at various levels. The Asian neighbours' relationship has also focussed global attention in recent years on Asia's demographically dominant, major developing economies engaged in common concerns of poverty alleviation and national development.

Migrant Labour Fuels Tensions in Mauritius

They come from Bangladesh, China, India and Madagascar, mainly to run the machines in the textile industry here. But they do all kinds of other jobs too, from masons to bakers, house cleaners and gardeners.

India’s New Maternity Benefits Act Criticised as Elitist

The passage of the landmark Maternity Benefits Act 1961 by the Indian Parliament, which mandates 26 weeks of paid leave for mothers as against the existing 12, has generated more heartburn than hurrahs due to its skewed nature.

Indian Jails Slammed as Purgatory for the Poor

A media frenzy ensued in New Delhi last month when a popular television channel highlighted the horrific living conditions of women inmates in ward number six of Tihar Jail, South Asia's largest prison.

“Non-lethal” Pellet Guns Maim Hundreds in Kashmiri Protests

Hospitals in Kashmir’s summer capital are packed to capacity these days, their wards overflowing with pellet gun victims injured during violent clashes with government forces.

Chronic Hunger Lingers in the Midst of Plenty

In a fraught global economic environment, exacerbated by climate change and shrinking resources, ensuring food and nutrition security is a daunting challenge for many nations. India, Asia's third largest economy and the world's second most populous nation after China with 1.3 billion people, is no exception.

Climate Migrants Lead Mass Migration to India’s Cities

Deepa Kumari, a 36-year-old farmer from Pithoragarh district in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, lives in a one-room tenement in south Delhi's Mongolpuri slum with her three children. Fleeing devastating floods which killed her husband last year, the widow landed up in the national capital city last week after selling off her farm and two cows at cut-rate prices.

​Indian Climate Activist Ponders the ‘Unthinkable’

For acclaimed Indian novelist and essayist Amitav Ghosh, the future of humankind as global warming impact events spread worldwide looks grim. So grim that the 60-year-old pamphleteer has titled his new book of three climate-related essays "The Great Derangement."

BETWEEN THE LINES – Quality of journalism

When l was studying in a journalism school abroad, l was told by my professor that a news story should be like a skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to be attractive. Over the years, the story has assumed the shape of pontification and inevitably padded.

Yoga Unites the UN for Sustainable Development

The word yoga means "unite" in Sanskrit, and the Indian government hopes that the ancient practice will help United Nations member states to work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Children of a Lesser God: Trafficking Soars in India

Sunita Pal, a frail 17-year-old, lies in a tiny bed in the women’s ward of New Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Her face and head swathed in bandages, with only a bruised eye and swollen lips visible, the girl recounts her ordeal to a TV channel propped up by a pillow. She talks of her employers beating her with a stick every day, depriving her of food and threatening to kill her if she dared report her misery to anybody.

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