Textiles industry faces scrutiny after Leicester outbreak

Earlier this summer Leicester and its thriving textiles industry found itself in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. As the government was starting to ease coronavirus lockdown measures, the city of around 355,000 people became a COVID-19 hotspot, prompting officials to reimpose the social distancing regime. This in turn led to renewed allegations modern […]

Virus rules leave Bollywood’s low-paid army stricken

India’s coronavirus lockdown made little difference to Bollywood superstars but for the industry’s vast army of low-paid, unskilled workers it meant unemployment, hunger and homelessness — with no end in sight even as shoots gradually resume. Fahim Shaikh used to earn 800 rupees ($11) a day as a “spot boy” on sets, doing odd jobs […]

Artist Imran Perretta captures Muslim angst in post 9/11 world

by LAUREN CODLING AN AWARD-WINNING British Asian artist has expressed his delight at receiving a £10,000 prestigious bursary prize, admitting he is “thrilled to be recognised for his work”. Imran Perretta was one of 10 creatives who received the one-off bursary in place of the 2020 Turner Prize, which was cancelled due to the Covid-19 […]

Sky’s not the limit for UK’s youngest qualified aerospace instructor

SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD ASLAM COMPLETED PREMIER RAF COURSE WHILE ALSO PREPARING FOR GCSE by S NEERAJ KRISHNA AS A child, Zain Aslam was fascinated by “all things that fly”, from birds to bomber jets. Later, that fascination transformed into a passion that has led the 16-year-old to recently earn his blue lanyard as UK’s youngest qualified aerospace […]

Pandemic turns smartphones from luxury to must-have as India’s schools go online

Kuldip Kumar, a farmer from northern India, sold his only cow to buy a smartphone so his children could keep up with lessons that shifted online when the coronavirus lockdown closed schools four months ago. Kumar was already in debt and the cow was his only asset. He sold it last week for 6,000 rupees […]

Garment workers to graduates: Bangladeshi women aim to shake up textile sector

Five years ago, Sadeka Begum was working 12-hour shifts in a garment factory as the main earner for her family in Bangladesh. Today the 23-year-old is one of the first graduates of a special university programme that aims to inspire female workers to become leaders and boost women’s rights across industries. Begum now interns for […]

TikTok gave rural Indian women fame, fun and more

When India banned TikTok, it closed a window to the wider world for legions of women outside the big cities that provided fun, fame and even fortune. The government outlawed the video-sharing platform, and 58 other Chinese apps, this month citing data security fears. TikTok is also reportedly under greater scrutiny elsewhere including in the […]

From victim to protector: Pakistan’s first trans cop fights for justice

A fter enduring death threats, transphobic slurs and sexual harassment at college, Pakistan’s first trans police officer Reem Sharif now shields other trans people from abuse. In her first two months as a trans victim support officer, Sharif helped 16 trans people in Rawalpindi in Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, as well as receiving about […]

Businessmen took on different day jobs to help heroes tackle Covid-19

Produced in partnership with UK Government KEY FRONTLINE WORKERS SERVED FRESH FOOD THANKS TO SULEMAN RAZA’S ONE MILLION MEALS CAMPAIGN AND SHAMIL THAKRAR’S FEEDNHS INITIATIVE SHOPS, pubs, restaurants and other businesses stayed shut during the UK Government-imposed lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus earlier this year. However, some of them saw an opportunity to […]

Fair and unlovely: India confronts dark-skin bias

When Chandana Hiran was a child, strangers would urge her to lighten her skin. Today the Indian student is leading a campaign against whitening creams as global anti-racism protests highlight the obsession with fair complexions for many in Asia. The campaign achieved its first victory when cosmetics giant Unilever dropped the word “fair” from its […]