I work on early marriage, labour, migration and the climate crisis in South Asia. Currently a PhD Scholar at the University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies.
When cricket saves you from drought
Every year, in drought-affected Dharur taluka of Marathwada, apple sellers, cane cutters, students, and chemists, take to an IPL-styled cricket tournament--Dharur Premier League--to find a momentary escape from disaster and distress. I spoke to some of the players and franchise owners for this story.
Raindrop in the Drought: Godavari Dange
In collaboration with illustrator Maitri Dore, I undertook research and wrote the text for 'Raindrop in the Drought: Godavari Dange'. The bilingual comic book (Marathi and English) was published by Goethe-Institut Indonesian under its 'Movements and Moments: Feminists Generation' project in 2021.
'From Fibre to Fabric': India Exclusion Report 2019–2020
I have co-authored a chapter on the work and living conditions of Odia migrant workers in India's textile capital, Surat City. The chapter is titled 'From Fibre to Fabric: Everyday Confrontations with Disaster, Danger & Death by Odia Loom Workers in Surat City' (p.79).
In Surat’s power looms, ‘ease of doing business’ norms leave workers vulnerable to exploitation
An excerpt from our chapter 'From Fibre to Fabric: Everyday Confrontations with Disaster, Danger and Death by Odia Loom Workers in Surat City' published in the sixth edition of the India Exclusion Report 2020.
In India’s villages, some desperate parents see child marriage as a means to survive the pandemic
The COVID-19 lockdown has reportedly led to a surge in child marriages across India. In this article (republished from my blogpost), I draw from experiences of past global climate disasters to understand why it's important to treat the cause, and not just the symptom of this invisible pandemic.
The Brides for Survival: Tracking the Invisible Pandemic of Early Marriages in India
The COVID-19 lockdown has reportedly led to a surge in child marriages across India. In this blog post, I draw from experiences of past global climate disasters to understand why it's important to treat the cause, and not just the symptom of this invisible pandemic.
COVID-19 crisis risks reversing gains made against child marriage in India; legal revisions alone aren't solution
The Ministry of Women and Child Development is currently considering to raise the legal age at marriage for females from 18 to 21 years. While the move is being publicly lauded as "progressive" and "empowering", there's much more to it than what meets the eye. Particularly, as India continues to see a spike in child marriage cases during the pandemic. I spoke to child rights activists, advocates and frontline workers to dig deeper.
Unlocking the Urban: Reimagining Migrant Lives in Cities Post-COVID 19
Co-author. This report by Aajeevika Bureau examines the causes, nature and extent of migrant workers’ exclusion from urban services, and provides policy recommendations to remedy the same. The study was conducted during the pre-COVID 19 period in two major Indian cities: Ahmedabad and Surat.
Pulling out threads for 500 minutes every day
Women from Odisha who work from home for the multi-crore textile industry in Surat, Gujarat, are not covered by labour laws, are unable to negotiate better rates, and are seen as unskilled workers. I write for @PARInetwork
Gogunda’s culinary workers fight back against exploitation
Nearly 10,000 Adivasi labourers from Rajasthan's Udaipur district, migrate to work around the world in the food-processing & catering industry. The job brings with it dangers of bondage, accidents & death. Years after, few are breaking the silence.
Living in the rooms by the looms
Around 8 lakh workers from Odisha, after strenuous shifts in Surat’s powerlooms, stay in rotation in crowded rooms, amid power cuts, scarce water, filth and noise. Illnesses are common, as are stress and alcoholism.
In resettlement colonies across Mumbai, women face an uncertain future, struggle to make ends meet
Apart from the uphill task of adjusting to a resettlement colony located several kilometres away from their former homes, women from infrastructure project-affected families in Mumbai bear the risk of losing their jobs and sources of income. I explore their everyday struggles.
Chai migrants: For decades, this region in Rajasthan has been providing Mumbai its tea sellers
Hoping to build a better life, generations of men have been migrating from Vagad region in Rajasthan to Mumbai to work in the booming tea business. In this story, I explore the politics of caste, identity and labour that brew a glass of cutting chai.
Groove to Beat the Grind
For one hour everyday, the deafening khat-khat sound of the loom machines is replaced with thumping electro beats; the packed powerloom unit gives way to a large open studio; and, rhythm and style take over.
I write about loom workers in India's polyester capital Surat, who have taken to B-boying and Hip-hop, to survive the subhuman conditions in the looms.
Synthetic fabric, authentic despair
Lakhs of migrant workers from Ganjam in Odisha who operate powerlooms in Surat, the country’s polyester capital, risk serious injuries and accidental deaths every day. But desperate for work, they continue.