The Power of Voting. Google India has released yet another emotional ad. In 1951 — the year of the country’s first election — Shyam Negi became the first person to ever cast a ballot in independent India. Now 97, Negi still lives in the town of Kalpa, which is located in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh. (He explains in the video that he and his neighbors voted six months earlier than the rest of the country because it used to snow so heavily that the roads would get blocked.)
“I still remember the joy, the pride I felt that day,” Negi says in Hindi. “Come rain or snow, [voting] is the one thing I never fail to do.”
In just a few days, India’s 16th general election will begin. Back in 1951, 173 million people voted. Sixty-three years later, an incredible 814 million are eligible to cast a ballot. [Wall Street Journal]
Nepal’s Prime Minister = World’s Poorest Leader? Nepal’s newly elected Prime Minister Sushil Koirala’s frugality has landed him among the world’s ‘poorest’ leaders according to the Washington Post. While Koirala reportedly owns no land, he does have three cellphones (including one iPhone, and, somewhat puzzlingly, a phone that doesn’t work). He recently returned a $650 allowance he was given for a recent trip to Burma. A nod to his humble and radical beginning, Koirala’s frugality bodes well for him as he joins President Ram Baran Yadav as the highest-ranking officials in Nepal. [Washington Post]
Narendra Modi Lands on Cover of The Economist. The upcoming Indian elections are garnering the interest of media around the world as the largest democracy gets set to usher in a new cabinet. In the latest issue of The Economist, Narendra Modi is acknowledged as India’s likely next Prime Minister but not with much enthusiasm. His conservative and divisive views and rapid rise to the top of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have left many unimpressed at the changes his government could bring to India. [The Economist]
Musharraf Survives ‘Assassination Attempt’. Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf survived what is being investigated as an assassination attempt this week. A bomb exploded near Musharraf’s convoy as he was heading home from the military hospital in Rawalpindi where he has been receiving treatment since January. Musharraf wasn’t injured in the attack. [Al Jazeera America]
This is How Indian Women Fare During Pregnancy. The United Nations released a new infographic on statistics of pregnant/new mothers in India that reveals a lot about the status of healthcare being received by this critical population. For example, according to the piece, more than half of Indian women, including those pregnant and breastfeeding, are anaemic. [United Nations]
Jinn Movie Swag Giveaway! In honor of the new supernatural thriller Jinn, we’re giving a way a Jinn-themed prize pack that includes a poster, key-chain and other fun stuff. For directions on how to enter, click here. (The contest closes at 3 p.m. EST on Friday.)
Lupita loves The Lunchbox! Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o recently tweeted a positive review after seeing the critically-acclaimed movie The Lunchbox, starring Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur.
Just saw the movie The Lunchbox: the perfect heartwarming love story period, but especially on a cold… http://t.co/4LoakYFRyj
— Lupita Nyong'o (@Lupita_Nyongo) March 30, 2014
Priya Arora is a graduate student at New York University studying human development and social intervention with a research focus on mental health in LGBTQ youths. Born and raised in California, Priya has found a home in New York and will be attending Columbia University this fall to become a licensed mental health counselor. Follow her on Twitter at @thepriyaarora.