Articles by Sahana Charan

Sahana Charan is the Chapter Editor at Citizen Matters, Chennai

The Lok Sabha Elections (General Elections) 2024 are coming up in a matter of months. Elections are crucial in a democracy like India, as it allows citizens to choose the leaders, who will govern the country for the next five years. How we vote has a direct bearing on the formation of the government at the Centre, and therefore, it is important for all eligible voters to exercise their franchise. If you are gearing up to vote in the parliamentary polls in April-May, it is essential to ensure that your name is the electoral rolls. Have you registered as a…

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A family of professional singers disguise themselves to take their loved one, a young girl with mental illness, for treatment in the psychiatric hospital. Such is the stigma of mental health disorders. While this was decades ago, the perception of such disorders has changed for the better, over the years. As she narrates this incident, Dr R Padmavathi, Director of Schizophrenia Research Foundation (SCARF), a premium non-governmental organisation in mental health care in Chennai, says while healthcare delivery has made great strides, we still have a long way to go in awareness and overcoming stigma about mental disorders.      According…

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ā€˜Hot, hotter, hottestā€™ might define the different seasons of Chennai, but its people exude a certain warmth that is endearing. As platitudinous as it may sound, this empathy and resilience shone through during the recent Chennai floods, as residents bent over backwards to help each other. A lot transpired in the sprawling metropolis in 2023 that gave us reason to cheerā€”consultations for the upcoming Third Master Plan, the vibrant Madras Day celebrations and Chennai emerging as the safest metro for women according to NCRB. But all this was overshadowed by the increasingly problematic stray dog and cattle problem; Cyclone Michaung…

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As Cyclone Michaung ripped through Chennai and surrounding areas, and news about localities getting inundated with heavy rainfall started coming in, and a few affected residents narrated their ordeal online. As the day wore on, there were many calls for rescue and relief from citizens stranded in waterlogged areas.   Meanwhile, a group of researchers from IIT Madras were doing their bit by giving real-time weather information on social media. They also urged people to record flood information in their localities on the chennaiwaterlogging.org portal. Their efforts seem to have paid off because as many as 1,200 users recorded the…

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