Editorial

I

n these times of worldwide suffering and unending tragedy, the effort to put together a publication such as Horizons may seem trivial. But we all have to — if we can and as best we can — try to get on with the everyday matters of life, of work, of finding purpose and pluck. And that is not trivial.

There are plenty of lessons to be learned from the Covid-19 contagion, none more important perhaps than the importance of togetherness for the human race. The virus of individualism is being cast aside, at least temporarily, its place taken by a spirit of solidarity. That sense of togetherness is what informs the cover story in this edition of the magazine.

Rajasthan has for long been a laggard in human development indices but that is changing, not as rapidly as could be hoped but certainly for sure. Joining hands to make that possible are government institutions, nonprofits and philanthropies, as well as, most critically, the people and communities their initiatives are targeted at. The multiple social development programmes showcased here offer glimpses of how that is happening, and the part being played by the Tata Trusts in the endeavour.

We have packed in plenty more in this issue. Our special report explains how farmers in Andhra Pradesh are turning turmeric into a ‘golden’ opportunity for growth. Additionally, there are feature stories on a variety of subjects: an open-data platform providing Pune’s citizens with better access to civic services; a water project in Uttarakhand that is working to revive and protect natural springs; an ecotourism scheme, in the same state, delivering an income source for women; and a clean-cooking solution in rural Uttar Pradesh aimed at making kitchens and homes safer.

From across the border in neighbouring Chhattisgarh, there’s an article about how tribal communities are using an ingenious radio service to connect with one another and to resolve local concerns. Also on the menu are an intervention in Mumbai where cricket is the enabler for children from poor and difficult backgrounds, and a quirky campaign to promote road safety.

Expert insights are the order of the day in our interview with Shoko Noda, resident representative in India for the United Nation Development Programme. Then there are subject specialists Percy Menzies and Abhishek Ghosh casting light on addictions to drugs and alcohol and Shikha Srivastava of the Tata Trusts on migrant labourers and their need for help.

We round off with a photo-feature on animal care initiatives being supported by the Tata Trusts. That, we believe, is appropriate at a time when our exploitation of animals, for food and worse, is squarely in the spotlight.

Cheers and happy reading.

Christabelle Noronha

We hope you will help us make Horizons better with your valuable feedback. Please do write to us at horizons@tatatrusts.org.

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