Can ‘Indra’s Bow’ Save 500,000 Indian Children?

An infant getting the oral vaccine for polio.   As many as 500,000 children die every year in India due to vaccine-preventable diseases, despite a three-decade old, government-run universal immunisation programme.   About 27 million children are born in India every year, but 1.8 million don’t live to see their fifth birthday. Many of these … Continued

Bhanu’s Story: India’s Quiet Epidemic Of Housewife Suicides

Two years after her wedding in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, Bhanu (left), then 17, swallowed sleeping pills and tried to kill herself. Kriti Bharti (right), a psychologist, helped Bhanu (her name has been changed for this story) annul her marriage to a 55-year-old barber, who allegedly paid her grandfather a marriage fee of two lakh rupees.   … Continued

Why Malnutrition Remains A Challenge For India

  India has reduced malnutrition, but it is 13 times worse than Brazil, 9 times worse than China and 3 times worse than South Africa.   Rural areas have seen more declines in percentages of malnourished children than urban India.   The main reasons for the improvement are reduction in open defecation, increase in institutional … Continued

6 Hurdles To Building 44,000 Homes A Day

  Less than seven years are left for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Housing for All scheme aimed at providing a home to all the urban poor by 2022—especially as cities grow and migrants flow in from distressed rural areas.   This means an estimated 44,000 homes will have to be built every day or … Continued

India: Make-Or-Break Player For Climate Change

  Earlier this month, the U.N.’s climate chief Christina Figueres told the media that an Indian pledge to voluntarily cut carbon emissions is “critically important” to any meaningful agreement at a crucial UN climate summit in Paris in December.   As IndiaSpend reported recently, India has bucked a global trend of declining CO2 emissions to … Continued

Stopping India’s #1 Killer Is Up to Indians

A man stretching near the Arabian Sea in Mumbai. 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day could cut your risk of heart disease by 30%.   One evening after dinner in 1991, Satish Karekar, then 42, a Mumbai businessman, experienced a dull pain and heaviness in the chest and lightness in the head. When the … Continued

Diabetes: The Epidemic That Indians Created

A villager in rural Karnataka having his blood tested at a diabetes screening camp. Image: Flickr/Trinity Care Foundation   Meerut’s Sharad Tripathi developed diabetes five years ago, at 33, “no thanks to the stressful life of a sales person that involves a lot of travel, eating out and irregular meal times, and no time for … Continued

Stealthily, Smoke Kills 1 in 8 Indians

  Breathing doesn’t come easy to Asgar Ali Siddique, 45, a Mumbai resident, especially if he walks fast or climbs stairs—all because at the age of 15, he and his friends started to experiment with smoking.   One cigarette led to another and soon, Siddique evolved into a chain smoker. Cigarettes, beedis, Siddique tried them … Continued

How Cancer Has India In Its Grip

Amit Vaidya is lucky to have survived cancer twice. Cancer killed 0.7 million Indians in 2012, up from 0.26 million in 2004.   Amit Vaidya, 37, a PhD in economics, savours each day, as only a two-time cancer survivor can.   He doesn’t want others to suffer as he has, so Vaidya has launched an … Continued

India’s Speedy–And Ominous–Disease Transition

A cancer patient getting treatment in a hospital in Kolkata.   An Indian today has over twice the odds of dying of a non-communicable disease than a communicable disease, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). About a decade ago, you had a 50-50 chance of succumbing to a non-communicable disease.   The shift from … Continued