Reach
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36DaysOfType

Bribery & Corruption
 
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As per the findings of the EY Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) Fraud Survey 2017, India ranks ninth out of 41 countries, when it comes to bribery and corrupt practices in business. A disturbing 41% of respondents in the survey said they'd readily act unethically to enhance their own career.

We do seem to be falling down the bribery and corruption ranks though, with India coming in at 6th place in 2015. One reason for this "improvement" might be India's focus on regulatory scrutiny and our emphasis on transparency and governance. 


This year, for #36daysoftype, we at Reach have talked about lesser known social issues for A-Z. For the numbers, we thought it would be interesting to have each number correspond to where India stands in the world with respect to a particular index, and what’s more, how that number was arrived at.

For the number series, we want to shine a light on the research bodies who bring us this valuable data, that help us apply much needed context to ourselves and our shared world. These entities work hard to scour through heaps of data, corroborate with and consolidate various studies, use innumerable tools and sampling methods, and most of all, exercise the rigour required to present this information in a consumable way, available for scrutiny, peer-review, and in an ideal world — positive changes in policy and the way we behave as a society.

Let us know what you think! If you want to point out any errors, please tell us where it’s wrong, and how it’s wrong, and we’d be happy to change our position! 

 
Impact of Terrorism
 
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The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) - an annual report by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) - studies a number of factors associated with terrorism and its impact, ranking the nations of the world according to terrorist activity.


This year, for #36daysoftype, we at Reach have talked about lesser known social issues for A-Z. For the numbers, we thought it would be interesting to have each number correspond to where India stands in the world with respect to a particular index, and what’s more, how that number was arrived at.

For the number series, we want to shine a light on the research bodies who bring us this valuable data, that help us apply much needed context to ourselves and our shared world. These entities work hard to scour through heaps of data, corroborate with and consolidate various studies, use innumerable tools and sampling methods, and most of all, exercise the rigour required to present this information in a consumable way, available for scrutiny, peer-review, and in an ideal world — positive changes in policy and the way we behave as a society.

Let us know what you think! If you want to point out any errors, please tell us where it’s wrong, and how it’s wrong, and we’d be happy to change our position! 

 
Space Competitiveness
 
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The Space Competitiveness Index (SCI) is a self-financed, independently researched, annual report by Futron Corporation that compares and ranks how countries invest in and benefit from space industry.

India ranked 7th in the Space Competitiveness Index in 2014.


This year, for #36daysoftype, we at Reach have talked about lesser known social issues for A-Z. For the numbers, we thought it would be interesting to have each number correspond to where India stands in the world with respect to a particular index, and what’s more, how that number was arrived at.

For the number series, we want to shine a light on the research bodies who bring us this valuable data, that help us apply much needed context to ourselves and our shared world. These entities work hard to scour through heaps of data, corroborate with and consolidate various studies, use innumerable tools and sampling methods, and most of all, exercise the rigour required to present this information in a consumable way, available for scrutiny, peer-review, and in an ideal world — positive changes in policy and the way we behave as a society.

Let us know what you think! If you want to point out any errors, please tell us where it’s wrong, and how it’s wrong, and we’d be happy to change our position! 

 
Doping Athletes
 
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From 2013-2015, India was consistently ranked third in the world for doping violations in sports and athletics. Then with a grand total of 69 doping violations, we jumped up the ranks to a joint number six, as per the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report of 2016.


This year, for #36daysoftype, we at Reach have talked about lesser known social issues for A-Z. For the numbers, we thought it would be interesting to have each number correspond to where India stands in the world with respect to a particular index, and what’s more, how that number was arrived at.

For the number series, we want to shine a light on the research bodies who bring us this valuable data, that help us apply much needed context to ourselves and our shared world. These entities work hard to scour through heaps of data, corroborate with and consolidate various studies, use innumerable tools and sampling methods, and most of all, exercise the rigour required to present this information in a consumable way, available for scrutiny, peer-review, and in an ideal world — positive changes in policy and the way we behave as a society.

Let us know what you think! If you want to point out any errors, please tell us where it’s wrong, and how it’s wrong, and we’d be happy to change our position! 

 
Military Expenditure
 
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With military spending crossing $63.9 billion in 2017, India was the fifth highest country in the list of the top 15 military spenders in the world, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute 2017 Fact Sheet.

That $63.9 billion is incidentally, a 45% increase since 2008, and constitutes 2.5% of our GDP, while making up 3.5% of the world’s total military expenditure.


This year, for #36daysoftype, we at Reach have talked about lesser known social issues for A-Z. For the numbers, we thought it would be interesting to have each number correspond to where India stands in the world with respect to a particular index, and what’s more, how that number was arrived at.

For the number series, we want to shine a light on the research bodies who bring us this valuable data, that help us apply much needed context to ourselves and our shared world. These entities work hard to scour through heaps of data, corroborate with and consolidate various studies, use innumerable tools and sampling methods, and most of all, exercise the rigour required to present this information in a consumable way, available for scrutiny, peer-review, and in an ideal world — positive changes in policy and the way we behave as a society.

Let us know what you think! If you want to point out any errors, please tell us where it’s wrong, and how it’s wrong, and we’d be happy to change our position! 

 
Billionaires
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Home to 131 of the world’s wealthiest people, India ranks 4th in the total number of billionaires on the planet, according to a Forbes survey of 2017.

Ironically, India also comes in 4th on the Global Slavery Index of 2016 - an annual study of world-wide slavery conditions by country published by the Walk Free Foundation. The study estimates 1.8 crore people living in some form of modern slavery in our country.


This year, for #36daysoftype, we at Reach have talked about lesser known social issues for A-Z. For the numbers, we thought it would be interesting to have each number correspond to where India stands in the world with respect to a particular index, and what’s more, how that number was arrived at.

For the number series, we want to shine a light on the research bodies who bring us this valuable data, that help us apply much needed context to ourselves and our shared world. These entities work hard to scour through heaps of data, corroborate with and consolidate various studies, use innumerable tools and sampling methods, and most of all, exercise the rigour required to present this information in a consumable way, available for scrutiny, peer-review, and in an ideal world — positive changes in policy and the way we behave as a society.

Let us know what you think! If you want to point out any errors, please tell us where it’s wrong, and how it’s wrong, and we’d be happy to change our position! 

AI Implementation
 
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India ranks number three, after the USA and China, in terms of Artificial Intelligence (AI) implementation, according to a 2016 Boston Consulting Group study - Factory of the Future.
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The study considered any company with more than one implementation of AI, in multiple plants, as an early adopter . For the 12 countries included in the study, percentages of early-adopters are highest in the US (25%), China (23%), and India (19%).


This year, for #36daysoftype, we at Reach have talked about lesser known social issues for A-Z. For the numbers, we thought it would be interesting to have each number correspond to where India stands in the world with respect to a particular index, and what’s more, how that number was arrived at.

For the number series, we want to shine a light on the research bodies who bring us this valuable data, that help us apply much needed context to ourselves and our shared world. These entities work hard to scour through heaps of data, corroborate with and consolidate various studies, use innumerable tools and sampling methods, and most of all, exercise the rigour required to present this information in a consumable way, available for scrutiny, peer-review, and in an ideal world — positive changes in policy and the way we behave as a society.

Let us know what you think! If you want to point out any errors, please tell us where it’s wrong, and how it’s wrong, and we’d be happy to change our position! 

 
English-Speaking People
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India has the second highest number of English-speaking persons in the world, according to the 2001 Census of India. However, that worked out to only 12.18% of our population.

We also rank second for the number of internet users in 2017, based on an estimate by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which works out to about 29.55% of India.


This year, for #36daysoftype, we at Reach have talked about lesser known social issues for A-Z. For the numbers, we thought it would be interesting to have each number correspond to where India stands in the world with respect to a particular index, and what’s more, how that number was arrived at.

For the number series, we want to shine a light on the research bodies who bring us this valuable data, that help us apply much needed context to ourselves and our shared world. These entities work hard to scour through heaps of data, corroborate with and consolidate various studies, use innumerable tools and sampling methods, and most of all, exercise the rigour required to present this information in a consumable way, available for scrutiny, peer-review, and in an ideal world — positive changes in policy and the way we behave as a society.

Let us know what you think! If you want to point out any errors, please tell us where it’s wrong, and how it’s wrong, and we’d be happy to change our position! 

Fresh Water Withdrawal
 
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Fresh water withdrawal is the quantity of water removed from available sources for use in any purpose, excluding evaporation losses. Water drawn off is not necessarily entirely consumed and some portion may be returned for further use downstream.

According to the CIA World Factbook, India ranked #1 in fresh water withdrawal, at 645.84 km3 in the year 2000. In an updated study by Food & Agricultural Association of the United Nations (FAO), it is estimated that India had 761 km3 of fresh water withdrawal.


This year, for #36daysoftype, we at Reach have talked about lesser known social issues for A-Z. For the numbers, we thought it would be interesting to have each number correspond to where India stands in the world with respect to a particular index, and what’s more, how that number was arrived at.

For the number series, we want to shine a light on the research bodies who bring us this valuable data, that help us apply much needed context to ourselves and our shared world. These entities work hard to scour through heaps of data, corroborate with and consolidate various studies, use innumerable tools and sampling methods, and most of all, exercise the rigour required to present this information in a consumable way, available for scrutiny, peer-review, and in an ideal world — positive changes in policy and the way we behave as a society.

Let us know what you think! If you want to point out any errors, please tell us where it’s wrong, and how it’s wrong, and we’d be happy to change our position! 

 
Cherry Picking Data
 
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Over the weekend, we were met with some fantastic news. PM Modi declared via twitter “I am delighted that every single village of India now has access to electricity.”

While it is a major historic moment, a Bloomberg report estimates that almost 32 million homes are still left in the dark.

This is because, per Scroll, the Government of India needs a village to have only 10% of its households, as well as public places such as schools and health centres, to have access to electricity, for it to be deemed “electrified”. So, while all villages technically have ‘access’ to power, less than 8% of the newly electrified villages had all homes electrified — the data showed — leaving swaths of rural India with ‘zero’ power.

This is an example of cherry picking, where evidence is presented in order to persuade the audience to accept a position, while evidence that would go against the position is withheld. It can also mean we present data in a certain way which is more favourable to creating the impression we want.


This year, for #36daysoftype , we at Reach have talked about lesser known social issues for A-Z. While we believe that this electrification news undoubtedly points towards a brighter future ⚡️😉, we want to spend the remaining days celebrating the presentation and consumption of data that is provided with context and background.

It takes an extraordinary amount of time, effort, discernment, and most importantly, rigour to uncover and collect information, so as to present it in a consumable way — available for scrutiny, peer-review, and in an ideal world — positive changes in policy and the way we behave as a society.

Let us know what you think! If you want to point out any errors, please tell us where it’s wrong, and how it’s wrong, and we’d be happy to change our position! #dialogueafterdata

 
Zinc Deficiency
 
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Here's a deficiency you don't often hear about, but one that affects 312 million people in India alone.

Zinc is one of the essential elements in nature. Plants get their zinc from the soil, and humans get their zinc from plants. In India, the soil is one of the most zinc-deficient in the world, ergo so are our people. 

The effects of zinc deficiency in humans are varied, sometimes manifesting as stunted growth, poor immune systems, and, in children, impaired physical and neural development - leading to decreased brain functions that will remain into adulthood.

Zinc deficiency affects children the hardest - weakening their immune systems, and making them more vulnerable to diarrhoea and pneumonia, the main causes of death among children under the age of 5, especially in developing nations like ours.

And, being a developing nation, basic access to food for most of the population is often tough enough as it is, so a "balanced diet" of meat, fish, dairy and whole grains is a whole other challenge entirely.

Enter Zinc Saves Kids - an initiative by the International Zinc Association (IZA) - which works with UNICEF's zinc programmes to improve the chances of survival, growth and development of undernourished kids worldwide.

If you're vegetarian, or just not a fan of the foods we listed above, Tarla Dalal offers up some other recommendations - mushrooms, garlic, pumpkin seeds and spinach. So cook up something special this weekend, and make Tarla proud.

 
Unemployed Youth
 
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It’s no secret that India is bursting at the seams with people. What's more, a staggering two-thirds of our population are under the age of 35, according to the Financial Times.

This means that India has the world’s largest youth population — something that is both a blessing and a curse for the nation. Blessing, because we have a young and able workforce to take our growing economy to the next level. Curse, because there needs to be jobs available to occupy in the first place.

India stresses the need for education and training, but can't seem to close the gap in skilled manpower positions. More than 93% of our workforce is still unorganised, and barely 4% of those people have undergone formal training. The effects are not industry-specific either. Indian parents' favourite career option - engineering - sees more than 7 lakh graduates every year, but only 7% of them are actually fit for jobs.
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With the advent of 'Skill India' mission, the government has made a push to teach skills to the youth in such a way that they are more employable and also more enterprising. An exemplification of this is Lend-A-Hand India (LAHI), who in partnership with various state governments, works at the intersection of education and livelihood to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for the rural youth.

Perhaps with initiatives like these, India can harness its population and emerge as the superpower we all know we can be.

 
Excess Population
 
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Indians account for almost 18% of the world's population. That's 1,351,295,755 Indians. And rising fast. How fast, you ask? Well, since you started reading this, another 8 Indian babies have been born.

Of those 1,351,295,755 people, about half are in the reproductive age, their hormones raging, combined with their lack of basic sex education , holding some back from using modern contraception. Then there's India's ridiculous male vs. female sterilisation ratio of 1:52! All because men here subscribe to some outdated myths about sterilisation making them less masculine.

So, as with most other responsibilities in Indian households, contraception now becomes the women's domain, who often choose permanent contraception like tubectomies, BUT only after they've had two sons, of course. Which usually takes them an average of 4 "attempts". And 45,000 of those women are in danger of dying during childbirth every year, so getting pregnant is often a literal death sentence. .
Now, given that 75% of our population is rural, spreading awareness is a huge problem. But thanks to our love of television soap operas, there might just be a solution.

Population Foundation of India (PFI) produced 2 seasons of a hit TV show on Doordarshan a few years ago, called 'Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon'. The show challenged a host of prevailing norms around contraception and family planning, and was a runaway success — both as a soap opera, and as an awareness building tool. It might be time to bring on Season 3 now, we think.

 
Water Weed
 
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It's on the "alien plant species" list in Europe, it can #infest entire #waterbodies in a matter of weeks, it can destroy all life in those water bodies along the way, and it also disrupts boat passage through those waters.

While that may sound like the plot of the newest grindhouse horror flick, the truth is actually much scarier. You can put that popcorn down now.

The water hyacinth , or 'jal kumbhi' in Hindi, might look like a pretty plant, but it's wreaking havoc on India's lakes, rivers and backwaters. In Mumbai's Powai Lake, which is already plagued with tons of garbage and sewage, the hyacinth, which thrives in sewage water, has taken over almost completely, making the problem a hundred times more difficult for the civic bodies to solve.

Even one single plant can produce thousands of seeds in a year. So the methods of removal are often only temporary.

Kottapuram Integrated Development Society (KIDS) is an NGO that trains women to weave the plants along with jute, to make everything from bags to yoga mats. We believe this might just be the most innovative way to solve this horrifying crisis.

 
VIP Culture
 
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In India, our reverence for political leaders often crosses the most absurd lines. From one Chief Minister getting his feet bathed in milk by two women in broad daylight, to another who was carried around on the shoulders of policemen during a flood, our displays of servile devotion are often completely ridiculous.

In a magnanimous statement recently, the PM rallied against this "VIP culture" with the announcement of yet another acronym - EPI - "Every Person is Important". All this, in the backdrop of the ban against 'lal batti' or red beacons on vehicles except for a blue light for emergency services.

Full marks for lip service, but the facts are that there are 3 cops allocated to protect every VIP in India, while we have only one cop for every 663 regular, "not-so-important" people. In states like Bihar, that divide is even more pronounced, with 3,200 VIPs guarded by 6,248 cops.

The PM's statement claiming to give equal importance to every person in the country's 1.2 billion population, would never change the mindset of a society which has perpetuated this "VIP culture" for generations. If any change is possible, it will have to come from the people themselves, who must stop treating elected leaders as gods, and instead make those leaders accountable for the jobs they've been elected to do.

A step in that direction is offered by PRS Legislative Research (PRS) - an independent research initiative that has started a service to gauge the performance of MPs. By sending a simple SMS or visiting their website, every citizen can judge for themselves how important these leaders really are.

 
Unplanned Urbanisation
 
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India is urbanising faster than any other country on earth. Woohoo...?

"Census Towns" — those with a population density of 400 people per sq. km., where at least 75% of the population is engaged in non-agricultural pursuits — has risen by almost 200% between 2001 to 2011. Add to this, EY estimates that by 2020, India's urban population will account for more than 70% of its GDP. 💸

Don't raise your glasses too soon though, because this urbanisation poses more problems than it necessarily solves. From crappy public transport, ramshackle public infrastructure , and hours-long traffic jams to all-pervasive garbage dumps, power and water shortages, and roads that go nowhere.

As an urban citizen, you're obviously aware that city planning is the need of the hour, and whine about it all the time to your friends. The government is struggling to keep up with this rapid "development". And it is then up to concerned citizens like yourself to stop whining, give your friends a break, and be a part of this planning mechanism.

Quantified Cities Movement, based in Pune, has created a mobile app called iNagrik, which enables citizens to do just that - report issues in their cities - from broken streetlights to uncleared garbage bins. And thanks to tie-ups with local press and municipal bodies, this system ensures complete transparency and accountability.

So the next time you see something in your city you want to complain about, download the iNagrik app, report the issue, and feel good about being an agent of positive change in your city!

 
Tobacco
 
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We've all become accustomed to seeing those disgusting images on cigarette and tobacco packaging, but it's important to realise that that is a real and very possible outcome for a lot of heavy tobacco users. In India, more so than most other countries.

According the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, almost 275 million Indian adults, nearly 35% of the population, are consuming tobacco products here. A big majority of these people are consuming "smokeless tobacco", which means that it is chewed or sucked in the mouth, instead of smoked. Once they're done chewing, users generally spit the built-up tobacco juices out, which creates the oh-so-recognisable red stained walls we see in public spaces in this country.

While it's no secret anymore that tobacco affects the individual in a host of terrible, life-threatening ways, tobacco use is also affecting national economies, because of increased healthcare costs and decreased productivity. And despite India's ban on tobacco advertising and smoking in public places, the country is still one of the weakest in the world at reducing people's tobacco use.

HRIDAY (Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth) in Delhi is a collective of health professionals, social scientists and lawyers, engaged in awareness, advocacy and research. Their project MYTRI demonstrated the effectiveness of school based interventions in reducing tobacco use by among Indian youth, not only reducing their current and future intentions to use tobacco, but by enhancing and encouraging their health advocacy skills.

 
Forgotten Superfoods
 
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These days, there's a new "superfood" on urban menus every week. One day it's chia seeds, the next it's quinoa. What might come as a surprise to most is that India has been cultivating its own superfood right here under our noses, for centuries.

Until 50 years ago, millets - like bajra, jowar and ragi - were India's primary grain. They fell out of favour because they're often considered "coarse grains", and people began to prefer a "refined" diet instead. But this new diet led to a lack of essential nutrition . Millets, on the other hand, are high in fibre and protein, gluten-free, and prevent cardiovascular disease, hypertension and acidity. They also have a low glycemic index - perfect for diabetics.

As if the health benefits weren't enough, millets are great for the environment, because of their low water and carbon footprint, and their ability to withstand extreme climate conditions, which is a boon for farmers.

The culinary world is finally taking notice, with restaurants and chefs embracing millets and creating all manner of delicious new dishes.

The Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) and MSSRF have partnered up with ICRISAT to develop and implement the "Smart Food" concept in India, building a communication strategy to increase millet consumption by promoting its many benefits.

 
Roadkill
 
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While India boasts of one of the largest national networks of roadways and railways in the world, the impact of this network on wildlife has been alarmingly heartbreaking.

Last year, an 8 year old tiger died in a road accident on a highway in Maharashtra, while a speeding train in Assam ploughed through and killed a family of five elephants . Both are on the endangered species list.

Roadkill related animal deaths affect thousands of animals, from snakes, birds, jackals and a host of the big cats, these casualties result in not just a decline in animal populations, but inbreeding and the complete extinction of local wildlife. What makes things all that much harder is that there's very little data available, and most of these deaths go unnoticed and unrecorded.

Roadkills.in is a mobile app by Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) - that allows concerned citizens to actively participate and report roadkill they encounter. The data collected can help not only to pinpoint where animal deaths are highest, but also determine which species are more at risk on specific stretches; so as to plan the ideal mitigation measures suited for each location. Eventually, this data could help plan our infrastructure needs better and devise win-win solutions for wildlife along with this expansion of infrastructure.

 
Fear of Queer
 
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The word "queer" literally means "strange" or "peculiar". And since "traditional" Indian society has insisted on recognising only two genders, and considers only heterosexual relationships as valid, this is a terrifying concept, and isn't entirely welcome here.

Over the years, "queer" became a proudly reclaimed word. One that was a slur a century ago now empowers all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) individuals who don't conform to "traditional" heteronormative stereotypes; because individuality of sexuality and gender was never meant to fit into a box. There is no black or white or even grey - there is only lots of colour. 🌈

Why the hate against them, then?

In the 1800s, our constitution criminalised anal and oral sex under Section 377, because they were considered "unnatural acts". And while the queer community has given the world so many icons across pop culture and other fields, millions of queer individuals have had to suffer for that same individuality.

The tide is slowly turning however, with the Supreme Court set to reconsider the validity of Section 377 this year, ensuring that a section of individuals who exercise their choice should never remain in a state of fear.

All that the queer community hopes for is freedom from discrimination, and an end to the violence and hate they face.

Helping them achieve that goal are platforms like Queer Azaadi Mumbai which organises the Pride March; blogs like Gaysi which provides a safe space and voice to the desi LGBTI people; and initiatives like the Aravani Art Project which helps connect the trans community to their local neighbourhoods through art.