Post Tagged with: "COVID Response Watch"

How Sri Lanka’s militarized response to Covid led to the unraveling of a nation

How Sri Lanka’s militarized response to Covid led to the unraveling of a nation

Note: This is the second in a series of articles on the economic and social crisis in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of Covid-19 by journalist Tushar Dhara who was in the country to report on the events there first hand. On 18 March, 2020 – a week after the first local case of Covid-19 was reported in Sri Lanka –[Read More…]

by 04/07/2022 0 comments COVID Response Watch
Sri Lanka’s economy hits “rock bottom” as the country faces hunger, malnutrition and starvation

Sri Lanka’s economy hits “rock bottom” as the country faces hunger, malnutrition and starvation

Note: This is the first in a series of articles on the economic and social crisis in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of Covid-19 by journalist Tushar Dhara who was in the country to report on the events there first hand. As New Year’s Eve rolled in on December 31, people in Sri Lanka thought the worst was over. After[Read More…]

by 30/06/2022 0 comments COVID Response Watch
Bengal’s patachitra artists paint their way through Covid crisis

Bengal’s patachitra artists paint their way through Covid crisis

We are humans Sons of one mother One could be Hindu One could be Muslim The tribals call their god Gurung and Marung The Christians call him God The Muslims call him Allah The Hindus call him Bhagwan We are humans Sons of one mother Song of the Pata Chitrakars   His name could be Ajay or Azizul. Or, both.[Read More…]

by 27/06/2022 0 comments COVID Response Watch
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
Vignettes of Covid-induced economic misery

Vignettes of Covid-induced economic misery

“So, Durga Puja is coming, it is not even 14 weeks from now…”. “The days are so tough, we are almost forgetting the taste of fish or meat” said Mahesh, speaking while working on a paddy field, not his own. “But other delicacies are there. Buy mustard oil for 10 Rs and some dried chili, fry deep and dry, keep[Read More…]

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
Covid impact on India’s industrial sectors

Covid impact on India’s industrial sectors

The impact of the Covid pandemic on Indian companies has not been uniform across all sectors. In fact, the pandemic had come as a boon to some sectors and a bane to others. Despite some initial blips, companies in the healthcare sector and e-commerce companies have gained the most out of the pandemic period. On the other hand, companies in[Read More…]

by 08/06/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid period saw jump in unnatural tiger deaths

Covid period saw jump in unnatural tiger deaths

The impact of Covid has also affected the world of wildlife in India An especially high price during the epidemic period has been paid by tigers in the country. According to a recent report of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) 287 tigers have died since the onset of Covid in early 2020 till 31 May 2022. And tiger deaths,[Read More…]

by 05/06/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid impact on India’s corporate sector:  Part Two

Covid impact on India’s corporate sector:  Part Two

The halting recovery of the Indian economy from the Covid pandemic received an unexpected blow from the Ukraine war. India’s corporate world is now struggling to cope with this double-trouble that has become a new challenge.  In the second part of this series Covid Response Watch traces various trends in the corporate sector during the pandemic. The money kept flowing[Read More…]

by 04/06/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Corporate Sector booms while India wilts during Covid Pandemic

Corporate Sector booms while India wilts during Covid Pandemic

Covid impact on India’s corporate sector The halting recovery of the Indian economy from the Covid pandemic received an unexpected blow from the Ukraine war. India’s corporate world is now struggling to cope with this double-trouble that has become a new challenge. This two part series let traces how the Indian corporate sector[1] fared through the pandemic.  Before that, a[Read More…]

by 01/06/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid impact on India’s animals and livestock

Covid impact on India’s animals and livestock

Can animals get infected with the Covid virus? What are the chances for human-to-animal and animal-to-human transmission of the virus? Among numerous other uncertainties, these two also remained the prominent unanswered questions in the early days after the pandemic set in. There were conflicting news reports. Some fake news reports were also making the rounds. Regarding the origins of the[Read More…]

by 30/05/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Child begging on the rise after Covid pandemic

Child begging on the rise after Covid pandemic

“ My father sleeps in the house or he fights with my mother after drinking alcohol. He says that his factory has been closed during Covid. They don’t have any work. Mummy is asking them to find another job. He goes in the morning and comes in the evening. Says, he could not find a job. We sell balloons that[Read More…]

by 30/05/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid-hit Adivasis of MP under attack from communal forces

Covid-hit Adivasis of MP under attack from communal forces

In the post-Covid era, even while the deprivations and despair of the pandemic and lockdowns continue, not only Muslims and Christians, Adivasis too are being systematically attacked by the Sangh Parivar front organizations, specifically in the BJP-ruled states. The latest brutal assaults in the rural area of Seoni district  in Madhya Pradesh is a pointer to these litany of atrocities[Read More…]

by 25/05/2022 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
Forest rights violations under cover of Covid

Forest rights violations under cover of Covid

>> The young one had gone to the city to earn his livelihood and food for his poor family. The pandemic and lockdown stopped all work and all earnings. Thereby he had no option but to walk for 20 days under the scorching sun with little food and no shelter. After he reached, the villagers, fearing the spread of the[Read More…]

by 12/05/2022 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
Reincarnation of fraudulent data

Reincarnation of fraudulent data

by 01/05/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid becomes excuse to attempt eviction of Rajaji National Park forest dwellers

Covid becomes excuse to attempt eviction of Rajaji National Park forest dwellers

Close to Saharanpur in Western UP and Haridwar and Dehradun in the hill state of Uttarakhand, sprawls the dense forests of the Rajaji National Park. With elephant corridors stretching across the zigzag of the green density into the Jim Corbett National Park and a precious tiger and wildlife sanctuary near the upper regions of the Kumaon hills, the Rajaji National[Read More…]

by 24/04/2022 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 pandemic of human rights violations in Madhya Pradesh

A pandemic of human rights violations in Madhya Pradesh

In early April this year there was outrage across the country when photographs emerged of eight journalists and theatre artists stripped to their underwear in a police station in Madhya Pradesh. They had been arrested by the police in Sidhi district on 2nd April over a protest against the arrest of theatre artist Neeraj Kunder, at the behest of a[Read More…]

by 19/04/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Mahua bumper harvest brings cheer to Adivasis hit by Covid economic woes

Mahua bumper harvest brings cheer to Adivasis hit by Covid economic woes

The happiness of 65-year-old Santo Bai, an Adivasi in Madhya Pradesh,  knows no bounds. After suffering during the Covid pandemic she is now bursting with happiness because  the Mahua flower, used for making a popular, traditional brew is blooming well in the forests this time. She goes to the forest to collect Mahua flowers every morning and returns home in[Read More…]

by 17/04/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Demonetisation, GST and Covid doom India’s handloom sector

Demonetisation, GST and Covid doom India’s handloom sector

The centuries old Indian handloom industry, spread across multiple and remote geographical terrains across the country, was in serious crisis for a long time and a combination of demonetization, GST and Covid have dealt it a death blow. The tragic reality of this sector, that employs thousands of rural artisans, runs deep but its wounds have been allowed to willfully[Read More…]

by 16/04/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid leaves trail of global poverty

Covid leaves trail of global poverty

by 15/04/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Debt and bureaucracy deal death blow to MP farmers reeling from Covid impact

Debt and bureaucracy deal death blow to MP farmers reeling from Covid impact

“The farmer also wants to live, sir! But he is forced to take a loan. This is done not once, but over and over again. First, to sow the crop, one has to take a loan. Then a loan has to be taken to eliminate weeds, to apply medicines, to apply fertilizers. If the crop is ruined, then you have[Read More…]

by 11/04/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Durga sculptors of Kumartali survive the pandemic

Durga sculptors of Kumartali survive the pandemic

Amidst the maze of lanes and by-lanes, it’s an obscure alley in North Calcutta, close to the famous Sobhabazar and Sutanuti, with its incredible, inherited kaleidoscope of architecture with unique aesthetically crafted doors, balconies and windows, across the river Ganga. Ships and boats still float on the river that descends from Gaumukh and Gangotri in the Himalayas all the way[Read More…]

by 06/04/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid-induced poverty and rising power bills make an explosive combination

Covid-induced poverty and rising power bills make an explosive combination

In mid-February this year the police in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh registered a case against Kisan Gupta a resident of the city’s Vallabh Nagar slum. The case against him is an example of the rising tensions in the state due to the dire economic condition of poorer citizens in the state due to the impact of the Covid[Read More…]

by 05/04/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Pandemic Impact on Food Prices— Part Two

Pandemic Impact on Food Prices— Part Two

Agriculture is the only sector of the Indian economy that posted a positive growth of 3.4% in the pandemic year of 2020–21. But this stability in production did not reflect in agricultural prices, especially food prices. The pandemic brought about unprecedented volatility in food prices in both 2020–21 and 2021–22. Besides supply disruptions caused by the lockdowns, some other factors[Read More…]

by 03/04/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Bhil women solve village water crisis using Covid pandemic relief

Bhil women solve village water crisis using Covid pandemic relief

Since March 2020 the Covid pandemic has created great misery around the country, whether due to repeated  lockdowns or the havoc wreaked by the second wave in May last year. However, during this dark period there were also some positive stories to tell. One of them is from Danavav village, situated in the foothills of Mount Abu, in Sirohi district[Read More…]

by 01/04/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Impact of the Covid Pandemic on Food Prices in India- Part One

Impact of the Covid Pandemic on Food Prices in India- Part One

In the 3–4 months before the Covid pandemic set in early 2020,  potato prices were ruling high at around Rs.30–35 per kg in the retail markets. India’s potato farmers who had raised their rabi crop in November 2019 had high hopes of making a good income. But the unexpected lockdown declared on 24 March 2020 resulted  in a very sharp[Read More…]

by 31/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
How patients were ripped-off by private hospitals during the Covid pandemic

How patients were ripped-off by private hospitals during the Covid pandemic

SATHI, a Pune-based NGO, has brought out a compendium of 23 testimonies from patients or their kin, documenting price gouging by private hospitals in Maharashtra. The report, ‘Patients’ voices during the pandemic: Stories and analysis of rights violations and overcharging by private hospitals’, documents the fact that hospitals blatantly disregarded government price capping, and regulatory bodies seemed all to have[Read More…]

by 31/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The Ukraine war and the impending pandemic of hunger-Part One

The Ukraine war and the impending pandemic of hunger-Part One

  For the world’s vulnerable populations already reeling from one of the worst economic shocks and an unprecedented hunger and livelihoods crisis resulting from the Covid-19 lockdowns, Russia’s war in Ukraine poses an existential threat. In this two part series researcher Sajai Jose looks at the way food production across the globe is set to fall due to supply chain[Read More…]

by 30/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
‘Let them eat Amrit’: After Covid a pandemic of extreme hunger awaits India

‘Let them eat Amrit’: After Covid a pandemic of extreme hunger awaits India

The Modi government’s indifference to the plight of the poor is now pathological. The Indian government’s rhetoric about ‘Amrit Kaal,’ an era of plenty, masks a consistent denial of the fact that the country is caught in a spiralling hunger and livelihoods crisis, the worst in its independent history, and one largely created by official policies. The 2022-2023 Union Budget[Read More…]

by 25/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid-19 and Health Insurance in India – Part Two

Covid-19 and Health Insurance in India – Part Two

The Covid-19 pandemic spurred a rush in the Indian middle class to get health insurance policies. The Indian government too came up with some new health insurance instruments exclusively to address Covid care—but they remained tokenistic in nature and were nowhere near the scale of response required to tackle the health care challenges posed by the pandemic.  Health insurance in[Read More…]

by 21/03/2022 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
Covid-19 and Health Insurance in India- Part One

Covid-19 and Health Insurance in India- Part One

The Covid-19 pandemic spurred a rush in the Indian middle class to get health insurance policies. The Indian government too came up with some new health insurance instruments exclusively to address Covid care—but they remained tokenistic in nature and were nowhere near the scale of response required to tackle the health care challenges posed by the pandemic.  Health insurance in[Read More…]

by 20/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
How Covid in India became cover for rampant human rights violations

How Covid in India became cover for rampant human rights violations

Even while a draconian lockdown was underway in late March 2020, and as thousands of migrant workers and their emaciated families escaped the pandemic in a helpless long march on miscellaneous highways, hungry and thirsty and holding tattered sacks as their only belongings, and even as the upper and middle classes in the affluent zones of Noida and Delhi, or,[Read More…]

by 16/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Open school systems come to the rescue of girls forced to dropout from school due to pandemic

Open school systems come to the rescue of girls forced to dropout from school due to pandemic

In March 2020, just before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, all that 16-year-old Zubeida Ali, a student in Lalwadi village of Rajasthan’s Tonk district wanted most was to be the first in her family to pass the 10th class exam and become a teacher. Little did she know that her life goal would have to be put on pause. A[Read More…]

by 16/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Experts: No health risk for majority of people in fourth wave of pandemic

Experts: No health risk for majority of people in fourth wave of pandemic

A sense of complacency has crept in the hearts and minds of people who otherwise have been wary of contracting COVID in the last three years. People are setting out for travel, arranging and participating in social functions and, in a nutshell going about their normal lives. In the meanwhile, speculations are also rife about an impending fourth wave of COVID. Chandrakant Lahariya, vaccines, public policy and[Read More…]

by 13/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The Indian Railways and Covid – Part II

The Indian Railways and Covid – Part II

  It is the largest employer in India and eighth largest in the world. It is also the fourth longest railway network in the world sprawling out to a total length of 70,000 kms. It runs 21,000 trains and carries 23 million passengers and 3 million tonnes of freight per day. What was the multi-faceted impact of the Covid pandemic[Read More…]

by 12/03/2022 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
The Indian Railways and Covid – Part I

The Indian Railways and Covid – Part I

It is the largest employer in India and eighth largest in the world. It is also the fourth longest railway network in the world sprawling out to a total length of 70,000 kms. It runs 21,000 trains and carries 23 million passengers and 3 million tonnes of freight per day. What was the multi-faceted impact of the Covid pandemic on[Read More…]

by 06/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Rural and urban women hit hardest by Covid-induced unemployment

Rural and urban women hit hardest by Covid-induced unemployment

It is well-nigh impossible to obtain accurate information in a country where data is routinely fudged or camouflaged, be it the number of deaths due to the killer virus, or, be it the tragic index of poverty and mass unemployment. However, some figures have been trickling in from various sources, and from this scattered realm of statistics one can figure[Read More…]

by 04/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Boatmen Pushed to the Brink by Covid in UP

Boatmen Pushed to the Brink by Covid in UP

The economy of the impoverished Mallah or boatmen community living in various villages of Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh (UP) received a major jolt during Covid times. Many are stuck in a non-ending cycle of debt or have lost their precious valuables to local lenders. Majid Mallah of Imrana village told Covid Response Watch, “Covid – 19 shook us completely when markets were[Read More…]

by 01/03/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
India’s prisoners remain vulnerable to Covid

India’s prisoners remain vulnerable to Covid

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, there was initially some concern about crowding in Indian prisons. In an overpopulated, confined environment the risk of explosion of an infectious disease is always high. That is why, rights groups from several countries advocated for the decongestion of the prisons. Especially, in India, where poor health infrastructure in prisons added even more to the[Read More…]

by 27/02/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The Indian media and Covid – Part One: Locked up during Lockdown

The Indian media and Covid – Part One: Locked up during Lockdown

Note: In this series of articles senior journalist Amit Sengupta examines the role of the Indian media during the two years of the Covid pandemic. Part One: Locked up during Lockdown Even as the affluent and the middle classes were rejoicing the banging of thalis and utensils on their balconies to beat an incipient virus which had just arrived in[Read More…]

by 23/02/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Disturbing increase in child labour during Covid

Disturbing increase in child labour during Covid

There has been a steep increase in child labour in the country during the Covid pandemic period that shows severe economic distress among large sections of the population. The figures of the government itself are telling that apart from the mental, physical health of the children, this virus has forced them to work at a young age. Children have started[Read More…]

by 20/02/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Jesse helping Sneha identify the smell and touch of a flower

COVID complicates lives of those afflicted with deaf-blindness

Since it started in early 2020 the COVID pandemic has posed great challenges for many with hearing and visual impairments, particularly children. Talking with the help of hands or facial expression is the most convenient way for a person dealing  with  hearing impairment  to communicate. Even a person with visual impairment    requires support of objects and humans to move around[Read More…]

by 19/02/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Pseudoscience thrives during the Covid pandemic

Pseudoscience thrives during the Covid pandemic

Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, stirred up a series of trolls and memes on social media recently by claiming that “Corona does not spread in salt water”, during a press conference related to the Gangasagar Mela. The Gangasagar mela is an annual pilgrimage for Hindus, held every year during the makar sankranti festival, when thousands from all[Read More…]

by 17/02/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Unpaid salaries, low budget allocation plague mid-day meal scheme in UP

Unpaid salaries, low budget allocation plague mid-day meal scheme in UP

On a biting cold  day in January this year, the city of Prayagraj witnessed a day long demonstration by a group of cooks employed by the government’s Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) for school children. They were demanding their pay, withheld for over eight months at the peak of the Covid pandemic, by the Uttar Pradesh regime without giving any reasons.[Read More…]

by 14/02/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Despite major Covid impact, no long-term measures for India’s unorganized workers

Despite major Covid impact, no long-term measures for India’s unorganized workers

Since the beginning of COVID, most political parties have competed against each other in claiming how they provided relief material to those most affected by the pandemic. While the State governments and the central government announced various packages for the people political leaders were seen distributing food and medical kits among the people. In West Bengal too, Covid relief work[Read More…]

by 10/02/2022 1 comment COVID Response Watch
Gig workers get a raw deal in pandemic period

Gig workers get a raw deal in pandemic period

They are workers but without any formal “employment”. They do work but have no jobs. They might sport Zomato or Swiggy t-shirts and caps. But they are not their workers. Nor are these firms their employers. Some might own their cabs but pay a hefty commission to taxi aggregators like Ola and Uber solely because passengers hire them through these[Read More…]

by 03/02/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Incompetence turns to indifference in MP during third Covid wave

Incompetence turns to indifference in MP during third Covid wave

The first wave of Covid in India revealed that those running the government were clueless. The second was exposed their sheer incompetence. And now, during the ongoing third wave of the pandemic, it is becoming very clear that those at the top of the governance pyramid have become supremely indifferent to the plight of the public. This is at least[Read More…]

by 31/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Coimbatore auto drivers challenge Ola, Uber in midst of Covid pandemic

Coimbatore auto drivers challenge Ola, Uber in midst of Covid pandemic

In the midst of the stressful Covid pandemic autorickshaw workers in Coimbatore have come up with an innovative model for improving incomes of gig workers by forming their own cooperative. They have developed their own app and are executing gig work on their own without having to pay any commission to any corporate-backed, third-party coordinating platform. The Federation of Indian[Read More…]

by 30/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid response with Chinese characteristics

Covid response with Chinese characteristics

by 30/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
When Pandemic Becomes Endemic

When Pandemic Becomes Endemic

by 29/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Image Credits- Ye_Jinghan, Unsplash

To be in an Indian prison during Covid – Part One

As Covid raged across India over the last two years hundreds of thousands of Indian prisoners suffered the most. Under ‘permanent lockdown’ their voices remained unheard behind the walls of the prison. According to reports, almost 70 per cent prisoners in Indian prisons are undertrials. The overwhelming majority comprise Muslims, minority communities, adivasis and dalits. However, there are few reports[Read More…]

by 29/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Shankar Rawat

Helping families of child workers during Corona

Soon after the Covid-19 pandemic hit India in March 2020, the imposition of a nationwide lockdown forced millions of desperate migrant workers, deprived of income or security, to return their home across the country. However, their problems did not end even after they returned from the city to the village. After coming to the village, many of them remained unemployed.[Read More…]

by 28/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Rajasthan NGO contributes to improving vaccination rates

Rajasthan NGO contributes to improving vaccination rates

In the thick of the cold winter mist, with a woolen scarf around her face, 25 year old Anju Naik starts her day by knocking on the doors of residents of Rohina Village, situated in Phalodi Block of Jodhpur district in Rajasthan. Every day she manages to reach out to at least 10-12 households as part of a door-to-door campaign[Read More…]

by 27/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Managing Mild Omicron Covid At Home

Managing Mild Omicron Covid At Home

This infographic was prepared by https://www.indiacovidsos.org/

by 19/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Despite Covid challenges Jaipur’s Muslim women continue the art of kite making

Despite Covid challenges Jaipur’s Muslim women continue the art of kite making

Sitting inside a 4×6 feet room of her house, situated in Jaipur’s walled city, Afrooza Bano is busy carving the notches on bamboo sticks used to make kites. It’s mid-day and she has almost finished making 500 kites and is still to make 500 more. While she is strings the bamboo sticks together, her husband arranges them in a pile. Despite[Read More…]

by 15/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Notes from the Covid Lockdown…

Notes from the Covid Lockdown…

Painting of Afghan woman by Sarmistha Sarker On a sunny Covid winter day, even while people waited for the third wave to fasten its grip, the Birla Academy of Art and Culture in Kolkata hosted a brilliant show of paintings, sound, images and light show, photographs and multi-layered aesthetic installations, created during the pandemic and lockdown by a group of[Read More…]

by 13/01/2022 1 comment 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
Omicron could be less dangerous!

Omicron could be less dangerous!

 Omicron is the name given to a mutant of SARS-CoV-2 first reported in South Africa. Subsequently, several other countries, including India, have reported cases of this variant. Among those infected by this variant were a good many who had been vaccinated or had been infected by earlier Covid variants. Early data on the new variant show two trends: that there[Read More…]

by 09/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Religious leaders promote Covid vaccination in Rajasthan

Religious leaders promote Covid vaccination in Rajasthan

As 2021 ended the Government of Rajasthan made a concerted push to increase Covid vaccination rates in the state by announcing a series of disincentives. The unvaccinated it said will not be eligible for benefits under government schemes and may also have to pay fines. While this new policy was prompted by the arrival of the Omicron variant and fears[Read More…]

by 09/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Kolkata’s domestic workers were worst hit by Covid lockdowns

Kolkata’s domestic workers were worst hit by Covid lockdowns

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the working class suffered the most. And, among the working class, the worst off were those who are not even recognized as the organized working class – domestic helps. When the lockdown began in March 2020 these helps – mostly women – faced a tremendous problem. First of all, they had trouble commuting daily to the[Read More…]

by 05/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
For want of doctors, the Covid Third Wave was lost…

For want of doctors, the Covid Third Wave was lost…

When Chandu, a cloth merchant of Sant Hirdaram Nagar (old name Bairagarh) of Bhopal, got a message on his mobile phone informing him that he had been certified fully vaccinated for Covid-19 he was not very happy. The reason was that in reality he had not received even a single dose of vaccine till then. The message was a fake[Read More…]

by 04/01/2022 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
A humble TB treatment center weathers the Covid storm

A humble TB treatment center weathers the Covid storm

Almost an hour from the bustling railway station of Madhupur in Jharkhand, beyond the vast green landscape and kuccha and pucca roads, lies the small and beautiful Santhal village of Fatehpur in district Deogarh. As you descend towards the village you are greeted by the strong nocturnal fragrance of ‘Raat ki Raani’ and blooming red ‘Jaba’ flowers, next to a[Read More…]

by 29/12/2021 1 comment COVID Response Watch
Voices from the Covid Battlefield – Episode Eight

Voices from the Covid Battlefield – Episode Eight

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 29/12/2021 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
Omicron: Much sound with little light

Omicron: Much sound with little light

Origin: Unknown Crime record: Unknown Armed or unarmed: Unknown Capabilities: Unknown Motive: Unknown Category: Extremely dangerous! If that were a profile of a criminal suspect, the cop writing it would have been laughed out of his job long ago for coming to such a drastic conclusion based on zero evidence. That however is not a  police report, but the current[Read More…]

by 21/12/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Coping with Covid in Jharkhand’s magical Madhupur

Coping with Covid in Jharkhand’s magical Madhupur

In the bustling roadside market around the small, quaint and laid-back railway station of Jharkhand’s Madhupur, where locals, passenger and express trains crisscross the railway tracks towards Asansol and Burdwan to Howrah, or beyond to Patna and Delhi, no one wears masks. It’s a predictable and typical syndrome in small-town India, as if this global pandemic has never existed. With[Read More…]

by 17/12/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Rajasthan farming implement makers hit by low sales due to Covid

Rajasthan farming implement makers hit by low sales due to Covid

The ‘jheli’ is a wooden rake, popular in both rural and urban areas of Rajasthan and its neighbouring states, for its multiple uses as well as low cost. Since early 2020 though, with the arrival of the Covid pandemic, the market for this handy instrument has shrunk drastically threatening the livelihoods of hundreds of villagers in parts of Rajasthan who[Read More…]

by 16/12/2021 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
Employees struggle while IT companies see record profits during Covid

Employees struggle while IT companies see record profits during Covid

Uncertainty continues for thousands of information technology sector employees in Bangalore over when they will be able to return to their offices. Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic early last year staff of major IT companies have been working from home, which has resulted in a whole host of problems particularly for younger, entry-level employees. The fluid situation has[Read More…]

by 09/12/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Voices from the Covid Battlefield  – Episode Seven

Voices from the Covid Battlefield  – Episode Seven

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 Anup Agarwal, a physician and academic in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, who  has been[Read More…]

by 08/12/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Rajasthan’s open mines invite disaster

Rajasthan’s open mines invite disaster

  In March 2020, while activity of all kinds came to a standstill across the country due to the Covid lockdown, the impact was negligible on one industrial sector in Rajasthan – mining. After a 10 day shut down in April 2020 initially,  the state government gave permission for mining, a sign of the enormous political and economic clout of[Read More…]

by 06/12/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid hits survivors of the Bhopal Gas Disaster hardest

Covid hits survivors of the Bhopal Gas Disaster hardest

It has been 37 years since the deadly killer gas, methyl isocyanate, spread from the Union Carbide factory like a suffocating blanket of death across the old city of Bhopal, killing thousands of people on that night, and, then, slowly, over a long period of time. The disaster shocked the country and the entire world. It was then called the[Read More…]

by 02/12/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid recovery Issues will hurt Yogi regime in Uttar Pradesh polls

Covid recovery Issues will hurt Yogi regime in Uttar Pradesh polls

As the social life and businesses of people in Uttar Pradesh gradually recovers from the Covid-19 catastrophe a question on everyone’s minds is – will the pandemic influence the outcome of the oncoming assembly elections in March-April 2022. To probe this question, on behalf of the Covid Response Watch, we talked to a cross-section of people to get an idea[Read More…]

by 01/12/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Fewer camels, low prices mar Rajasthan’s Pushkar camel fair

Fewer camels, low prices mar Rajasthan’s Pushkar camel fair

Rajasthan’s over 100 years old Pushkar Mela is one of the most famous and largest camel fairs in the world. Due to the Covid pandemic though, the event has taken a big hit with both low arrivals of camels for sales and plummeting prices for the animals. “ I have been coming to Pushkar fair continuously for 10 years. This is the first[Read More…]

by 27/11/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Goa’s villagers return to fishing to survive tourism downturn

Goa’s villagers return to fishing to survive tourism downturn

It is a picture postcard scene of Goa’s big, best-selling beaches like Calangute, Anjuna and Vagator, overflowing, with Indian tourists herding together, eating and drinking, and frolicking in the sea. The flip-side of these colourful visuals is reflected in the state’s small villages and tourist beaches, especially with local and fishing communities struggling to make ends meet since the last[Read More…]

by 26/11/2021 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 becomes excuse to deny dues to MP state government employees

Covid becomes excuse to deny dues to MP state government employees

“In the first and second wave of the Covid pandemic, ministers and MLAs were sitting in their homes. They avoided common people and crowds. Had virtual meetings. Continued their rhetoric via Twitter and Facebook. Not one rupee was deducted from their salaries. Whereas, we government employees worked round the clock. We did not get time to go home, could not[Read More…]

by 24/11/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid doesn’t hesitate!

Covid doesn’t hesitate!

by 22/11/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Snowfall, political violence and Covid devastate Kashmir’s apple farmers

Snowfall, political violence and Covid devastate Kashmir’s apple farmers

Untimely snowfall, migration of workers following terror attacks and the overall political uncertainty has added to the woes of apple farmers in the Kashmir Valley, already reeling from the impact of the Covid pandemic. The untimely snow on October 23-25, has caused extensive damage caused to apple trees resulting in destruction of at least 40 percent of the fruit. The districts[Read More…]

by 12/11/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Medical interns at AIIIMS, Bhopal strike over dues from Covid duty

Medical interns at AIIIMS, Bhopal strike over dues from Covid duty

On 28 October, over a 100 interns at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal went on a day and night hunger strike. They were demanding that the hospital management pay them the Rs.1000 for every 8 hours of overtime duty promised to them at the peak of the Covid pandemic earlier this year. A promise that was never[Read More…]

by 09/11/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The human body as a synonym for Planet Earth

The human body as a synonym for Planet Earth

Note: This article is based on a presentation made on 25 October 2021 at the Congreso de Salud Socioambiental organised by the Instituto de Salud Socioambiental, Rosario, Argentina It is a very fundamental truth that many seem have forgotten in the times we live in. That, most ordinary mortals have no choice except to live with the bodies they are[Read More…]

by 08/11/2021 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
Waste workers contributions ignored during Covid crisis

Waste workers contributions ignored during Covid crisis

Waste, sanitation workers and safai karamcharis across the country have been perhaps the worst-hit community among India’s vast unorganized labour force due to the Covid pandemic and repeated lockdown. When the first wave of the pandemic arrived in the summer of 2020, they were left to their cruel fate across the big cities, as thousands of emaciated migrant workers walked[Read More…]

by 05/11/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Amidst Covid Rajasthan villagers hunt ‘witches’

Amidst Covid Rajasthan villagers hunt ‘witches’

On the 4th of October, 2021, an attempt was made to kill a woman in Bhilwara district of Rajasthan by calling her a ‘witch’. The victim is a resident of Ulela village of Jahazpur block. This is not the first incident of women being accused of being ‘witches’ and even killed in Bhilwara district, nor will it probably be the[Read More…]

by 02/11/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid adds to woes of students in turmoil-hit Kashmir

Covid adds to woes of students in turmoil-hit Kashmir

In September 2019, a month after the Abrogation of article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Bashir Yatoo , reached out to children  stuck at home in the midst  of a curfew and communication blockade. Bashir, who works as transport in-charge at the Dolphin International School in Pulwama, in south Kashmir, went around with a couple of local teachers to check[Read More…]

by 31/10/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
MP farmers in distress due to low cotton prices

MP farmers in distress due to low cotton prices

After making losses on their vegetable crops throughout the Covid period farmers in Madhya Pradesh are making big losses due to falling prices of cotton. Vegetable crops have been destroyed for two years in a row due to Covid, because the market was closed. Prices had fallen so low that paying for  wages and freight charges to the mandis was[Read More…]

by 28/10/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
The Jadavpur Commune: Students takes on Covid challenge

The Jadavpur Commune: Students takes on Covid challenge

When the COVID-19 lockdown began in West Bengal in 2020, a number of students from Jadavpur University of Kolkata came together to stand up with the people in the face of the grave crisis. The lockdown was a threat to the employment of many belonging to the underprivileged sections of society. The slum dwellers, daily wage laborers, domestic workers faced[Read More…]

by 26/10/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
An Apni Mandi in session (Picture courtesy of Raman Kant)

As pandemic brings trade to a halt, Spiti valley farmers start local markets

  Shimla: The lockdown reached the remote Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh before the Covid pandemic did. Farmers, who suddenly had no way to send their produce outside their region, found a simple solution. They began to host farmers markets called Apni Mandi (Our Market) across the valley. When the initiative earned them profits, farmers were inspired to grow food[Read More…]

by 25/10/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Phool Bai Basor and her husband make bamboo items for living in Putrichhua village of Satna 1. Photo Credit- Shuchita Jha

Covid woes of MP and UP’s bamboo basket making community

The Basor community of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are still reeling with the losses of the pandemic as it brought their business – making household items of bamboo­ – to a screeching halt. Depending upon benevolent supporters and NGOs for ration, the members of the Basor community, today have no alternative livelihood. The popularity of plastic in the last[Read More…]

by 25/10/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Covid adds to anxieties of former stateless people on Indo-Bangladesh border

Covid adds to anxieties of former stateless people on Indo-Bangladesh border

They are called ‘chitmahals’ or ‘paper palaces’. For decades, the people living in these twilight zones on the border between India and Bangladesh have been searching for citizenship, constitutional rights and a national identity. Over 15,000 people live in these enclaves on the Indian side of the border and in make-shift camps which have come up in recent times near[Read More…]

by 22/10/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Rail passengers in MP demand restoration of pre-Covid train services

Rail passengers in MP demand restoration of pre-Covid train services

With 22 million passengers every day the Indian railways is second only to China globally in terms of the number of people transported. Since the onset of the Covid pandemic in early 2020 however, hundreds of train services have been shut down and traffic plummeted with big revenue losses. While this has not made much difference to the India’s urban[Read More…]

by 20/10/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Helmets and Vaccines Save Lives

Helmets and Vaccines Save Lives

by 11/10/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Alternative vision of education springs up during Covid lockdown

Alternative vision of education springs up during Covid lockdown

On 3rd October 2021 Mamata Banerjee, the incumbent chief minister of West Bengal – with a reputation as street-fighting politician, won a by-election at Bhabanipur, to secure her chief ministerial chair. Ironically, the very next day, the West Bengal police cracked down on students holding demonstrations demanding opening of the schools and colleges in the state. Discontent has been brewing[Read More…]

by 10/10/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Pandemic adds to the woes of camel herder communities in Rajasthan

Pandemic adds to the woes of camel herder communities in Rajasthan

The ongoing Covid pandemic has affected the Raika and Rebari community in Rajasthan, known to herd camels for a livelihood for centuries. The Raika community, who are pastoralists, have been facing hardships since 2015 with the decline in the camel population and its trade but the outbreak of Covid has put them on the brink of economic disaster. The community[Read More…]

by 08/10/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Ray Talkies in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad has screened many a Bollywood blockbuster since it opened in 1952 (Picture credit - Raduman Choubey)

Covid sounds death knell to Jharkhand’s single-screen cinemas

Dhanbad: Ray Talkies in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad has screened many a Bollywood blockbuster, seeing its packed audiences ride the emotions since 1952. Its filmy fever, however, was broken by the Covid pandemic, during which the government did not allow cinemas to function. Last month, the government reallowed cinemas to open with caution. “But, only five per cent of people returned to[Read More…]

by 06/10/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Young men train for several years in order to clear the challenging physical portion of the army exam (Picture credit - Vaibhav Sanap)

Pandemic effect: Cancelled army recruitment exams shatter dreams of Nashik youth

With Indian Army recruitment exams halted for over a year and a half, several aspirants who had been preparing for years are faced with bitter disappointment at the lost opportunity to escape debt-induced poverty. Nashik: Clearing the General Duty Soldier Exam to join the Indian Army is considered an aspirational, life-changing opportunity for young men across rural Nashik. Many youngsters[Read More…]

by 01/10/2021 Comments are Disabled COVID Response Watch
Sonagachi sex workers band together to brave the Covid pandemic

Sonagachi sex workers band together to brave the Covid pandemic

 Even as the fear of the third Covid wave lingers, for the sex workers in Kolkata and other districts of Bengal, life is just about limping back to a fragmented, broken and incomplete sense of ‘normalcy’. This is but a semblance of normalcy, coming as it does after a prolonged period of hardship and difficulty. A ‘sense of normalcy’, which[Read More…]

by 28/09/2021 Comments are Disabled 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 Comments are Disabled 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 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
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 Comments are Disabled 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 Comments are Disabled 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