Oppressed people in India have helped build the country into one of the largest sugar producers. But with that has come the bitter taste of labor-law violations and an endless loop of debt. Sanket Jain reports from the sugarcane fields of western Maharashtra.
Within the first month of India’s nationwide lockdown starting March 2020, 122 million people lost their jobs. Daily-wage laborers and small traders comprised roughly 75 percent. A report found that a year of the lockdown pushed 230 million Indians into poverty. By the end of 2020, 15 million workers were still out of jobs. Sanket Jain reports on the recently rising suicide rates in India.
India witnessed the hottest March in 122 years. With temperatures several times crossing 49 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) in northern India, heat waves amplified the existing divisions between the poor and well-off, reports Sanket Jain.
In March 2020, India’s health ministry tasked 1 million Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) with COVID-19 duty in rural areas. This, in a country where 65 percent of its 1.38 billion people live outside cities. Suddenly, ASHAs’ workload increased exponentially. Yet, they remain underpaid and now suffer stress-related chronic ailments, reports Sanket Jain.
Far-right Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in March 2020 a 21-day nationwide lockdown to curb a pandemic caused by COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. The lockdown was extended to 67 days, causing 121 million people to lose their jobs within the first month, writes Sanket Jain.
India "liberalizing" its economy in the early 1990s devastated the healthcare infrastructure needed to get people back on their feet.