Jhatkaa in the news

Bangalore Mirror: Missed call to say ‘No’ to flyover

An NGO called Jhatkaa.org is running a campaign to save the city’s greenery from multiple infrastructure projects, including the steel flyover.

Live Mint: Protests intensify against Bengaluru’s proposed flyover project

A campaign by a non-government agency, Jhatka, to collect what are called ‘missed calls,’ where the caller hangs up before anybody answers the phone, is also underway. Messages inviting missed calls to protest the proposed tree cutting for the project were circulating on various social media fora, such as instant messaging platform WhatsApp.

Deccan Herald: Steel flyover: Citizens petition governor, seek his intervention to stop project

It also states that 35,000 people have signed the online petition against the steel flyover and over one lakh tree lovers have opposed the project through the ‘missed call movement’ conducted by Jhatkaa. A public voting on the steel flyover is also being conducted by over 200 volunteers across the city.

The Hindu: BDA takes steel flyover above and parallel to Hebbal flyover

Jhatkaa.org had given out a mobile number asking people to give a missed call if they are opposed to the felling of trees. The post went viral on social media and social messenger apps. “We will plan the next course of action with those who have responded with the aim of influencing the decision makers in the city,” said a statement from the organisation.

The News Minute: Online campaign against Bengaluru steel flyover goes viral, SteelflyoverBeda spreads across city

A month since starting an online petition against the flyover that requires felling of 812 trees, the petition by Jhatkaa.org has since gone viral, with over a lakh signatories.

The Times of India: Bengaluru's steel flyover: Bengaluru residents raise pitch of protest, to form human chain

To draw the attention of Bengalureans to the rampant felling of trees in the city to pave way for infrastructure projects, Jhatkaa.org launched a missed call campaign on September 21. Started in the wake of the Karnataka High Court order, which stated that a pending road-widening project on Ballari Road be implemented, the campaign has demanded that no trees be harmed along the stretch till alternatives were explored, and public consultations held.It has already garnered 8,000 signatures.

The Huffington Post: WATCH: Unilever Needs To Clean Mercury Mess In Kodaikanal, Says Raptivist Sofia Ashraf

Raptivist Sofia Ashraf is out with a new video on mercury poisoning in Unilever's Kodaikanal plant, but this time, she wants to talk hard science. The Chennai-based rapper's five-minute video is very different from her previous 'Kodaikanal Won't' clip, which went viral last year and helped push the British-Dutch multinational goods company to a settlement with the affected workers.

Indiatimes: The 'Kodaikanal Won't' Girl Is Back Challenging Unilever To Clear The Mercury Mess!

A year after taking an undisguised jab at the global giant Hindustan Unilever for dumping toxic mercury in its Kodaikanal plant in Tamil Nadu, through her epic rap battle titled 'Kodaikanal Won't', Tamil activist-rapper Sofia Ashraf is back once again hitting out at the consumer goods company for its response to mercury waste and its claims to address all the problems raised by Sofia.

ScoopWhoop: The ‘Kodaikanal Won’t’ Girl Returns With A Response To Unilever's Claims & It's Gloriously Kickass

Hindustan Unilever had to come up with a reply addressing all the problems raised by Sofia Ashraf. Well, Sofia has now come up with the perfect reply about the same.

Times of India: Kodaikanal ‘still’ won’t: Chennai rapper Sofia Ashraf takes on Unilever, again

Sofia Ashraf is back with a new video, and guess what she wants to talk to you about? That’s right, she’s still got her bete noire Hindustan Unilever in her cross-hairs.

Scroll.in: Watch: Sofia Ashraf's new video protests against mercury dumping in Kodaikanal in a brand new way

Activist-rapper Sofia Ashraf is back. And she's taking the story forward from her Kodaikonal Won't video, which went viral with its sassy way of questioning Hindustan Unilever's practices with mercury waste.

Now she explains "Why Kodaikanal Still Won't".

The Quint: Kodaikanal STILL Won’t: Sofia Ashraf Calls Out Unilever, Again

Multinational companies thinking that they can get away with their callous actions without any consequences, should think again.

Sofia Ashraf, of the Kodaikanal Won’t video song that went viral last year, is back telling Unilever that the mercury mess their factory has made in Kodaikanal wouldn’t just vanish without the company cleaning it up.

FirstPost India: Watch: Kodaikanal Won't rapper Sofia Ashraf serves some facts to Unilever's Paul Polman

Unilever's lacklustre treatment of the ecology in Kodaikanal motivated Sofia to post another video, this time without rapping, to give Polman 'the facts' that he didn't seem to get the memo about.

The Indian Express : VIDEO: Clear the Mercury mess, says Sofia Ashraf to Unilever in her latest video

In association with Jhatkaa.org, a campaigning organisation, Ashraf has released a new video, this time against the numerous misleading statements HUL has been making all these years.

The New Indian Express : Trash burns, corporators muck about

Organisers of Bangalore is Burning, a campaign advocating the scientific disposal of garbage in the city, has found that most trash was set on fire in Indiranagar.


Around 40 photographs from Indiranagar were received by Jhatkaa.org, which launched this initiative of online mapping two months ago. The photographs were received mainly from the residential areas of Indiranagar.

The Hindu: A burning problem

In an attempt to put pressure on civic agencies to realise the seriousness and scale of the problem, civic activist group Jhatkaa has launched an online interactive map where residents can mark the locations where garbage us burnt and send pictures.


Garbage burning is not only hazardous to the environment but it also affects health. Yet civic agencies have conveniently ignored the issue. To make people aware of the issue, an NGO called Jhatkaa.org had started the online mapping of garbage burning in the city on May 28.

Times of India: Fumes from burning garbage more harmful than vehicle emissions

Every time we walk past a pile of burning garbage, we are inhaling all sorts of toxic substances, which can wreak havoc on our health," adds Divya, who is also a campaigner with Jhatkaa.org, which, as part of their campaigns related to air pollution , has started an online petition to highlight the issue and spread awareness.

OneIndia: Relive the song Kodaikanal Won’t, the anthem for workers and activists

On March 9, former mercury workers of Kodaikanal, who have been fighting a 15-year-old battle against Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), were in a celebratory mood.

ET Brand Equity: Kodaikanal Won: HUL and former employees at the factory sign settlement

In August last year, the city of Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu had the world's spotlight on it. A rap video 'Kodaikanal Won't' by singer Sofia Ashraf and the NGO Jhatkaa.org brought to the forefront the plight of ex-employees affected by mercury contamination at Hindustan Unilever Limited's (HUL) thermometer factory in the hill station.

India.com: Kodaikanal mercury poisoning: Hindustan Unilever pays workers affected

The long pending dispute between Hindustan Unliever (HUL) and former workers of its thermometer manufacturing unit at Kodaikanal today ended after the company announced a settlement on “humanitarian considerations” for 591 workers who would be paid ex-gratia and will be given other support measures.

DNA India: HUL signs settlement with ex-employees over mercury poisoning in Kodaikanal

Hindustan Unilever has settled with 591 former workers from its
thermometer factory in Kodaikanal after a 15-year-campaign by workers and supporters, according to a press release on kodaimercury.com. The company has signed a settlement with Pond's HLL ex-Mercury Employees Welfare Association, representing the former employees thermometer factory, HUL said in a statement.

Business Standard: HUL settles dispute with Kodaikanal unit staff

Hindustan Unilever(HUL) and the Pond’s HLL ex-Mercury Employees Welfare Association, representing workers at the multinational’s now-closed thermometerfactory in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, both announced the signing of a agreement to settle a long-running dispute on the union’s demand for compensation and rehabilitation.

The Wall Street Journal: Unilever Compensates Workers in Dispute Over Alleged Mercury Poisoning at Plant

Unilever PLC said that it has agreed to compensate hundreds of workers of a now-closed production facility in southern India, ending a decade-old dispute over alleged mercury poisoning and corporate negligence in India

Business Standard: How rap drew attention to the HUL-Kodaikanal issue

In a communique, Jhatkaa said, "People power works. That’s the key lesson we’re drawing from today’s big announcement. We’ll continue to lift up the hundreds of thousands of voices who have joined this campaign since last July to ensure that Unilever now cleans up its mercury mess in Kodaikanal."

Live Mint: HUL settles with Kodaikanal workers affected by mercury factory

The children of Kodaikanal, who have lived with mercury-laden soil, for decades now, since Hindustan Unilever’s thermometer factory opened here in 1987, may finally get some respite from the toxic metal that causes muscle atrophy, kidney failure, dermatological reactions and respiratory disease.

Counterview: Mercury contamination: Rejoicing victory over Unilver, activists say Kodaikanal cleanup norm "3 times lower"

In a move that has cheered activists fighting against mercury contamination in the southern tip of India, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has been “forced” to agree to provide ex gratia payments to 591 former workers/association members and their families towards livelihood enhancement projects and skill enhancement programmes.

India Today: Kodaikanal mercury contamination: Why Unilever is paying settlement to its 591 workers

Why did the workers of Unilever's thermometer factory in Kodaikanal campaign for 15 years and what is the settlement all about?

Youth Ki Awaaz: How We Took On A Multi-Billion Dollar Corporation To Show That “People Power Works”

How do you tell the story of a victory? Do you focus on the victors or the villains? The underdogs or the favorites? The game changers or the spoilers? The long race or the finish line?

The Aerogram: An Open Internet Isn’t A First World Privilege — Why Our Homelands Deserve Net Neutrality

We stand against the implementation of Free Basics, because an open Internet isn’t a first world privilege. Indian Internet activist groups like SaveTheInternet.in and Jhatkaa.org have been mobilizing millions of Indians against Facebook’s PR campaign, arguing that Free Basics violates the tenets of an open and equal Internet by creating a discriminatory, two-tiered Internet under the guise of “charity.”

DNA: Bangalore's Jhatkaa, NGO behind 'Kodaikanal Won't', is about the less fortunate being heard

Last year, rap video 'Kodaikanal Won't' swept across platforms, putting the spotlight on an issue which many were not even aware about. Behind this viral video was Bangalore-based NGO. The belief in the power of grassroot channeling and public democracy is what led to the formation of organization called ‘Jhatkaa’ in 2015.

The Economic Times: Jhatkaa launches 'Repeal Section 377' campaign

A team of eight people in Bengaluru has launched an online campaign to revive a social conversation about the relevance of IPC Section 377 - the archaic provision of law that criminalises homosexuality even in this day and age.

DNA: Mark Zuckerberg presents his case on Net neutrality, all IITians not amused

Pahwa said that Facebook's assertion that there can be no web access for the poor without Free Basics is wrong. Both he and Rachita Taneja, a campaigner for non-profit organisation Jhatka, campaigning for net neutrality, and speaking out against Facebook on notreallyinternet.org, said that alternatives do exist.

DNA: Online campaign asks citizens to write to MoEF on Western Ghats

In this backdrop, the Jhatkaa campaign has appealed citizens to send at least 2,000 responses to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change by November 3 when the notification expires.

AFAQS!: Jhatkaa.org urges people to pledge #WontBuyUnilever

The public mobilisation group is urging consumers to boycott Unilever products in order to put pressure on the MNC to clean up the alleged mercury contamination in Kodaikanal.

Zee News: Indian rapper goes viral with toxic waste gibes at Unilever

An Indian rapper has gone viral with a music video calling on consumer products giant Unilever to clean up alleged toxic waste from a forested southern hill station.

Live Mint: NGO raises voice against HUL for dumping mercury in Kodaikanal

A Chennai-based woman rapper has taken on Anglo-Dutch packaged consumer goods maker Unilever and its chief executive officer (CEO) Paul Polman with a video set to the beat of the Nicki Minaj hit Anaconda and posted on YouTube and social media sites.

The Alternative.in: Why we need to make World Environment Day the Western Ghats Day

Today is the World Environment Day (WED), and one of the themes of WED is to “Think globally, act locally”. We need to make sure that our Western Ghats survive. So lets turn WED into WGD (Western Ghats Day).

The Alternative.in: Varanasi 2014: Who will really clean up the Ganga?

Varanasi’s elections are heating up – but so far it’s been a triumph of spin over substance.

The Free Press Journal: Bengaluru-based portal gets timeline from Home Ministry on Bezbaruah report to curb racial violence

Bengaluru-based wb portal Jhatkaa.org delivered thousands of petition signatures to the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday demanding a timeline for the implementation of the Bezbaruah Report to curb racial violence.

Deccan Chronicle: New wave of social change

Activist Deepa Gupta and team have successfully campaigned to get the center to allocate a budget to clean river Ganga.

Youth Ki Awaaz: 825 Crore Litres Sewage Flows In The Ganga Daily: Do Political Parties Plan To Change This?

This week brings the curtains down on the dramatic electoral process of the world’s largest democracy. And, as the country’s most keenly-watched, high-profile political showdown of 2014 peaks in Varanasi, not only has it attracted political party workers and the media in droves, it also sees the country’s environment-conscious taking a stand for a clean river basin in the Ganges heartland.

Scroll.in: Why the boatmen of Banaras nearly decided to vote NOTA

The boatmen, farmers and fishermen who live along and on the Ganga have become disillusioned with the frontrunners in the race, despite every candidate paying lip service to their needs.

Youth Ki Awaaz: Varanasi 2014, Ganga And A Decade Of Empty Promises

Eight hundred and twenty five crore litres of sewage flows into the Ganga and its tributaries every day. A shameful fact given that for the 20 million people living near its banks, this is their drinking water supply. The river also fuels irrigation, industry, and power plants across five states and ‘Maa Ganga’ is revered as holy for the vast Hindu population of the country. The Ganga basin constitutes 26 percent of the country’s landmass and is the lifeblood of 43 percent of its population.

The Times of India: Now a campaign against craters

The pothole problem in the city, which is posing a threat to the lives of commuters, has prompted an NGO to kickstart a campaign against the craters. Jhatka, a city-based NGO, has launched a campaign where citizens can leave a missed call to 9243511888, which will be registered as a signature demanding that BBMP fix the roads.

Mid Day: Give the government a jhatka, virtually

We can’t just complain and expect things to change, we must be ready to put in the hard work that is required to transform our lives and our country,” says Deepa Gupta. And the 25-year-old, who plans to dedicate her life to the campaigning website Jhatkaa.org she recently set up, really does put her money where her mouth is.

Cherwell: OUP urged to drop Delhi University lawsuit

Oxford University Press is facing renewed opposition from students in both India and the UK as a prolonged legal battle against the University of Delhi enters its second phase.

OxStu: OUP continues to pursue copyright case against Delhi Uni

Deepa Gupta, director of campaign group Jhatkaa, stated: “If OUP/CUP win the case the most likely scenario is that they make sure Delhi University signs onto a licencing agreement under the IRRO which would increase the cost of all the course packs by 50% and add significant pressure to lower income background students.

Varsity: Cambridge copyright claim threatens Indian students

Jhatkaa.org, a recently formed campaigning group, has created a campaign, the goal of which is to force the universities to drop their lawsuit. Delhi University and Rameshwari Photocopy service, the other named party in the lawsuit, photocopy CUP and OUP textbooks in order to create affordable course packs for students. Many students cannot afford original textbooks and so are reliant on the course packs to continue their studies.

The New Indian Express: Now, give a missed call when you see a pothole

If the number of potholes in the city has you worried about the state of your back or even for your safety, pick up your phone and give a missed call. That is all it takes to register your displeasure with the authorities. A new campaign by Jhatkaa.org, an NGO, has led to around 4,000 missed calls being registered in the past few days.

The Times of India: Battle rages on for DU’s right to photocopy

The Association of Students for Equitable Access to Knowledge (ASEAK) on Tuesday defended the students' interest in the Delhi High Court in the matter of copyright infringement lawsuit filed by publishing houses against Delhi University and it's local photocopy shop. This year in March, ASEAK became the third party defender in the case, the first being Rameshwari photocopy centre and DU the second. The next hearing is on October 21.

Bloomberg: Oxford, Cambridge Publishers Urged to Drop Indian Copyright Suit

Jhatkaa, an Indian advocacy organization focusing on development and governmental accountability, has begun a petition drive asking academic publishers to drop a copyright suit related to photocopying textbooks.
Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Informa Plc’s Taylor & Francis unit are suing Delhi University and a local photocopying service over the creation and sale of photocopied course packs.