Pregnant Cop in Odisha Returns to Duty

In a rare display of commitment towards duty, an 8-month pregnant policewoman in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha has chosen the call of the uniform above her maternity-leave privileges.  Mamta Mishra, a sub-inspector with the Betonati police station, is on lockdown duty, uncomplaining, undaunted.  Odisha Director General of Police, Abhay, tweeted, “This braveheart, in her eighth […]

Umeed Ki Kiran has Fed Almost 5,000 Migrant Workers

These lines by Jill Eisnaugle returned to memory while I spoke with Parul Datta of BG Foundation regarding their latest initiative Umeed Ki Kiran. The name literally translates to the title of Jill’s poetry, Ray of Hope.  BG Foundation was started in 2008, in Gurgaon, with the purpose of educating the children of migrant workers. […]

A Photographer’s Lockdown Diaries

Truly unprecedented. We have been confined to our homes for a month. Home, a place that in ordinary times we long to get back to after long hours at work, a safe haven that evokes comfort, is now like a waiting room. As a visual artist, a few weeks ago, I started to figure ways […]

Chennai Infotech Man Feeds Hundreds of Hungry

A Chennai NGO started by a few friends six years ago, as a weekend activity, has now come to the rescue of many poor people running low on food supplies, including stranded migrant labourers. Feed The Needy has been distributing cooked food to hungry stomachs. Founding member Bibhudatta Panda, an infotech professional, says, “During this […]

Aasra Fights to Secure the Children

When the Dehradun District Administration closed schools on March 16, 2020, Aasraa’s healthcare workers and outreach teams swung into action to address the health and nutrition requirements of their children who come from the poorest communities. In addition to continuously monitoring the children’s health, the Aasraa Education Trust team also began to distribute advisory pamphlets […]

The Scamp and the Scold

Recently, my Ma told me about the mad woman who sits outside her red brick wall, seeking shelter under the giant bottlebrush. I reminded her that it was not particularly compassionate to call a poor woman “mad” especially considering the strains of madness in our own gene pool. My mother scoffed and suggested the woman […]

Indigenous Sarpanch Wins Hearts With Operation Roadlift

Thousands and thousands of tired feet, walking on sweltering highways for days, homeward bound. Away from the cities where their means of incomes had disappeared almost overnight. Men. Women. Young. Old. Their meagre personal possessions on their backs. These were the images of labourers and workers of India that flooded social media and news following […]

Isolated in Lockdown? Talk to Me!

An ecosystem of initiatives focused on building leaders for a better world, the Blue Ribbon Movement (BRM) engages students through its community-connect fellowship program on civic engagement and finding alternate responses to community challenges. When the ongoing pandemic brought life to a standstill, the BRM community was pushed to think about what was required in […]

To the Save of the Bright-Eyed and the Bushy-Tailed

A group of lifeguards in Goa have turned lifesavers for the stray dogs that live around the beaches. The canines, who survive on leftovers and scraps from the shacks and restaurants, unable to make sense of the lockdown and the sudden disappearance of food, were becoming wary and snappish. Looking at their plight, the lifeguards […]

Quarantined? Try ‘Quarancharity’!

Founded by Pri Shewakramani and co-founded by Scherezade Shroff, this initiative offers learning sessions by a line-up of artists; the proceeds are donated to Covid-19 relief. Albert Camus, in his book, The Plague, said, “The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits.”  After seventy decades of the publication of that […]


Global Parli, which has been working in 106 severely drought-prone villages of Parli taluka in Beed district of Maharashtra since 2016, has created an unique opportunity to alleviate farm distress during these days of lockdown. Founder Mayank Gandhi explains, “While this area has reported very few cases of COVID-19, we are determined to encourage farmers […]

YUVA Reaches out to Children in Crisis, Transgender Groups, even a Circus!

Initially, like many NGOs responding to the humanitarian crisis unleashed by the pandemic, Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action, YUVA, focused on providing relief to the communities of informal settlements, the homeless and the migrant workers. However, recognition that vulnerabilities can take different forms helped the YUVA team evolve their relief response to cater to […]

Tribal Engineer Brings Essentials and Monetary Relief to Remote TN Communities

Modern-day slavery comes in various forms — bonded labour, underpaid labour, unstructured debt, remoteness of habitat and opportunities.  Thennarassu Sundram, an engineering graduate, realised a few years ago that his calling was beyond his nine-to-five job in an air-conditioned cubicle. A member of the primitive Irula indigenous community of the Nilgiri Mountains, he had seen […]


“This world is made up of two kinds of people — the ones who talk about problems and the others who address them. Very early in life, I made a conscious decision to be a part of the solution,” says Sachi Singh, the founder of Ehsaas, an NGO based in Lucknow.  By ‘early in life’, […]


Our true passion shows when we make something personal. Deepika Mar is a city-raised girl who belongs to the marginalised Kani tribe of Kerala. When she fell in love and married someone who stays in a remote village, she went to live with her new family. This is where she discovered her true calling and […]

Hyderabad ‘Food-Saving’ NGO Serves 1,15,000 People

A Hyderabad-based NGO, dedicatedly working to stem the wastage of food for the last few years, has served cooked food to more than one lakh people in the city in the last one month. “Our work is to collect excess food from parties and hotels and serve it to the needy. During this lockdown period, […]


A first-time woman Gram Pradhan’s (elected village head) comprehensive initiative to keep her villagers safe has caught the attention of the nation.  Varsha Singh of Nakti Dei Bujurg village, in Basti district of Uttar Pradesh, where three thousand people live, tells us, “We have sanitised our village thrice using bleaching powder solutions since the lockdown […]


People with disabilities are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. India has an estimated 10-crore disabled population and they cut across disability types, ranging from vision and hearing impairments, locomotor disabilities to intellectual disabilities. Ensuring they stay safe is especially challenging given that they have varying needs. Recognising this, NewzHook, India’s first accessible news website […]

The Caremongers: A Force of Kindness

“Hello Folks, if anyone elder that you know is in self-isolation and is lacking essentials supplies or medicine, please feel free to get in touch with me. Am happy to help and help buy and bring over whatever they need.” This is the post that pitched 38-year-old Mahita into the role of a Corona-warrior almost overnight. […]