Dear Reader,

The hallmark of the journalism of the Foundation’s grantees is that they bring stories from the ground, deep and detailed - usually of those who are less privileged, who the system does not provide for. There has not been a let-down even in these times of the Coronavirus and the lockdown, when movement is restricted and even hazardous.

This week too our grantees report on how the pandemic and state’s apathy have accentuated the already vulnerable situation of some of the marginalised sections of our society.

EastMojo brings you the plight of the handloom weavers from Assam, DTE reports on the dire straits that the potters of Dharavi find themselves in and Max Maharashtra highlights the misery that the sex workers in Pune face.

For these ground-reported stories and more from our grantees, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

To access previous issues, click here.

COVID-19 & flood dealing a big blow to Assam's handloom weavers

The COVID lockdown and the recent floods have ensured that in Assam’s Sualkuchi the handloom weavers have faced one of the most crippling financial downturns in their history. The traditional weavers, whose creations are legendary for their unique weaves and intricate designs, have been unable to cope with the fallout. EastMojo reports that other than the economic fallout, the impact is also a “socio-cultural catastrophe”, as handloom has an overwhelming presence in the life of the people.

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Dharavi's pottery village Kumbharwada struggles to stay in business due to COVID-19

For the residents of Mumbai, festivals are incomplete without the diyas and earthen vessels sourced from Kumbharwada, more than a century old potters’ colony in Mumbai’s Dharavi. But the pandemic and lockdown have brought acute distress. With both their sales and prices halved and no relief from the government, they are on the verge of penury. DTE reports.

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बुधवार पेठेतल्या अंधाराची कहाणी

When the state of Maharashtra was facing the wrath of the pandemic, not an eye was raised in concern at the state of the sex workers in the dark lanes of Budhwarpet, a ‘red light area’ in Pune. Max Maharashtra reports from the ground on how the pandemic and lack of social support systems has added to the already mounting miseries of these sex workers.

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How firewood is helping to reconnect amid the fight against Coronavirus in Tamenglong

In Manipur’s hill district Tamenglong, as natives from different parts of the country return home and are being isolated in the quarantine centres, the local community is out in support and one of their major donations has been firewood! Firewood, Imphal Free Press (IFP) reports, is rooted in the traditions and the age-old sustainable knowledge systems of the local people, and seems to be almost unconsciously finding a connect in the community in these troubled times.

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Disease Surveillance in India: From SARS-CoV to COVID 19

Researchers and healthcare experts have been critical of the poor quality of data from India’s COVID-19 surveillance. The Bastion finds that most assessments of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, India’s frontline mechanism for disease-based data collection and information dissemination, find that it appears to have weak institutional and financial support, a chronic shortage of personnel and expertise, and a lack of statutory backing.

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More from the grantees
പെട്ടിമുടി കരിപ്പൂര്‍,ദുരന്തമുഖത്തും കേരളം മാതൃകയാകുമ്പോള്‍
Brushing aside concerns of being in a COVID-19 containment zone, it was the local residents of Kondotty and surrounding areas who reached the site of the Kozhikode plane crash in Kerala on August 07, and began the rescue efforts, Dool News reports.
Modelling, testing, sero survey, vaccine - 4 lessons India learnt from 4 months of Covid
Each month since the dawn of the pandemic has been a learning process for the institutions in charge of India’s response. The Print analyses how the country’s disease control strategy has evolved.
लॉकडाउन में पोषाहार नहीं मिला है तो रिज़ाइन कर दूंगी : आंगनबाड़ी कार्यकर्त्ता
In the Kotva Mafi village in Chitrakoot district, the mandated diet has not been distributed to pregnant women and children by the Aanganwadi workers. Khabar Lahariya investigates on the ground.
बिहार में बाढ़, बेकारी और भूख की चपेट में आई जनता सड़कों पर, लेकिन देश में चर्चा का यह कोई मुद्दा नहीं
Already reeling under the rampage of COVID-19, and now swamped by the floods, with relief reaching only 10 of the 73 lakh affected, people in Bihar have taken to the streets to protest against the utter apathy of the government. Janjwar reports.
‘Phase III Critical; COVID-19 Vaccine Not Possible Before Early 2021’
IndiaSpend speaks with medical experts to understand why a COVID-19 vaccine is unlikely to be ready before early-2021 despite the rush to speed-up trials.
Life in a containment zone
Sikkim Chronicle chronicles the personal narrative of a resident living in Budang GPU, a tiny village in West Sikkim, that was once a containment zone.
Why Online Classes Are Being Hotly Debated In TN
The Lede speaks with teachers and administrators to understand why online classes have become a contested topic in the state.
Delhi doctor’s arrest in kidney transplant racket viral with false COVID angle
Alt News fact-checks a false claim on social media that a doctor in Delhi was running an illegal kidney trading racket.
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