Dear Reader,

While we celebrate the advent of the festive season, it has been no joy for makers of Golu dolls, the totems for Navratri. Asiaville reports from Puducherry on the plight of these Golu doll artisans whose sales have been hit not only by restrictions imposed by the pandemic but also by arcane protocols of GST.

In Parliament, answers to members’ questions are regarded as a sacrosanct exercise based on facts and nothing but the facts. However, Down To Earth unearths, through an RTI application, that the Union Minister for Tribal Affairs actually quoted a non-existent study purportedly done by IIT-Delhi while furnishing numbers of tribals infected by Covid.

And, The Print brings you a story of how, many employees of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) who succumbed to the Coronavirus are being denied their life insurance under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).

For a selection of the coverage of our grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Navratri 2020: TN Golu doll makers struggle amidst coronavirus pandemic

The Coronavirus has the hit the artisans in the country hard. Asiaville reports from Puducherry on how the Covid-19 lockdown has demolished the business of Golu doll makers and the complicated maze of the GST has further eroded their resources. Adding to their mounting woes are the notices which have come from the banks charging ‘interest on interest”.

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Exclusive: Did a minister cite a non-existent study in her Parliament reply

In a reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Renuka Singh Saruta, on September 17, said that “In a recent study done by IIT-Delhi, in 177 tribal-dominated districts with a population of more than 25 per cent, less than three per cent have been detected as corona positive,”. However, as Down To Earth reports that an RTI filed by its reporter finds that no such study was conducted by IIT Delhi.

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77 Mumbai civic staff died on Covid duty, but they don’t qualify for Modi govt insurance

The insurance claims of 77 employees of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) workers, who have been active partners in the fight against Covid, have been rejected under the centre’s Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY). The reason The Print reports: the casualties - lab assistants, porters and plumbers - were not in the ‘Covid ward’ and were deemed not to be in ‘direct contact’ with and caring for Covid patients.

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Jammu and Kashmir’s Open Defecation Free Status: The Ground Reality

The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, now union territory, attained 100% open-defecation free status in September 2018, well before the Swachh Bharat Mission’s (Grameen) deadline of 2nd October 2019. But the ground reality tells a different story as many women still relieve themselves out in the open. EPW delves into a micro-study that was carried out in the Bishnah block of Jammu district and analyses why there is such a contrast between claim and reality.

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ग्राऊंड रिपोर्ट: आत्महत्याग्रस्त शेतकरी कुटुंबाचे काय होते?

Max Maharashtra reports from the ground on the plight of farmer-families, who have lost their breadwinners to suicide after they were unable to bear the burden of debts. In a moving account, Tara Rathod, who lost her husband and sons, narrates her grief and helplessness, as neither the district administration nor the state government has paid heed to her distress.

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More from the grantees
Guptipara: Birthplace of the People’s Durga Puja
Live History India tells you how a protest by a group of young men in the late 1700s transformed the Durga Puja from a ritual of the elite, to the mass festival that it is today.
What Role Do Adivasi Youth & Women Play in Conservation?
The Bastion speaks with Archana Soreng, a youth Adivasi leader who is part of the UN Youth Advisory Group On Climate Change, to understand the role of indigenous youth and women in forest conservation.
Ignored battles of Frontline COVID-19 Warriors: Stories of 33,000 ASHA Workers of Assam
EastMojo reports on how ASHA workers in Assam have to navigate the pandemic, low pay and natural disasters to serve their communities.
Inflated prices, deflated income - COVID-19's impact on commodities
Sikkim Chronicle highlights how the prices of items of daily consumption - vegetables, fruits and meat - have shot up due to the impact of the pandemic and reduced supply as a result of climate change.
COVID-19: Why We Need To Rethink The Relationship Between Gender And Power
Feminism in India points out that girls have experienced greater violence, increased dropouts from schools, and restricted access to online learning during the pandemic.
പഠിപ്പിക്കുന്ന കുട്ടികളുടെ വീട്ടില്‍ പണിക്ക് പോകേണ്ട ഗതികേടിലാണ് | Aided School Teachers' Crisis
Dool News highlights the plight of teachers from aided schools who have not received their salaries for the last four months following the lockdown and the closure of schools.
महिला हिंसा रोकने वाली महिलाएं खुद हुई हिंसा की शिकार | KhabarLahariya
Khabar Lahariya speaks to women working with the ‘181 helpline’ for women set up by the UP government, which was shut down during the lockdown. Not only depriving the women of a livelihood but shutting at the very moment when it is needed the most.
The Paradoxes of Pakistani Politics
Think Pragati’s foreign policy experts help decode the political protests in Pakistan against the army and the government.
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