Society

The role that citizens and corporate entities played in the fight against the COVID19 in Mumbai was significant. "Our healthcare system is broken, there is no primary healthcare system available. The system is overwhelmed. We had a huge problem during the initial days of the second wave when hospitals refused patients with high oxygen needs. Our helpline handled more than 1000 calls in the three weeks of its operation," said Ruben Mascarenhas, National Joint Secretary of Aam Aadmi Party, which managed to arrange beds and medications for desperate patients in Mumbai through its helplines before the BMC had got its…

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Who would have thought that in 2021, an American corporation known to harvest private communications for corporate profit would stand up against the Indian Government, defending the Right of Privacy of Indians. Ironically, here we are in the middle of the pandemic, worrying about how police can zoom in to suspend our fundamental right of expression, or walk into our homes and take away all that is ours, when the administration should, in fact, be ensuring that not one more person suffers, or dies, of COVID. We are living through most bizarre times. Holding on to the idea of a…

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Chennai has seen an unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases in recent months. This has resulted in many individuals affected by the illness having to be hospitalised or placed in home isolation. During this time, individuals and families have found it difficult to access medicines, groceries and other essentials. Chennai's cyclists have come together in this hour of need to provide this important service, free of cost to those in need. The idea of Relief Riders originated from cyclists in Bengaluru and was later replicated by Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Jaipur cyclists. At the end of April, Felix John - Bicycle…

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On the 19th of April, 2021, I brought three poets under one roof - on a Zoom call - to capture their thoughts and expressions on the city, the lockdown, and of course, poetry. Presenting Vishakha Khanolkar, 20,  Nadeem Raj, 33, and Vinita Agrawal, 55; true Bombaywallahs and truer poets who gave poetic expression to lockdowns and the emotional toll it took on the society as a whole. Vishakha Khanolkar is Teach for India fellow. When not entertaining a bunch of 8th Standard teens, she writes short stories and poems. Vinita Agarwal, award-winning poet, editor, and curator has done it…

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As Chennai battles the second wave of COVID-19, a complete lockdown has beee imposed for 15 days until May 24th, with the possibility of an extension. Various organisations and individuals have come together to support those affected by the pandemic and the lockdown by providing meals, door delivery of essentials and raising funds for medical supplies. The following is a non-exhaustive list of ongoing efforts to help those in need in the city. While the information has been vetted, the situation on the ground is dynamic. Fundraisers Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund The TN CM's relief fund accepts…

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கொரோனா தொற்றின் 2வது அலை ஒரு வித தீவிரத் தன்மையுடன் பரவி அனைவரையும் அச்சுறுத்திக் கொண்டிருக்கும் இவ்வேளையில், மீண்டும் ஒருமுறை இயல்பு வாழ்க்கை பாதிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. தொற்றின் தீவிரம் சற்றே குறைந்து, ஊரடங்கு விதிமுறைகள் தளர்த்தப்பட்டு, ஒரு புதிய இயல்புக்குத் திரும்பிய சிறிது காலத்தில் அசுர வேகத்தில் பரவி, அதிகளவில் உயிர்பலியையும் ஏற்படுத்திவருகிறது கொரோனா என்னும் இக்கொடிய தொற்று.  இந்த சவாலான காலகட்டத்தின் போது சேவைக்களத்தில் முன் நிற்பவர்களில் இந்தக் கட்டுரைக்குரியவர்களும் அடங்குவர். நாம் ஆர்டர் செய்யும் உணவினை நம் இருப்பிடத்திற்கே குறித்த நேரத்திற்குள் கொண்டு வந்து தரும் இவர்கள் நகரவாசிகளின் வாழ்வில் ஒரு முக்கிய அங்கம் வகிக்கிறார்கள்.  ஸோமாடோ (Zomato) மற்றும் ஸ்விக்கி (Swiggy) போன்ற நிறுவனங்களைச் சார்ந்த ‘டெலிவரி பார்ட்னர்கள்'  என்றழைக்கப்படும் உணவு விநியோகிப்பவர்களின் நிலை குறித்த ஒரு சிறிய ஆய்வுதான் இது. இவர்களில் இளைஞர்கள் மட்டுமன்றி, நடுத்தர வயதுடையர்களும், பெண்களும் கூட இருக்கின்றனர். Read more: Meet the…

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Describing her lockdown experience in a basti (settlement) in Mumbai, 15-year-old Saniya’s rap song captures the isolation that has given the year 2020 the epithet of ‘The Year We Lost’. The suspension of daily rhythms, coupled with a warped sense of time and subsequent loneliness—despite being surrounded by millions of other people—is a feeling many resonate with, as cities around the world fell into a disquieting silence. Yet, even as India went into one of the strictest lockdowns in the world with barely four hours notice, this sensation was amplified for already vulnerable groups such as adolescent girls. As school gates were locked and public…

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On a day Karnataka’s Covid number crossed 50k, with 50% of it coming from Bengaluru alone, the attention was else where. All thanks to the sting operation conducted by BJP MP Tejasvi Surya, MLAs Ravi Subramanya, Satish Reddy and Uday Garudachar, all from the ruling party, on 4th May 2021. Was anyone surprised that there was corruption in bed allocation? I wasn’t. Was corruption really the focus of the sting operation? You tell me. Seventeen workers out of the 206 employed in the COVID war room were fired for being Muslim. A smear campaign Among the arrested so far, a…

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School seems a memory of the remote past. The play dates have stopped too. Add to it a general sense of foreboding, constant restrictions and in some cases, illness and death witnessed in very close circles. Children, both my own and among friends and family I've spoken to, are terrified with what's going on. They're also lost and confused. First, they're afraid of catching the virus themselves. My 8-year old keeps smelling things all day to ensure he hasn't lost his sense of smell. If he feels hot (it's summer), he asks us to take his temperature. If his legs…

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Several civil society organisations and individuals on Thursday, called upon the Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to act against four elected representatives of the Bharatiya Janata Party who, in the name of exposing a scam in BBMP's bed-allocation for COVID patients, had targeted Muslims working in the relief effort. The demanded that Bengaluru South Member of Parliament Tejasvi Surya, Basavanagudi MLA Ravi Subramanya, Chickpet MLA Uday Garudachar and Bommanahalli MLA Satish Reddy be made to apologise for their actions and compensate Rs 50,000 to each of the targeted 16 muslim employees of a private firm drafted by the BBMP in…

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