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Chaitra Sa

Doha, Qatar
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About Chaitra
Chaitra S.A. is a journalist based in Doha, Qatar. 
Several articles published in Al Jazeera, Euro News, NGTI, The Times of India, Deccan Herald, Deccan Chronicle, Kannada Prabha, Prajavani, and others. 
Contributed photographs to Nat Geo, Nat Geo Traveler India, Photo Vogue, The Guardian, and other international photographic platforms.
Languages
English Hindi Kannada
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Services
Feature Stories Content Writing Research
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Skills
Current Affairs Arts & Books Research
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Portfolio

The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir

05 Apr 2023  |  Political Economy Journal
The article reviews John Bolton's memoir 'The Room Where It Happened', detailing his time as national security adviser under President Donald Trump. Bolton's book provides an in-depth look at his 17-month tenure, highlighting his meticulous note-taking and offering a critical perspective on Trump's foreign policy decisions. The memoir covers various international issues, including Iran's nuclear program, North Korea, and relations with China and Russia. Bolton criticizes Trump for his approach to these matters, often driven by reelection concerns rather than strategic thinking. The book also reveals Trump's interactions with dictators and his handling of investigations, suggesting personal favors were at play. Bolton's account is particularly scathing on Trump's knowledge of foreign policy and his decision-making process. Despite the detailed narrative, Bolton's refusal to testify during Trump's impeachment proceedings has drawn criticism. The article also touches on Bolton's views of other administration officials and his overall disappointment with Trump's presidency.

World Cup: No, Indian fans who marched in Doha are not fake

10 Mar 2023  |  euronews
The article by Chaitra Arjunpuri focuses on the passionate support of Indian football fans, particularly from Kerala, for their favorite teams at the World Cup in Doha. Despite allegations of being 'fake fans', the supporters and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy have denied these claims, emphasizing their genuine love for the sport. The article highlights the significant presence of Indians in Qatar, their contribution to ticket sales, and the festive atmosphere they create. It also touches on the cultural impact of football in Kerala, where the sport is celebrated with decorations, anthems, and even themed weddings. The state's enthusiasm for football is contrasted with its cricket-dominated national context, and the government's initiative to promote football among school children is mentioned.

Astrophotographers in Qatar gear up each month to capture the Milky Way galaxy in all its glory

08 Mar 2023  |  euronews
The article focuses on a group of women astrophotographers in Qatar who venture out to remote, dark locations to capture the Milky Way galaxy. These photographers, including Kryzelle Cane Collamar and Ma Kristina Cuenca, overcome challenges such as light pollution, safety concerns, and the technical difficulties of night photography to pursue their passion. The article highlights the dedication and patience required for astrophotography, as well as the unique challenges faced by women in this male-dominated field. Despite the difficulties, the photographers find the experience rewarding, with each successful image of the night sky holding a special place in their hearts. The author, Chaitra Arjunpuri, is also an astrophotographer and shares insights into the process and experiences of capturing celestial objects.

How to plan the ultimate coastal rail adventure in the US

02 Dec 2022  |  National Geographic
The article provides readers with a guide on planning a coastal rail adventure in the United States. It likely includes tips on selecting routes that offer scenic views along the US coastline, advice on booking train tickets, and suggestions for must-see stops along the way. The article may also discuss the benefits of train travel, such as comfort and the opportunity to enjoy the landscape without the stress of driving. Additionally, it might provide practical information on budgeting for the trip, what to pack, and how to make the most of the experience onboard. The article aims to inspire and equip travelers with the knowledge to embark on a memorable rail journey across the US coast.

So souq

21 Nov 2022  |  Deccan Herald
The article describes a popular market that attracts both locals and tourists, offering a wide range of unique souvenirs, including pashmina shawls and salt and pepper shakers in the shape of a couple wearing Qatari national dress. The market's shops are open all day but close at noon and reopen at 4 pm. The author suggests that visitors need not purchase anything to enjoy the experience, as simply walking around the market's cobbled streets can be delightful.

Killing cows is illegal in most of India, but rustlers still round up cattle for slaughter.

30 Jun 2013  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the issue of cow rustling in India, a country where cows are considered sacred by the Hindu majority. Despite the religious significance and legal protection of cows, there is a growing underground mafia involved in stealing and illegally selling cows for leather and beef, which is a lucrative business given the poverty in the country. The article highlights the involvement of various players in society and government in this crime, and the challenges faced by police and animal welfare organizations in combating it. It also touches upon the political aspects, with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party calling for stricter laws against cow slaughter. The article includes perspectives from individuals who secretly consume beef, despite societal norms, and details the historical context of cattle rustling in India.

Civic body mulls banning display of half-clad mannequins in lingerie shops in an attempt to cut sexual assaults

30 May 2013  |  Al Jazeera
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai, India, is considering a proposal to ban the display of bikini-clad mannequins in lingerie shops to prevent sex offences. The proposal, initiated by BJP councillor Ritu Tawade, is based on the belief that such displays contribute to sexual assaults. The move has sparked debate, with some supporting the idea for preserving public morality, while others, including advertising experts and shoppers, argue that it does not address the root causes of sexual harassment and could be seen as moral policing. The proposal is awaiting approval from the BMC's chief executive, Sitaram Kunte. Meanwhile, critics question why only shops should be targeted when similar images are prevalent in advertisements and fashion shows.

About 60,000 children go missing every year in populous nation, and child activists say many end up in sex trade.

10 Mar 2013  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the alarming issue of missing children in India, where approximately 60,000 children go missing each year, with many never being found. The situation has been highlighted by the Justice Verma commission report, which revealed that a child goes missing in India every eight minutes. The article explores various reasons behind this phenomenon, including trafficking, parental neglect, and poverty. It also touches upon the challenges faced by the police and activists in tracing and rehabilitating these children. The inadequacy of laws and the need for a DNA databank to help identify missing children are also discussed, with a reference to Guatemala's Alba-Keneth Law as a potential model. The article includes comments from concerned parents, activists, and experts, emphasizing the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for better measures to protect children in India.

India’s growing ‘rent-a-womb’ industry

03 Feb 2013  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the growing trend of foreign nationals, particularly from Australia and the UK, seeking surrogate mothers in India, where surrogacy has become a significant industry estimated at $2.3 billion. It highlights individual stories of those who have turned to Indian surrogates, like Margaret from South Australia and Bobby and Nikki Bains from Essex, UK. The piece also touches on the financial and emotional aspects for the Indian surrogate mothers, the ethical concerns raised by experts, and the legal and health requirements for surrogates. The article includes comments from professionals like Eric Blyth and Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour, and it raises questions about the potential exploitation of surrogate mothers in India, referring to the term 'biological colonialism'.

The public beheading of a woman by her brother in Kolkata highlights a surge in so-called ‘honour killings’.

27 Dec 2012  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the alarming rise in 'honour killings' in India, highlighting several recent cases where women were brutally murdered by their family members for perceived breaches of honour. The article mentions the public beheading of Nilofar Bibi in Kolkata by her brother and other similar incidents in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. It addresses the societal and legal challenges in combating these crimes, including the role of local village councils, or khap panchayats, and the leniency of legal systems towards such killings. Women's rights activists and members of the National Commission for Women in India are quoted expressing concern over the inadequate response from police and the need for greater gender sensitivity in Indian society. The article also touches on the cultural aspects, such as bans on mobile phone usage by women in certain villages, which reflect the deep-seated patriarchal mindset contributing to these crimes.

Bus attack highlights India’s rape epidemic

20 Dec 2012  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the public outrage in India following a brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old medical student in New Delhi. The incident has sparked protests across the country and demands for harsher punishments for rapists. Politicians, bureaucrats, and the public are united in their condemnation of the crime. The article highlights New Delhi's reputation as an unsafe city for women, with high rates of sexual harassment and assault. It also points out the low conviction rates for rape and the perceived failure of the police to protect women. The article includes opinions from residents, officials, and celebrities who are calling for legal reforms and stricter enforcement to deter such crimes. There is a sense of hope that the incident will lead to significant changes in how India addresses crimes against women.

Echoes of the past ring true in sound museum

08 Dec 2012  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the Museum of Endangered Sounds, an online museum created by three advertising students from Virginia Commonwealth University's Brandcenter. The museum, curated by a fictional character named Brendan Chilcutt, archives sounds from old technology such as VHS tapes, GameBoys, and dial-up modems. The creators, Marybeth Ledesma, Phil Hadad, and Greg Elwood, started the project as a fun extracurricular activity which later gained significant public interest. The museum preserves sounds that evoke nostalgia and memories of past decades. The creators, now professionals at different companies, continue to update the museum with new sounds and engage with their audience through social media and emails.

Celibate Indian priests turn matchmakers

16 Oct 2012  |  Al Jazeera
In Kerala, India, Catholic priests have created a matrimonial website called chavaramatrimony.com, which has facilitated over 10,000 weddings since its inception in 1996. The site, managed by priests and named after Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara, aims to enrich the Christian community by helping to form strong families. It is the oldest and largest matrimonial service in Kerala, with a daily viewership of 30,000 from over 100 countries. The service includes post-marriage counselling and verifies all profiles to ensure safety and authenticity. Despite initial skepticism, the site has gained trust through word of mouth, without relying on marketing strategies. Users have praised the site for its trustworthy service and the additional support provided by the priests and counsellors involved.

Fast-food giant is opening its first-ever, all-vegetarian restaurants in India, but could stoke a religious backlash.

18 Sep 2012  |  Al Jazeera
McDonald's is set to open its first all-vegetarian restaurants in India, targeting the country's large Hindu and Muslim populations who avoid beef and pork, respectively. The fast-food giant, traditionally known for its beef burgers, has adapted its menu to local tastes, with 50% vegetarian offerings like the McAloo Tikki burger. Despite previous controversies, such as the beef flavoring in fries, McDonald's is pushing forward with its vegetarian outlets near religious sites, which has sparked concerns among some about the sanctity of these areas and American economic imperialism. Other American franchises like Domino's and Yum Brands are also expanding their vegetarian options in India, where the fast-food market is rapidly growing. The move by McDonald's has been met with mixed reactions, with some welcoming the vegetarian options and others criticizing the proximity to religious sites as insensitive.

A new store called ‘Hitler’ raises fears that right-wing ideology could be finding takers in the land of Gandhi.

03 Sep 2012  |  Al Jazeera
In Ahmedabad, India, a new men's clothing store named 'Hitler' has sparked controversy. The store, which features a swastika in its logo, has been criticized by the local Jewish community and others who are concerned about the growing use of Hitler's name in Indian businesses and the potential normalization of right-wing ideologies. The store's owner, Rajesh Shah, claims the name was chosen because it was catchy and was the nickname of his business partner's grandfather. Despite learning about Hitler's history, Shah has refused to change the name unless compensated for the rebranding costs. The article also discusses other instances of businesses using the name Hitler and the cultural phenomenon in India where Hitler is sometimes viewed as a great leader due to a lack of historical awareness. Professor AF Mathew and Jewish-Indian writer Esther David express concerns over the trend and the need for better historical education.

India’s Satara district parched by drought

22 Aug 2012  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the severe drought affecting the Satara district in Maharashtra, India, highlighting the plight of individuals like 11-year-old Asha and 70-year-old farmer Digambar Pandurang Atpadkar. Despite owning land, these farmers are struggling due to the lack of rain, which has led to a scarcity of water and fodder for their cattle. The region, part of the parliamentary constituency of Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, is adjacent to a water-intensive sugarcane belt. The India Meteorological Department has predicted a 15% shortfall in seasonal rains, raising concerns about farm output and inflation. Cattle camps have been set up to provide relief by offering food and shelter for animals. The article also touches on the broader issues of water mismanagement and the challenges of climate prediction, while noting that farmers are adapting to climate variations with traditional methods and that there is still a chance for recovery if monsoon rains arrive.

Women continue to use In Vitro Fertilisation to conceive, despite increasing evidence of dangerous side effects.

09 Aug 2012  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the increasing concerns over the side effects of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatments. Lee Cowden, a music teacher from London, suffered a heart attack due to high-dose IVF drugs. Despite the birth of over 3.7 million babies annually through fertility treatments, experts warn about the risks, including Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS), which is a leading cause of maternal mortality in England and Wales. High-dose IVF is also linked to birth defects and lower birth weights. The article highlights the need for patients to be aware of the risks and benefits of reproductive technologies. It also mentions a shift towards milder IVF treatments in several countries. Dr. Geeta Nargund of ISMAAR advocates for options like drug-free, mild, and conventional IVF to reduce risks. The article concludes with Cowden's successful conception using mild IVF, emphasizing the emotional impact despite the potential complications.

Maternal deaths drop, but progress is slow

19 Mar 2012  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the high rates of maternal mortality in developing countries, highlighting individual cases in Somalia and Nigeria to illustrate the severity of the issue. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reports that many of these deaths are preventable with proper medical care and interventions. The article references the United Nations' Millennium Development Goal to reduce maternal mortality by 75% between 1990 and 2015, noting that progress is slow and the goal is unlikely to be met. Advocacy groups like EngenderHealth and Women Deliver emphasize the need for simple, low-cost interventions, access to family planning, and skilled birthing professionals. The article also touches on the problem of medical staff brain drain in countries like Ghana and Malawi. A conference by Women Deliver is mentioned, aiming to draw global attention to maternal and reproductive health issues.
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