Dear Reader,

Mumbai’s Dharavi has been one of the few bright spots in India’s fightback against the pandemic. But the ‘miracle of Dharavi’ has baffled observers. What was it that led to the over-crowded shantytown escaping relatively unscathed – proactive testing, screening or sheer good fortune? Down To Earth spent six days in Dharavi to find out.

The Print reports that the alarm bells are ringing in New Delhi’s AIIMS with a spate of suicides in the last couple of months, including three doctors. And, The Caravan reports on how the almost a century-old Osmania Hospital in Hyderabad is facing demolition, just when it is needed the most.

For these and more stories from our grantees on India’s battle against COVID-19 from the ground, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Did Dharavi model work? Is it herd immunity or plain luck?

Down to Earth spent six days in Dharavi to get to the root of the ‘Dharavi model’, to know what worked and what did not; and to cover areas in the shanty town which rarely attracted the government’s and media’s attention. What it found was a confusing maze of signals with no clear answers. However, one thing was clear – it is too early to declare victory.

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KCR’s planned demolition of Osmania Hospital undermines COVID efforts, city’s heritage

The Telangana government’s proposal to demolish the almost a century-old Osmania Hospital, “the state’s largest public hospital” has raised hackles. The proposal which comes just when the pandemic is at its peak in the state has appalled both civil society and institutions engaged in heritage preservation. The Caravan reports on the controversy.

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‘We didn’t do enough’ — AIIMS faculty and students say after suicides by doctors

The Print reports that alarm bells have been ringing at the AIIMS in Delhi. India’s premier medical institution has a seen a spate of suicides, including that of three doctors. The Institute has had a history of suicides but the recent incidents, amidst the surging COVID-19 pandemic, has forced the faculty and the leadership to look inward and seek remedies, including the creation of an “enabling environment”.

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‘டெஸ்ட் எடுக்குறதுக்கு முன்னாடி கொஞ்சம் பயமாகத்தான் இருந்தது’

Chennai has been one of the hotspots of the pandemic. In a bid to stem the tide and tackle the fear of testing, some employees of the Chennai Municipal Corporation volunteered to take the COVID-19 tests to the doorsteps of the citizenry. This initiative has not only helped enable easier access to the test but has also addressed people’s fears. Asiaville reports from the ground.

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COVID-19 Impact: The Health Of Persons With Disabilities Goes Neglected & Forgotten

The struggles of persons with disabilities, especially women, have only intensified during the pandemic. With hospitals focussing on treating patients of COVID-19 or those critical, the medical needs of the differently-abled have been deprioritised. Other than the denial of access to caregivers and assistive devices, even day-to-day activities are a challenge under the restrictions imposed by the lockdown. Feminism In India analyses.

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More from the grantees
Ensuring Nutrition Amid a Pandemic
Takshashila Institute’s analysts speak with a policy expert at the World Food Programme to understand how the country can tackle issues like food security and malnutrition, which worsened during the pandemic.
Why COVID-19 Surged By 59% In Two Weeks Among Assam’s Health Workers
IndiaSpend analyses why more than 400 healthcare workers including doctors, nurses and other staff in Assam were infected by the coronavirus during a specific two-week period.
On The Road: Unraveling the Legacy of Migration from Fishing Villages Amidst COVID-19
The Bastion lays out the historical migratory patterns of Indian fishermen and how they could help inform government policies like the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana.
Lockdown से झारखंड के एक गांव को हो रहा हर महीने 10 Lakh का घाटा
Janjwar reports from the ground about Gortoli village in the Girhid district of Jharkhand where the return of the migrants from the cities has left them bereft of the income they used to send home earlier.
Explained: Yale’s Saliva-based COVID-19 Test That Promises Rapid Detection Of Coronavirus At Low Cost
Swarajya analyses how a new technique developed by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health promises a quicker, cheaper and easier testing method which could be critical in stepping up testing numbers, critical to containing the coronavirus.
कोरोनाच्या काळात रुग्णाला खाटेवर कसं नेणार?
Residents of Kishanpur village in Bhandara district of Maharashtra are restricted from accessing medical care in the pandemic because of the abysmal condition of the roads connecting them to the towns, which deteriorates further during the monsoons. Max Maharashtra reports.
Technological glitches at trial courts plaguing virtual hearings
Live Law highlights the technological challenges being faced by the trial courts in conducting virtual hearings, thereby affecting quality of the delivery of justice.
Pig farming crisis in Assam: Challenges, remedies & the way forward
As Assam deals with deadly floods, the region’s pig meat trade has been dealt the twin blows of the coronavirus and the onset of the deadly African swine fever. EastMojo reports.
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