Dear Reader,

In a fascinating tale from deep inside Tamil Nadu, StoriesAsia brings you the story of a doctor-couple who helped tribal communities in the Sittilingi Valley become self-sufficient. What began as an effort to provide rudimentary medical facilities to an area, where the nearest hospital was a 100 km away, has now transformed into a multifaceted mission to provide quality healthcare, introduce organic farming and provide vocational training to help locals earn sustainable livelihoods.

The Wire examines the role that Minimum Support Price (MSP) has played in the lives of farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Western UP. It argues that the MSP system, though not perfect, has played a critical role in bettering the situation of farmers in these states, as it provides a benchmark price that influences pricing outside the mandis too.

And, in a deep-researched piece, EPW analyses and suggests solutions for the last-mile connectivity issues plaguing Mumbai’s suburban railway network on which over 7.5 million commuters travel every day.

Live History India tells you how Delhi emerged as a political power centre in history, and East Mojo gives you an insight into why a village in Assam imposes a fine for neglecting cleanliness but no one has paid up in two decades.

For more stories from our grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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What’s a Hospital Got to Do with Elections, Irrigation?

StoriesAsia reports from the Sittilingi Valley in Tamil Nadu of a doctor-couple, Regi George and Lalitha Regi, whose three-decades of grassroots experiment not only built the Tribal Hospital but also transformed the area’s food availability and created livelihoods. To better the governance at the local level, one of their volunteers even fought and won a local election.

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Where Is the Middle Ground in This Farmers' Protest?

Why have farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Western UP relatively prospered? The Wire argues that it is precisely because the MSP at the mandis have worked in providing a benchmark for prices outside their framework as well. While the MSP and the APMCs may not have been perfect, they enabled the farmers to get a minimum floor price and protected them.

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The Invisible Last Mile of Mumbai’s Lifeline

EPW delves deep into the challenges facing Mumbai’s lifeline- the suburban rail network - due to lack of last-mile connectivity. The network is used by over 45 per cent of the city’s commuters with over 7.5 million passengers daily. However, Mumbai is among the most congested cities in the world with drivers spending 65 per cent of their time in traffic with an average traffic speed of an abysmal 18 kmph. The story recommends solutions to end this gridlock.

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#Ennore​ "எண்ணூருக்கு அழிவே இந்த சாம்பலினால் தான்!

In a ground-reported story from Seppakkam, near Ennore in Chennai, Asiaville documents the everyday struggles of some of the area’s marginalised communities who have been severely affected by the dumping of ash by NCTPS - a thermal power plant owned by the Tamil Nadu government. It has been dumping ash here for nearly 25 years polluting the groundwater and the air, and ruining the Kosasthalaiyar river.

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Post-COVID-19 e-governance challenges: A case study of Anganwadi services

An Anganwadi worker needs to cater to a population of 1,000 under the guidelines of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). Anganwadi centres deliver a bundle of services - supplementary nutrition, pre-schooling, non-formal education, health check-ups, immunisation and nutrition education. Down To Earth explores the e-governance challenges, post the pandemic, facing the Anganwadi services.

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More from the grantees
Open Access Chronicles: The Origin Story
The Bastion speaks with one of the earliest champions of the open access movement, which distributes academic research without cost and copyright restrictions, to piece together its origin and history.
Women & neighbours in Punjab fill in to manage farm & cattle of farmers protesting at Delhi borders
With the rabi sowing season in full swing in Punjab and Haryana, the men of the villages are out at the Delhi border participating in the farm protests. However, the women have taken charge. The Print reports.
Thomas Crowley on ‘Fractured Forest, Quartzite City’
Live History India speaks with author Thomas Crowley about the geological history of the city of Delhi and its role in the city’s emergence as a political power centre.
Depressed incomes, increased hunger reveals Right to Food Campaign’s Hunger Watch Report
Suno India speaks to a social sector expert who explains that Covid-19 and the lockdown resulted in a crisis of livelihoods for informal sector workers, who already lead a hand-to-mouth existence.
Surprises in the National Family Health Survey
Takshashila Institution’s analysts break down the national family health survey and what it means for India. They also discuss the miserable state of child nutrition in India and its impact.
Why this tiny Assam village's cleanliness drive is raising eyebrows?
EastMojo tells you why “Assam’s cleanest village” Ransapara imposes a fine if its residents miss out on the weekly community cleanliness drive. But nobody has paid a fine in the last twenty years.
टिकरी बॉर्डर पर शौचालय और सफाई की बड़ी समस्या से जूझ रहे आंदोलनकारी किसान
Janjwar reports from Delhi’s Tikri Border where farmers protesting against the farm legislations are struggling due to paucity of basic toilet and sanitation facilities.
No, this is not PM Modi and Jashodaben’s wedding photograph
Alt News fact-checks a viral photo that falsely claims to feature Narendra Modi and his wife at their wedding.
Independent & Public-Spirited Media Foundation
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