Annie Banerji profile background image
Annie Banerji profile image

Annie Banerji

South Asia Correspondent

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Annie is the South Asia correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in New Delhi, India covering climate, the impact of tech on society, inclusive economies, and LGBTQ+ issues. Before joining the Thomson Reuters Foundation Annie was a South Asia correspondent at Agence France-Presse where she reported on everything from national elections and budgets to humanitarian crises and natural disasters.

February 15, 2024

In Sumit Bhanwala's village in northern India, pictures of the Statue of Liberty adorn facades and tractors display stars and stripes bumper stickers - a way to let neighbours know that sons, brothers and nephews have made it to the United States.

For 25-year-old Bhanwala, the images are a source of inspiration as he prepares for an arduous, months-long journey to sneak across the U.S. border - an odyssey that will cost his family tens of thousands of dollars in fees to people smugglers.

October 05, 2023

Hobbling out of a tuk-tuk, Pooja Gupta joined fellow community health workers as they punched their fists in the air and chanted slogans against authorities in India who, they say, pay poorly despite giving them more and more work to do.

Like Gupta, tens of thousands of female health workers across South Asia are demanding basic rights and social protections that are currently denied to them such as the minimum wage, sick leave, maternity benefits and pensions.

September 22, 2023

A new law reserving 33% of seats for women in India's parliament will likely lead to more female-friendly policies on jobs, health and education, lawmakers and campaigners said, pointing to village councils which have had the quota for 30 years.

Lawmakers in India's upper house of parliament on Thursday passed the landmark bill a day after it was approved by the lower house. Six attempts to clear the bill had failed since it was first introduced in 1996.

March 21, 2023

Pinky Negi, an Indian teacher with two master's degrees, loved her old job at a public school in the Himalayan foothills. But then she did what millions of Indian women do every year - gave up her career when she got married and had children.

"The idea of not earning pinches me the most when I have to ask for the smallest of things," said Negi, who briefly tried home tutoring before the birth of her second child led her to give up work altogether.

January 26, 2023

Cooped up at home, Pari Sediqi spends her days worrying how she will feed her sick husband and six children now that women are banned from carrying out aid work in Afghanistan.

Add to that Kabul's coldest winter in more than a decade, making warm clothes, fuel and food all the more crucial, and Sediqi is out of ideas about how to keep the family going.

December 14, 2022

Rakesh Kumar was playing with his daughter at a park in northern India one evening in September when two smartly dressed salesmen approached the carpenter and father-of-three.

The men said they worked for Byju's, an Indian education technology company that offers online classes, and pitched a 36,000-rupee ($435) tuition course for Kumar's 11-year-old daughter, saying it would be her golden ticket to success.

December 14, 2022

From parents wanting the best possible education for their children to next-generation tech-savvy professionals striving to build their careers, education technology company Bjyu's quickly became a beacon of hope for Indians seeking a brighter future.

Founded in 2011, the Bengaluru-based startup launched its learning app in 2015 and soon snowballed into a multibillion-dollar behemoth - and India's leading edtech business - with members of the country's burgeoning middle class seeking jobs and financial security in one of the world's biggest tech hubs.

December 07, 2022

Pulling out a shirt from a shelf at her shop in central India, Chandrawati Rajpoot recalls the sleepless nights she had after borrowing money from a loan shark - twice to pay for her sons' college tuition and once for a medical emergency.

Unable to pay the 5% daily interest on her last loan of 20,000 rupees ($245) in 2019, she was forced to give away her gold bangles - a family heirloom - to stop the moneylender from harassing her.

September 06, 2022

Weak and traumatised after two miscarriages and weeks of painful bleeding, Ritu decided to stop trying for a son, in defiance of her traditional Indian family who wanted a male heir.

Instead, the 32-year-old housewife - who was married at the age of 19 to a man chosen by her parents - decided to educate their four daughters to become "as capable as a son".

July 04, 2022

Catching his breath after a set of push-ups, Indian teenager Neeraj Kumar said waking before dawn for a gruelling military-style training session had become part of his routine - even as his dreams of an army career turn to dust.

Joining the military has long been seen as a route out of poverty in India, but a recruitment shakeup that aims to hire young troops on capped four-year contracts with less favourable terms has angered would-be recruits like Kumar - sparking mass protests in June.