Dear Reader,

We all know Kashmir has had more than its fair share of discord and conflict through the years. Now, the COVID-19 lockdown has added to its miseries. The beekeepers of Kashmir are distraught, with the Coronavirus disruption ensuring that the there are no takers for one of the UT’s most benign offerings - honey, the Kashmir Observer reports.

The Ken reports on how ‘Swayam’, India’s Massive Open Online Course, which could have played a critical role in higher education, during the pandemic, is in shambles. And, Asiaville chronicles the plight of the handloom weavers in Tamil Nadu under the lockdown, palpably adrift and alone.

For this and more from our grantees, please read this 17th edition of our special newsletter.


Sunil Rajshekhar

To access previous issues, click here.

‘Lockdown Has Broken the Backbone of J&K’s Beekeeping Industry’

Kashmir constitutes one of the most important beekeeping zones in the country with an ideal climate providing pollen and nectar for most parts of the year, providing livelihood to a sizeable number of local citizens. But not this time. With the lockdown in place and the markets shut, the industry has been brought to its knees, the Kashmir Observer reports.

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Swayam’s missed opportunity to be a Covid-19 remedy for higher education

Swayam, India’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform, was slated to play a critical role in supporting institutes of higher learning. It could have provided a quality alternative for online classes in the current lockdown. Unfortunately, Swayam has come to be known for its outdated content, less than exhilarating lectures, issues in accessibility and its low quality of teaching. The Ken reports on why things have come to such a pass and calls for an urgent revamp.

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முதல்ல ஜிஎஸ்டி இப்போ கரோனா | கூலி இழக்கும் நெசவாளர்கள் | Asiaville Ground Report

The weaver community in Tamil Nadu has been one of the hardest hit during the lockdown. Earlier, they bore the brunt of inflation, the GST disruption and the general apathy on part of the government in addressing their issues. And, now the lockdown has resulted in a drastic decline in their wages. The feeling of being adrift, without any support, is palpable. Asiaville chronicles their plight.

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How Jaipur Has Kept Its Health Workers Motivated Through The Pandemic

Across the country, public hospitals mismanaged their staffing during the course of the pandemic creating extremely harsh working conditions for healthcare professionals. However, there have been a few who have been able to effectively deal with the situation. IndiaSpend highlights the case of Rajasthan University of Health Sciences which addressed operational concerns by avoiding payment delays, efficiently provided PPEs and proactively managed workloads to keep things running smoothly.

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A day in the life of: An occupational therapist

The pandemic has been tough on children without disabilities. For those with intellectual and development disabilities, it has been enormously tougher. They require need-based assistance without which they are in danger of being marginalised and excluded. India Development Review brings you a first-hand account of an occupational therapist who has used innovative ways to make sure that the therapy needs of students she works with are not compromised.

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More from the grantees
India’s mysterious diseases: What is the NCDC doing?
As the Coronavirus cases surge, Down To Earth finds that the National Centre for Disease Control is not equipped to deal with India’s disease burden and fails in the task of basic reporting.
ഓണ്‍ലൈനിലെത്താന്‍ വൈദ്യുതി വേണം; സമരവുമായി കുട്ടികള്‍
Twenty-four children are on a hunger strike to protest against lack of electricity in Kudiyetta village in Palakkad district in Kerala, as they are unable to attend online classes, Azhimukham reports.
Covid19 - Implications And Opportunities For Legal Fraternity
Live Law delves into the threats and opportunities posed by the pandemic to the legal fraternity.
115 महिलांना आत्मनिर्भर करणारी 'मास्कवाली बाई'
Max Maharashtra brings you the inspiring story of Deepika Deshmukh, in Telhara, in Maharashtra’s Akola district, who through her cooperative empowered over 115 women from marginalised communities to earn a livelihood during the lockdown.
Is Thoubal turning into a hotbed of Coronavirus?
Manipur has seen relatively fewer cases of COVID-19, with only about 881 active cases and zero deaths. However, now Thoubal district in the state is threatening to become a virus hotspot with 44 positive cases reported in a single day recently. And, the district hospital does not have enough beds to accommodate the patients. Imphal Free Press reports.
Underestimation of the COVID-19 Burden
The estimated numbers of deaths are far in excess of the numbers reported and indicate the systemic flaws in reporting deaths in the country, EPW finds.
Tribals Without Power Supply For 60 Years Worried Over Online Classes
The Lede reports on the plight of the students from a tribal community in Tamil Nadu which has not had electricity for the last 60 years and their difficulty in accessing classes which would be held online and telecast on TV channels.
AIIMS Delhi — India’s best medical college that’s home to many leaders of Covid battle
What’s common between the men and women leading India’s battle against COVID-19? – AIIMS. All of them have either studied or taught at AIIMS, New Delhi, India’s premier medical institution for many decades now. The Print reports.
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