Conflict · Gender · Sexual violence

Weapons Of War: The Women Of Bastar 

Weapons of War is my news documentary on women who have become collateral damage of a bloody conflict between Maoist insurgents and the state. Weapons of war exposes the ugly reality of brutal sexual abuse that Bastar's impoverished tribal women are subjected to, and the constant intimidation of those who try to bring them justice.… Continue reading Weapons Of War: The Women Of Bastar 

Conflict · Gender · Health · India · Rights

New Hospitals and equipment, but no doctors.

In Chhattisgarh’s Sukma town, a brand new 100-bed hospital stands as a proof of the healthcare crisis in conflict-ridden Bastar region. The new building was made operational two months ago, but marred by acute shortage of doctors, even the most basic facilities are unavailable. The hospital has one X-ray machine but no radiologist. There’s no CT Scan,… Continue reading New Hospitals and equipment, but no doctors.

Conflict · Gender · Health · Rights

Doctors Chat on Phone, Baby Falls From Delivery Table into Dustbin.

I am still reeling from the implausibly stunning fact of a baby slipping out of a womb into a dustbin. Finding the words to write this was not easy. But it is important for Soni Baghel’s story to be public, so that the Maharani College in Jagdalpur- in whose care almost all of Bastar’s tribals… Continue reading Doctors Chat on Phone, Baby Falls From Delivery Table into Dustbin.

Conflict · Rights · Sexual violence

How Breastfeeding Women Are Abused In Bastar – And Other Horror Stories

The feedback to this is overwhelming. I suppose even those who look only through a security prism can’t ignore the absolute depravity of this violence.

maya mirchandani

“Without emotion, as though she were talking about the weather, Manju (name changed) tells us how she and six other women in her village (Kunna in Bastar’s Sukma district) were subjected to “inspection” by a police party that came through their hamlet chasing a group of Naxals. Fearing harassment, torture, arrest or death, each time forces approach, boys and men flee into the forests, leaving women to face the brunt of the search. While they all pointedly say they were not raped, their stories of physical abuse are horrific.”

I returned from Bastar, In Chhatisgarh from an assignment to report on issues women face in conflict zones related to their health and safety. While healthcare is as abject in its villages as in many parts of rural India, the over riding narrative in Bastar for women is of sexual violence- used as a weapon of war. While activists and lawyers try to…

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Conflict · Gender · Rights · Sexual violence

How Breastfeeding Women Are Abused In Bastar – And Other Horror Stories

"Without emotion, as though she were talking about the weather, Manju (name changed) tells us how she and six other women in her village (Kunna in Bastar’s Sukma district) were subjected to “inspection” by a police party that came through their hamlet chasing a group of Naxals. Fearing harassment, torture, arrest or death, each time forces approach,… Continue reading How Breastfeeding Women Are Abused In Bastar – And Other Horror Stories

Conflict · Gender

Reporting Under Fire: Tales of Women Journalists in India

“Maya Mirchandani, Senior Editor, NDTV has over two decades of experience as a field reporter. In 1999, when she stopped to ask President Chandrika Kumaratunga in Sri Lanka a question, a bomb exploded 15 feet away, injuring both of them. She says one doesn’t need to be covering a war to be a target.” Read… Continue reading Reporting Under Fire: Tales of Women Journalists in India