BY EXIGENCY and expectation, it was a day of reckoning. On January 16, India launched its first phase of vaccination for COVID-19. With two vaccines—Covaxin, manufactured by Bharat Biotech International Ltd, and Covishield, developed by the Oxford University and AstraZeneca—this phase was supposed to cover some 30 million healthcare and frontline workers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the drive. He declared the day as the beginning of the end of COVID-19. And, as expected, he also celebrated it as an Indian accomplishment. “There are more than 100 countries having a population of less than three crore (30 million) and India is administering vaccination to three crore people in the first phase only,” he said.
But the prologue and epilogue to this day is jarring. Just two days before the Indian vaccination drive began, Norway reported 23 deaths related to its COVID-19 vaccination drive. Later in Israel, 13 people developed facial paralysis after getting vaccinated. By the time the first batch of healthcare workers were ready to take the jab across India, reports of hesitancy poured in. In Bihar, healthcare workers of three big medical colleges went on record saying that the vaccination drive had been marred. In Assam, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers said they did not want to become guinea pigs. Similar reports came from Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.
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GREEN IS THE NEW ORANGE
THERE IS MORE TO CARROTS THAN THEIR COLOURFUL ROOTS
‘Artists world over should raise alarm'
EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ARE NOT JUST DRYING THE EARTH BUT ALSO THE SPIRIT OF HUMANKIND. THIS IS THE MESSAGE DANCER, WRITER AND ACTIVIST MALLIKA SARABHAI AND DIRECTOR YADAVAN CHANDRAN AIM TO DELIVER THROUGH THEIR RECENT DANCE VIDEO, ARID. THE DANCE COMPRISES THREE ACTS ON THE INTENSITY OF THE WATER CRISIS. THEY SPEAK ON THE ROLE OF ART IN TACKLING ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN AN INTERVIEW WITH DAKSHIANI PALICHA. EXCERPTS:
Rays of light and hope
An energy start-up aims to provide a sustainable power solution to rural consumers
Destruction of date palm trees during cyclone Amphan and warming weather have resulted in a huge decline in production of West Bengal’s trademark nolen gur
A GOOD FIRST DRAFT
NITI AAYOG’S DRAFT NATIONAL MIGRANT POLICY TAKES A RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH AND DISCUSSES THE IMPORTANCE OF COLLECTIVE ACTION AND UNIONS TO HELP MIGRANTS BARGAIN FOR BETTER CONDITIONS. BUT KEY GAPS REMAIN
Carbon Cost Of Internet On The Rise
The environmental impact of digital platforms is becoming glaring by the day.
COVID-19 cases are being reported in large numbers from districts that had so far been mildly hit by the pandemic
THE CHASE AND THE CHANGE
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has shown what it can achieve by putting water conservation at its core
India needs a full-time organisation to tackle a host of biological threats
INDIA NEEDS TO LOOK BEYOND GAUSHALAS IF IT WANTS TO CHECK THE NUMBER OF STRAY CATTLE
An Exclusive Interview With Nandakumar Narasimhan
The Little Red Train
A Room for Dad
Before Mom passed, I made a promise to her
THE DANGAL IN THE JUNGLE, PART 1
YOU KNOW YOU’RE SOMEBODY WHEN YOU’VE APPEARED ON AN INDIAN DANGAL POSTER — IN OTHER WORDS, IN A WRESTLING ADVERTISEMENT.
WOUNDS AND THE WOMB
JULIE PETERS explores how to heal a relationship with the sacred womb, a place of death, life, and possibilities.
Giant squirrels, giant lessons? Animal chaplain SARAH BOWEN explores what squirrels can show us about mindfulness.
E8 Caste and the Indian Tech Ivies
IIT grads are highly sought after in Silicon Valley. Are they bringing deep-rooted prejudices with them?
I was happily married, happily employed, just plain happy. Until the accident
IN SEASON Chickpeas (GARBANZO BEANS)
Chickpeas appear in early recordings in Turkey well over 5000 years ago. India produces the most chickpeas worldwide but they are grown in more than 50 countries. An excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, B vitamins, and some minerals, they are a nutritious staple of many diets. The name chickpea comes from the Latin word cancer, referring to the plant family of legumes, Fabaceae. It is also known by its popular Spanish-derived name, the garbanzo bean. Kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, and peanuts are other familiar foods found in this legume family.
When the Signal Goes Out
Government-ordered internet shutdowns are becoming more frequent
Giving More, Taking Less
FRANCOIS BOUDERLIQUE learnt about the basic principle of Nature – to give more than you take – when he left a high-powered banking job in Paris to live and farm in Kutch, India. He realized that his understanding of eco farming was colored by his past and he needed to open his eyes to a new reality.