Anupama Chandrasekaran

Anupama Chandrasekaran

Editor, Podcasts

Loud chatter, hushed gossip, tongue-twisting accents, sing-song dialects, muffled giggles, belly laughs and pregnant pauses. When I was in fifth grade, my late father thrust empty audio tapes in my hands and nudged me to record conversations with my then octogenarian grandmother. These anecdote-rich soundscapes culled during sleepy vacation afternoons have shaped my audio journey.

In 2000, I flew from Mumbai to New York City to study business journalism; little did I know that a year later, I would be just four miles away from one of the craziest catastrophes to hit the world – 9/11. Of course, I was wrong. The craziest was yet to come.

After a four-year stint with Reuters in New York City and a baby in hand, I returned to India. I wrote for Mint business daily, played stringer for Reuters and also contributed to the now-defunct New York Times India Ink blog. I taught economics to 16 and 17 year olds for nearly a decade at an alternative school before taking a plunge to make a podcast.

Finally, I got to revel in the joys of shaping audio stories from on-the-ground recordings eked from travels to fossil sites with scientists and prehistoric digs with archaeologists. I financed this personal audio project by writing for online news portals The Wire Science and Scroll. This also landed me a contract to write a children’s book on fossils.

At Newsreel, I will produce audio documentaries that will bring you the diverse languages, voices and sounds of our amazing country.

I can be contacted at Anupama@Newsreel.Asia.

Love Gone Bad

Episode 2, ‘Outvoted’ I November 2022
Podcast I 27 Minutes
By Shiksha Jural 
Navya grew up in a household where she saw her mother being beaten. She too ended up in an abusive relationship but found the courage to wrangle out of it.

Rishabh Chakraborty's Autism Story

Episode 2, ‘Extraordinary’ I October 2022
Podcast I 27 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Rishabh Chakraborty always wore headphones to avoid the cacophony on Kolkata streets. Three years ago, he found out why through cues in an online comedy drama.

The Haze Lifts

Episode 1, ‘Outvoted’ I October 2022
Podcast I 23 Minutes
By Shiksha Jural
Emotionally-strung and experimental youth are easy baits for drug peddlers selling cheap and dangerous concoctions filtering in from failed states. A desperate mother shocked to see the transformation and hallucinations of her child leans on an uncommon tool to free an addict.

Rakshita Shekhar's Autism Story

Episode 1, ‘Extraordinary ’ I September 2022
Podcast I 20 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Rakshita was always labeled as different. At the age of 34 she was diagnosed with autism. She was thrilled!

Tribal Agency

Episode 4, 'Tribal Agency' I June 2022
Podcast I 30 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Indigenous communities need to have a say in changes being made to their land. An anthropologist, a doctor and a filmmaker who have interacted closely with them, tell us why.

A Fracture and A Truce

Episode 3, 'A Fracture and A Truce' I April 2022
Podcast I 30 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
In the late 1990s, an injured Jarawa boy from the jungles of Andaman islands was medically cared for by settlers. That interaction set off a domino of changes; both good and bad.

Transforming Island Tourism

Episode 2, 'Transforming Island Tourism' I April 2022
Podcast I 30 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Can the Andaman and NIcobar islands survive mass and luxury tourism? One entrepreneur offers an alternative.

Cycling Through Tsunamis

Episode 1, 'Cycling Through Tsunamis' I April 2022
Podcast I 30 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
How a young female Nicobari cyclist is fighting odds and inspiring others to spin.

Welfare for All

Episode 7, 'Welfare for All' I March 2022
Podcast I 13 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Indepreet Singh volunteers with the Hemkunt Foundation, a philanthropy that is run by people following the Sikh religion. During the pandemic, volunteers worked to construct makeshift clinics and oxygen-supplying centres during one of the gravest periods of the pandemic.

A Roll Call for Help

Episode 6, 'A Roll Call for Help' I March 2022
Podcast I 11 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Syed Azharuddin is part of the Students’ Islamic Organisation or SIO. During the pandemic many college students studying out of hostels away from home were stranded by the lockdowns. The SIO pedaled to provide food, funds and transport to students irrespective of their religion, squashing Islamophobic biases along the way.

Empathy douses Hatred and Hunger

Episode 4, 'Empathy douses Hatred and Hunger' I March 2021
Podcast I 14 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Karwan-e-Mohabbat is an organisation trying to fight bigotry with empathy and solidarity for families of people killed or lynched in the name of religion. During a complete shutdown of the country at the onset of the pandemic, they took it upon their shoulders to feed a forgotten group — thousands of workers who were walking home to stave off penury. Sadly, communalism kept raising its ugly head even in this depravity.

A Stitch in Time

Episode 5, 'A Stitch in Time' I March 2021
Podcast I 10 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Delhi, India-based Jesuit Refugee Services(JRS) has been working towards a better life for Afghan and Myanmar’s Chin refugees, who find it tough to earn a livelihood as they are shunned as unwanted immigrants. During the COVID pandemic, many such refugee families spiralled into deeper poverty. But the Jesuit organization started a tailoring group for women to ward off this humanitarian crisis. With earnings trickling in from hand-stitched masks, clothes and decorations, these Chin and Afghan women are sensing some security.

Ultimate Airbenders

Episode 3, ‘Games of Chance’ I November 2021
Podcast I 19 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran, Sayantan Banerjee
Ultimate frisbee fumigates mouldy sports norms. The mixed-gender, self-refereed sport is proving to be a game changer for underprivileged girls in fishing and tribal hamlets of India's Tamil Nadu state.

Religious About Jabs

Episode 2, ‘Keeping the Faith’ I November 2021
Podcast I 12 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Jinesh Shah heads an initiative that tirelessly works to accommodate covid vaccination camps at a Jain temple in India's western metropolis, Mumbai. The initiative looks beyond people's caste or religion, offering help even to the homeless. (The series has been produced with our publishing partner Religion Unplugged.)

Death Does Not Do Us Apart

Episode 1, ‘Keeping the Faith’ I November 2021
Podcast I 12 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Tanveer Ahmed is helping bury and cremate people of all religions dying from the novel coronavirus when their families cannot do so. He is one of the volunteers from Mercy Angels, a philanthropy based in the south Indian city of Bengaluru and run largely by members of the Muslim community. (The series has been produced with our publishing partner Religion Unplugged.)

Right to Education and Phones

Episode 3, ‘Keeping the Faith’ I November 2021
Podcast I 12 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran and Sayantan Banerjee
As‌ ‌schools‌ in India ‌take ‌the‌ ‌online‌ ‌route‌ ‌due to the COVID-19 pandemic,‌‌‌ economically ‌poor‌ ‌children‌ ‌without‌ ‌smartphones‌ ‌feel ‌abandoned‌ ‌by‌ ‌the‌ ‌system.‌ ‌But Anjali Gurmukhani Sharma‌, who’s from Charter‌ ‌for‌ Compassion, ‌empathetically‌ ‌tries ‌to‌ ‌ensure‌ ‌that underprivileged school girls,‌ ‌at‌ ‌risk‌ ‌of ‌being‌ ‌married‌ ‌or‌ ‌buried‌ ‌in‌ ‌housework,‌ ‌get‌ ‌phones‌ ‌to‌ ‌continue‌ ‌with‌ ‌online‌ ‌schooling.‌ (The series has been produced with our publishing partner Religion Unplugged.)

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.

Surrogate Mothers and the Pandemic

Episode 6, ‘Positive’ I September 2021
Podcast I 13 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Pinky and Meena didn’t imagine that one could conceive a baby without sexual intimacy. Then the financial torment of the pandemic brought them to surrogacy. Dr. Nayana Patel, who runs the hospital where Meena and Pinky enrolled as surrogates, describes the precarious hurdles her hospital faced during the pandemic.

COVID-19: A Search for the Missing

Episode 5, ‘Positive’ I August 2021
Podcast I 11 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Menson Aruldas grew up without his mother. The news of deaths surrounding the pandemic has made him pedal harder to find her. He doesn’t want to regret missing an opportunity to reconnect with her.

Young Lifeguards Patrol the Corona Ocean

Episode 4, ‘Positive’ I June 2021
Podcast I 11 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
A youth organisation transforms into a call centre to help Corona patients and their families scrambling for assistance. Anger simmers about government inadequacies.

Next Stop: India’s Villages

Episode 3, ‘Positive’ I June 2021
Podcast I 10 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
An unexpected death rocks a far flung tribal settlement, previously untouched by the pandemic. Regi George, a doctor running a hospital in this remote region, and his team chalk out a prescription plan for Sittilingi valley in South India.

To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate

Episode 2, ‘Positive’ I June 2021
Podcast I 13 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Behavioural science researcher Anushka Ashok dissects roadblocks to vaccinating the world.

A Son Soaks in Grief

Episode 1, ‘Positive’ I June 2021
Podcast I 9 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Sayantan Banerjee, who is only 23 years old, learnt a life lesson as he soaked in the sorrows of others during his mother’s hospitalisation.

Seed Saving Farmers Struggle

Episode 4, ‘Eat Different’ I May 2021
Podcast I 34 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Seed saving is an age-old act of conserving varieties and propagating them. Members of this vanishing guild share stories of astounding and resilient varieties of grains and vegetables that are a boon in a climate-changing world.

Foraged Plants and Insects

Episode 3, ‘Eat Different’ I May 2021
Podcast I 33 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Forest dwellers have always known the how, why, when, what and where of foraged foods. Seasonal weeds, medicinal plants, squirmy insects form a part and parcel of their stunning and delicious food platter.

Farming to Have More Leisure

Episode 2, ‘Eat Different’ I May 2021
Podcast I 34 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Modern agricultural practices are a barrage of poison on our foods and lands. A gentle approach of tending soil, water and crops without any synthetic dressing results in food security alongside an afternoon nap.

The Dalit Non-Cookbook

Episode 1, ‘Eat Different’ I May 2021
Podcast I 23 Minutes
By Anupama Chandrasekaran
Dalit writers refuse to label a collection of their family recipes as a cookbook. They desist because it diminishes the truths of their sorrowful past.
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