Dear Reader,

As we marked International Women’s Day on March 8, our grantees celebrated unsung women who have gone against the grain and overcome odds, to make their mark.

The role of women in India’s freedom movement is a proud legacy but their contributions are relatively unsung and unheralded. Live History India profiles Durgabai Deshmukh, a fighter for freedom and women’s rights, who walked out of a child marriage, got herself an education, went on to serve as one of the 15-women appointed to India’s Constituent Assembly, was a member of Planning Commission and was conferred the Padma Vibhushan.

The Pangolin is an endangered species and is heavily trafficked in Odisha. For her work in saving and busting the illegal trade in the mammal, Odisha forest officer Susmita Lenka, was conferred the UN’s Asia Environmental Enforcement Award in February this year. Do read Down to Earth's compelling read on her exploits.

It is now over a year since the first case of Covid was detected in India. A year when the efforts of the healthcare staff at the forefront of battling the pandemic has been nothing short of heroic. Janjwar speaks to Dr Mallika of the LNJP Hospital in Delhi who recounts her fears and hopes in the ten long months she spent serving patients at the Covid emergency ward of the hospital.

When it comes to sectors like sanitation and development, women are usually seen as mere beneficiaries. The Wire argues that if these sectors are to be made more gender-sensitive and friendly, then women have to be integrated as professionals and service providers.

The POSH Act is a critical step in making workplaces safer for women by preventing, prohibiting and redressing acts of sexual harassment. Feminism in India examines how the legislation has worked in the unorganised sector, where lack of awareness, biases and inadequate funding has denied access to the victims.

For these stories and more from the Foundation’s grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Durgabai Deshmukh: A Warrior For Women, Justice, Country

On International Women’s Day, Live History India profiles the efforts of a lesser-known female freedom fighter, Durgabai Deshmukh, who walked out of her child marriage and fought for women’s access to education and legal rights. She later went on to serve as one of the 15 women appointed to India’s Constituent Assembly.

Read Here

Women’s day: Meet Susmita Lenka who is on a mission to save Odisha’s pangolin

Down to Earth reports on Susmita Lenka, a forest officer and conservator who is on a mission to save Odisha’s pangolins. Over the last three years, as the divisional forest officer of Athagarh, and now the deputy conservator of forest in Bhubaneswar, Lenka rolled out programmes that protect these endangered mammals from the clutches of the smuggling mafia in the state.

Read Here

Women's Day पर Super woman से बात, LNJP Hospital की Medical Officer Dr. Malika की कहानी

Janjwar speaks to a medical officer who spent 10 months away from family working at the COVID-19 Emergency ward at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in New Delhi battling the Covid pandemic when it was raging at its peak. She talks of the challenges that frontline medical staff faced both physically and mentally.

Watch Here

Invisible Sanitation, Invisible Women

The Wire argues that in the sectors of sanitation and development, it is not enough for women to be seen as mere beneficiaries but integrated as professionals and service providers to provide a more sensitive and proactive response to concerns of fellow women. Lack of skilling, cultural stereotypes and recruitment biases stand in the way.

Read Here

Assessing The State Of Women In The Unorganised Sector Under POSH Act 2013

Feminism in India assesses the working of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, the POSH Act in the unorganised sector marred by redressal mechanisms, lack of awareness and rampant patriarchy which results in poor reporting by victims. This situation is worsened by the lack of budgetary support from the state and central governments.

Read Here

More from the grantees
Traumatic Kashmir’s ‘Too Many Claimants’ Denied Mental Health Insurance
In spite of legislation and clear directions from the Supreme Court, insurance providers are yet to fully bring mental health under the ambit of insurance cover. Kashmir Observer tells you why this lacuna has particular criticality for Kashmir, where conflict and multiple lockdowns have taken a serious toll on mental health.
एसिड अटैक नहीं तोड़ सकता हमारा हौसला। महिला दिवस स्पेशल
Khabar Lahariya meets acid attack survivors who share their struggles and travails after the tragic incident that changed their lives.
Decoding DNA Bill
Suno India takes listeners through a deep dive into the government’s DNA Technology Regulation bill which, when passed, will create a national DNA database for the first time. The episodes explain how the Bill can help investigate charges of sexual assault and increase conviction rate but fails to address privacy concerns.
Learning Under a Flyover in New Delhi’s Mayur Vihar
The Bastion profiles the efforts of Delhi’s Naresh Pal in running the “Van Phool” school for students who do not have access to online education. The schools are helping reach students who have “fallen off the map” after the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Assam’s tea plantation workers: Why are they in the news?
India Development Review explains how systemic weaknesses like laws going unimplemented, poor management and social marginalisation have hurt Assam’s tea plantation workers. It suggests that better competition, more investment and reforming outdated labour laws could revive the sector.
The Long Arm of the Law Crosses Borders
Takshashila Institute’s analysts discuss how India and other countries are cooperating across borders, setting up oversight mechanisms and approaching the gathering of electronic evidence for criminal investigations.
Asiaville Ground Report: दिल्ली पुलिस की रडार पर है 'ट्राली टाइम्स' #farmerprotest
Asiaville's ground report investigates why Trolley Times – a weekly print newsletter published amidst the farmer protests from the Delhi border – is under the scanner of the Delhi Police.
“क्या करे साब मजबूरी है, अब लकडीही जलानी पडेगी”
Max Maharashtra reports on the plight of women struggling from the increasing price hike in LPG forcing them to turn to firewood for fuel, damaging the environment and their health.
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