articles by Umesh Kumar Ray


COVID-19 deaths in Bihar: 2,579 last rites held in Patna between 1 April-13 May, but govt reports just 2,092 deaths for state

Official accounts from various crematoriums and burial grounds point towards underreporting of COVID-19 deaths in Bhagalpur district, as well. A total 672 COVID-19 victims were cremated from 1 April to 16 May in just one crematorium while official records say only 162 COVID-19 patients died during this period


In Bihar's Gaya, one COVID-19 bed for every 7,700 persons: Patna, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur worst-affected districts

Out of 38 districts of Bihar, four are badly affected - Patna, Bhagalpur, Gaya and Muzaffarpur. Since the pandemic broke out last year, Gaya has recorded 28,897 positive cases and 138 deaths; Muzaffarpur has recorded 25,305 positive cases and 195 deaths.


Unseen Warriors of COVID: Patna's hearse drivers, crematorium workers live in fear of infection, social stigma

A crematorium worker gets only Rs 375 per body while a hearse driver is retained at a monthly pay of Rs 10,000 and is expected to be available at any and all hours due to the high body count in the pandemic situation


Child marriage rampant in West Bengal's Malda, but parties believe addressing social evil would be political suicide

Despite the high prevalence of child marriage in West Bengal's Malda district, very few police cases get reported, and the rate of conviction is even more abysmal.


Singur farmers, frustrated by lack of cultivable land and factory jobs, may punish Mamata Banerjee at polls

It is sowing season in Bengal when farms turn green with newborn shoots. But not in Singur


Residents of fast-shrinking island in West Bengal's Sundarbans rue political apathy towards soil erosion

Today, Ghoramara island in West Bengal, like many others in the Sundarbans delta, is shrinking and could well vanish in the near future.


Political clout of Bihar’s fisherfolk could swing votes either way in Bhagalpur, but community still bears brunt of Ganga’s unpredictability

Fisherfolk in Bihar are among the communities that revere the Ganga and have dealt with her love and anger for centuries. But of late, the river has given them nothing but pain.


Magahi paan's popularity goes beyond India's borders, but farmers who grow them are unable to feed their children

No insurance or MSP facility is available to these farmers for Magahi paan, which is highly susceptible to bad weather.


Victims and beneficiaries of Bihar prohibition law live cheek by jowl; those who continue liquor trade blame lack of jobs

With the Lok Sabha election approaching, prohibition will, once again, be used as an important poll plank in Bihar.