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A dalit manual scavenging | Source: Punjabiportal.com

Drowning in liquid filth – in 21st century India

We pretend that people are not condemned to the caste system, Mari Marcel Thekaekara writes. In 1996, I listened in disbelief as Martin Macwan, a dalit leader, told a Delhi gathering, ‘I am ashamed that as a dalit, working with my people for over 10 years, I did not know that balmiki people still carry shit on their heads everyday of ...

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Credit: under CC wn.com

British tribunal victory for Indian worker

[By Mari Marcel Thekaekara] Adivasi (or indigenous Indian) Premila Tirkey has been awarded £184,000 ($280,000) by a British employment tribunal in compensation for four and a half years of exploitation while she was working as a maid for an Indian family in the UK. It is a landmark judgement. Tirkey worked for Pooja and Ajay Chandhok in Milton Keynes. Her ...

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The women of Paithan, a small town near Aurangabad, in Maharashtra, spin a dream world of exotic weaves that is reminiscent of a bygone era of opulence and elegance. (Credit: Surekha Kadapa-Bose\WFS)

Impoverished Women Spin Exotic Weaves

[By Surekha Kadapa Bose] Aurungabad(WFS) – Bent on their looms for hours, days and months, the women of Paithan, a small town near Aurangabad, in Maharashtra, spin a dream world. Lush paddy fields, swaying palms, blooming lotus flowers, beautiful peacocks, parrots and blue-tailed birds in flight are created on a rich silk background with a dhoop-chaanv (light and shade) effect ...

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The Koragas were once powerful rulers in the south. Today, they are largely regarded as a sub-human race.

Surviving modernity: Matrilineal tribes lean on each other during tough times

[By Linda Chhakchhuak] Shillong (Women’s Feature Service) – ‘How are the Khasi-Jaintia-Garo (KJG) tribes resisting patriarchy? What is their secret of survival?’ These two questions were on the minds of Padma Mon and Padamvathi Ashok, researchers and activists from the Koraga tribe, one of the fast-fading matrilineal tribes of southern India, when they travelled from Karnataka all the way to ...

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In India, irrespective of region, class, community or age,
married women are vulnerable to many forms of violence within the
confines of their homes.

A Never-ending Trial By Fire For Women Burn Survivors

[By Pushpa Achanta] Bengaluru (WFS) – ‘The stove exploded in the kitchen; scalding hot water fell on me by accident while I was making tea; I didn’t realise when my clothes caught fire while I was cooking…’ These are just some of the common explanations that women admitted to the burns ward of Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru, Karnataka’s state capital, give as ...

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Qadri's taj mahal | Photos:   Narendra Kaushik

Postmaster builds ‘Taj’ for wife

[By Narendra Kaushik] Dibai: Ask anybody in Kaser Kalan, a dusty, sleepy village of mix Hindu-Muslim population in Dibai sub-division of Bulandshahr District about 113 km from Delhi, about the man who is building Taj Mahal and there is certainty that he or she will refer you to Faizul Hasan Qadri, a retired Sub postmaster. “Turn left on a kutcha ...

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Child soldiers | Photo: Representative, Abhijit Sathe, Crime reporter's guide

Whose battle is it anyway?

The women and children of the Indian tribal population are trapped in deadly crossfire between the state and the Maoists. Forget gender equality: sexual abuse is rampant. |By Pratibha Singh| Large sections of the Indian tribal population have borne the brunt of a bloody conflict that has lasted for years between the Indian state and the Maoists. This insurgency rarely ...

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Kiss of love protests

To kiss or not to kiss? A very Indian question

|By Mari Marcel Thekaekara|New Internationalist| ‘To kiss or not to kiss’ appears to be the almost existential question being discussed on the front pages of Indian newspapers recently. If this seems slightly ridiculous to many societies, let’s be clear: it is currently a very serious issue in India. Young people, united as never before by social media, have rallied together ...

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Sex workers at G B Road soliciting customers

Legalization no panacea for prostitution

|By Narendra Kaushik| New Delhi: Lucky (50-plus) has no hope left. Ask her whether legalization of sex work will help her and other women of her ilk in the country, she nods in disagreement with her puckered face and sleepy eyes expressing no optimism. A sex worker in one of the two dozen cement-peeled, seedy, smelly and slippery brothels on ...

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Rory Moynihan under a Creative Commons Licence

Justice at last for raped three-year-old

|By Mari Marcel Thekaekara|New Internationalist| A child rapist, acquitted by a lower court, was finally convicted this October, after an 18-month legal battle by the child rights activist group, HAQ. The details of a child rape leave any normal person sickened and horrified. How anyone can rape an infant is, to the average human being, beyond comprehension. Yet more and ...

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