Society

Often, as journalists, we have an eye for the problems people face and so it is reflected in our stories. This is because every small impediment that we come across is connected to a larger systemic issue. While it is very important to highlight the problems, be it a minor civic issue or a larger systemic one, I learnt this year that we should also keep an eye out for stories that provide solutions to these issues. Here are some of the stories that I worked on in 2023 that had a huge impact on me: How a tuition centre…

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Though cybercrime is not new, in recent years the ease with which hackers are conning people has put the safety of all technology users at risk, be it a sim-card facilitated mobile phone or a high-tech computer system. As per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, more than 13,000 cases of cybercrime were reported in 19 metro cities in 2022, with Bengaluru registering nearly 75% of the reported cases. “Much of the cybercrime goes unreported, as people associate shame and distrust in police to file cases,” says N S Nappinai, Supreme Court advocate and founder of Cyber Saathi.  To raise awareness…

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In the aftermath of the devastating floods caused by Cyclone Michaung in Chennai, where many faced property damage and lost their belongings, the path to recovery is daunting. Getting back what one has lost in a natural disaster is not an easy process, but can be done with some planning. The struggle is real, but there is hope — insurance claims can be a crucial lifeline, helping residents recover some of the losses and find closure. According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), in response to the aftermath of Cyclone Michaung, insurance companies have been directed…

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54-year-old Jyoti Kadam, who took voluntary retirement from being a writer with the Mumbai police to take care of her parents, feels lonely now.  Jyoti was widowed 22 years ago, when her son was just five months old and her daughter seven years old. She struggled throughout as a single working parent till she took voluntary retirement, only to take care of her mother suffering from Alzheimer's. Thereafter, she took care of her father, a paralysis patient.  Today, after her parents are no more and her children have grown up and started working, she has started pursuing her hobbies like…

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Four days have passed since Cyclone Michaung caused havoc across Chennai. Yet, the people of North Chennai continue to suffer in silence simply because their mobile network connectivity is still down. With no way to reach out for help, with no electricity, no basic amenities and mainly with no aid from the government, they are abandoned to their own devices. "Nobody came for our help. Not one person representing the government has reached out to us," they say collectively. In this time of despair, when the roads are inundated and the threat of health hazards looms large because of stagnant…

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Starting November, the first batch of shops from Chor Bazaar, Mumbai's popular and unique market for antiques, artifacts and cheap vintage knick knacks, have started moving into their allotted spaces in the new Al-Ezz towers in Bhendi Bazaar. A cloud of questions about if and how the new market will manage to retain its distinct identity in the new skyscrapers surrounds the shopkeepers, who have been there for generations.  About 122 shops from a part of Chor Bazaar will be shifted into the shopping arena of four 50-plus storied towers in the next few years, as part of the Bhendi…

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I grew up in a home that didn't hate dogs but never really loved them either. I was consciously told to avoid dogs, always. And I followed that during the early part of my childhood, till I was 10-11 years old. However, this was to change. I was riding pillion on my uncle's Bullet motorcycle on CMH Road Indiranagar, in Bengaluru, for something early in the morning, about 4 am. Just as we entered CMH Road from Murphy Town (this is before the Metro era), the road was dark. A pack of street dogs started to chase the motorcycle. I…

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"I would like to go to a police station to file a complaint supporting a 60-year-old woman who is abused by her husband without being told by the police, 'You are already 60 years old. Why would you want to make a complaint against him now and file for a divorce?' I would like to walk into a police station and sit as I please without being lectured by any police personnel that I should not sit cross-legged as it is disrespectful," says Archana, a Chennai-based activist. while speaking about the safety of women in public spaces at the Gender…

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The elderly population in India is rapidly rising with those above 60 years of age set to constitute 15% of the population by 2036 (22.7 crore), according to the India Ageing Report-2023 released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). From constituting about 10.5% (14.9 crore) of the population in 2022, the population of senior citizens is likely to increase to 20% in 2050 (34.7 crore), thus throwing up new challenges related to their safety, well-being and health. The report also stressed on the need to focus on policies and programmes to meet the needs of the elderly, especially older…

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“The authorities told us to let them begin the construction work, and if we resist, they will do it by force,” says Dinesh Habale, a social worker and a tribal resident of Habal Pada, a village of over 65 families, near Film City in Aarey. The recent news of the approval for tunnel construction, with a final bid of Rs 6,301 crore for the Goregaon Mulund Link Road (GMLR) project, has left the tribal villagers of Habal Pada deeply uneasy. They dread the prospect of their ancestral homes being sacrificed for the construction of the upcoming tunnel project. As different…

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