Dear Reader,

The Foundation’s grantees bring you stories of not just COVID-19’s victims, but of those who become unwitting casualties of the State’s response to the management of the pandemic.

The Lede’s report on the brutal custodial killings in Tamilnadu, which began as a trivial matter of enforcing the lockdown, quickly degenerated into a tragedy set in motion by the entrenched power structure, rampant casteism and judicial infirmity.

The Caravan brings you the story of how government apathy on procuring a critical drug has patients turning to Bangladesh and Down To Earth reports why unscientific claims of miracle cures for the virus are being given a helping hand by pliant institutions.

Sunil Rajshekhar

For a collection of previous issues, click here.

Three Cops In Sathankulam Leave A Trail Of Violence & Casteism In One Year

The police in India have been brutal in enforcing lockdowns in different parts of the country. Enforcement of lockdown rules in one such case in Tamilnadu triggered two horrific custodial deaths which have grabbed national attention. Through a detailed ground report, The Lede lays out how caste, corruption, lack of accountability and dysfunctional courts played a role in the killings of Jeyaraj and Benicks in Sathankulam town in Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu.

Read Here

COVID-19: Scrambling for unavailable Remdesivir, desperate patients in India turned to Bangladesh

All through June, frantic coronavirus patients have had a horrible realisation - India did not have a single vial of Remdesivir - one of the experimental drugs holding promise as an antidote for COVID-19. The Caravan tracks the journey of a patient in New Delhi whose family ran from pillar to post to get hold of the drug until, in desperation, they turned to the only available source – Bangladesh!

Read Here

Many links missing in Patanjali’s claims of COVID-19 drugs

Two drugs marketed by Pantanjali Ayurved as a potential cure for COVID-19 were barred from being promoted by the Union Ministry of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH). This came a few hours after the company claimed that the drugs could defeat the Coronavirus “100 per cent” in most cases. Down To Earth found that the trials were only a pilot study and that Patanjali and the regulators have a lot to answer for.

Read Here

COVID-19 and the big pharma mess

Tamil Nadu in India had ordered 0.4 million rapid testing kits from China after a sudden spurt in COVID-19 cases. The consignment was to reach the state on April 9, but the US likely incentivised the Chinese manufacturers and the kits were diverted to its shores. Down To Earth asserts that the pandemic has exposed the very weak global pharmaceutical supply chain that puts profit before public health.

Read Here

NCDC moves from frontline to sidelines in India's epidemic response

Even as states have begun testing more people for COVID-19, tracing - a critical step in tackling the spread of the pandemic, has lagged. The Ken explains how an overstretched mandate, chronic underfunding and understaffing, and lack of the spirit of cooperative federalism, have severely hurt the National Centre for Disease Control’s ability to prevent a pandemic in India.

Read Here

More from the grantees
Migrant Women Workers on The Road: Largely Invisible and Already Forgotten
The media narrative on the migrant exodus from the cities largely focused on the men and their struggles. Feminism in India highlights the invisible presence of migrant women on the road.
Ordering the Information Disorder
Takshashila Institution discusses how social media platforms have responded to the spread of misinformation related to COVID-19. They analyse a paper on how the information disorder will impact the relationship between states, platforms and societies.
Mitigating malnutrition
The nationwide lockdown disrupted supply chains, making it tougher for people in remote locations to procure rations. India Development Review’s piece discusses the role that anganwadis can play in making sure children stay nourished.
‘Not All COVID-19 Patients Need Antivirals. New Drugs For Restricted Use At Physicians’ Discretion’
IndiaSpend speaks to experts to understand how two antiviral medications, that have received marketing approvals for emergency use, could impact the fight against COVID-19.
Jeyaraj-Bennix Custodial Deaths: Questions About Lapses Of Magistrate In Ordering Remand
Live Law finds various lapses on part of the magistrate, in the custodial deaths of Jeyaraj and Bennix, in Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu. The magistrate ordered their remand overlooking the fact that the father-son duo had no criminal antecedents and the offence was relatively minor.
छतरपुर में मजदूरी के लिए घंटों खड़े रहते, नहीं लग रहा काम
Daily wagers are struggling to survive as they are unable to find work despite the lockdown being lifted in Chattarpur, Uttar Pradesh. Khabar Lahariya reports.
Fifty Days of Lockdown in India: A View from Two Villages in Tamil Nadu
EPW highlights the plight of the villagers of Tiruppur district of Tamil Nadu, consequent to the lockdown, which is India’s largest knitwear manufacturing and export hub.
Home remedies by Ayurved Parameshwar Arora: Are they effective in curing coronavirus?
Many videos of medical practitioners promoting unscientific cures for the Coronavirus have gone viral. The remedies advocated by one Parameshwar Arora is one such instance. Alt News investigates and debunks the claims.
Independent & Public-Spirited Media Foundation
4/6-1, 1st Floor Millers Road High Grounds Bangalore560052 Landmark :- Opp Vikram Hospital