Make No Mistake, India’s Modi is Not a Progressive on Any Score

Vinod Shetty of ACORN Foundation of India and the Dharavi Project

New Orleans    In one of those rare and marvelous coincidences, I had foregone my annual trip to Mumbai, because Vinod Shetty of ACORN Foundation of India and the Dharavi Project was amazingly going to be in New Orleans when I returned, giving us days […]

The Street Vendors Act 2014

Delhi               After eight days on the ground in India and two days in the air and endless discussions of the formally named THE STREET VENDORS (PROTECTION OF LIVELIHOOD AND REGULATION OF STREET VENDING ACT, 2014, which has become our primary organizing tool since formal passage and enactment on May 1, 2014, it was clearly time […]

India Notes for My Father

Bengaluru     Every trip is an education.   Every trip to India is a contradiction.

The Chennai train station had free wi-fi for one hour, but so few seats that most people sat on the floor.  The Bengaluru airport is almost new, build by a French company on a 20-year concession before it will be claimed by the government, […]

The Law of the Streets

talking to a police harassing us that is in Chennai in the Mint Road market

Bengaluru       In Chennai and Bengaluru, the issue we continued to hear in every market where we visited with our members was the police.  Every day was a continual battle for space and the streets.   We may have gotten a law […]

Beautification, Fisher Folk, and Coal in Chennai

Suresh and Nity

Chennai      I had met Nityanad Jayaraman briefly in New York and promised to track him down and find out more about his work, so Suresh Kadashan and I began our day traveling across Chennai to find him.  As the auto rickshaw made its way, the police detour took us in a long […]

Riding the Rails to Chennai

Bengaluru train station

Chennai           Railroads are serious transportation in the giant expanse of India.  The trains are old, but reliable.  The amenities are not bare, but nonexistent, many of which are filled by hawkers jumping on from station to station selling tea, coffee, chai, samosas, hot tins of food, heaping buckets of food, purses, knickknacks, […]