This mechanic’s smart streetlight sensor is saving a UP municipality both power and money (By Saurabh Sharma & Asif Ali)

Firasat Hussain is not someone you would notice if you passed him by in the streets of Shahjahanpur district in Uttar Pradesh — standing as he does at a diminutive 4 feet 6 inches in his loose pyjamas and oversized shirt. But meet him at his electronics repair shop, and you’re likely to be electrified[…]

Have clothes to spare? Reach out to this do-gooder on Facebook — he’ll pass them on to the needy (by Debjoy Dutta Samantha Machado)

Saju Talukdar, 43, is a car driver who lives in small town Birpara of West Bengal’s Alipurduar district. For the past 10 years, he has been collecting used clothes from people and distributing them among the needy. Last year, his son and some friends urged him to join Facebook to garner support online for his[…]

Shrinking wetlands leave J&K high and dry (by Safeena Wani)

When torrential downpour submerged thousands of villages and claimed about 300 lives in Jammu & Kashmir in September 2014, loss of wetlands was cited as one of the reasons that aggravated the impact of the natural disaster. Wetlands are areas where the water level is close to the surface of the land. Mangroves, marshes and[…]

Indian commerce minister cites Chinese trade barriers (by Sat Singh)

NEW DELHI — India’s reluctance to lower its high trade barriers has often been cited as an obstacle to regional and global trade pacts. Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, however, disputes this view. She told Nikkei in a recent interview that China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are in fact[…]

Rashtrapati Bhavan reads our story on Haryana village women learning computers, wants model replicated in 100 villages (by Sat Singh)

It’s fashionable — and irritating — in news media to claim “impact” of a story. We will not call it impact, but we at FactorDaily are happy to report today that a story we did was noticed in the highest office of the country and has resulted in a women-led development model from a Haryana[…]

No funds for mental health care while suicides on the rise (by Priyanka Ganwani)

Mumbai, Maharashtra: India is one of the countries with high incidence of suicides. While tuberculosis treatment and diagnosis get more attention in India, mental healthcare is something that’s unspoken. In 2013, about 2,471 suicides were attributed to ‘failure in examinations’. Recently, on April 4, the stunning ‘Facebook suicide’ of a 23-year-old in Mumbai took the real and virtual worlds[…]

How 17-year-old ‘Gopalji’ is using bananas stems to electrify homes in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district (by Ganesh Prasad and Ajay Kumar)

In India, we’re bananas about bananas. No part of it is wasted. We eat ripe and raw bananas, the stem and the flower. The leaves are used as throwaway plates and the plant is almost indispensable in religious rituals. Now, add to these the Banana Biocell, an innovation to generate electricity from banana stems, which is[…]

How Nitasha Sihag from Haryana’s Sirsa district is using social media to empower women (by Sat Singh)

Jyoti Rani, 36, from Rori village in Sirsa district, has panchayat samiti member Nitasha Sihag to thank for taking the corrupt ration depot owner in her village to task. She says the depot owner would make excuses to deny them ration. On Women’s Day (March 8), during Sihag’s visit to Rori to deliver a lecture,[…]

Durg’s notorious motorists are falling in line with traffic cops. Here’s why (by Hitesh Sharma and Samantha Machado)

Drivers in Durg, Chhattisgarh, are on their best behaviour these days — they have started obeying traffic rules, avoid road rage and mind their language while talking to the police. Quite a turnaround for the city, which until recently, topped the charts for violating traffic norms. The trigger for the change? Smarter traffic monitoring. Policemen[…]

‘Australian’ wheat turning farmers’ heads in India (by Chandrakant Pargir and Manish Soni)

KOREA, Inida — Parmeshwar Rajwade struggled for years to make a living on his small farm in Kanchanpur, a village in the Korea district of India’s poor eastern state of Chhattisgarh. Then one day in 2013 a sales agent from a seed company handed him a 2kg packet of unnamed foreign wheat seeds that promised[…]