Dear Reader,

In this week’s newsletter, we bring you the epic journey of three reporters, from two of our grantees, who walked and cycled over 500-kms across Uttar Pradesh to report on the struggles of the migrants and the lives of people in the lockdown.

The grantees also tell stories of Mumbai’s struggle in containing the pandemic, detection of new symptoms of COVID-19 and the tale of four daughters who broke their gullak to pay for the last rites of their mother. They also tell us why there is a silver lining in India’s ballooning COVID-19 infection numbers. Read on.

For a collection of previous issues, click here.

Corona Cyclips: Live from Uttar Pradesh

Asiaville's Sruthin Lal and Dibyaudh Das are on a gruelling and epic 500-km bicycle ride from Delhi to Lucknow to report on the migrant’s progress and the facts on the ground during the COVID-19 pandemic. They not only found the migrants but also innumerable untold stories. Of wrestling akharas during COVID-19, citizens along the migrant’s progress spontaneously coming out to help, the critical role being played by ASHA workers, and even a group of migrants walking all the way to West Bengal! All beamed live on the pages of Asiaville every day.

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पथ का साथी: विवेक मिश्रा के साथ

Down To Earth’s Vivek Mishra travels over 500-kms with the migrants to bring you their stories from the ground. Starting from Ghazipur on the Delhi border on May 16, he walks along with the migrants through Hapur, Brijghat, Saharanpur and ends his journey at Lakhimpur in Uttar Pradesh on 21st May. In-step with the labourers and small-wage earners fleeing the cities, he also chronicles their tale of human distress. He also reports that the places that the migrants are seeking comfort, their villages and homes, promises to be no heaven. With no avenues for work, and very inadequate MGNREGA, they are on the cusp of moving from the proverbial frying pan to the fire.

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Bursting the Balloon: Making Sense of COVID-19 Figures

India is now one of the countries most affected by the pandemic. The exponential rise in infections has alarmed both citizens and governments. However, The Bastion goes beyond absolute numbers to highlight a few emerging silver linings. In a deep-dive analysis of the data, the piece reveals some positives about the situation in India - the consistent rise in the percentage of people who are recovering and the slowing rate of mortality.

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Assam: Is online schooling only for the economically privileged?

Online learning, during the lockdown, is not a level playing field. While the students from relatively well-off segments have been able to leverage it, the poorer students are left behind. Eastmojo speaks to students from different sections to highlight this inequitable access to education. This story also tells us why online learning might not be able to entirely replace the physical classroom.

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Ongoing Crisis May Push Adolescent Girls Into Early Marriage Or Work

The lockdown has not impacted everyone equally. Adolescent girls are more vulnerable than other members of the family - from doing with smaller portions of food, being pulled out of school, forced into child labour, sexually abused or pushed into early marriages – they face a host of issues. IndiaSpend brings you an account of what adolescent girls are facing from Tamilnadu and Uttar Pradesh.

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More from the grantees
Connecting the disconnected
Schools across India have remained closed for months. Families with the means, have been able to help their children learn through digital tools. But, this leaves out poor families who may not have access to these tools. India Development Review’s piece looks at how EdTech can be made more accessible.
Intervention Using Tech: Solutions for Tackling COVID-19
The staff at the Takshashila Institute discuss how different technology tools can help tackle COVID-19 through their research paper. They have come up with a “viability rating” for apps to understand whether different tools help in pandemic management.
Migrants Crisis: SC Wakes Up Finally. Thanks To HCs & Public Criticism By Ex-Judges & Lawyers
While the Supreme Court has now taken cognisance of the plight of the migrants, until recently the Apex court continued to believe the executive’s version of ‘all is well’ in the middle of a pandemic. Amidst the humanitarian crisis, it was actually the High Courts that stayed true to the role of acting as a check on the executive, argues Live Law.
Romanticising Poverty: The Story Of Jyoti Kumari, Who Cycled Back Home
The story of Jyoti Kumari who cycled over 1,200 kms back home, with her injured father, is the talk of the media, with even Ivanka Trump, US President’s daughter, weighing-in. However, Feminism In India argues that while Jyoti’s feat is a tale of courage the reaction to her effort constitutes the romanticising of poverty and suffering.
कोरोना काल में राजनीति, देखिये राजनीति रस राय
As the Centre continues to give assurances on arranging free transportation for the migrants to return home, the reality on the ground is quite different. Khabar Lahariya reports.
गुल्लक तोड़ बेटियों ने ख़रीदा कफन, मां को दिया कंधा और मुखाग्नि, लॉकडाउन में मज़दूर पिता गुजरात में है फंसा
Janjwar reports on the story of four daughters who broke their gullak (piggy bank) to pay for the last rites of their mother, while their father, a casual labourer, was stuck in Gujarat due to the lockdown.
#OperationHashtag: How a Hindutva FB Group Pushes Politically Divisive Topics on Twitter
The Wire breaks a story of a “8000-member Hindutva group” who lead an organised attempt on Facebook to push their agenda and help manufacture polarised debates.
Fact-check: Did Rajasthan govt halt buses transporting students to UP for Rs 19 lakh fuel dues?
Alt News fact-checks BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra’s claim that the Rajasthan government made the government of Uttar Pradesh pay Rs 19 lakhs before allowing buses with students from UP to leave. The piece unearths the facts regarding how the two states collaborated to bring students safely back home.
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