Projects

“Mann ko kura man mai chha,” said Prem Kumari Lama, 62, in between selling lollipops to a toddler at her stall near Darjeeling’s Mirik Lake. “I’m holding my cards close to my chest.” At no cost will Prem Kumari drop any hints as to who she will be voting for in the assembly election. “Nobody…

Read more Relegated to a supporting role, will the TMC catamaran sink or sail in Darjeeling?

The news came as a surprise to Jyoti Weststrate even though she had been waiting for it for as long as she could remember. “I wasn’t expecting the Dutch government to go that far,” says Jyoti, 37, speaking from her home in Deventer in the Netherlands. On February 8, the Netherlands announced a total freeze…

Read more The story of two women, adopted by Dutch families, in search of their birth parents in India

A major humanitarian crisis unfurled in India the moment Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the sudden and strict (perhaps the strictest and harshest in the world) coronavirus lockdown in end-March. Our highways were scenes of untold miseries of the migrant workers desperate to get home, of poor mothers desperate to access healthcare and sick kids…

Read more ‘Mein Leben soll geschützt werden, während deins riskiert wird’

Karimul Haque’s house in Jalpaiguri’s Dhalabari village was a flurry of activity when two men came looking for him one sunny June morning. Haque was busy overseeing breakfast preparations for some 200 people — a new normal for his family during the pandemic. The two brothers said their mother, Gyaneshwari Rai, an asthma patient, had…

Read more Rider on a storm: How Jalpaiguri’s ‘Bike Ambulance Dada’ ferries patients from the remotest areas

A friend in the police department apologetically texted me with some “friendly” advice. “Don’t be extra active on social media over corona issues which may lead to panic and rumours. There may be legal issues over it,” he said. He wouldn’t elaborate further, but it didn’t take much to understand. A freelance journalist was arrested in Andaman…

Read more “You cannot report on anything that is not confirmed by the government,” Indian journalists report

TAMANNA NASEER, VISHAL ARORA and ANURADHA SHARMA, Contributing writers APRIL 20, 2020 20:19 JST India’s government has partially relaxed its nationwide lockdown, especially in rural areas, but farmers find themselves with no workers and severed from supply chains. (Photo by Harshita Rathore) BANGALORE/SOTAI/DARJEELING — India’s government on Monday partially relaxed its lockdown in rural areas, allowing farmers…

Read more Indian farmers fear for survival despite lockdown’s relaxation

“Earlier it (neutrality) was a cherished value. But not anymore. We cannot afford to stay neutral in the current atmosphere. I personally believe neutrality is not something we should be aspiring for right now.”–Rajagopal “When was the last time you saw such a headline?” R Rajagopal, editor of The Telegraph, asked a hall full of college…

Read more The Telegraph editor, R Rajagopal: Cannot afford to stay neutral