Since November 30, 1971.

From the ground in India

As Melbourne emerges from its fourth Covid-19 lockdown, other parts of the world are not so lucky.


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Moderator announced

We’re pleased to announce this event will be moderated by ABC South Asia Correspondent James Oaten, who is usually based in New Delhi. He has covered the pandemic extensively, including the catastrophic second wave, the troubled vaccine rollout and the economic migrant crisis that was sparked after the country was plunged into a six-week national lockdown last year. Before moving to India, he was an award-winning reporter for ABC based in Melbourne.

Event details

Join us from on the ground in Delhi to hear from internationally acclaimed humanitarian and relief worker Dr Kiran Martin, founder and director of the Asha Society which supports over 700,000 slum dwellers in Delhi, and Usha Shrivas, a former slum resident who now works as a journalist for a leading Indian daily, on what life is like on the ground in Delhi.

Dr Martin is the founder and director of the Asha Society, which has worked in Delhi’s slums since 1988 to improve healthcare, empowerment, the environment and education. Since the onset of Covid-19, Asha’s team of “Corona Warriors” has been working from door to door, providing lifesaving food supplies, masks, oxygen and other Covid treatment. Kiran spoke to the Melbourne Press Club in June 2019 and we are delighted to welcome her back.

Usha Shrivas, an experienced journalist, was raised as one of four children in the Ekta Vihar slum community in Delhi. The Asha Society supported her studies from age 10 and encouraged her family to allow her to remain at school. She graduated high school in 2010 and gained admission to the University of Delhi, graduating with a Batchelor of Arts. She has a post graduate diploma in Hindi Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. She has also completed Masters in Political Science from Indira Gandhi National Open University.

Martin and Shrivas will give first-hand accounts from slum residents and detail the interventions Asha is making to save lives in communities where the dangers of Covid are exacerbated by abject poverty, starvation and a breakdown of government and social services.

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