As A Journalist Covering The Ram Rahim Verdict, How I Saw Panchkula Burn Down – (By Manoj Kumar)

The hearing was scheduled for 2.30 pm, but we were already outside the court early in the morning. Supporters gathered outside were raising slogans and singing bhajans. They seemed to be in high spirits believing they had put enough pressure on the government and the court, and that this would reflect in Baba’s verdict. Even[…]

How India’s Beedi Rollers Risk Their Lives To Fuel A Cruel Industry- (By Hitesh Sharma and Aniket Singh)

Beedis are the poor people’s alternative to smoking cigarettes – and rolling them provides employment to millions in rural India. While the job is a source of income for many, it also involves many health risks – risks that endanger the lives of those engaged in it. At times, the workers who engage in the[…]

‘I Saw [Soldiers] Kill And Rape Women’: 3 Rohingya Women Recount Horrors From Their Past (By Safeena Wani)

“My son was 16,” says Mehjabeen. “One night, Burmese soldiers raided our house, beat us black and blue and took my son away.” She never found out what happened to him. Her husband died of a heart attack a year later. His last wish was to see his son. Mehjabeen is sitting with Naseema Begum,[…]

How Bhojpuri Cinema Went From ‘Family Friendly’ To ‘Soft Porn’

For Maila Ram, 22, a Lucknow-based driver who hails from Bihar, watching Bhojpuri movies on his smartphone is an addiction. He watches them even while he’s at work sitting in the excavator truck. During the break, he’s surrounded by his comrades-at-work, all of them caught in the lusty thrill of an actress showing skin, mouthing raunchy dialogue. Bhojpuri movies are[…]

How This Brave Acid Attack Survivor Took Things Head On And Fought Back

Vimala, an employee at Sheroes Hangout — a chain of cafes that employ only acid attack survivors — is confidence personified. Dressed smartly in an all-black uniform, she interacts with customers in Hinglish and serves them like a professional. Pawan Singh, the cafe manager, says she has a way with people and encourages patrons to[…]

Shocking Case Of Irresponsible Reporting: TV Channel Targets Transgender Community

In September of 2016, 21-year-old transgender woman Riyana had to face the horror of society’s transphobic attitude when she found herself featured in a programme called ‘Operation Anandi’, aired by regional news channel TV9 Karnataka. ‘Operation Anandi’ (Anandi is the name of one of the accused) was a sting carried out by TV9 based on[…]

Fighting Terrible Odds To Raise Her Girls: The True Story Of A Woman Rickshaw Puller

Sharmila Kashyap is an ordinary-looking young woman with a rather unusual job as an e-rickshaw driver. This, after she pulled a manual rickshaw for quite sometime. Orphaned as a toddler, raped when she was a child, a forced marriage with the rapist, and a potentially fatal abortion later, to then her husband abandoning her and[…]