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A hospital where poor get their vision back

Jun 18, 2008 08:51 PM The Aravind Eye Hospital in southern India has made a tremendous contribution in the prevention of needless blindness. Last month, it was conferred with the prestigious Gates Award in recognition of its exemplary work to provide affordable eye care of international standards to the poor.

India’s garment industry stained with sweat and tears

Jun 16, 2008 09:19 PM In southern India’s Tirupur town, young girls are lured to work in the garment industry with a promise of ‘golden opportunity’ to earn their own dowry at the end of a three-year apprentice period. Known as ‘camp coolies’, they instead end up working in deplorable conditions for years getting virtually nothing.

Village women wield cameras to tell their stories

Jun 12, 2008 02:18 PM After a six-month training in multimedia, a group of illiterate women from southern India have come out with a series of films on sustaining local food systems, agricultural biodiversity and livelihoods. They have also developed an alternative community-led public distribution system to cater to their food needs.

Bangladeshi farmers adapt to climate change

Jun 10, 2008 08:02 PM People on the banks of the Kopotakho River in southwest Bangladesh are learning to live with and adapt to climate change. Unaware of modern methods, they are using local knowledge to develop new farming methods and alternate income sources.

Development, push comes to shove

Jun 06, 2008 09:09 PM The government's efforts to modernise Imphal airport in north-east India has not gone down well with local residents. In April villagers fought the police to save their cultivable land. They insist land for them is priceless; the government claims tourism will bring prosperity.

A trade not worth her salt

Jun 02, 2008 05:00 PM Women working in the salt pans in southern India suffer not just from government apathy. Earning pittances for their hard work in the hot sun, these women also endure bad health due to dehydration, joint pains, poor eyesight and miscarriages.

Rural television clubs promote healthy living

May 29, 2008 06:02 PM Inspired by a national television programme, women in Chhattisgarh villages in central India went on to form Kalyani clubs to drive awareness on health-related issues. Six years after their inception, the declining cases of diseases and improved maternal and child health speak of the clubs' success in transforming lives.

Cycling for education

May 27, 2008 03:12 PM A social initiative undertaken in a rural district in western India has made it easier for young girls to pursue their studies and be empowered. A 'bicycle bank' helps them go to schools and colleges situated far from their homes.

Finally, road links villagers to better life

May 23, 2008 06:19 PM After more than two decades, the residents of a small village in Tripura in north-eastern India have a well metalled road connecting neighbouring areas. Built under a government sponsored scheme, the road has brought in multi-benefits in terms of accessing markets, hospitals and reduced transportation costs.

Bamboo water

May 19, 2008 08:12 PM When all attempts at alerting government to the water scarcity in Orissa’s Malkangiri district failed, a group of tribal women turned to an ingenious traditional solution – using bamboo poles to transfer water from a stream to their village

Indian goldsmiths face a doomed future

May 19, 2008 04:58 PM Goldsmiths in Tamil Nadu are starving even as the mechanised jewellery industry fattens itself in the state. In the latest tragedy, a goldsmith named N. Raja ended his life on May 2 after consuming cyanide at his home in Coimbatore’s Selvapuram locality. He was in his mid-30s.

UNICEF’s helping hand for Nepalese families living with HIV

May 12, 2008 09:02 AM Four women sitting cross-legged on the floor are singing the melancholic strains of a song. The women, all of whom are from families affected by HIV in this remote area of western Nepal, improvise the words and help each other complete the couplets:

A unique way to fight AIDS

May 05, 2008 11:28 AM New Delhi: Distributing syringes among drug users may hardly seem like the right way to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS. But N. Nandadevi, a Manipur resident who has been given an award for exemplary work in public health, believes it is a pragmatic solution.

Death of a poet-farmer

May 04, 2008 02:34 PM Two days before he hanged himself to death on March 24, fifty-year-old farmer of five acres Shrikrishna Kalamb penned his last poem.

A model school for tribals

Apr 30, 2008 02:27 PM In southern India, Kanavu is a dream school for Wayanad’s tribal children. Started by a writer-turned activist 15 years ago with an idea of tapping the hidden genius of the community, it is now run by the first batch of its students.

Tapping water through tunnels

Apr 30, 2008 02:12 PM It was due to the efforts of 79-year-old Achyutha Bhat, that a village in Karnataka in southern India could overcome water scarcity. His passion for digging surangas (man-made tunnels) has not only revived the traditional water harvesting system but also helped local farmers in the region.

Taking sex education to the madarsa

Apr 29, 2008 03:00 PM It was not easy to convince a Muslim dominant district in underdeveloped Bihar to allow teenage girls to attend classes on reproductive and sexual healthcare at the local madarsa. Azad India Foundation (AIF)’s efforts have however earned support even from the local clerics.

Building hopes for rural women

Apr 28, 2008 11:05 AM Belaku Trust started as a small health research project in rural Karnataka, in 1995. One of its founders, Dr Saraswathy Ganapathy, a paediatrician turned public health professional, recalls how bleak the project appeared then.

Rural newswomen sensitise villagers on gender

Apr 28, 2008 11:03 AM Aapko le chalte hain aisi jagah jahan grameen mahilayein bata rahi hain ki purdah pratha kya hai (We now take you to a village where the women will shed light on the practice of veil).

Gaining fortunes from herbs

Apr 28, 2008 11:01 AM Converting traditional medicinal knowledge into fortunes—this is what a group of women in a remote village in Chhattisgarh are doing. In the sleepy village of Donga-nala in Korba district, about 160 km from the state capital, Raipur, these women run a unit for making medicines from herbs from surrounding forests.

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