Four decades ago, thirty-two Telugu people became martyrs in the fight to build a people’s steel plant in the Indian city of Visakhapatnam. Today, faced with an Indian government that wants to privatise the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, the people and workers have united in the fight to retain their steel plant in the public sector. Our dossier no. 55 tells a heroic tale of spirited survival in the face of state-induced demoralisation.
The Indian Communist movement has experimented with various forms of people’s polyclinics, which provide free or reduced-cost health care to anyone. The epicentre of this initiative has been in the Telugu-speaking region of India, where the Nellore People’s Polyclinic alone treats 1,000 patients per day at rates 40% lower than corporate hospitals and has trained over five hundred doctors who now provide health care across the region. Our Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research Dossier no. 25 focuses on the history of the polyclinics in this region.
This dossier features two stories on India’s agrarian crisis. The first story is about the harsh impact of the changing climate on top of an already battered rural economy in Andhra Pradesh, where farmers are growing for seed companies in the most adverse conditions. The second story takes us to Kerala, where we find the Kudumbashree women’s cooperative, which has resiliently resisted the devastation of the worst floods in the state in nearly a century.