India: Marketing family planning in a land of one billion people

THE DISPATCHES: Amit Sinha, David Plink, Julie Earne, Mona Gavankar, Dhruti Patel

A break in the weather breaks the power system — no electricity but plenty of bugs

After several days with temperatures hovering around 110 degrees, we finally received some relief. Yesterday, just before the break of dawn, the otherwise sultry weather was transformed by a violent storm, bringing a full hour of continuous lightning and strong downpour. Apart from the fact that most of our apartment was flooded, we were happy to wake up to a cool breeze and delighted that the weather conditions had brought the temperature down considerably — still around 95 degrees, but much more enjoyable. Our joy, however, was only short-lived.

The cyclonic storm that struck at 3 a.m. did major damage to Patna's power supply. Many falling trees snapped electricity wires and sometimes whole electricity poles were blown away. For the last two days electricity has been a luxury, including in our apartment.

At the same time, the relative humidity increased sharply: we are now in doubt as to what is better — 115 degrees with low humidity or 95 degrees with high humidity. Since we don't have a choice, we just make the best of it and enjoy the generator at the Janani office that provides us with at least 10 hours of air conditioning a day!

Oh, and before we forget, we would also like to extend a warm welcome to the hundreds of bugs that have become our new roommates since the beginning of the more humid weather.

—Julie and David

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