articles by Sonal Matharu


Jharkhand's focus on asset creation under MGNREGS impressive, but efficacy of mango farms in addressing poverty, migration doubtful

Jharkhand has completed close to nine lakh works between 2016 and 2019, however, this has not lead to an increase in wages under MGNREGS, nor has it addressed migration


Encephalitis outbreak in Bihar's Muzaffarpur: Given the complex mix of symptoms, it may take decades to identify reasons causing brain fever

The brain-fever or Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) outbreak in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district, which has killed more than 60 children below the age of 10 in the last two weeks, is not new to this region. For over four decades, the wards of government hospitals in over 12 districts of Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh brim with unconscious kids suffering from high fever and convulsions each year, the actual cause of which remains unknown.


A Land Parched of Proper Ideas

As India scrambles to tackle a poor monsoon, it can learn from missteps of Maharashtra in its attempt to become drought-free


Children Who Murder: Why We Are Guilty

When an eight-year-old murders an eighteen-month-old baby in a bustling modern city, it’s time we talk about violence, neglect and indifference, and what it does to children


Alirajpur is the Black Hole of Indian Democracy

India’s poorest district, Alirajpur in Madhya Pradesh, is a place where nothing shines in the gloom of all-pervasive deprivation


In India, Breathing Kills

In ten years, one in eight of us will be in sick bed, gasping for air even as overburdened hospitals begin to buckle under and medical bills spiral


Providing subsidised tuberculosis tests can help India save 80 lakh lives in 30 years, finds Lancet study

The Lancet study noted that in 2018 alone, there were 2.15 million new tuberculosis cases in India, an increase of 3 lakh cases in a single year.


Queens of the Ring

Divya Aale, also known as Cheeni Alia is one of the prime draws of the Continental Wrestling Entertainment (CWE), the four-year-old wrestling academy in Kangniwal village, 9 kilometres from Jalandhar city.


Cults, religious sects are not a thing of the past

The tragic and inglorious end of Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple, Osho’s Rajneeshpuram, Japan’s Aum Shinrikyo and other such associations across the world by no means implies that cults are a thing of the past


Sanatan Sanstha: A Hypnotic Attraction

The secretive organisation set up by hypnotherapist Jayant Balaji Athavale has been accused of serious crimes like murder and bomb blasts but remains popular among the youth for its ideology


The Grey Factor

Within three decades, India will be a country of old women and men. The burgeoning greying population will mostly be alone, lonely, vulnerable and ill, with no one to take care of them. Are we ready for an old society?


The murder of a black magician

The killing exposes a deep vein of blind faith and violence that runs through India’s most forward-looking state, which prides itself in its high-90s literacy rate and gender ratio


Anthropologist Madhumala Chattopadhyay recounts being first woman to establish contact with Sentinelese, Jarawa tribes

US national John Allen Chau was killed by the Sentinelese tribe when he tried to enter their island. Madhumala Chattopadhyay, who was the first woman to visit this tribe, as well as the Jarawas and Onges, speaks about how she established friendly contact with them and learnt about their way of life


Nearly 60 hospitals likely to be empanelled under Ayushman Bharat scheme despite AAP govt's objections

Close to 60 hospitals in Delhi may soon be empanelled under the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission.


Ayushman Bharat could be India's Big Bang moment in healthcare, but addressal of OPD care issues remains a key

By giving up to ₹5 lakh health insurance coverage to 10.7 crore families, the government is bringing healthcare to the poorest of the country, and if realised, it promises a revolution


The real Padman: How A Muruganantham launched a sanitary napkin revolution in India

Akshay Kumar's Padman has brought the focus back on Arunachalam Muruganantham, the innovator/social entrepreneur/menstrual hygiene campaigner on whom the film is based