Post Tagged with: "COVID Response Watch"

Bhimanna Jadhav. Photo courtsey- Bhimanna Jadhav

Sundari players struggle as Covid takes the music out of Indian weddings

Bhopal: Sundari, a wind-instrument is held in high regard among musicians of Maharashtra, as the younger sister of the better-known Shehnai. But sadly, the Sundari-organists in Solapur, are still reeling from the consequences of the pandemic trying out odd jobs to make ends meet after COVID-19 took a toll on their livelihood. “I tried to become an auto-driver a few[Read More…]

by 26/09/2021 0 comments COVID Response Watch
“We Shall Overcome”: How the youth of Darjeeling responded during COVID-19

“We Shall Overcome”: How the youth of Darjeeling responded during COVID-19

On May 4th of 2021, as the second wave of  COVID-19 raged in the hills of Darjeeling, a group of youth came up with an initiative called “We Shall Overcome” to lead their community in the battle against the pandemic. COVID-19 had scorched the Darjeeling hills creating panic among the people, especially rural areas of the hilly district where medical[Read More…]

by 23/09/2021 1 comment COVID Response Watch
Ajay Rattan from Niun village in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh has transformed the way he grows and markets his crops since the pandemic struck (Picture credit - Raohit Prashar)

Confronted by pandemic, this farmer ditched chemicals, took to WhatsApp

Shimla: When restrictions were imposed last year to contain the coronavirus, Ajay Rattan (38) faced the same troubles other farmers did. To begin with, fertilisers and pesticides were not available. As markets were shut, he did not know where to sell his produce. Having run out of options, Rattan, who is from Niun village in Bilaspur district of Himachal, used[Read More…]

by 21/09/2021 0 comments 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 0 comments COVID Response Watch
RSS grows in West Bengal, but no match for Didi’s outreach during Covid

RSS grows in West Bengal, but no match for Didi’s outreach during Covid

The recent victory of the BJP in 70 plus seats in the assembly, while emerging as the main opposition, and its stupendous and surprising gain of 19 seats in the last Lok Sabha elections in 2019, have been attributed to the effective grassroots mobilization of the RSS in both the electoral and non-electoral arena in the state. It is believed[Read More…]

by 17/09/2021 0 comments COVID Response Watch
Suicides, drug addiction on rise in MP due to Covid induced job losses

Suicides, drug addiction on rise in MP due to Covid induced job losses

“I am unable to face hunger, future, illness, fee debt, house rent and unemployment” said the four  page suicide note. On the night of 27 August 2021 Ravi Thackeray*, an engineer in Bhopal’s Sahara township, aided by his wife Ranjana*, slit the throats of their young son Chirag* and daughter Gunjan* with stone cutters. Soon after, the couple consumed poison[Read More…]

by 14/09/2021 0 comments COVID Response Watch
Atrocities on women rise in Rajasthan during Covid pandemic

Atrocities on women rise in Rajasthan during Covid pandemic

The Covid pandemic has adversely affected every section of society in some way or the other in India. The biggest impact, in social and economic terms, however seems to have been on women, for whom the pandemic period has been a nightmare of sorts. Crimes against women have increased significantly as per the monthly crime reports of Rajasthan Police. From[Read More…]

by 10/09/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Trump’s Taj Mahal tour guide and others out of work since COVID lockdown

Trump’s Taj Mahal tour guide and others out of work since COVID lockdown

In late February last year Nitin Singh, a tourist guide at the famous Taj Mahal in Agra was on top of the world. He had been entrusted with the prestigious task of showing US President Donald Trump the Mughal monument to love during his tour of India as part of the ‘Namaste Trump’ event organised by the Modi government. He[Read More…]

by 09/09/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
What Ails the 100 Days Work Guarantee Scheme?  Part II

What Ails the 100 Days Work Guarantee Scheme?  Part II

by T.Venkat & Mathivanan Series introduction: For the past year and half, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, or colloquially called the ‘100 days employment scheme’ has been in great demand in rural Tamil Nadu. While it had already proved its value as an anti-poverty measure across rural India, its popularity has only multiplied during the economic depression[Read More…]

by 08/09/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The leaky lifeboat of the ‘100 days work scheme’

The leaky lifeboat of the ‘100 days work scheme’

T Venkat and Mathivanan Series introduction: For the past year and half, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, or colloquially called the ‘100 days employment scheme’ has been in great demand in rural Tamil Nadu. While it had already proved its value as an anti-poverty measure across rural India, its popularity has only multiplied during the economic depression[Read More…]

by 05/09/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid forces artists in Jaipur’s sculpting and blue pottery industry to switch jobs 

Covid forces artists in Jaipur’s sculpting and blue pottery industry to switch jobs 

The Covid pandemic has made life difficult for 67-year-old Shyam Soni, a sculptor by profession and a resident of Jaipur’s Shastri Nagar. With hardly any work coming in,  Soni is struggling hard to make a living for the last 18 months. His son 44-year-old Rahul Soni who was also into sculpting has already left the profession and joined his friend[Read More…]

by 03/09/2021 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
A radio show in progrss at the Radio Surabhi station (Picture sourced byTazeen Qureshy)

In Odisha, community radio connects Adivasis with COVID-19 information

Bhubaneswar: As the sun rises over the horizon at the nondescript and pristine Chappar village in Odisha’s Koraput district, the radio comes on. For the past year, the community radio station ‘Dhimsa’ has become the Adivasi population’s primary source of information related to COVID-19, providing regular updates on government guidelines and safety protocols. The first programme begins at 6 am[Read More…]

by 31/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Voices from the Covid Battlefield – Episode Six

Voices from the Covid Battlefield – Episode Six

In this series of interviews Covid Response Watch brings you the voices of doctors, health workers, social activists and others, working at the grassroots, speaking about the multiple impacts of the Covid pandemic on the lives of ordinary Indian citizens. Some aspects of the Covid disaster are new and unprecedented but many of them are also a continuation of the[Read More…]

by 30/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Between Vaccine and the Ventilator

Between Vaccine and the Ventilator

“I am planning to get my Covid vaccine shot this week” I told a very dear German friend of mine the other day over the phone. “No! Don’t do that!” came the immediate response. “Why?” I asked. “They will inject nanobots into your bloodstream!” he said, with all sincerity and genuine concern for my well-being. I immediately realized I was[Read More…]

by 28/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Voices from the Covid Battlefield –  Episode Five

Voices from the Covid Battlefield –  Episode Five

In this series of interviews Covid Response Watch brings you the voices of doctors, health workers, social activists and others, working ats the grassroots, speaking about the multiple impacts of the Covid pandemic on the lives of ordinary Indian citizens. Some aspects of the Covid disaster are new and unprecedented but many of them are also a continuation of the[Read More…]

by 27/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Bangla Sanskriti Manch: Spreading solidarity in Covid times

Bangla Sanskriti Manch: Spreading solidarity in Covid times

It’s a beautiful new beginning on the day of Rakhi across some villages and small towns in several districts of Bengal. Resurrecting a tradition started by Rabindranath Tagore, volunteers of the Bangla Sanskriti Manch have organized intimate get-togethers with locals. Everyone is tying rakhi on everyone’s hands, and there is a smile on every face. Here, it is a festival[Read More…]

by 27/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Right to protest curbed in MP under guise of Covid

Right to protest curbed in MP under guise of Covid

On August 18 as members of the Movement against Unemployment hit the streets of the Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal they were brutally caned by the police as they tried to move towards the Chief Minister’s residence in a bid to gherao it. Cases were also filed against many of the protestors, who were demanding jobs and the filling up of vacant[Read More…]

by 26/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
A day in the life of an ASHA worker in Uttar Pradesh

A day in the life of an ASHA worker in Uttar Pradesh

“We are working very hard as frontline workers since the first wave of Covid-19 started. But we have neither got the recognition we deserved nor the money for extra work.” The lament of Anju, an ASHA worker for the last four years in Phulpur tehsil near Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh represents the sentiments of a bulk of the state’s over 1.5[Read More…]

by 25/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
A nation starved: Could ‘New India’ witness a famine?

A nation starved: Could ‘New India’ witness a famine?

Covid lockdown and the Catastrophe of Hunger in India – Part Three The economic fallout of the Covid-19 lockdowns has created the worst humanitarian crisis in recent history. Numerous surveys have revealed the sheer gravity of this unfolding catastrophe in India and the world. Its starkest symptom is mass starvation, which is once again stalking the land.  In this important[Read More…]

by 24/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The Covid Lockdowns and the Catastrophe of Hunger in India – Part Two

The Covid Lockdowns and the Catastrophe of Hunger in India – Part Two

The economic fallout of the Covid-19 lockdowns has created the worst humanitarian crisis in recent history. Numerous surveys have revealed the sheer gravity of this unfolding catastrophe in India and the world. Its starkest symptom is mass starvation, which is once again stalking the land.  In this important series of articles for Covid Response Watch researcher and journalist, Sajai Jose[Read More…]

by 22/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The Covid Lockdowns and the Catastrophe of Hunger in India – Part One

The Covid Lockdowns and the Catastrophe of Hunger in India – Part One

The economic fallout of the Covid-19 lockdowns has created the worst humanitarian crisis in recent history. Numerous surveys have revealed the sheer gravity of this unfolding catastrophe in India and the world. Its starkest symptom is mass starvation, which is once again stalking the land.  In this important series of articles for Covid Response Watch researcher and journalist, Sajai Jose[Read More…]

by 21/08/2021 1 comment COVID Response Watch
Covid provokes a ‘fee war’ between schools and parents in Rajasthan

Covid provokes a ‘fee war’ between schools and parents in Rajasthan

For the third time, in the last 18 months, Meha Saxena, studying at a premier private school in Jaipur was removed from her class WhatsApp group by the admin, who also happens to be the class teacher. The reason: her parents were unable to pay her school fees on time. Her father, who was a private employee lost his job[Read More…]

by 18/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
hops around Basukinath Dham remain shuttered (Picture credit - Rahul Singh)

Cancellation of religious pilgrimages due to Covid threatens thousands of livelihoods

Locals estimate that the employment of almost 50,000 people has been affected in Jharkhand’s Deoghar area alone, owing to cancellations of the Kanwar Yatra and Shravani Mela amidst COVID-19. Bihar: 35-year-old Amit Kumar Saha and his brother Rohit Kumar run a pooja shop in Sultanganj town in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district. The family, which lives right behind the shop, has been[Read More…]

by 17/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
‘No investigation, no vaccination!’ MP villagers leverage Covid to fight corruption

‘No investigation, no vaccination!’ MP villagers leverage Covid to fight corruption

In the midst of the gloom caused by the Covid pandemic there is a uniquely inspiring story from Madhya Pradesh. It is about how a group of villagers smartly leveraged the ongoing vaccination drive to win their long running battle against corruption in a prestigious government scheme. The story starts in the pre-Covid period, when the villagers of Dularia gram[Read More…]

by 15/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
‘Red Volunteers’ shine amidst Covid crisis in West Bengal

‘Red Volunteers’ shine amidst Covid crisis in West Bengal

The Covid pandemic has ushered in a massive ray of hope on the ground for the Left in West Bengal, thanks to the emergence of the youthful Red Volunteers responding to the emergency and crisis situation in Kolkata and across remote parts of the state. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) may have scored zero in the 2021 assembly and[Read More…]

by 13/08/2021 1 comment COVID Response Watch
Pandemic precipitates mental health issues in Kashmir

Pandemic precipitates mental health issues in Kashmir

Srinagar: Seven years ago, 45-year-old Yasmeen* witnessed the death of her brother, who was caught in a cross-fire between militants and army personnel in Kulgam, 67 km from Srinagar. For years, she was traumatised by the shrieks and the sight of him dying in a pool of blood. She was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and dissociative disorder. “She[Read More…]

by 12/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
ASHA workers form backbone of Kerala’s Covid response

ASHA workers form backbone of Kerala’s Covid response

Since Covid-19 hit India early last year the million strong accredited social health activists or ASHA workers have been at the forefront of the public health response around the country. Just like their name ‘Asha’ implies they have brought hope to people, in both rural and urban areas, offering valuable medical advice and support. On a routine basis, the tasks[Read More…]

by 11/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
“Impractical, immoral, illegal”: Kerala’s draconian Covid rules trigger outrage

“Impractical, immoral, illegal”: Kerala’s draconian Covid rules trigger outrage

Kerala, once celebrated as a model state for its effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and which had only eased its second state-wide lockdown nearly a month ago, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. On August 3rd, fresh Covid-19 cases in the state surged to 23,676, the highest single-day count recorded by any state in[Read More…]

by 07/08/2021 1 comment COVID Response Watch
Covid pushes families in MP into debt as economic crisis deepens

Covid pushes families in MP into debt as economic crisis deepens

Bhopal: The second wave of Covid-19 has hit the people of Madhya Pradesh hard, with thousands losing their lives. The misery has not stopped though for millions of citizens in the state who now find themselves neck-deep in debt due to expenses borne during the pandemic as well as loss of jobs and income. The deepening economic crisis has devastated[Read More…]

by 07/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Fears, stigma, lack of representation deter transgenders from getting vaccines

Fears, stigma, lack of representation deter transgenders from getting vaccines

Bhopal: While much of India is rushing to get vaccinated for Covid-19, there are still many people from the transgender and kinnar or hijra communities in the country who are lagging behind due to lack of awareness and counselling. Myths, fears and social stigma have also left the community wary of vaccination. And even when they do seek the vaccine,[Read More…]

by 05/08/2021 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
Patients wait for their turn to meet doctors at a recent mental health camp in Rowmari village, Chirang district, Assam (Picture courtesy of Ant)

Rural Assam’s mental health delivery model proves useful in pandemic

Guwahati:  With lockdown restrictions lifting, 40-year-old Joydeep Das*, a vegetable vendor from Assam’s Chirang district, has reopened his stall. His wife Kalpana* is glad that things are returning to normal and, more importantly, that her husband is “stable”. In 2005, Joydeep was abducted by a militant group in the neighbouring Kokrajhar district. His captors released him after a few hours[Read More…]

by 04/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Dalit, Adivasi children in Kerala hit hard by Covid

Dalit, Adivasi children in Kerala hit hard by Covid

In June last year Devika, a student of class 9 in Malappuram district of Kerala, committed suicide as she could not access online lessons on the first day of the academic year, for want of a functioning television set at home. The note she left for her parents simply said, “I am leaving”. The incident sent shockwaves through Kerala, a[Read More…]

by 02/08/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
In rural Rajasthan, Dalit and Adivasi girls fight child marriages

In rural Rajasthan, Dalit and Adivasi girls fight child marriages

Jaipur: Last year, as the Covid-19 pandemic raged across the world, 20-year-old Vineeta Meena’s dream of becoming a police officer seemed all but lost. Meena, a resident of Gokalpur village in Sapotra Block of Karauli district in Rajasthan was suddenly at home trying to thwart the repeated attempts of her parents to marry her off. “In March 2020, owing to[Read More…]

by 30/07/2021 1 comment COVID Response Watch
Members of Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee helping sex workers, transgenders and those in need of food supplies in this pandemic (Sourced by Purnima Sah)

Pandemic pushes transgender community in rural Bengal to brink of starvation

Kolkata: The 26 transgender people of a Cooch Behar village, West Bengal had their last wholesome meal before the first lockdown. For the past 15 years, they have been staying in a rented one-room-kitchen house, perched in the middle of potato and paddy fields of Bairagi Hatt hamlet in Mathabhanga block. But for the first time ever, they have been[Read More…]

by 29/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Vaccination among women 11% lower than in men in Madhya Pradesh

Vaccination among women 11% lower than in men in Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal: “I don’t want to take the vaccine as I have read on social media that I will not be able to bear a child,” said Rekha (name changed on request). The 22 year old, is a resident of Bhopal, the state capital of Madhya Pradesh, who fears that she will have grave side effects after vaccination that will render[Read More…]

by 27/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Voices from the Covid Battlefield – Episode Four

Voices from the Covid Battlefield – Episode Four

In this series of interviews, Covid Response Watch brings you the voices of doctors, health workers, social activists and others, working at the grassroots, speaking about the multiple impacts of the Covid pandemic on the lives of ordinary Indian citizens. In this episode we speak to Dr Punyabrata Gun, joint-convener of the West Bengal Doctors Forum that has played a[Read More…]

by 24/07/2021 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 Indo-Nepal border near Panitanki market has been shut for the past 14 months (Picture credit Roshan Gupta)

Small traders suffer as COVID-19 shuts borders with China, Nepal

Businessmen in the border towns of West Bengal and Sikkim struggle to survive, repay loans, as restrictions on movement of goods between neighbouring countries close markets. Siliguri: The closure of India’s borders with Nepal and China owing to the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a large number of traders to shut shop, as they forego their only source of income. Unable[Read More…]

by 22/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Taxing times for India’s cooperative federalism

Taxing times for India’s cooperative federalism

Far from bringing out the best in people and institutions, a crisis can bring out the worst too. That is precisely what seems to have happened, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, to the concept of ‘cooperative federalism’ between the central and state governments, claimed as one of his key policies by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Since the beginning[Read More…]

by 21/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The farmer couple, Dhanush Sahu and his wife Sona Bai, who committed suicide in Rajnandgaon (Picture sourced by Avdhesh Mallick)

Pandemic-driven bankruptcy fuels farmer suicides in Chhattisgarh

With the lockdown scuttling markets and slowing down trade and demand, farmers are letting their produce rot in the fields. They are drowning in debt and unable to plan their next harvest.   Raipur: On June 5, 2021, Dhanush Sahu (58) and his wife Sona Bai (54) of Singhola village in Rajnandgaon district in Chhattisgarh hung themselves to death. “My[Read More…]

by 19/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Voices from the Covid Battlefield – Episode III

Voices from the Covid Battlefield – Episode III

In this series of interviews Covid Response Watch brings you the voices of doctors, health workers, social activists and others, working at the grassroots, speaking about the multiple impacts of the Covid pandemic on the lives of ordinary Indian citizens. Here we talk to Satinath Sarangi, who has been working among the survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster, the[Read More…]

by 15/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Ram Narayan Singh Maravi and his wife Indu Bai Maravi selling vegetables in Bhopal

Tribal artists forced to sell vegetables, and paintings on the street during pandemic

Bhopal: Selling vegetables on Bhopal’s Depot Chouraha with his wife, Gond artist Ram Narayan Singh Maravi always carries a tote bag full of paintings with his brushes and colours, at all times. His heart skips a beat every time a customer turns up for his vegetables but  also asks to buy one of his paintings. “I carry this bag with[Read More…]

by 14/07/2021 1 comment COVID Response Watch
A day in a Kolkata Covid-19 ward

A day in a Kolkata Covid-19 ward

“Dadu, Dadu…Get up Dadu. Eat something. Take your medicines. Drink a glass of water. Wake up Dadu. Oh Dadu…” ‘Dadu’ means grandfather in Bengali. When she utters the word, with deep sweetness and warmth, and when she repeats it again and again, cajoling the patient to wake up, it resurrects a stream of childhood memories and a deep sense of[Read More…]

by 12/07/2021 1 comment COVID Response Watch
Students fight vaccine hesitancy in Rajasthan villages

Students fight vaccine hesitancy in Rajasthan villages

Jaipur: When the vaccination drive started in the country earlier this year there was worryingly low turnout initially in Rajasthan, India’s largest state. So much so that Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had personally appealed to people to come forward and take the jab. Vaccination rates have improved considerably now after interconnected groups of students from the rural areas of[Read More…]

by 11/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Families of dead Covid Warriors struggle in MP

Families of dead Covid Warriors struggle in MP

“Don’t you worry I will have to do a survey of Kovid-19 in Noorani Nagar, Green Park. It’s a question of people’s lives. By the grace of Allah everything will be fine, I will not die”. Sameer Khan breaks down as he recalls his wife Farah Qazi’s words of assurance about her own safety while working on a government survey[Read More…]

by 10/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Cartoon by K.P.Sasi

Cartoon by K.P.Sasi

by 08/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Anand checking the oxygen of a woman working in the field

Where governments fail, youth respond to the Covid crisis

At the peak of the recent second wave of Covid infections while other parts of rural Uttar Pradesh struggled to survive the pandemic, there was no panic among residents in Deorai village of Kerakat block of Jaunpur district. This was thanks to the volunteer work done by a group of young activists, backed by celebrity poets and artists, to ensure[Read More…]

by 08/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
From Rumsfeld, the ‘ruthless little bastard’, to Remdesivir

From Rumsfeld, the ‘ruthless little bastard’, to Remdesivir

What connects the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 to Remdesivir, the blockbuster medicine widely used during the ongoing Covid pandemic? First is the fact that both are based on dubious claims. The US invasion was carried out on the false pretext of Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction, while Remdesivir has been aggressively marketed as a drug the[Read More…]

by 07/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
From state to civil society, how Bengal responded to Covid

From state to civil society, how Bengal responded to Covid

During the peak of the second surge of the deadly killer virus in summer this year, parts of urban India were trapped in daily despair —  amidst a non-stop spiral of dying, death and desperation. The mighty Indian State led by a ‘powerful’ Hindutva icon had literally withered away, and the rich and the poor were on their own, left[Read More…]

by 06/07/2021 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
Cartoon by K.P. Sasi

Cartoon by K.P. Sasi

by 04/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The dilapidated entrance to the PHC in Solra, Haryana (Picture credit Gravit Bhirani)

Pandemic or not, this PHC in Solra is barely functional

In this rural health centre in Haryana, the staff shortage is so bad a security guard had to collect Covid samples. Solra: Primary health centres (PHC) are considered the backbone of public healthcare in rural India and they cater to nearly 50,000 people in some places like Solra village in Haryana’s Palwal district. The problems faced by this facility are[Read More…]

by 03/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Bhopal relives gas disaster days during Covid wave

Bhopal relives gas disaster days during Covid wave

Hundreds have died. Thousands more are dogged by respiratory illness and other diseases. The long term impact on their health is still unknown. They have spent a fortune on medical treatment while losing jobs and incomes. They are deeply upset at the lack of state support to get over the crisis. This is a description of the woes of residents[Read More…]

by 02/07/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid testing camp in Goasol village (Picture courtesy Rahul Singh)

Village chiefs endorse vaccines in Dumka’s Adivasi belt

The district administration roped in village chiefs, self-help women’s groups, doctors and other local influencers to alleviate fear, misconceptions in Masalia Block.   Dumka: Rubaya Kisku (60), a senior citizen from the Santhal Adivasi community, appeared content after getting his COVID-19 jab at a vaccination centre in Masalia Block of Jharkhand. His daughter-in-law, Turki Murmu, who had accompanied him, said[Read More…]

by 29/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Voices from the Covid Battlefield – Episode Two

Voices from the Covid Battlefield – Episode Two

In this series of interviews Covid Response Watch brings you the voices of doctors, health workers, social activists and others, working at the grassroots, speaking about the multiple impacts of the Covid pandemic on the lives of ordinary Indian citizens. Some aspects of the Covid disaster are new and unprecedented but many of them are also a continuation of the[Read More…]

by 28/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Courtesy: Dominic Xavier of Rediff.com.

A Second Wave of India’s Emergency

Why should a country in the grip of a deadly wave of Covid-19, with people dying all around, remember the Emergency, a nationwide suspension of democracy, that happened almost half a century ago? One simple but somewhat trite answer is, those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it. A follow up is ‘Oops! We learned nothing from[Read More…]

by 27/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid rocks India’s federal structure, amidst calls for reform

Covid rocks India’s federal structure, amidst calls for reform

On 2 June 2021, Odisha Chief Minister Navin Patnaik wrote a letter to all chief ministers urging them to “unite and form a consensus that the Centre should procure Covid vaccines and distribute them free to the States.” With this rallying call, Navin Patnaik, waded into the controversy between the central and state governments over who should foot the bill[Read More…]

by 26/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Sundarbans: Two Cyclones and a Pandemic

Sundarbans: Two Cyclones and a Pandemic

Most parts of the Indian sub-continent are so highly populated and poor that the negative impact of even one large natural disaster could linger on for generations. Sundarbans, tucked between the Bay of Bengal coast of the Indian State of West Bengal and neighboring Bangladesh, has had three disasters in quick succession over the last one year. Apart from the[Read More…]

by 25/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
COVID-19 relief efforts by Aagaz Federation (Picture credit JP Maithani)

Uttarakhand villages suffer as state delays Covid relief by NGOs

Pauri: When the second wave of COVID-19 gripped Kui village in Pokhra Block of Pauri district, Uttarakhand, it unleashed paranoia among the villagers. “Most of the locals had fever, cough, cold and loose motions. Yet, they refrained from getting tested, fearing that if they turned out to be positive, the health department officials would take them to the hospital. They[Read More…]

by 23/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Cartoon by K.P. Sasi

Cartoon by K.P. Sasi

by 23/06/2021 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
Picture courtesy Roshan Gupta

Migrant women labourers hit by ban on sand mining

During lockdown, the ban on sand mining in the Matigara block of Siliguri in West Bengal has left over 2000 labourers struggling to make ends meet. Siliguri: In the Matigara block of Siliguri, West Bengal, over 2000 labourers who are solely dependent on the sand lifting business along the Balasun river, believe if COVID-19 won’t kill them, hunger definitely will.[Read More…]

by 20/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Voices from the Covid Battlefield  – Episode One

Voices from the Covid Battlefield  – Episode One

In this series of interviews, Covid Response Watch brings you the voices of doctors, health workers, social activists and others, working at the grassroots, speaking about the multiple impacts of the Covid pandemic on the lives of ordinary Indian citizens. Some aspects of the Covid disaster are new and unprecedented but many of them are also a continuation of the[Read More…]

by 18/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Gudiya (name changed) at her house, eating plain rice form a plate, sharing it with her sisters- Photo Courtsey - Sachin Kumar Jain

After Covid, a pandemic of hunger looms large in MP

The lockdown-induced loss of livelihoods has left many vulnerable villagers in Madhya Pradesh unable to feed their families even two square meals a day.   Bhopal: Four-year-old Gudiya* (name changed) smiles shyly as she eats salted rice from a plate that she shares with her two sisters. The three girls from Birhulia village in Umaria, Madhya Pradesh haven’t eaten dal[Read More…]

by 17/06/2021 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
The story behind the ‘Kerala Model’ of Covid control  – Part Two

The story behind the ‘Kerala Model’ of Covid control  – Part Two

Amidst India’s unfolding Covid disaster, the southern Indian state of Kerala has been lauded for its effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in controlling mortality. What are the factors that help explain Kerala’s record? This two-part analysis attempts to unravel the secrets of Kerala’s impressive performance against Covid, based on extensive interviews with key officials involved. This is the[Read More…]

by 15/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The story behind the ‘Kerala Model’ of Covid control  – Part One

The story behind the ‘Kerala Model’ of Covid control  – Part One

Amidst India’s unfolding Covid disaster, the southern Indian state of Kerala has been lauded for its effective response to the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in controllsing mortality. As of June 2, Kerala, despite having the third highest cumulative case count in the country (9,60,000), had the second lowest death rate (.36%) with 3,508 fatalities. In contrast, the state of Delhi, home[Read More…]

by 14/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid-induced online education hurts poor families

Covid-induced online education hurts poor families

Written by B.Sivaraman & Kumudini Pati Online classes have become the main mode of learning for millions of school students across India due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with its repeated lockdowns and social distancing measures. The shift however is proving to be extremely painful for families in small towns and rural areas for many reasons, especially high costs of purchasing[Read More…]

by 11/06/2021 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
Cartoon by K.P. Sasi

Cartoon by K.P. Sasi

K.P Sasi is a film-maker, Cartoonist, writer and activist GET COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWSLETTER STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX  

by 09/06/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid sinks Tamil Nadu rural workers into debt

Covid sinks Tamil Nadu rural workers into debt

Chennai: As I complete my long discussion with Muthukumar, he politely asks me if he can ask me a question. “Please do” I say and he asks “Sir, I had mortgaged my wife’s jewels with a private lender only recently, now I have no job .Will they give me any waiver for I cannot pay the dues?”. His question comes[Read More…]

by 06/06/2021 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
When Cow Dung Meets Coronavirus

When Cow Dung Meets Coronavirus

 “Cow dung, cow urine didn’t work. Groundless argument. Tomorrow I will eat fish”. In mid-May this year, this simple Facebook post about the futility of bovine waste as a cure for Covid-19, was enough to get Kishorechandra Wangkhem, a journalist from Imphal, Manipur arrested for ‘sedition’ . The post upset members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party as it came[Read More…]

Dead teachers don’t count in UP

Dead teachers don’t count in UP

When the New York Times recently claimed that the official Covid-19 figures in India grossly understate the true scale of the pandemic in the country the Indian government went ballistic. Based on an analysis, in consultation with over a dozen experts, the NYT put the death toll due to Covid-19 in India at over 5 times the official numbers – making it[Read More…]

by 28/05/2021 1 comment COVID Response Watch
Cartoon: PM Cares or Hot Air?

Cartoon: PM Cares or Hot Air?

K. P Sasi is a film-maker, cartoonist, writer and an activist GET COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWSLETTER STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX  

by 25/05/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Four tales of life and death in Covid times

Four tales of life and death in Covid times

Allahabad: “Theek hai yaar. Koi baat nahin![i] Don’t worry. I will make some alternative arrangement”. Nihal Mishra was putting on a brave, courteous face while getting blunt refusals from three of his friends in Delhi, whom he had requested for a place to stay. He was going to Delhi to get his wife admitted at the All India Institute of[Read More…]

by 23/05/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Caste, Class and India’s Covid Catastrophe

Caste, Class and India’s Covid Catastrophe

Covid-19 patients dying on the streets gasping for oxygen. Hundreds of wailing, desperate folks searching for hospital beds to access treatment. Even the dead denied dignified funerals, their bodies dumped unceremoniously in the rivers of India. Much has been written about the reasons for the Indian government’s abysmal failure to prepare for the devastating surge in Covid-19 cases in India[Read More…]

by 21/05/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch, Editor's Picks
Contagion and our Constitution – Pandemic and Preamble

Contagion and our Constitution – Pandemic and Preamble

The architect of our constitution felt that it is workable, flexible and strong enough to hold the country together both in peace and war time. If in recent times we have Covid-warriors and Covid war-rooms that mean we are indeed at war. The Preamble indicates the basic structure of the Indian constitution which cannot be changed in any case or[Read More…]

by 19/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
When death floats down the Ganga

When death floats down the Ganga

Allahabad: The recent images of bloating human bodies floating on the Ganga, with crows and dogs picking on the carcasses have shocked the nation and made headlines around the world. Reports of burial of hundreds of dead bodies in riverside sand outside towns in Uttar Pradesh like Unnao and Kanpur have also surfaced. It is clear that most of these[Read More…]

by 17/05/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch, Editor's Picks
Covid tragedy unfolds in Jharkhand

Covid tragedy unfolds in Jharkhand

Dumka, Jharkhand: ‘I am completely alone’, says Asha worker Jayshree Marandi sadly.  ‘He would have helped me in the care and education of the children, but Covid-19 snatched him from me.’ Jayshree Marandi is talking about her husband, whom the pandemic swallowed. Jayshree remembers how he used to take her from village-to-village while he carried out his work. “ I[Read More…]

by 16/05/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Coming of Spring

Coming of Spring

In times of doubt and despair, remind yourself of a line from Pablo Neruda: “You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep Spring from coming”. The government has done everything to cut all communications. The roads have been blocked; trenches have been dug to prevent tractors from entering the city; beds of sharp nails have been laid out[Read More…]

by 14/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
The Pandemic: Global Death Over 3.34M, India Reports Over 343,000 New Cases

The Pandemic: Global Death Over 3.34M, India Reports Over 343,000 New Cases

The global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has topped 3.34 million and over 160.8 million cases of the infection have been detected, according to Baltimore, Maryland’s Johns Hopkins University (JHU). The U.S., India and Brazil are the top three countries in terms of the number of registered coronavirus infections, while the largest number of COVID-19-related deaths has been observed[Read More…]

by 14/05/2021 1 comment World
RSS’ Positivity

RSS’ Positivity

No one is malicious and mean enough to believe that Modi has knowingly caused the death of lacs and disease to millions. He has done his best to prevent them but failed. He failed because his priorities were wrong and he lacked far-sightedness. He took no step in time to prevent the infected to enter the country and spread the[Read More…]

by 14/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Courtesy: Dominic Xavier of Rediff.com.

Political Economy Of Modi Government’s Vaccination Policy

Modi on April 19 announced “liberalised vaccine pricing” policy. “Private vaccination providers shall transparently declare their self-set vaccination price.” This is part-2 of a two-part article, dealing with Politics And Economics of the Vaccine policy. Covid-19 Vaccines: Politics And Economics Of The IPR Waiver Ploy –Part 1 was published on May 11: https://countercurrents.org/2021/05/covid-19-vaccines-politics-and-economics-of-the-ipr-waiver-ploy/ ***                            *** The Essence of Vaccine Policy[Read More…]

by 13/05/2021 2 comments India
Illustration by DOMINIC XAVIER / Rediff.com

Election Commission And Its Role As Covid Superspreader

The Madras HC reminded the Election Commission  that it was the “the most irresponsible institution” and even said its officials may be booked under murder charges…Causing death by negligence or recklessness by refusing to see the killer virus is murder strictly as per the definition in IPC. Please read Sections 299 and 300 of Indian Penal Code which is working[Read More…]

by 12/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India
Covid-19 Vaccines: Politics And Economics Of The IPR Waiver Ploy

Covid-19 Vaccines: Politics And Economics Of The IPR Waiver Ploy

US announcement to discuss IPR relaxation came as Modi regime, a QUAD ally, was gasping for political breath after election setbacks, and an oxygen crisis in India. In a sudden change of heart, US announced, towards the end of  April 2021, that it may relent on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) restrictions and may lift the ban on export of raw materials[Read More…]

by 11/05/2021 Comments are Disabled World
Are we heading towards the doom of a democracy or the herald of a new dawn?

Are we heading towards the doom of a democracy or the herald of a new dawn?

Both the Supreme Court and several High courts have upheld the view, time and again, that getting a quality public health service facility is a basic human right of every citizen. Despite of it, during this pandemic, the number of deaths is hiking in major cities of the country due to the non-availability of Oxygen; owing to this, the crematoriums[Read More…]

by 08/05/2021 Comments are Disabled India