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India

In India, A Domestic Servant Rises To National Politics

Married at the age of five and speaking neither English nor Hindi, 68-year-old Pramila Bisoi has seen the hardships of life up close.

Pramila Bisoi, 68 years old
Pramila Bisoi, 68 years old
Sweta Dash and Abinash Dash Choudhury

ODISHA — On a hot summer afternoon in March, a surprise awaited 68-year-old Pramila Bisoi from Cheramaria village in Odisha's Ganjam district. After a brief telephone conversation in the morning, a vehicle arrived at her modest house. "I thought I was going to receive some award," says Bisoi. Little did she know that there were other plans. She was declared Biju Janata Dal's official candidate from the Aska Lok Sabha constituency for India's upcoming national elections.

It happens rarely, but the electoral democracy of India in such occasions demonstrates the true spirit of inclusiveness. Transcending the elite and masculine nexus of electoral politics even while it is embedded in the broader matrix of party-politics, the news of Bisoi's candidature was a milestone in Odisha's history.

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Coronavirus

The Main COVID Risk Now: Long COVID

Death rates are down, masks are off, but many who have been infected by COVID have still not recovered. Long COVID continues to be hard to diagnose and treatments are still in the developmental stage.

Long COVID feels like a never-ending nightmare for those who suffer from it.

Jessica Berthereau

PARIS — The medical examination took longer than expected in the Parc de Castelnau-le-Lez clinic, near the southern French city of Montpellier. Jocelyne had come to see a specialist for long COVID-19, and exits the appointment slowly with help from her son. The meeting lasted more than an hour, twice as long as planned.

“I’m a fighter, you know, I’ve done a lot of things in my life, I’ve been around the world twice… I’m not saying this to brag, but to tell you my background," says the 40-year-old. "These days, I’m exhausted, I’m not hungry, I no longer drive, I can’t work anymore, I have restless legs syndrome.” She pauses before adding sadly: “I can’t read anymore either.”

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