Hi and welcome to my website!

 

Based in Madurai, South India, I'm a freelance journalist with twenty years of reporting experience. My articles delve into a wide range of issues, exploring science, environmental policy, health, human rights and culture.

My work has taken me on many an incredible journey through wild desolate caves that Jain monks once made their homes in, to ancient excavation sites in the heart of rural India and to the blinding heat of salt mines that are on the throes of climate change.  

I have been published in The New York Times, NPR, The Guardian, British Medical Journal, Al Jazeera, The AtlanticSouth China Morning Post, Atlas Obscura, National Geographic TravellerReader’s Digest, BBC.com, The Diplomat (Australia), Morning Calm (South Korea)Mint and many others.  

For over four years, I wrote a column on health and well-being for one of India's national newspapers, The Hindu. In the course of my career, I've also written for the features pages of various national dailies including The New Indian Express, Times of India and the Hindustan Times. You can read my articles on health and parenting on the TheSwaddle.com. 

I believe in the power of bitter coffee and bright sunshine. And for me, the most gripping stories are always the ones that are true to life.

 

Thank you for reading! 

COULD AKIRA MIYAWAKI’S 50-YEAR-OLD INNOVATION HELP PROMOTE BIODIVERSITY AND REDUCE THE RISK OF CLIMATE CHANGE? PUBLISHED: JUNE 2020, ENSIA, (USA) An innovative approach to growing forests is getting fresh attention from a world seeking to protect species and suck carbon dioxide from the air

THE DIVERS SAVING A DROWNING ISLAND FEB 3, 2020 PUBLISHED: BBC FUTURE PLANET Vaan Island in India’s Gulf of Mannar has been rapidly disappearing into the Laccadive Sea. But a team of marine biologists is working to save it.

NEW LIFE FOR INDIA'S WASTE FLOWERS: OZY JAN 19, 2020 8 million tons of fresh flowers, which are offered in ritual to deities in temples across the country, are dumped into rivers each year in India because they cannot be discarded — it’s considered disrespectful. But many of the blooms are loaded with pesticides and insecticides that enter the river system and harm marine life. But a social entrepreur came up with a simple solution...

HIGH COST OF COVID CARE

HIGH COST OF COVID CARE

PUBLISHED: BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL 10 SEPTEMBER 2020 India’s private sector props up its healthcare, but the pandemic has exposed exorbitant and inconsistent billing

THE DEVILISHLY DIFFICULT  LOCKS OF DINDUGUL

THE DEVILISHLY DIFFICULT LOCKS OF DINDUGUL

PUBLISHED: ATLAS OBSCURA FEB 21, 2020 These unique handcrafted mechanisms are designed to protect homes, confound cashiers, and outthink thieves.

SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN INDIA

SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN INDIA

PUBLISHED: WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER (WMC) JULY 2020 Instagram Scandal in Delhi’s Elite Schools Complicates India’s Reckoning with Sexual Violence

COCONUT CLIMBERS

COCONUT CLIMBERS

PUBLISHED: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST (SCMP) PUBLISHED: AUGUST 2020 Like coconut water? Ever wonder who picks the coconuts? Men and women in India climb 80 feet up bare tree trunks to harvest them...

DELHI'S BAD AIR DAYS

DELHI'S BAD AIR DAYS

PUBLISHED: NPR, NOV 2019 How does it feel to live in one of the most polluted cities in the world? Many Delhi residents complain of watering eyes, a persistent cough and a dull headache that lasts all day...

SCIENCE SAVING REEFS

SCIENCE SAVING REEFS

PUBLISHED: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 8 OCT, 2019 The Gulf of Mannar in South India is home to 117 species of coral. Global warming and recent heatwaves have damaged the reefs, but a new transplanting method offers hope.

CAPTIVE PARROTS...

CAPTIVE PARROTS...

PUBLISHED: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, JUNE 2019 Parrot astrology is a centuries-old custom prevalent in southern India. Parrot astrologers use specially trained parrots to draw cards from a deck, with which they tell their customer’s fortune. But with awareness of animal welfare issues rising in India, the tradition is in jeopardy...

SAVING PRISONER'S KIDS

SAVING PRISONER'S KIDS

PUBLISHED: AL JAZEERA, 12 NOV, 2018 Based in southern India, KR Raja works to ensure children who have been essentially orphaned receive support.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND VISION

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND VISION

PUBLISHED: THE GUARDIAN, UK, FEB 8TH, 2019 Built on thousands of retina images, algorithm helps diagnose eye problem caused by diabetes...

INDIA'S BAREFOOT VILLAGE

INDIA'S BAREFOOT VILLAGE

PUBLISHED: 8 MARCH 2019, BBC TRAVEL In a country where people often go barefoot indoors – considering it a gesture of respect and a nod to hygiene – a village in southern India has taken the practice to a new level.

HONESTY SHOPS

HONESTY SHOPS

PUBLISHED: NPR’s GOATS & SODA, DEC 25, 2018 Let's say you're a student in class. There are boxes full of delicious snacks on a table in front of the room: muffins, peanut brittle, candy, samosas (deep-fried potatoes wrapped in a packet of dough). There's a money box next to the snacks. It's up to you whether to pay or not. And nobody's watching. Would you be an honest citizen and toss some coins into the box? Or would you walk off with a snack without chipping in?

KIKI...DO YOU LOVE ME?

KIKI...DO YOU LOVE ME?

PUBLISHED: NPR'S GOATS & SODA, SEPT 2019 Ever since the internet hailed the dancing farmer video, life has changed in big and small ways, says Sriram Srikanth, 28, the vlogger who choreographed the dance and shot the video. Their little jig put the tiny village of Lambadipally in the southern Indian state of Telangana on the map.

WHATSAPP &  FAKE NEWS

WHATSAPP & FAKE NEWS

PUBLISHED: FIRSTPOST.COM, SEPT, 2018. While there is no easy solution to fight fake news, citizens in India are pitching in to wage war against it, as the country rocks in the throes of a misinformation crisis of its own making…

SOCIAL MEDIA RESCUES

SOCIAL MEDIA RESCUES

PUBLISHED: Aug 22, 2018, NPR Thousands of Indian citizens used mobile phone technology and social media platforms to mobilize relief efforts after severe floods struck the Southern Indian state of Kerala...

WOMEN AND SUICIDE

WOMEN AND SUICIDE

PUBLISHED: Sept 25 2018, NPR Suicide by Women is a Major Public Health Concern in India. As a part of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study 2016, a group of 30 public health researchers and doctors across India examined and evaluated data from national sources to study the suicide death rates for men and women. Their findings, published in the medical journal Lancet Public Health, brought out some startling revelations...

WHY DO RAPISTS RAPE?

WHY DO RAPISTS RAPE?

PUBLISHED: NPR's Goats & Soda. Dec 16, 2017. In Interviews with 122 rapists, student pursues not so simple question--why?

INDIA REFORMS RAPE LAWS

INDIA REFORMS RAPE LAWS

Published: May 4 2018, NPR India is trying to makes its judicial system more efficient — and to set stronger penalties for convicted rapists. New laws have been passed. But there are concerns that these ordinances will be difficult to implement or could even backfire.

SNAKE BUSTERS!

SNAKE BUSTERS!

THE ATLANTIC CITYLAB, June 22, 2018 In the Indian city of Madurai, a volunteer group deals humanely with emergencies of the reptile kind.

THE LAST GHATAM MAKERS...

THE LAST GHATAM MAKERS...

Aug 3, 2017 ABP MEDIA, USA In Manamadurai, India, a lone family of artists carries on the back-breaking work of making the ghatam, a musical instrument...

LIVES OF SALT WORKERS

LIVES OF SALT WORKERS

AUG 28, 2017 PUBLISHED: THE WIRE Situated along the Coromandel coast, Thoothukudi is a major port city in Tamil Nadu and home to much of India's salt harvesting terrain. This industry is over a century old in these parts and yet climate change is ushering in unprecedented change...

INDIA'S SACRED FLOWERS

INDIA'S SACRED FLOWERS

PUBLISHED: BBC.COM FEBRUARY , 2017 Jasmine isn’t just cultivated in Madurai; it’s a way of life, an art form that is inseparable from worship, local lore, ancient and contemporary culture...

A JAIN FOOTPRINT

A JAIN FOOTPRINT

FORBES LIFE INDIA JANUARY 2016 Wandering monks once made their home in South India, leaving behind an ancient legacy in the heart of the wild...

A TOILET IS THE STAR

A TOILET IS THE STAR

PUBLISHED: NPR Romance films don't usually revolve around a toilet. But that's the angle in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha — or Toilet: A Love Story, a Bollywood film starring superstar Akshay Kumar. And the box office has been flush with success.

A GRAND DAUGHTER'S LOVE

A GRAND DAUGHTER'S LOVE

OCTOBER 8, 2017 NPR Although she'd never cooked until her early thirties, food was always an integral part of Archana Pidathala's life. The author of the self-published cookbook, Five Morsels of Love, shortlisted earlier this year for the 2017 Art of Eating Prize, cherishes memories of long, languid summers spent at her grandmother's home in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh...

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THE LAST GHATAM MAKERS...

Aug 3, 2017 ABP MEDIA, USA In Manamadurai, India, a lone family of artists carries on the back-breaking work of making the ghatam, a musical instrument...

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