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Bringing spring back in the lives of India’s widows

Widows in India have lived on the margins of society for decades but the intervention of NGO Sulabh International, led by Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, has brought new hope and colour in their lives. Ramesh Menon reports on one of the first celebrations in their new-found lives.

Society Women

Confluence of hope: Converging for a better world
Ashish Kothari outlines the vision and processes of Vikalp Sangam, a movement that seeks to bring together a multitude of grassroots initiatives that are exploring alternative, inclusive and sustainable paths to human well-being.
Economy OP-ED Society Ashish Kothari Ecommentary

Give us the strength!
Tara Krishnaswamy takes a brutally honest and incisive look at Indian society to argue why far from being banned, India’s Daughter – the BBC documentary on the infamous 2012 rape and murder in a Delhi bus – should actually be made compulsory viewing for the Indian audience.
OP-ED Gender Violence Society Women

A paean to Chhattisgarh from an exiled lover
Dr Ilina Sen’s association with Chhattisgarh and her deep, empathetic understanding of its society and culture have come lyrically alive in "Inside Chhattisgarh: A Political Memoir." Freny Manecksha reviews the book.

Swachh Bharat: What are we missing?
From the time of the PM’s speech on 15 August 2014, where he announced his commitment to a ‘Swachh Bharat’, what has changed in the WASH sector in India? Himanshu Upadhyaya shares some notes taken as a delegate at the recent India WASH Summit in the capital.
Public Health Sanitation Government

Spotlighting tales of people’s resistance
The recently held Kolkata People’s Film Festival – an offshoot of the founding movement called The Cinema of Resistance – screened several powerful documentaries and feature films portraying the struggle and resistance of the marginalised and downtrodden. Shoma Chatterji reports on this festival with a difference.
Films Society

'Krisis': Can Greece inspire India?
The dramatic political transformation going on in Greece, with the victory of the leftist party SYRIZA, is worth watching closely for all those in India who hope for a just, sustainable future. Ashish Kothari deliberates upon the lessons to be learnt.
Economy Environment Government OP-ED Ecommentary

What’s ‘fashionable’ about protesting human rights violations?
A recent observation of the Supreme Court, while hearing a petition filed by a filmmaker challenging censorship of his documentary, has left human rights advocates in the country anguished and puzzled. Shoma A Chatterji explains why.
OP-ED Justice Creative

Will 2015 be a year of hope?
Will the synergies between the politics of resistance and grassroots initiatives towards reconstruction of the damages wrought by ‘development’ be reaped effectively enough in the year ahead? That is what Ashish Kothari will track in his new blog.
Environment Government Justice Poverty Ecommentary

“We don’t need toilets, give us electricity and water”
Total Sanitation Campaign, MGNREGS and other government schemes are unheard of among villagers at Dinesh Nagar, Assam who live with a perennial lack of food, pure water, and health amenities. Nilotpal Bhattacharjee wonders if they will ever find deliverance from despair.
Food Security Government Poverty

SC verdict puts the spotlight on Bangla immigrants in Assam
Should foreign immigrants in Assam enjoy Indian citizenship as outlined by the Assam Accord and endorsed by Section 6A of the Citizenship Act? Or do they pose a threat to constitutional sovereignty and integrity? Tanvi Bhatikar reports on a recent court ruling that focuses on these questions.
Government Laws ASSAM

When one man stood up against a 35-storey giant
'Quarter Number 4/11' tells the story of a factory worker’s failed struggle to retain his home in the face of forced eviction by a high-profile real estate development in the heart of Kolkata. Shoma A Chatterji traces the narrative that is a stark commentary on development trends within the country.
Economy Displacement Society Films and Books

Where the fight against extremism is far from over
The Karnataka government’s attempts to reintegrate Naxals into the mainstream through the provision of a surrender and rehabilitation package have met with only limited success. Akshatha M reports on the realities on the ground.
Law and Order Government KARNATAKA

Bringing spring back in the lives of India’s widows
Can a court order end passive violence?
In conversation with an alleged terrorist
When a tsunami is manufactured
Why the IB report is undemocratic
Killing the dead all over again
Could Modi be a development disaster?
Pragmatism over principles is the norm today: Usha Ramanathan
Tales of the excluded
Left to languish in a foreign country
Shunned by law, embraced by cinema
SC judgment: The gaps in logic
Moments with Mandela: Meeting South Africa's Gandhi
When legal redress isn't enough to protect children
Cutting sugar: The bitter reality
A childhood lost behind bars
Seeking new homes in Hyderabad
Can we have the truth, please?
In celebration of resistance
The State is snooping: Can you escape?
Kunan-Poshpora revive fight for justice
A deeper look at the Tamil student stir
Justice eludes Mumbai's homeless
Is free speech an Indian value?
Lethal injuries from 'non-lethal' weapons
Opting out of the chaos
Repeated mistakes in relief efforts
Maimed by the state, quietly
A child's trauma, the media's madness
Shroud of impunity
Dissolving the burns
One acre forward, two back
A review of the KSHRC
A death in the family
Children impacted by forced evictions
Death of an activist
Who is illegal?
"I try to hope that I will live again with Binayak in my lifetime"
Memories of protest
The battlefield of hopes
The human rights challenge
The Protocol of vested interests
They hit back, "and it felt good"
Recognising the human right to water
Nuclear Liability Bill: Who bears the brunt?
A mother's fight for justice
Ring the bell against violence
Penury and peril
A new home, but in a nala!
Human rights amidst terror
A lifetime's harvest
Equal compensation for equal loss
The futility of hope
Making ends meet
A legacy of loss
Living on the edge
Waiting, against all odds
A public, private database
Abortion law's grey zone: retarded mothers
Lalgarh: Deprived of a peace of life
Calcutta HC steps in against corporal punishment
Incest and the conspiracy of silence
Disturbed in Manipur
Livelihood crisis for Chakma, Hajong refugees
Uttarakhand Gujjars being ousted without compensation
Heavy odds, meagre resources
Life sentences: How long is enough?
Defending the right to legal aid
Wilful distortion denies salt pan owners justice
A unique land scam in MP
Baba Amte: Restless and romantic
In Orissa, NREGA is still a ray of hope
Mine today, gone tomorrow
Crippling Lok Adalats
Resettlement policy: promising start, and a let down
The POTA families of Godhra
Clear the jails first
Tales of eviction in Bengal
Nandigram, an atrocity on dalits
Villagers push for work benefits in Orissa
Not just a place to live
An entitlement with no law
No end to a shameful practice
New lease for documentaries
Caught on reality
Preparing to repeat a dammed history
Child labour ban not good enough
Women in the line of fire
Erecting a stop sign for trafficking
Death of a 10-year-old
A familiar battle at Tadadi
Ain't no cure for love
Minimised by the law
Friday at the court
Your hands, so warm
Children can't read, adults can't count
Savita's choice
Special Exploitation Zone
Kashmir 'disappearances have come down'
Presumed guilty, secretly
A 'general' need for reform
Narmada rehabilitation scam exposed
1422 executions in 10 years, many more?
The curse of manual scavenging
Persistent and tenacious struggle
Too little for the little ones
Sewers becoming death holes
The dark side of Indian homes
Young flesh in the trade
Crippling delivery to the disabled
Rehabilitation's short arm
Narmada: life, struggle and exodus
Rising waters, declining hopes
Victims have rights too
A crippled inspection panel
Resort pushes out fisher folk
Unemployment and migration
Competitive but inaccessible
Economic rights as human rights
Criminal justice system "reforms" - II
Bhopal : a new momentum
Criminal justice system "reforms"
Healthcare : Eyes on the prize
Two children, countless wrongs
Seniors await policy, action
At home, at work
Different state, same story
In the name of servitude
SC checking food crisis
We shall overcome
At long last, an extradition request
Vanishing people, vanishing livelihoods
Unsafe custody in Punjab's prisons
Missing justice
SC rules on preventing starvation deaths
The need for ethical debate
The Great Betrayal : Indian Land Reforms
Lady Courage
Small change in bonded labour

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From Aug 2013, published with support from Oorvani Foundation, a champion of public-funded media for the new India.

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