Stories about South Asia from July, 2014
Indian Scientists Are Preventing Wild Elephant Attacks With Text Messages and TV
A small team tracks elephants during the day and gives the information to TV channels. Text messages are sent to those who are within a two-kilometre radius of elephant movement.
Bangladesh Authorities Shut Down a 200-Year-Old Brothel, Evicting Hundreds of Sex Workers
Pressure from religious leaders and conservative politicians is the suspected reason behind the closure. But the national platform of sex workers of Bangladesh accused local officials of land grabbing.
Indians Are Using Social Media to Tackle Racism Against Northeasterners
Many people from the India's northeastern states, called the “Seven Sisters,” face racial discrimination. The country has seen several cases of deadly violence against northeasterners in recent months.
Indian Prime Minister Modi's First Budget Promises Lots of Change, Including an Expensive New Statue
Narendra Modi's first budget as India’s new prime minister was greeted with mixed reactions. The $34 million budget allocation for a 600-foot statue in his home state generated much buzz.
Sri Lanka Plans to Deport 1,500 Pakistani and Afghan Refugees
Facing persecution in Pakistan, many Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians have taken refuge in Sri Lanka. These refugees are mostly held in Boossa and Mirihana detention centers and have to live on government-provided rations as they are not eligible for work. According to the media, the Sri Lankan government is preparing to...
This Young Woman Footballer Is More Popular Than Messi in Her Remote Village in Nepal
Sunakali led her team to victory in the national women's football tournament. When they arrived home, locals met them at the airstrip chanting, "Sunakali, like Messi!"
Bangladesh's Elite Paramiltary Unit Is Under Fire for Human Rights Violations. This Blogger Asks: What About Israel's IDF?
Brad Adams, the executive director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division, has recently written a letter to Bangladesh's prime minister suggesting that the Bangladesh government should disband the paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). Quoting news sources, he accused the RAB of being responsible for more than 800 extrajudicial killings in...
This Video Parodies What a Government-Approved Sex Education Class in India Would Look Like
Stand-up comedian Sourav Pant‘s comedy company East Indian Comedy has uploaded a YouTube video lampooning what a government-approved sex education class in India would look like. The video has gone viral, with more than 1 million hits in three days. The video mocks a suggestion made by Health Minister Harsh...
Bangladesh Has Formaldehyde to Thank for Its Short Supply of Mangoes This Season
Police are confiscating and destroying truckloads of mangoes because they are contaminated with dangerous levels of formalin, a strong solution of formaldehyde sprayed on fruit to extend their shelf life.
This Woman Marched Thousands of Kilometers Across Pakistan For Her Brother and Balochistan's Missing People
The news about the missing persons of Balochistan remains one of the most unheard stories in the world. Activist Farzana Majid has dedicated her life to make these voices heard.
Indians Say Goodbye To Orkut, Reluctantly
Indian users are reacting to the impending demise of Google's Orkut social networking platform. Orkut is the oldest citizen media site Indians used and around 20% of Orkut’s users today are from India. Vinaya Naidu at Lighthouse Insights compiles some of the users’ comments on the end of Orkut: Priya...
This Woman Is Leading Baloch Students in Their Struggle for Independence From Pakistan
Women in Balochistan face many challenges, including a heavily male-dominated patriarchal society, lack of infrastructure for education and a low rate of literacy among females.
Bangladeshi Sex Workers Take Cow Steroids To Mask Their Real Age
ActionAid, a British charity, mentioned in a recent report that 90% of commercial sex workers in Bangladesh are addicted to Oradexon, a steroid meant for cattle. Diaspora Bangladeshi blogger Anushay Hossain explains why they use this drug: This medicine meant to fatten cows has become the preferred drug among the...
Will India's Search for ‘Black Money’ Stashed Abroad End in Fortune or Frustration?
It depends on who you ask. Some estimates put the amount of money stashed abroad at $1.34 trillion, which India would use for its development.
Deported Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers Speak of Mistreatment by Australian Authorities
Thirty seven Sinhalese and four Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka sailed in a boat towards Australia and were intercepted west of the Cocos Island late last month by Australian authorities. They were returned to Sri Lanka, their point of origin, and they appeared in a court in the country's southwest...
Who Is Sachin Tendulkar? Don't Ask Tennis Champion Maria Sharapova
Disgruntled fans of the "god of cricket" are lashing out at Sharapova for admitting that she doesn't know who Tendulkar is.
Yes, I Wear a Bra, and It's Visible. So?
Nivedita N Kumar, a journalist, posts an emotional Facebook note which has gone viral. Here is an excerpt from the powerful essay that lashes at the notion of the Indian patriarchal society that clothes provoke rapists: Why? Why do you do that? Stare at my breasts like they are cute...
Mobile Phones Drive Social And Economic Changes In Pakistan
From a slow start in the late Nineteen Nineties mobile phone penetration in Pakistan has jumped up in recent years to 77% nationally and amongst urban class people to almost 100%. Dr. Tahir Rauf at Pak Tea House reports that the ubiquitous mobile phone use in Pakistan has brought a...
How Technology Is Helping People Learn—and Even Save—the World's Languages
Forward thinkers are harnessing the unprecedented power of technology to bring languages back from the brink of extinction, and in rare cases, to resurrect an extinct language.
Can a Hug Help Unite Generations? This Indian Campaign Says ‘Yes!’
The HUG campaign is working to bridge the inter-generational gap between young people and the elderly in an attempt to stem the growing isolation of India's silver citizens.
Want to Do Some ‘Timepass’ (Kill Some Time)? Spice Up Your Vocabulary With #IndianEnglish
Trending hashtag #IndianEnglish took a tongue-in-cheek look at how Indians have co-opted the English language and made it distinctively their own.