Dear Reader,

Fake news and misinformation have been the scourge of our times. In a pandemic, they can have alarming consequences. The Caravan reports from the ground in Punjab on how rumours and falsehoods have affected the citizen’s attitude to the pandemic and have seriously impacted the community’s response.

The Print records the day in the life of a JEE-candidate as he battles the challenges of writing the repeatedly rescheduled ‘test of his life’ under the extraordinary conditions imposed by the lockdown.

And, Down To Earth reports on the findings of an extensive survey which reveals that the Dalits, Muslims and the tribals have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As our grantees report and analyse the COVID-19 battle, we bring you a selection. Please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Villages in Punjab boycott COVID-19 tests and hospital treatment due to fear, misinformation

The dread of the Coronavirus as a result of rumours and misinformation has led to a dangerous situation in Punjab. A spate of village panchayats have refused access to government medical teams, COVID-19 tests, quarantine, and even resisted being admitted into hospitals. Pervasive rumours of organ harvesting in government facilities, amongst other falsehoods, have resulted in health workers being attacked when they try to intervene in medical situations. The Caravan brings you the story.

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A JEE hopeful’s exam day amid pandemic — fear, anxiety, nausea and lots of sanitiser

The Print chronicles an engineering aspirant’s anxieties and struggles as he writes the repeatedly rescheduled Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) under the shadow of the COVID-19 lockdown. The story recounts the fateful day of the exam when two years of preparations come down to a few hours filled with the fear of both the exam and the Coronavirus.

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The dispensable India: Data shows how DNTs, Adivasis, Dalits, Muslims bore lockdown brunt

Dalit, Muslims and the Adivasi households have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, a study covering more than 97,000 households in 11 states across India, by 69 community-led organisations, has revealed. With limited benefits from government programmes, their access to food, education, healthcare has been severely impacted. Down To Earth reports.

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'बच्चों को पकड़ कर सो लेते हैं, चुपके चुपके रो लेते हैं - शहर लौटे मज़दूरों का संकट

Asiaville reports from the ground from Noida, Uttar Pradesh, on the precarious condition of the migrants who have returned to the cities from their towns and villages. Mostly daily-wagers, unable to find work, living in labour camps in abysmal conditions, they go through most days famished and recount how they are living through the “darkest days of (their) lives”.

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कोरोनाला रोखणारं गाव!

Manegav Bazar in Bhandara district of Maharashtra is a rarity in the state – zero COVID-19 cases. Max Maharashtra speaks to Rita Tai Sukhdev, the sarpanch of the village, to find the winning formula. What they found was a pro-active initiated disaster management committee, strict implementation of guidelines, door-to-door visits for motivation and screening by youth-volunteers and quarantine facilities at a local school for migrants returning to the villages.

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More from the grantees
Will Manipur's border town Moreh retain its Covid-free tag as it limps back to normalcy?
As Moreh, the border town in Manipur, without a single case of COVID-19, opens up, the feelings are mixed. Joy at the fact of the new freedom is tinged with anxiety that anything less than the strictest of vigilance will let the virus in. Imphal Free Press reports.
After 16 Years On UAE Streets, Yellaiah Returns Home
The Lede brings you a story about social workers who helped an ‘irregular’ immigrant return from the UAE and how his return was complicated by Covid-19 related restrictions.
Syrups to Stomach Pills: 5 Drugs Kashmir Consumed ‘Most’ in Lockdown
Kashmir Observer reports from the ground on the medicines that Kashmir depended on to keep fear and anxiety – the hallmarks of life under the pandemic – away.
Can Our Public Spaces Return to Normalcy?
Analysts at Takshashila Institution discuss how India’s public spaces will shape up post the pandemic and what the “new normal” would be.
चित्रकूट: 12 किलोमीटर दूरी तय करके राशन ला रहे लोग, कब ख़तम होगा सुविधाओं का अभाव?
Khabar Lahariya highlights the plight of the residents of Manikpur village in Chitrakoot district who have to walk or cycle close to 12-km to get basic rations during the lockdown.
ലോക്കിലായ ഹസറത് അലി ഹസന്‍ | Life On Covid Line
Dool News reports on the miserable plight of autorickshaw drivers in Kerala who are struggling to make ends meet under the lockdown.
12 Recommendations For The Inclusion Of Women With Disabilities In Covid-19 Response
Feminism in India recommends 12 guidelines to enable and facilitate the inclusion of women with disabilities in the response to COVID-19.
COVID-19 and Population Density
The density of population may not be the only criteria that determines the spread of the virus but social and living conditions as well. EPW analyses the correlation.
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