Despite opening up to the rest of the country much more significantly than ever before over the recent past, Northeast India remains a relatively unexplored region. That explains why doing the cover story of this edition has been a journey of discovery for all of us at Horizons.
The Northeast is unique in ways too many to list, but framing it as a monolith — as I have just done — would be a mistake. Each of the states of this diverse and captivating geographical spread is unique. An appreciation of that reality has been the starting point of the splendid work the Tata Trusts have been doing to advance the cause of social development in the region.
Through programmes in livelihoods, education, animal husbandry, skilling and sports, the Trusts have been making a difference in the lives of numerous people in the Northeast. Our cover story, which touches Assam, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland, is an attempt to illuminate some of these efforts.
This issue of Horizons includes a project to ease the distress visited upon migrants moving from state to state in search of seasonal jobs and the means to simply survive. Our feature article on the India Consensus initiative examines how this collaboration involving the Trusts is striving to bring cost-benefit analyses to bear on social development decisions.
We also have on the magazine’s menu interviews with two doctors: veteran economist Rajiv Kumar, the vice chairman of NITI Aayog, and public health expert Chandrakant S Pandav (economics and medicine do mix). Additionally there are stories from urban as well as village milieus: a pan-India library programme; reinvented public health centres in Nagpur; and the enabling of craftspeople from across India.
Perhaps most crucially, this edition features a cancer care initiative with the potential to change the equation, across the country, in dealing with the disease.
Here’s to interesting reading and — because belatedly is better than never — wishing you, dear reader, the best in this still new year.Christabelle Noronha
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