Dear Reader,

Last year, a survey of 4,000 members of India’s workforce, by a leading research firm, found that 80 per cent of the country’s workers reported mental health issues. The same report also said that mental health cost Indian companies $14 billion a year on account of absenteeism, attrition, and presenteeism (poor productivity), amongst others.

The issue is accentuated by the high cost of treatment in India -- with only 75 psychiatrists for every one crore of the population -- and, therefore, mental healthcare remains inaccessible for the preponderant majority of the Indian citizens.

Now, there is hope. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), last October, made it mandatory for insurance companies to cover mental health. Recently, some of the leading health insurance players have expanded their coverage to include this affliction. ThePrint examines its impact and how it will bolster access to mental health care.

The practice of blocking ‘offensive’ websites, at the slightest whim, has become an institutional reflex in India. MediaNama cites a study to report that more than 55,000 websites, URLs, applications and social media posts were blocked in India between January 2015 and September 2022, and tells us what is wrong with the habit.

Handicrafts and handloom are the highest employment generators after agriculture. But, artisans remain at the margin of subsistence while middlemen corner a chunk of the margins. Poor digital literacy and the high cost of onboarding, etc., have so far prohibited the leveraging of online platforms by artisans. However, help is on its way, says India Development Review, in the form of the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a platform designed to foster open interchange between shoppers, technology platforms, and retailers, by creating a level playing field for small businesses.

And, the challenges of climate change and biodiversity have become contentious issues – largely gridlocked despite pious promises and commitments. The India Forum argues that the “collective legacy of folk tales and myths in ancient civilisations” can be used to influence and nudge attitudes and policy-making on the environment.

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


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Mental health insurance picking up in India. Employers are also listening—without prejudice

ThePrint reports on the recent decree of the IRDAI making insurance for mental health mandatory and looks at how this will impact the access to mental health for citizens.

Read Here

Report: A Closer Look At India’s Website Blocking Practices, And Everything That’s Wrong With It

It has now become an institutional reaction to block websites on the slightest provocation. MediaNama analyses the deleterious effects of this stance.

Read Here

Indian artisans are still missing from e-commerce platforms

Lack of digital skills, high onboarding costs and high logistical costs have stood in the way of Indian artisans leveraging the online seller platforms. However, the recently launched ONDC, an open-source resource for creating a level playing field for small businesses, promises to be a game-changer. India Development Review analyses the developments.

Read Here

Building Consensus on Climate Change through Stories

The India Forum says that there is a good case for using the “collective legacy” of folk tales, ancient mythologies and narratives to influence and nudge the conversation on the environment.

Read Here

More from the grantees
ഏറ്റയിറക്കങ്ങള്‍ക്കിടയിലെ ജീവിതം
Floods have impacted the lives of several in the Edavanakkad Panchayat in Ernakulam, with water surging and entering people’s homes. Keraleeyam Masika ground reports on the plight of nearly 500 families who have had to abandon their houses and flee.
बिहार में क्यों हो रही खाद की किल्लत?
मैं मीडिया reports on the persistent shortage of fertilisers and urea in Bihar. It reports from the districts of Kishanganj, Araria and Purnea where the difficulty in access to urea has resulted in rampant profiteering.
Underweighting Sugarcane: Farmers allege mill owners weigh profits while cultivators register losses
Sugarcane farmers have for long complained of the duplicity of mill owners in under-weighing their produce at the factory gate. Now, the farmer associations have taken up the issue in right earnest. The Probe reports.
കാടിറങ്ങുന്ന കടുവയ്‌ക്കൊപ്പം മലയിറങ്ങുന്ന മനുഷ്യരെയും കാണണം
With the rising number of man-animal conflict events in several regions of Kerala, TrueCopy Think examines the issue and consequences, particularly in the Wayanad district.

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