Society

Explore comprehensive coverage of societal issues, focusing on communities, social justice and cultural trends. Articles focus on topics such as gender equality, issues of the senior population, cultural heritage and the welfare of marginalised groups. They highlight challenges faced by various social groups and the impact of modernisation on traditional practices. Stories of grassroots movements, community leaders and policy impact offer a nuanced understanding of urban societal challenges and advancement.

Versova intrigues me greatly. I recently relocated there from another city, and on my way to Madh Island for shoots, I would look out and watch the area intently. One evening, I set out to photograph the area. Versova exudes a very sophisticated vibe as soon as you arrive there. On either side of JP Road are several cafes, restaurants, studios, and casting offices, recruiting actors for films and television. Yari Road and Seven Bungalows are home to high-rise apartments and commercial buildings, some with enviable sea-facing views. A trip away by the Versova jetty is Madh island, a popular…

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It is our social responsibility to build a community in which every individual plays an independent role in society. To achieve this, the focus should be on transformative and innovative solutions for inclusive development. Inclusivity is a major concern for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) all over the world, as well as in India. According to recent data, nearly 2.21% of the Indian population has some form of disability. However, there is a general lack of awareness about disability. The lack of accessibility infrastructure results in most PWDs in India struggling to live an independent life, unable to do things as…

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Picture Mount Road on a Sunday morning over 150 years ago. There is a flurry of activity as horse-drawn carriages take the British to and from Fort St. George across the city. Some of the structures that dotted their paths then still stand in Chennai. Unfortunately, many historic buildings and landmarks in the city suffer from neglect and lack of maintenance. Low levels of interest and awareness among the general public about these structures also lead to little to no demands for action to protect them. But the increasing number of heritage walks that showcase the city's long and storied…

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Unlike regular news coverage where multiple stakeholders are consulted for their opinion on civic issues, articles from citizen journalists offer readers the perspective and personal insight from a fellow citizen. The latter's social background, their work, experiences, with the right questions and direction, are reflected in their arguments. Engaging with three such citizen journalists was also a revealing experience for me. One of them is the president of a street vendor union, second a member of an anganwadi workers’ union and, lastly, a young boy living in a slum in Kranti Nagar, Kandivali. All either come from working class backgrounds…

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In a quiet metro car departing from Versova station after 5 pm on a Sunday in November, two lines instantly familiar with Hindi-speaking Indians broke out: “Baithe, baithe, kya kare? Karna hai kuch kaam, Shuru karo antakshari, leke Shahrukh Khan ka naam!” The cry came from a handful of people, split on either side of the belt separating the woman’s compartment from the general. Heads stirred, eyes rose from the screens of phones, quizzical but amused. The setting might have been jarring, but the intent was clear: this was the beginning of antakshari, a word chain game typically played in…

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Kumar*, a food delivery gig worker rode back home after midnight on his scooter a few weeks back. Suddenly, a few cops stopped him on the way, captured his photo and then let him go. "Why are you taking my photo? I have my driving license and other documents, and I am also wearing my helmet," he asked them, flabbergasted and confused. But they did not respond. Little did he know that the Chennai police might have used their facial recognition technology (FRT) to see if his photo matched that of a criminal in their database. This has been one…

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Savitha*, a 16-year-old minor girl from Chennai, was to be married off to a 35-year-old man in September of last year. Her parents invited close relatives to the ceremony by handing out invitations. Just as the wedding was about to take place, officials from Childline came to her rescue based on a tip-off from her 15-year-old cousin. He sent a copy of the invitation to the non-governmental organisation (NGO) that had once conducted an awareness programme on preventing child marriages in their locality. Savitha was lucky and was rescued on time. She is now pursuing an undergraduate degree in a…

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A room of one's own is considered a basic necessity for a good life. But having one's own space to work, study and rest and a guarantee of privacy are a dream that is seemingly unattainable for many in Chennai. At a time when the city's real estate price seems to be skyrocketing, there are still many families who live in a single room in Chennai, without a proper roof and any ventilation. For these residents, the dream is not to build or buy a big multi-storey house, but merely call a space home where they can stretch their legs…

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On November 8th, 28-year-old Aftab Ameen Poonawala was arrested for allegedly strangling his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar. They had had a violent argument. He cut her body into 35 pieces, kept them in a 300-litre fridge. Over the next few days Aftab disposed of the pieces at various places in Delhi’s Mehrauli forest area. While this incident — the Delhi Fridge case, as it is being referred to — has received relentless media focus, an increasing number of such gruesome crimes, often labelled crimes of passion, has been reported in the recent past. Family disputes and the breakdown of relationships…

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Rumours of child kidnappings on the internet rise time and time again. They are easy fodder on social media and messaging applications, featuring audiovisual media or text warning of child kidnappings at mass. With content that is often alarming, depicting a scary tale of children in danger, they prey on the concerns of parents and teachers. Mumbai is not immune to this. This past September, viral messages and social media posts of child kidnappings rumours led to an atmosphere of fear and suspicion in many pockets of the city, including Kanjurmarg, Ghatkopar, Andheri, Jogeshwari, etc. In one instance, two suspected…

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