Millions of women volunteers form India’s frontline COVID response

Vijayalakshmi Sharma rang the doorbell of an apartment in a sprawling housing complex in Noida, a satellite city of New Delhi that has been designated a COVID-19 red zone. As she waited for someone to answer the door, she tightened her dupatta, a traditional long scarf,around her head, and adjusted her surgical mask. She tapped…

‘They treat us like stray dogs’: Migrant workers flee India’s cities

Along the Barabanki highway outside Lucknow—the capital of India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh—a spring morning finds two men asleep under a tree, limbs askew. One of them lies on a worn-out black throw with colorful stripes; the other sleeps on a discarded white gunny sack, near bicycles with duffel bags attached. Another three men sleep…

Varanasi’s Secular Dream

Varanasi is still the India we knew and loved, where despite differences and grouses communities co-existed peacefully. However, we are now ruled by Hindutva fanatics, who have been targeting minorities in every possible way, from lynching to exclusion as Indian citizens in the country’s archaic National Register of Citizens, which was revived last year by…

Handwashing helps stop COVID-19. But in India, water is scarce

In the village of Kaithi, in the Bundelkhand region in north central India, there is one shared tap for every five households. Bundelkhand has suffered 13 droughts in the last two decades. Water shortage is a way of life there. And with COVID-19 now spreading rapidly, people in Kaithi and other villages face a disconcerting…

India’s New Laws Hurt Women Most of All

India’s New Laws Hurt Women Most of All On the evening of Dec. 16, 2019, a group of conservative, middle-aged Muslim women in hijabs and burqas began a peaceful sit-in at Shaheen Bagh—a Muslim-majority, working-class neighborhood in South Delhi—blocking a major road that connects the Indian capital to its suburbs. A few days earlier, on…

Bookkeeper of nature’s services

Bookkeeper of nature’s services Two little words sum up the philosophy of environment economist Pavan Sukhdev. Value nature, says this year’s winner of the prestigious Tyler Prize, often described as the “Nobel Prize for Environment”, which was announced today. The former banker’s environmental activism has been marked by transformative ideas combining economics, policy and a…

‘Nobel for environment’: India’s Pavan Sukhdev wins Tyler Prize

‘Nobel for environment’: India’s Pavan Sukhdev wins Tyler Prize Since 2008, Indian banker-turned-environmentalist Pavan Sukhdev has been warning the world about the kind of climate catastrophe currently unfolding in countries such as Brazil and Australia. On Monday, Sukhdev, 59, was awarded this year’s Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, often called the “Nobel prize for environment“, for “revolutionising how decision-makers would come…