'These women won't let anyone go hungry'
• Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

'These women won't let anyone go hungry'

In lockdown time, Kerala’s 400-plus ‘Kudumbashree Hotels’, give cheap but wholesome meals to people low on income – students, medical attendants, security guards, drivers of ambulances and many others

May 28, 2020 | Gokul G. K.

Homeward bound through the centre of India

Many of the millions who’ve hit the highways under the lockdown are going to thousands of villages in northern and eastern states. A huge number of them pass through the city of Nagpur, centre of India

May 27, 2020 | Sudarshan Sakharkar


Who will carry the palanquins of the rich now?

Several state governments have suspended labour laws and extended working hours, and the situation of migrant labourers has worsened. An interview with PARI's Founder Editor P. Sainath, from the Firstpost

May 27, 2020 | Parth M.N.

'We went from a handful to nothing’
• Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir

'We went from a handful to nothing’

Migrant workers in Jammu, like the Chandra family from Chhattisgarh, were left with no work when the lockdown began. They got by with rations given by nearby buildings, and are now slowly finding work again

MAY 26, 2020 | Rounak Bhat

Amphan meets lockdown in struggling Kolkata

The cyclonic storm that savaged West Bengal on May 20 left Kolkata struggling to clear up – because the labourers needed to do that had mostly left the city for their villages long ago due to the lockdown

MAY 25, 2020 | The PARI Team 

Hit with cancer, Covid-19 and without shelter

Geeta and Satendar Singh came to Mumbai from Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district for Geeta’s cancer treatment. Living on the footpath near Tata Memorial Hospital, both have tested positive for Covid-19

May 25, 2020 | Aakanksha

The photographer writes – for better or verse

When the lockdown enhances the suffering of human beings you’ve grown up knowing and caring about for decades, says this photographer, it forces you to express yourself in poetry, beyond the lens

May 24, 2020 | Purusottam Thakur 

Panvel to MP: Four days and nights on a scooter

Countless migrants have tried to reach home during the lockdown using any transport they could. One family journeyed 1,200 kilometres from Panvel in Maharashtra to Reva district in MP on a two-wheeler

May 23, 2020 | Parth M.N.

Lockdown leads to makeshift market in Tehatta

People in ‘hotspots’ have adapted to lockdown-driven closures of the bazaars they depend on. In West Bengal’s Nadia district, vendors have created a temporary market selling vegetables and other fresh produce

May 22, 2020 | Soumyabrata Roy

‘We don’t fear coronavirus or the heat now’

When their wages stopped and then food ran out, workers from Gaya, Bihar, employed in restaurants in Varanasi, made their slow way home – while others from the district remain stranded in faraway Tamil Nadu

May 22, 2020 | Rituparna Palit

'What's the use of this ration card?'

When even their paltry income stopped due to the Covid-19 lockdown, and their BPL ration cards were rejected at PDS outlets, April was the cruelest month for Gayabai Chavan and others in Pune

May 19, 2020 | Jitendra Maid

You can’t lockdown this mother of all smiles

In those huge lines of migrants walking determinedly along the Mumbai-Nashik highway in Maharashtra, the image of this extraordinary mother sparked the imagination of the artist

May 18, 2020 | Labani Jangi

The long march of the locked-down migrants

This haunting song by Aadesh Ravi, Hyderabad-based composer, lyric writer and singer, is surely one of the most powerful cries that’s emerged about the lockdown-driven migrations across India

May 16, 2020 | Aadesh Ravi

Ironed out of an income in Vada this lockdown

For families in Vada town of Palghar district who make a living by ironing clothes, the Covid-19 lockdown has reduced daily incomes to a trickle. Many are struggling to procure rations and seeking other work

May 15, 2020 | Shraddha Agarwal

Jamlo's last journey along a locked-down road

A 12-year-old Adivasi girl from Chhattisgarh, working in the chilli fields of Telangana, died on April 18 after walking for three days with other labourers desperately trying to return home. PARI visits her village

May 14, 2020 | Purusottam Thakur and Kamlesh Painkra

Locked down in Telangana — a basket case

The Covid-19 lockdown has halted the basket trade in Telangana’s Kangal village. For now, basket makers of the Yerukuka ST community are relying on some agricultural work, and rice from the PDS and relief packages

May 13, 2020 | Harinath Rao Nagulavancha

Locked-down schoolgirls: no basic needs, period

With schools shut, girls from poor families in Uttar Pradesh’s Chitrakoot district have lost access to free sanitary napkins and are turning to risky options. In UP alone, the numbers of such girls runs to millions

May 12, 2020 | Jigyasa Mishra

Old lady and nephew on lockdown highway

The scenes of migrant labourers walking hundreds of kilometres from their workplaces to reach their homes, continue to haunt us. One image, though, gave this artist a sense of hope and humanity

May 11, 2020 | Labani Jangi

Locked-down with blood on the tracks
• Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Locked-down with blood on the tracks

The 16 labourers – 8 of them Gond Adivasis – run over by a goods train on May 8 near Aurangabad district in Maharashtra were all in their 20s and 30s, and from Umaria and Shahdol districts of Madhya Pradesh

May 10, 2020 | Pratishtha Pandya

Seeking lockdown relief in Rachenahalli

Work has stopped for the migrant daily wage-earners of a slum colony in north Bengaluru, savings have run out, food is scarce – but they still have rent to pay, children to feed, and hunger that has to be quelled

May 9, 2020 | Sweta Daga

MP weavers hanging by a Chanderi thread
• Ashoknagar, Madhya Pradesh

MP weavers hanging by a Chanderi thread

The Covid-19 lockdown has brought the centuries-old Chanderi fabric trade in MP's Chanderi town to a standstill. Many weavers like Suresh Koli are in a fix due to no demand, unpaid dues and depleting resources

May 7, 2020 | Mohit M. Rao

The migrant march of red ants under lockdown

How long can one watch hungry migrant labourers stranded half-way from their villages when there is Chinese-Thai dinner waiting to be prepared at home? A poem that tears into indifference and inequality

May 6, 2020 | Pratishtha Pandya

MFI loans: fear and loathing in lockdown times

The poor have seen earnings plummet with Covid-19 and the lockdown. But no matter how high the distress, micro finance institutions in Marathwada continue to harass their helpless clients for loan instalments

May 4, 2020 | Parth M.N

In lockdown, this is no country for old men

A repairman, a weaver and a ropemaker – a Muslim, an Adivasi, and a Dalit, highly-skilled craftsmen – in Belagavi, Karnataka and Kolhapur, Maharashtra. All of them elderly and without work under the lockdown

May 4, 2020 | Sanket Jain

Locked-down on Labour Day: no work, no pay

A new documentary film in which the migrant labourers who make up most of the workforce on Bengaluru’s metro rail project explain their situation in Covid-19 lockdown time 

May 1, 2020 | Yashashwini & Ekta

Dola Ram’s long and locked-down road home

Construction worker Dola Ram lost his son just after he reached his village in Rajasthan – with poor medical attention in lockdown time. Now, like other migrant labourers, he is grappling with debt and uncertainty

April 30, 2020 | Drishti Agarwal and Preema Dhurve

Kachchh camel herders: lockdown last straw?

What happens if you are nomadic pastoralists with huge herds of animals far away from home when the Covid-19 lockdown was enforced? The Fakirani Jats of Gujarat’s Kachchh district tell their story

April 28, 2020 | Ritayan Mukherjee

Locked into the kilns, brick by brick

Thousands of migrant workers from Odisha are stranded at Telangana's brick kilns – exploitative worksites made more difficult with the lockdown – and are running out of rations and desperate to return home

April 27, 2020 | Varsha Bhargavi 

AP fishermen: between lockdown and deep sea
• Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

AP fishermen: between lockdown and deep sea

Fishermen in Visakhapatnam make their best profits in the two weeks before the annual April 15-June 14 ban on fishing during the breeding season. This year, that crucial period has come during the lockdown

April 26, 2020 | Amrutha Kosuru

Vanavil: rainbow in the storms of lockdown life

A small school in Nagapattinam has become the centre of nutrition for over 1,000 poor families in the Adivasi hamlets of that Tamil Nadu district. And its efforts are not restricted to just students

April 23, 2020 | Kavitha Muralidharan

Vidarbha’s pastoralists paying a pandemic price

The Nanda Gaolis and other dairy farmers in eastern Maharashtra are facing losses from the drop in demand for milk and broken supply chains, besides grappling with animal health problems and fodder shortages

April 22, 2020 | Jaideep Hardikar & Chetana Borkar

‘Even the boats must be missing their men’

The Covid-19 lockdown has battered the livelihoods of the Nishad boatmen of Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh. Many in the community, like Sushma Devi, a pregnant mother and widow, don’t even have ration cards

April 20, 2020 | Jigyasa Mishra

ASHAs: fighting a pandemic with no protection

ASHA workers in Haryana’s Sonipat district have been pushed to the frontlines of the fight against Covid-19 in a later-than-last-minute attempt to control a pandemic – with no safety gear and very little training

April 18, 2020 | Pallavi Prasad

Walking 104 kilometres without a break

Brick-kiln workers in Thane and Palghar, most of them Adivasi agricultural labourers, have been forced by the Covid-19 lockdown to return home with barely any income until the arrival of monsoon

April 17, 2020 | Jyoti Shinoli

Washing their hands of hope in Citizen Nagar

The Covid-19 lockdown has come as the proverbial last straw on the backs of the already suffering community of Ahmedabad’s Citizen Nagar colony, heightening hunger and sharpening existing health risks

April 16, 2020 |  Pratishtha Pandya
Bags on their heads, fear in their hearts
• Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Bags on their heads, fear in their hearts

The Covid-19 lockdown-driven distress migrations have touched poets and artists alike. Here's a response

April 16, 2020 | Gokul G. K.

Wilting mahua, wasted baskets, silent haats

The Covid-19 lockdown has shredded the fragile economy of the Kamars, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group in Chhattisgarh, who depend on a trickle of income from weaving baskets and selling mahua flowers

April 15, 2020 |  Purusottam Thakur

Lockdown burden on little shoulders in Latur

With their parents out of work or at reduced wages, school students from distressed families in Marathwada's Latur are having to sell vegetables on the streets despite the risky Covid-19 lockdown scenario

April 12, 2020 | Ira Deulgaonkar

'Now the melons are on the verge of rotting'

The Covid-19 lockdown has left watermelon farmers in Tamil Nadu’s Chengalpattu district in a fix. With few buyers and transporters, many are being forced to let their fruit rot or accept terribly low prices

April 11, 2020 | Sibi Arasu 

'Some are eating only one meal a day now'

The Covid-19 lockdown has left many daily wage workers in Bengaluru without an income or fall-back options

April 10, 2020 | Sweta Daga

Watermelon farmers: left with no juice

Even before the Covid-19 crisis, watermelon cultivation in Telangana was risky, with high inputs and falling rates – and now, with the lockdown, farmers, labourers and traders are facing a bleak season

April 9, 2020 | Harinath Rao Nagulavancha

Barbers in lockdown: a hair’s breadth from ruin

In Latur district of Marathwada, the lockdown has severely hit barbers – they rely entirely on daily earnings, and for them the idea of physical distancing from their clients is unthinkable

April 8, 2020 | Ira Deulgaonkar 

Hunger on the table, city under lockdown

The promise of free rations does not assure food on the table during the Covid-19 lockdown for domestic workers and municipal staff, many of them migrants, living in Pune's Kothrud neighbourhood

April 8 , 2020 | Jitendra Maid

Locking down craft: handmade, hung out to dry

Craftspeople all over the country have been hit hard by the Covid-19 lockdown. PARI speaks to weavers, dyers, toymakers and village artists from north, south, east, west and central India to gauge the fallout

April 7, 2020 | Priti David

The lady and the lamp – a poem for April 5

The nine-minute lights-off, lamps-on event of April 5 impacted different people in diverse ways. This was how one poet in Ahmedabad responded to it…

April 6, 2020 | Pratishtha Pandya 

AP cops elevate Covid-19 messaging to art form 

In Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, police rope in a mythological sorcerer in the battle against the coronavirus

April 6, 2020 | Rahul M.
Sundarbans: Mousani eats better in lockdown
• South 24 Paraganas, West Bengal

Sundarbans: Mousani eats better in lockdown

A small, remote island in the Sundarbans, West Bengal, which has endured many disasters, is relying on its own resources to make it through the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown

April 5, 2020 | Abhijit Chakraborty

In Tamil Nadu: playing Parai on lockdown, live!

Parai artists Manimaran and Magizhini are tapping into social media to continue performing under lockdown, and spreading awareness about Covid-19 through talks and recorded videos

April 4, 2020 | Kavitha Muralidharan

Anantapur lockdown diary: March 19-April 3

Corona consciousness is growing very slowly in the city and district of Anantapur in the Rayalaseema region

April 3, 2020 | Rahul M.

Ladakhis stuck in Covid-19 test limbo in Iran

As many as 254 Indian pilgrims from Ladakh, most of them elderly, have been stranded for over a month in the city of Qom in Iran, sparking tension at home

April 2, 2020 | Stanzin Saldon

And miles to go before they sleep – or eat

The Covid-19 lockdown has left migrant Adivasi brick kiln workers in Maharashtra's Palghar district with little money and food – and an ultimatum from their village to return, where only uncertainty awaits them

April 1, 2020 | Mamata Pared

Pardhis in lockdown – begging the question

Some Phanse Pardhi Adivasis in rural Maharashtra, especially older ones in their late 70s, depend on begging to be able to eat at all. What happens now, when they cannot enter the villages that feed them?

April 1, 2020 | Jyoti Shinoli  

Where country roads don’t take you home

With the COVID-19 driven lockdown, Chenakonda Balasami and other pastoralists in Telangana, on the road for months, are finding it difficult to access food and new grazing grounds – or return to their villages

March 31, 2020 | Harinath Rao Nagulavancha

Still cutting cane amidst corona and curfew

For the lakhs of labourers hired by the sugar factories of western Maharashtra, social distancing is a distant dream. Many in Sangli district are still chopping cane in unhygienic conditions despite the fear of Covid-19

March 30, 2020 | Parth M.N.

Locked down with cancer on Mumbai footpaths

With their money running out and little food and water available, cancer patients living on footpaths near the Tata Memorial Hospital are caught in the lockdown, with no way home

March 30, 2020 | Aakanksha

Corona refugees on a 538-kilometre journey

Some reporters in rural Chhattisgarh are trying hard to cover people migrating in distress

March 30, 2020 | Purusottam Thakur

In Chhattisgarh: barricades as social distancing

Across parts of the Bastar region, people are setting up barricades denying entry to ‘outsiders’ – and restricting the access of even migrants returning to their own villages

March 30, 2020 | Purusottam Thakur

Sanitation workers – the wages of ingratitude

Sanitation workers in Chennai are walking long distances to work during the lockdown, or journeying on garbage lorries. Taking leave for a day during this period invites penalties, even sacking

March 29, 2020 | M. Palani Kumar

‘Soaps won’t save us if we die of hunger first'

Most of the Adivasi families of Kavatepada in Palghar district survive on daily wage labour at construction sites. That work has stopped with the Covid-19 lockdown, and they are fast running out of money and rations

March 28, 2020 | Shraddha Agarwal 

What we should do about Covid-19

The government’s ‘package’ responding to the crisis is a blend of callousness and cluelessness

March 27, 2020 | P. Sainath

Tuljapur's temple economy goes into viral mode

In Marathwada's Tuljapur, shopkeepers, vendors and others whose livelihoods depend on the famous temple in town, are struggling with no sales after the March 17 lockdown measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19

March 24, 2020 | Medha Kale

Essential services, expendable lives
• Mumbai Suburban, Maharashtra

Essential services, expendable lives

That’s the story of Mumbai’s safai karamcharis on the frontlines of the battle against Covid-19. Wages delayed, and with little protective gear, they’re still clearing garbage even in the toxic air of the Mahul area

March 23, 2020 | Jyoti Shinoli