Dear Reader,

The Indian government has proposed a legislation in Parliament, the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, to raise the marriageable age of girls from 18 to 21 years. Article 14 analyses why the proposed legislation is potentially ineffectual as the law will be used by parents to enforce their will against daughters who exercise their choice, and will criminalise an already vulnerable group. The larger and accompanying need is to address poverty, school dropouts and entrenched patriarchy.

Patriarchy against Indian women is not just prevalent in families, they also face discrimination and subtle gender biases in most vocations. Journalism too, unfortunately, is not immune to the malaise. The glass ceiling is rampant at most media workplaces, with unsaid rules which thwart women from attaining the top of the hierarchy. In an illuminating podcast, The Probe talks to a wide section of journalists to find out how this “subtle sexism” can be eradicated.

The steamrolling of the bill, to link Aadhaar with the electoral data, into an Act without any substantive discussion in Parliament, ostensibly to weed out multiple and illegal voting, has raised hackles. HW News analyses the consequences – targeted disenfranchisement of genuine voters and its implications on citizen’s right to privacy.

There are five custodial deaths in India every day, records the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Suno India discusses the usually neglected issue and explains why this distressing reality is rampant in India and suggests the remedies that can be instituted.

For most of us, the first and the second wave of Covid are behind us, with uncertainties and challenges of battling the ominous Omicron-induced third wave ahead. However, Down To Earth speaks to the victims of ‘long Covid’ who were infected during the first wave and who are still baffled by their continuing distress - panic attacks, brain fog, decline in immunity, breathlessness, and pain.

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


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Why Govt Move Of Raising Legal Age of Marriage For Women May Harm Instead of Benefiting Them

The new bill to raise the legal age of marriage for women will be ineffective, if it is not accompanied by related measures – reducing poverty, school drop-outs, patriarchy and the current digital divide in access to learning. Article 14 analyses.

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Where are our women editors? Do women in media face discrimination?

Why are women in the minority when it comes to top journalistic roles in Indian media? Why are they not being treated on par with their male counterparts? What is the kind of biases women in the Indian media face? The Probe explores these questions with senior journalists and editors in its latest Podumentary.

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Exclusive| "Aadhaar-Voter ID Linking Could Lay Grounds For E-Voting": Says Privacy Activist | UIDAI

Last week, the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, was passed in Parliament, which seeks to link electoral roll data with Aadhaar. Civil society activists fear that the bill could not only impact privacy but also the voting rights of citizens, including large-scale and targeted disenfranchisement. HW News discusses the implications.

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Custodial Torture: Why we don’t take police violence seriously

The prevalence of custodial deaths in India is a neglected issue. Suno India, in its podcast, looks at the history of custodial casualties and focuses on why it is not given the attention it deserves and suggests remedial measures.

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‘Far from over’: Such a long journey for long COVID hauler

Down To Earth reached out to Covid-19 patients who had contracted the virus in the first wave of the pandemic and “recovered”. It finds that these people now suffer from ‘Long Covid’, and continue to be distressed and distraught by their persistent ill health.

Read Here

More from the grantees
The Legal and the Lethal
The India Forum asserts that AFSPA separates law and justice into distinct components and gives powers to the state to “kill” without legal consequences, as was witnessed in the Nagaland “massacre” of civilians by the Assam Rifles recently.
Trailing A Path of Non-Anthropogenic Jurisprudence Amidst the Climate Crisis
The Bastion argues that a ‘non-anthropogenic’ legal stance is the way forward, in which all of nature, including plants and animals, is provided with the status of ‘legal persons’ to accord them their due status in laws and legislation.
Environment of fear will only worsen: Christians who converted from Hinduism speak
In the wake of the Karnataka government passing the Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, commonly referred to as the anti-conversion Bill, The News Minute speaks to people who voluntarily adopted a new religion and the challenges they face in propagating their faith.
दलित और पिछड़ी महिलाओं को मार्शल आर्ट और डिफेंस की ट्रेनिंग देती पूर्वांचल सेना
The 'Swasthya-Suraksha- Rojgar' is an initiative by the Purvanchal Sena, a youth organisation based in Gorakhpur, in UP, which aims at empowering young girls in the villages by imparting them training in defence and martial arts. Feminism in India documents this inspiring initiative.
चित्रकूट : ऑनलइन स्टैम्प पेपर बनने से बेरोज़गार हुए स्टैम्प विक्रेता
Khabar Lahariya reports that stamp vendors in Chitrakoot, in UP, have lost their livelihood as they do not have access to stamp papers used to endorse documents pertaining to the purchase and sale of property, affidavits, loan agreements, etc. For months now, the government-mandated online papers are inaccessible to them.
Omicron | The Global Debate | From India, South Africa, US, UK | World Experts | Barkha Dutt
In the wake of rising cases of Omicron in various states across the country, Mojo Story speaks to health experts from US, UK and India on the challenges posed by the variant, the state of vaccination and the level of preparedness in the country.
Bundelkhand water crisis : बदबूदार पानी पीने को मजबूर जनता
Janjwar reports from Raksa village in Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh where residents are struggling to get drinking water as the supply provided by the administration is far from potable.
Did Shah Jahan chop off the hands of Taj Mahal workers?
Alt News demystifies the viral claim, which resurfaces time and time again, that Shah Jahan had chopped off the hands of those who built the Taj Mahal .

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