‘When we ask for our passbooks, they threaten to throw us out’

Twenty-four-year old Shanti looked at the calculator perplexed. According to the trade unionist standing before her, who had just computed her wage break-up, she was supposed to be earning Rs. 17,440 a month as a contract pourakarmika under the city corporation, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). “Rs. 17,000, not Rs. 1,700?” she asks to confirm.Continue reading “‘When we ask for our passbooks, they threaten to throw us out’”

Innovations galore at IISc design fest

From a flight simulator controlled by eye gaze to a device to help one-handed women to put on sanitary napkins on their own, the annual design festival of the Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing (CPDM), Indian Institute of Science, began on Friday by showcasing simple, elegant solutions to societal problems. The students who presentedContinue reading “Innovations galore at IISc design fest”

Health alert: ‘20.7% of Bengaluru children overweight or obese’

The hours spent cooped up in classrooms and in front of electronic gadgets was bound to have an effect: A cross-sectional screening of nearly one lakh children across schools in Bengaluru has shown that almost 20.7% were either overweight or obese, and 13.3% at risk of developing lifestyle diseases in adulthood. The results of theContinue reading “Health alert: ‘20.7% of Bengaluru children overweight or obese’”

At this ICU, seven nurses look after 45 newborns

The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the government-run Vani Vilas Hospital that handles extremely premature babies and babies with congenital birth defect — which require round-the-clock care — has a severe shortage of nurses.

The stealth superbug, decoded

A team of scientists in Bengaluru is behind the genome sequencing of Candida auris, a fungus that has caused disease outbreaks in five continents this year On November 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a leading public health institute in Atlanta, U.S., reported 13 cases of infection by the deadly fungus Candida auris in severalContinue reading “The stealth superbug, decoded”

Parasports: going beyond limitations

Until Roger Bannister ran a mile under a minute in 1954, it was thought impossible for humans to run that fast. Today most international runners can meet the target. If sport is about overcoming limitations, para athletes are some of the greatest mindbenders: for instance, how does a knee amputee play badminton, or a visuallyContinue reading “Parasports: going beyond limitations”

Under Bengaluru’s trees

Did you know the tamarind tree came from Ethiopia two thousand years ago? Or that the vast majority of Bengaluru’s avenue trees are native to South America? In fact, so many commonly-used plants have come from that continent, the famous botanist and Kannada writer B.G.L. Swamy wrote a book called Namme Hotteyalli South America (South AmericaContinue reading “Under Bengaluru’s trees”

Study shows lifestyle diseases on rise in low-income families

Yasmin (45), who lives in a crowded colony in Kadugondanahalli (K.G. Halli), had to have her leg amputated due to uncontrolled diabetes. The reason: she was not regular with medicines for years due to ignorance about the possible complications that could arise. Her neighbour Husseinbi (60) has been suffering from hypertension for 12 years. SheContinue reading “Study shows lifestyle diseases on rise in low-income families”