The murky world of Pakistan’s illegal kidney trade

When Pakistani authorities burst into a makeshift hospital in Lahore this year, doctors were caught mid-way through two illegal kidney transplants, the local donors and Omani clients still unconscious on the tables. The doctors were allowed to finish the operation then arrested, along with their assistants and the Omanis, in a raid Pakistani authorities say […]

Politics of Death: The Bangladeshi professor defending nature with his life

Veteran Bangladeshi academic-activist Anu Muhammad is no stranger to death threats, beatings, persecution and arrest so when the professor of economics received a chilling text message shortly after midnight, it barely registered. “Death keeps no calendar, and Ansatullah knows no time!” But a few hours later, on that same October morning last year, a second […]

Swedish woman adopted as toddler uncovers sordid past in hunt for her Indian mother

As an Indian child adopted and raised in Sweden, Nilakshi Elizabeth Purve Jorendal, was always curious about her birth mother. Her adoptive parents were open about her background, which was “hard to miss when you are a brown girl growing up in a white country” with three white siblings, said Jorendal, now 44. So in […]

Saving Pakistan’s lost city of Mohenjo Daro

The centre of a powerful ancient civilisation, Mohenjo Daro was one of the world’s earliest cities – a Bronze Age metropolis boasting flush toilets and a water and waste system to rival many in modern Pakistan. Some 5,000 years on archaeologists believe the ruins could unlock the secrets of the Indus Valley people, who flourished […]

Kashmir’s brutal stories get cartoon treatment

Through sombre black and white drawings, graphic novelist Malik Sajad tells the brutal story of his native Kashmir in the 1990s, as an armed insurgency against Indian rule reached its bloody peak. Sajad’s debut graphic novel Munnu is his account of growing up in the Kashmir Valley, one of the most spectacular but also most […]

India’s Muslim women fight tradition and family for right to property

Shabana was 18 years old when she was married to a man 15 years her senior, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It wasn’t long before he began beating her. Worried for her safety and that of her two young kids, Shabana begged her eldest brother to let her return to her parental […]

Solar power: A shot in the arm for India’s health centres

For Dr Vinayak Salunke, flashlights worth less than $10 each are one of the most valuable assets at the Vihamandra health centre in Aurangabad in India‘s western state of Maharashtra. With the clinic serving a population of 48,000, Salunke must prepare for up to six hours of power cuts daily, rather like a surgeon scrubbing […]