Dear Reader,

As the farmers from Punjab and Haryana throng the borders of Delhi in protest against the three recent “black” farm-legislations, Down To Earth reports from the site that they have come equipped for a prolonged stay. The angst against the three Acts is so high that they term it a bigger threat to their livelihoods than the pandemic.

The recent surge in Covid cases, in Delhi-NCR, for instance, has seen a patient’s worst nightmare come true – not finding a hospital bed in an emergency. The alternative - monitored homecare - is beset with its own challenges. The Ken analyses.

The Jharkhand assembly recently passed a resolution, which enables tribals in the state to identify themselves as members of a distinct religious category – Sarna, rather than as Hindus, Christians, etc. The Wire analyses the impact of this ‘Sarna code’ on the life of the tribals and the politics of the state.

For these and other stories, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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We are not going anywhere: Farmers at Singhu border ready for long haul

Down to Earth reports from the Singhu border gate in Delhi where lakhs of farmers from Punjab and Haryana are sitting on protest, determined to dig in until the three “black” farm legislations passed by the Centre in September are repealed. There are long rows of tractors and trailers which contain food items, beddings, fuel and other essentials. Most farmers are protesting without wearing masks. Their point: new farm laws are a bigger threat to their livelihoods than the pandemic.

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Covid homecare can’t cover the home stretch in India

As India continued to see more Covid-19 infections over the past several months, patients confronted a stark reality: a shortage of hospital beds. The solution was to offer telemedicine services to patients with moderate symptoms. The Ken reports on the difficulties of such homecare solutions including exorbitant price mark-ups, slow government regulations and a lack of healthcare infrastructure.

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Why the Sarna Code Will Have a Long-Term Impact on Jharkhand's Tribes

The Jharkhand assembly has passed the ‘Sarna code’ which will enable the tribal communities to identify as ‘Sarna’, a distinct religious category, instead of the earlier options of Hindu, Christian, etc. The legislation seeks to protect the uniqueness of the tribal communities and has been a long-standing demand of the community. The Wire reports.

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Risky Insurance: The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana in Jharkhand

EPW analyses a ground-level survey of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) in Jharkhand that reveals that the scheme has been “rolled out prematurely” and it was left to the whims of the hospitals to determine if the beneficiaries receive free treatment. In some cases, the system has been used to nudge the patients towards the private hospitals who charge exorbitant costs.

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Solutions to the Smoke: Upcoming Alternates to Stubble Burning

The Bastion reports on how cost-effective, alternate solutions, to eliminating stubble burning by farmers in Punjab and Haryana are faring on the ground. From decomposer capsules, mass collection of paddy stubble and the use of stubble as raw material for construction - farmers, scientists and entrepreneurs are working on a mix of solutions to address the issue.

Read Here

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