Rhitu Chatterjee is a Delhi-based journalist.
Rhitu Chatterjee is a contributing correspondent with PRI’s The World. She lives in New Delhi and covers stories about the environment, health and development, and places where they intersect.
She has covered the legacy of the world’s largest industrial disaster, the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984 and how it spurred American communities into action. She has reported on efforts to restore the banks of one of India’s most polluted rivers, the Yamuna.
In 2014, she received a reporting grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to investigate India’s free school lunch program, one of the largest anti-poverty programs in the world.
In the past couple of years, Rhitu has added gender issues and gender violence to her beat. She goes beyond the breaking news about gender violence to document how men and women in India are grappling with shifting gender roles. Her story about an epidemic of a mysterious kind of chronic kidney disease in Sri Lanka and her story about how a 12 year-old girl in rural India is navigating changing gender roles were both finalists for the South Asian Journalism Association’s journalism awards.
Rhitu also contributes to NPR shows like All Things Considered and its new development blog, Goats & Soda. Her work has also appeared in Science magazine, Environmental Science & Technology, and NPR’s Morning Edition.
She did her undergraduate work in Darjeeling, India and she has an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Some 70 percent of households in India don’t have access to toilets. And the consequences for women are huge.
In response to protests over the release of a suspect in the Delhi gang rape, India's parliament will allow suspects as young as 16 to be tried as adults.
Badrinath Singh and Asha Devi became activists after the death of their daughter in a gang rape in New Delhi. But three years after her death, the couple wonder if anything has really changed.
Earlier this week, there was news of a gruesome murder in a village in northern India. A 50-year-old Muslim man named Mohammed Akhlaq was killed by a lynch mob. The reported motive? Rumors that his family had been storing and consuming beef at home, angering Hindus in the village. The cow is considered a sacred animal by many Hindus. It's a case which has shocked much of India.
Indian colleges and universities worried about attacks against their female students have imposed curfews to keep them from leaving their dorms at night. But the students are pushing back with a campaign called "Pinjra Tod," which means "break the cage."
Parvati Pujari is the first member of her Mumbai family to get a college degree. She's also the first of her sisters not to be married off young. And she played on India's national women's rugby team. By working with other women to coach sports in this poor part of the city, she's passing on the attributes that helped her overcome her obstacles and achieve her dream.
Women in India often hear from an early age that they shouldn't be out in public without a purpose and a place to go. And certainly they shouldn't be out late at night without the company of a man. "Don't loiter," they're urged. But a group of women in Mumbai is challenging that notion by going on late-night walks together and just hanging out. Rhitu Chatterjee tags along for a "loitering session" that manages to feel both sinister and uplifting.
An Indian NGO has created an app called Eyewatch to help community volunteers document cases of violence and domestic abuse in the Mumbai slum of Dharavi. But the real story is how they work with men and victims of violence to stop the cycle.
Abortion based on sex is against the law in India, but still happens. A crusading lawyer is getting pregnant women to help gather the evidence that can convict unscrupulous doctors.
In India, mental health problems still carry a heavy stigma, and it's difficult to get adequate treatment. One woman, who was misdiagnosed, still suffers the consequences.