Punjab’s Cancerous Growth

MAPPING INDIA, Punjab I September 2022
Video I 18 Minutes
By Tej Bahadur Singh

Much of Harsimranjit Singh’s youth was spent looking after his father, who was diagnosed with cancer. Fazilka, where he lives, is one of the 11 districts of Punjab state’s Malwa region that is known as the cancer belt. In Ferozepur, another district in the region, Kuldeep Singh quit farming for a year his wife was diagnosed with cancer. In 2021 in this agrarian state, nearly half of all suicides were due to diseases, as per governments data. Dr. Pritpal Singh, an activist, blames it on the country’s Green Revolution, which began in Punjab in the 1960s.

Digging for Hope

MAPPING INDIA, Haryana I June 2022
Video I 12 Minutes 
By Jyoti Jangra

Sudhir Yadav is a farmer who lives in one of the 78 sub-districts of Haryana state where the groundwater is depleting faster than it can replenish. Yet, like other farmers, he had no option but to keep digging deeper and deeper into the ground in search of water for irrigation until he learned the hard way. However, the blame for his desperation lies elsewhere.

Women Suffer the Most: Rajasthan State’s Water Crisis

MAPPING INDIA, Haryana  I June 2022
Video I 10 Minutes
By Abhishek Yadav, Harshita Rathore
Few kilometres from the India-Pakistan border, people in Barmer district of the western state of Rajasthan face extreme water shortage. In scorching heat, women in this desert area spend several hours fetching water from the nearest wells. On an average, they walk about 2.5 kms to reach a water source and make many rounds each day. Geeta and Guddi tell us how they are forced to fetch water at the cost of their health and education.

Poverty Trap

MAPPING INDIA, Uttar Pradesh I May 2022
Video I 12 Minutes
By Tej Bahadur Singh
The story of Satish Kumar, a young man who lives in a small village in Uttar Pradesh state’s Chandauli district, shows how tens of millions of people in India are trapped in the cycle of poverty, with no fault of their own. Through the story he shares in this visual, open letter, Kumar points to a critical, but unaddressed, lacking in India’s efforts in poverty alleviation which policymakers must take note of.

Why Don’t Fishermen Use Life Jackets?

Ramanathapuram I April 2022
I 3 Minutes 
Fisherman M. Lakshmi Nivash asks his fellow fishermen why they are not using life jackets while fishing. What they explain goes against the notion that fishermen don’t like to use such gear. This video was produced by the participants of the ‘Video LiteracyWorkshop for Coastal Communities’ alongside UNESCO, Wildlife Institute of India, Surabhi foundation and others with Newsreel Asia as a publishing and training partner.


MAPPING INDIA, Uttar Pradesh I Feb 2022
Video I 17 Minutes 
By Jyoti Jangra
Sheeraz Ali’s eight-year-old daughter, Rahima, fell ill with a “mysterious” viral fever, which spread like a wild fire among children in Uttar Pradesh state’s Firozabad district in August 2021. In a letter to the district administration, Ali pours out his heart as he narrates what happened after Rahima’s sickness.

Leopard in the Neighbourhood

Newsreel I January 2022
Video I 9 Minutes
By Richard Kujur, Jessica Goel
Sarveshwar Prasad’s family is among the very few people in his village in northern India’s Uttarakhand state who have not migrated away out of fear of leopards. These wild cats are often seen wandering in residential areas in the state’s Pauri Garhwal district and sometimes mauling humans, even to death. Called Noliyo and situated in the Garhwal Himalayas, the village now looks deserted, even as the remaining few families are also planning to move out. The human-wildlife conflict caries on amid what appears to be the government’s neglect of the residents’ plight.


Episode 4, ‘Trafficked’ I January 2022
Video I 10 Minutes
By Mariya Rajan, Abhishek Yadav
Host Mariya Rajan’s quick visit to three hamlets near lush green tea gardens in Siliguri city and surrounding areas reveal that at least one child has gone “missing” in each of them. Was it just a coincidence, or is something changing in that region – which, being a gateway to the northeast India as well as the neighbouring countries of Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal – had only been seen as a transit route for human trafficking until the COVID-19 pandemic struck, making residents more vulnerable?

In the Guise of Love

Episode 3, ‘Trafficked’ I December 2021
Video I 13 Minutes
By Surabhi Singh
Shaheen (not her real name) is one of many women in West Bengal state’s Murshidabad district who believe that when men propose for marriage, they do so out of true love, not knowing that it could be mere pretence of love being used by human traffickers to sell them for labour or sex, or both. Shaheen has been rescued but her suffering carries on.

West Bengal’s Submerged Villages

Newsreel I December 2021
Video I 13 Minutes
By Jessica Goel
Millions of people in India’s West Bengal state have been facing the brunt of meandering rivers for years. Over the last decade, entire villages living on “Charlands” – river islands that emerge as a result of a river changing its path – have had to move to nearby patches of land for up to 16 times. Despite the continual displacement en masse, neither the central government nor the state government of West Bengal has a comprehensive policy to compensate or rehabilitate them, complains Dr. Abul Kalam Mohammad, a professor of geography at Aliah University in Kolkata.

Sex Trafficking in Mumbai

Episode 2, ‘Trafficked’ I November 2021
Video I 14 Minutes
By Mariya Rajan
Shama (name changed) and her underage daughter are brought from West Bengal state to Mumbai city by human traffickers with the promise of a job. Soon they find themselves in separate brothels. Their stories reflect what many of the more than 1,600 girls and women in Mumbai’s Kamatipura area, one of India’s biggest red-light districts, go through as their bodies are sold by brothel owners and pimps for 350 rupees per hour. Anti-trafficking activist Anson Thomas, who has rescued at least 800 minor girls from brothels, describes the extent of agony sex workers suffer.

Long Walk to School

Episode 3, Ruled-Out Women I September 2021
Video I 7 Minutes
By Mariya Rajan
Nikita Mehra treks for half an hour every day to reach the nearest road above her house in Almora district of the northern state of Uttarakhand, only to walk six more kilometres to attend school. Many other girls, however, have dropped out of school due to safety concerns.

The Return of the Spotted Cat

Episode 4, ‘Will the cheetah change its spots?’ I October 2021
Podcast I 26 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran, 
Sayantan Banerjee
The first few cheetahs get captured in South Africa ahead of their Indian odyssey. Will this wildlife experiment prove to be a boon or a bane for these spotted felines?

A Passage to India

Episode 3, ‘Will the cheetah change its spots?’ I October 2021
Podcast I 27 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran, 
Sayantan Banerjee
Grasslands are the favoured habitats of cheetahs. Will the reintroduction of these speedsters revive this much-neglected ecosystem?

Land, Lions and Losses

Episode 2, ‘Will the cheetah change its spots?’ I October 2021
Podcast I 28 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran, 
Sayantan Banerjee
A sanctuary in Central India was readied for lions but the prides never arrived. In 2020, African cheetahs were proclaimed as the new tenants. Unfortunately, displaced indigenous communities bore the brunt of this dilly-dallying.

End of an Era

Episode 1, ‘Will the cheetah change its spots?’ I October 2021
Podcast I 23 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran, 
Sayantan Banerjee
Cheetahs were docile, beautiful cats that many royals in India chose to capture. This greed for game hunting predators proved to be a death knell for the spotted cats in the South-Asian country.

Lives on Fire

Newsreel I October 2021
Video I 14 Minutes
By Tej Bahadur Singh
A seven-year-old girl witnesses her mother’s death after a portion of land caves in, burying her under debris in Jharia coalfields in India's Jharkhand state, where an underground fire has been raging for over 100 years due to unscientific mining. The girl's father, Dilip Bauri, recalls the incident, which, a local environmentalist warns, may repeat itself several times if the community there is not relocated to a safer place.

Trapped Away from Home

Episode 1, ‘Trafficked’ I September 2021
Video I 16 Minutes
By Harshita Rathore, Jyoti Jangra, Richard Kujur
Two underage girls from India’s eastern state of Jharkhand narrate how they were trafficked from the tribal-majority district of Gumla to the country’s city of Delhi for domestic work.

Kashmiriyat Fractured

Newsreel I September 2021
Video I 24 Minutes
By Ganesh Rajaraman, Jessica Goel, Surabhi Singh
Three decades after his brutal displacement, Rajinder Koul Premi, a Hindu from Kashmir, is still looking for answers, especially what led to the collapse of the region’s syncretic society? Will he get the answers? Will he be able to reconcile with the loss?

Long Walk to Water

Episode 2, ‘Ruled-Out Women’ I September 2021
Video I 18 Minutes
By Mariya Rajan
Series host Mariya Rajan goes for an arduous walk on the mountains of Uttarakhand state’s Almora district with a local resident, Janaki Devi, who fetches water three times a day from the nearest stream that is kilometres away.

Where’s My Loo?

Episode 1, ‘Ruled-Out Women’ I September 2021
Video I 9 Minutes
By Mariya Rajan, Abhishek Yadav
Kusum and Pinki are just two of the millions of women in rural India who do not have access to a toilet. The two live in a village in the northern state of Haryana, which according to the Indian government, is open-defecation free. Local activist Sameer Bakshi’s family raises the issue.

Rukmini S. on Coronavirus Deaths in India

Episode 2, ‘Deconstruct’ I July 2021
Podcast I 25 Minutes
By Sayantan Banerjee
Data journalist Rukmini S. at unearths facts that signalled a clear spike in deaths due to the coronavirus. A mix of on-the-ground reporting and data analysis tells us what the government didn’t want us to know.

The Curious Case of Water Crisis

Newsreel I July 2021
Video I 13 Minutes
By Richard Kujur, Jessica Goel
The lives of the people from a small community in Delhi revolve around waiting for the water truck – their only source of water – to arrive. It’s supposed to come daily, but it doesn’t.

Mridula Chari: Why Many Indians are Still Famished?

Episode 1, ‘Deconstruct’ I July 2021
Podcast I 22 Minutes
By Sayantan Banerjee
Journalist Mridula Chari talks about her recently published long-form essay ‘Famished’, a meticulous documentation of the hungry millions in India in

On Election Duty

Newsreel I June 2021
Video I 9 Minutes
By Tej Bahadur Singh
A tragedy strikes Mahima Gupta after her husband, Neeraj Gupta, a government employee, is sent on election duty amid a raging pandemic.

Help Never Arrived

Newsreel I May 2021
Video I 15 Minutes
By Richard Kujur, Jessica Goel
A young journalist, Rahul Suryawanshi, shares about the efforts he made to save the life of his father, Toran Singh Suryawanshi, a government school teacher who gets infected with COVID-19 after going on a vaccine-awareness duty.

What are Hospitals Hiding?

Newsreel I May 2021
Video I 10 Minutes
By Abhishek Yadav, Surabhi Singh
While relatives of COVID-19 patients complain hospitals are not giving any information except the news of them passing away, doctors at the government-run Meerut Medical College in Uttar Pradesh state consider it a crime when reporters seek answers.

Life in a Village

Newsreel I May 2021
Video I 11 Minutes
By Abhishek Yadav, Surabhi Singh
The second wave of the coronavirus in India appears to be beginning to subside in cities, but the spread of COVID-19, it seems, is shifting to villages, which look even more unprepared (than cities) to deal with the crisis.
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