an you really see the world in a grain of sand? Maybe. Maybe not. But you surely can see it in that invisible virus now playing havoc with our lives. The Covid-19 contagion has opened our eyes to a swarm of unsettling truths about human beings and Planet Earth.
Containing this deadly modern-day villain requires a full arsenal of measures, none more important than a public health system calibrated to serve the public interest. That system and its struggles in India form the backdrop for the subject of our cover story.
For all our troubles and tragedies with the coronavirus, there have been numerous examples of the country pulling together to cope with the pandemic. That’s the spirit we have to summon to put India’s public health system in order. It will take the government and civil society to work in tandem for the goal to be realised.
The Tata Trusts are lending a steady hand in helping make that happen. Through collaboration, innovation and good old commitment, the Trusts have immersed themselves in India’s health sector with incisive programmes that address a range of concerns and challenges, from cancer care and noncommunicable diseases to nutrition, mother-and-child wellness and much more.
This edition of Horizons is a little special for another reason as well. We have Tata Trusts Chairman Ratan Tata opening up in a rare interview on a host of issues. Also speaking their minds on these pages are Bhupathiraju Somaraju, standout physician and socially conscious citizen, and public policy maven Ambuj Sagar from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
In our feature stories section, we fish in fine waters with a project that is paving a brighter future for 35,000 households in four states, we accompany one-time school dropouts in Assam who are finding their way back to class, and we raise a cheer for an initiative aimed at banishing the taboos surrounding menstruation.
In our blend of expert opinions, there’s Poornima Dore, who heads the ‘data-driven governance’ portfolio at the Tata Trusts, explaining why technology and digital systems are integral to India’s social development efforts; educator Coomi S Vevaina on crafting a ‘globally intimate’ future through freshly minted narratives; and Devyani Hari and Priyanka Chhaparia from Centre for Responsible Business on the criticality of sustainability for enterprises in the post-pandemic order.
Wrapping it up is the photo-feature on the Leh Livelihoods Initiative, which focuses on improving the quality of life of mountain communities in Ladakh through a clutch of social uplift projects.
There’s plenty here to indulge your lockdown reading habits, dear reader.Christabelle Noronha
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