Articles by: Shirish Khare

Shamshad Ansari

Empty promises of employment for Bihar’s returning migrant workers

Shamshad Ansari, a resident of ‘Babu Ke Bhatkan’, a village in Siwan district in Bihar, is a matriculation pass and has been working as a driver in Saudi Arabia since 2002. The 35-year-old returned to his home in February 2020, about twenty days before the Covid lockdown in India. Was it better for him to return before the lockdown? Would[Read More…]

by 24/06/2022 0 comments COVID Response Watch
Two years after Covid lockdown the pain of Bihar’s migrant labour continues

Two years after Covid lockdown the pain of Bihar’s migrant labour continues

The entire world witnessed how lakhs of migrant workers from around India had returned to their home-state Bihar during the Covid lockdown in early 2020. Where are they after a long gap of almost two years? What are they doing now? Has a large population been forced to migrate again? Or are there some people who have stayed in the[Read More…]

by 16/06/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Despite Covid lessons India’s healthcare system remains dysfunctional

Despite Covid lessons India’s healthcare system remains dysfunctional

Has anything changed in the Indian healthcare system – in terms of facilities or quality of care – because of the traumatic experience of Covid over the last two years? Many would have expected such a big phenomenon as a global pandemic to make a big impact on many aspects of health policy, infrastructure and even public attitudes. However, on[Read More…]

by 14/05/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid-19: When will the profiteering of private hospitals be curbed?

Covid-19: When will the profiteering of private hospitals be curbed?

The first and second waves of the Covid pandemic in India saw health personnel in both government and private hospitals risking their lives to save patients, often working late hours day after day. For this, the Indian public will always remain indebted to them for their selfless service. However, the stories of Covid patients being fleeced by private hospitals that[Read More…]

by 04/05/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Food and books used to stop school dropout trend in the post-Covid period

Food and books used to stop school dropout trend in the post-Covid period

The Covid lockdowns saw thousands of children deprived of schooling across the country and even after resumption of classes many from poorer families have not returned to school. In Bihar’s Siwan district though two special initiatives are raising hope of tackling the problems of students dropping out by making school truly attractive to the children. The unique initiatives at government[Read More…]

by 22/04/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
A massive campaign is needed to dispel the misconceptions related to vaccination in remote tribal areas. Credits: Collector's Office Nandurbar, Maharashtra

Covid vaccination  fears persist in remote villages

In November last year the Indian government launched its ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ Covid-19 inoculation campaign to increase vaccination coverage nationwide. Under the campaign health workers would go door-to-door to vaccinate people eligible for the second dose and also those who have not taken the first dose. The idea was to cover all those Indians who had been left behind in earlier vaccination[Read More…]

by 20/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Maharashtra: Lakhs of doses of Covid vaccine go waste

Maharashtra: Lakhs of doses of Covid vaccine go waste

On 27 February this year, in Maharashtra, about 40 thousand doses of Covid vaccine were dumped in the garbage can. Not only this, in the next five days, a further 240,000 doses of the vaccine were wasted. The reason behind the dumping of the Covid vaccine doses on such a large scale is because of they have remained unused past[Read More…]

by 08/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Photo Credits: Nagpur Jail

Prisoners fear release from jail due to Covid

When the Maharashtra home ministry decided last year to reduce the number of prisoners in the state’s crowded prisons to reduce impact of the third wave of Covid, they were in for a surprise.  Some inmates, it seems, did not want to be released at all. According to jail officials, several prisoners who have been granted emergency parole have not[Read More…]

by 10/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Despite farmers victory against new laws, the crisis of agriculture continues

Despite farmers victory against new laws, the crisis of agriculture continues

On 15 January this year Dinesh Uike (40 years), an agricultural labourer, committed suicide by consuming poison in Dapori Khurd  village of Amravati district in Maharashtra. He was in critical condition by the time he was brought to the Amravati District Hospital and died during the treatment itself. According to his relatives Dinesh took this extreme step due to being[Read More…]

by 22/12/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Caption: Konkan fishermen on the beach. Credits: Maharashtra State Fishermen Sangharsh Samiti.

Covid, cyclone and tensions with China devastate Konkan fishermen

Fishermen on the Maharashtra’s Konkan coast are set to lose their earnings for a second consecutive year due to the global Covid pandemic. The repeated lockdowns since early 2020 have inflicted heavy losses on them due to lack of transport and plummeting prices for their catch. Despite relaxation  in the lockdowns in recent months, the fishermen have not able to[Read More…]

by 12/12/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Due to staff and financial constraints, questions are being raised about the security of the historic sites. Image: Raigad Fort. By: Shirish Khare

Covid lockdowns affect conservation of 375 heritage sites in Maharashtra

The financial crisis induced by the Covid lockdowns and closure of public gatherings has severely affected the protection and promotion of more than 375 historical forts, caves, museums and other heritage sites in Maharashtra. The Maharashtra Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, responsible for the upkeep of these sites, is working at half its staff capacity and stopped all new recruitments[Read More…]

by 24/11/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid induced economic crisis disrupts payment of alimony to divorced women

Covid induced economic crisis disrupts payment of alimony to divorced women

Even though the outbreak of the global Covid epidemic seems to be slowing down these days, its ill effects on society and families are now emerging, giving rise to new problems. One of these problems is related to divorced women. The outbreak of Corona has pushed a large number of employees, especially  those working in the private sector, into severe[Read More…]

by 07/11/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
File photos of a library in Nashik

Public libraries in Maharashtra face crisis during Covid pandemic

Of the many institutions affected by the Covid pandemic and repeated lockdowns, the case of public libraries closing down is the most saddening. In Maharashtra, such libraries were a staple part of daily life for students and residents of many towns and cities across the state in the pre-pandemic period. Today they are in dire straits due to a variety[Read More…]

by 20/09/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid leaves copper utensil artisans of Songir jobless

Covid leaves copper utensil artisans of Songir jobless

If you enter any kitchen in rural and small town India  chances are you will see these gleaming objects all around. On top of the stove, used to store drinking water, near the space for worshipping various deities, as dinner plates. These are the copper and brass utensils that have been part of Indian homes for centuries – handed down[Read More…]

by 02/09/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The leather industry of Dharavi runs the household of thousands of artisan families. (Photo Credits: Mumbai Dream Shop)

Covid takes the shine out of Dharavi’s leather industry

When the Covid pandemic struck India in early 2020 many public health experts expected Mumbai’s’ Dharavi to be one of the most affected areas in the country. Spread over 2.1 square kilometres and with a population of 1 million, Dharavi is one of the most densely packed slums in the world. A majority of the residents use community toilets, while[Read More…]

by 05/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Priority was given to old, widow and disabled persons during ration distribution. Photo: Naresh Biswas

Covid lockdown forces Adivasis in MP to go back to their roots

With no income and all life at a standstill poor families around India have struggled to put together a square meal every day  during the second wave of the Covid pandemic. With the government absent, many small voluntary and citizens groups stepped in to distribute rations consisting of cereals, pulses, oil, salt and sugar. In the Dindori district of eastern[Read More…]

by 23/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The financial situation for the circus business has gone from bad to worse due to the Covid pandemic and lockdown. (Photo Credits: Rambo Circus)

Folk entertainers struggle to survive Covid downturn

 With five kilograms of ghungroo tied to her feet Chhaya Nagjakar practices her steps to the beat of a popular song for hours every day in her small house in the town of Miraj in Sangli district of Maharashtra. The 35-year-old tamasha artiste hopes to dance once again before thousands of mesmerized spectators sometime in the future. While Chaya persists[Read More…]

by 06/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Wall Magazine / Credit: Wall Magazine Campaign

From wall magazines to micro-classrooms, Covid spurs innovative schooling

Written by Shirish Khare & B.Sivaraman The Covid-19 pandemic has wrought a severe crisis in education across India due to prolonged closure of schools and the high costs of online education. Interestingly, it has also given momentum to several ongoing and new experiments in alternative schooling, especially aimed at rural and underprivileged students. Though it is still too early to[Read More…]

by 23/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
A musical instrument artisan at work in Miraj. File photo: Shirish Khare

Miraj’s famed sitar makers go bankrupt due to Covid

  Sangli (Maharashtra): In more normal times it would have been the joyous strains of the sitar, sarod and tanpura filling the air in the historic town of Miraj in Sangli district of western Maharashtra, close to the Karnataka border. After a year of the Covid-19 pandemic, the town is now shrouded only in a melancholy silence. Repeated lockdowns have[Read More…]

by 16/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Maharashtra’s traditional wrestlers grapple with Covid impact

Maharashtra’s traditional wrestlers grapple with Covid impact

Pune (Maharashtra): For decades, the second week of March has marked the start of the popular traditional wrestling season, that attract hundreds of participants and big audiences in the villages of western Maharashtra. Held as part of travelling fairs, that also include folk theater and music performances such as tamasha and lavani,  farming communities look forward eagerly to watching the[Read More…]

by 10/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
They fear vaccines more than Covid

They fear vaccines more than Covid

Pune, Maharashtra:“People are not ready to go to the local government hospital to get treated for Corona. They think that from there the doctor will send them to the district hospital in Amravati, where there will be no treatment. They will only get sick and die. Even their dead body will be secretively disposed by the officers and family members[Read More…]

by 03/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch