People's Archive of Rural India | Introduction and Updates

The People’s Archive of Rural India (or PARI for short), is a unique digital platform that aims to document, archive, and showcase the diversity of rural India and the everyday lives of everyday people. The platform was founded in 2014 by journalist and writer P. Sainath, who has spent over three decades reporting on rural India. PARI has since become a one-of-a-kind repository of stories, reports, photographs, videos, and audio recordings that capture the rich and complex realities of the Indian countryside.

Through our work, PARI aims to challenge prevailing stereotypes about rural India and highlight the diverse and nuanced ways in which people in these areas live, work, and engage with the world. PARI’s archive is extensive and covers a wide range of themes, including agriculture, environment, education, health, and social justice. PARI’s reportage on climate change is an important aspect of the platform’s work. The effects of climate change are being felt acutely in rural India, where millions of people rely on agriculture and natural resources for their livelihoods. PARI’s team of journalists and researchers travel to different parts of the country to document how climate change is affecting rural communities, and to report on how people are adapting to these challenges. PARI’s climate change coverage includes stories on issues such as water scarcity, drought, floods, and the impact of changing weather patterns on crop yields. Through its reportage on climate change, PARI aims to raise awareness about the urgent need for action to mitigate the effects of global warming and to highlight the ways in which rural communities are at the forefront of these efforts.

In a country where the majority of the population lives in rural areas, PARI’s work is more relevant than ever. PARI’s impact has been significant, both in terms of the content it has generated and the conversations it has sparked. The platform provides a much-needed space for rural voices to be heard and for rural issues to be discussed in a nuanced and informed manner. PARI’s content has been used by academics, journalists, policymakers, and activists, and has been widely shared on social media. The platform has also created opportunities for rural communities to engage with urban audiences, and has facilitated important conversations about rural development, social justice, and environmental sustainability.

At PARI, we are excited to be working with Rainmatter to further our cause. We believe that partnerships like these are crucial in enabling us to reach wider audiences, and to continue our efforts to create a more inclusive and diverse media landscape. Through this collaboration, we hope to engage with new audiences and to showcase the complexity of rural life and culture in India. We are confident that our work with Rainmatter will help us to build a more informed, empathetic, and connected society, and we look forward to this exciting new chapter in our journey.


The past quarter has been a productive one for the People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI).

Thanks to the grant from Rainmatter Foundation, we were able to fund a part of our coverage of stories and editorial costs.

With a mandate for covering climate change, we are happy to tell you that we have covered seven stories on the subject and five resources have been added to the library. More are in the pipeline.

In addition to this, our PARI Education team visited around 20 schools and colleges. Here they interacted with over 1000 students and shared stories on Climate Change and how it affects the Indian countryside.

A major event of the past quarter was our annual conference in December 2022, which brought together a diverse group of individuals from the PARI network across India (journalists, fellows, editors, translators, illustrators and techies). The conference provided a platform for knowledge sharing and networking among the participants, and also helped to set the agenda for PARI’s future initiatives.

Some highlights from the conference include workshops for journalists on writing, editing and photography, conversations on how to increase the reach of PARI in regional languages and via YouTube, representation of rural realities in poetry and art, the success of PARI Education, the path forward and fund raising, and taking the PARI website into its next avatar.

One of the key takeaways from the conference was the importance of considering the angle of climate change when reporting on rural issues. Climate change is increasingly affecting rural communities in India, and it is crucial that journalists report on the issue from a local perspective. The participants engaged in interactive sessions where they discussed the challenges and opportunities for reporting on climate change in rural India. For translators, how to best represent the true essence of the dialogue on climate change in the 14 languages that PARI stories are published in was a big challenge.

As part of our mandate, we continue to report on a wide range of issues with special attention to gender and inequality. How climate justice overlaps with these is what will come up in future stories by PARI journalists. Another area of focus for us is the intersection of climate change and mental health in rural India. Climate change can have a severe impact on the mental health of people living in rural communities, particularly those who are already vulnerable. Since 2023 is the Year of Millets, our reporters have also been asked to be on the lookout for how millet-farming is being carried out and what factors are affecting the production of millets and the lives of millet producers.

We are proud to have added new fellowships, which will support the next generation of journalists in reporting on these important issues. A total of six new fellowships were awarded to journalists from across the country bringing the count of active fellowships to 13. The fellows will work with PARI for a period of 12 or 24 months, during which they will report on various aspects and or regions of rural India as per their respective proposals.

We at PARI are keen to increase the reach and impact of PARI in different spaces. We would also like to collaborate with other organisations that Rainmatter has previously partnered with. Reading other posts on Grove, has been very inspiring and we are looking forward to impactful conversations!

Here is some of the reportage we’ve done on Climate Change. Do give it a read!
Also, don’t miss the reports we’ve added to our library. Visit the PARI library to explore more.


In Kolhapur, athletes get that sinking feeling by Sanket Jain | Kolhapur, Maharashtra
Changing rainfall patterns and frequent floods are wreaking havoc on the mental health and aspirations of young sportswomen from farming families in this part of western Maharashtra

When it rains, it pours misery by Jaideep Hardikar | Yavatmal, Maharashtra
As extreme rains, alternating with prolonged dry spells, wreak havoc on the kharif crop, small and marginal farmers in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha are facing acute distress that will only get worse in the months ahead

Searching for grazing grounds in Spiti by Sanskriti Talwar | Lahaul and Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
The climate is changing at 14,500 feet, and herders in Langza say that there is not enough grass for their livestock at high altitudes anymore

Amreli’s fisherfolk wait for a lifeline by Parth M.N. | Amreli, Gujarat
Lakhs of fisherfolk in this coastal district of Gujarat risk their lives to go to work in increasingly hostile conditions. Long-promised emergency healthcare services continue to elude them

In Totana: ‘We must fill our stomach somehow’ by Parth M.N. | Banaskantha, Gujarat
Like many farmers in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district, Bhanuben Bharwad lost her land to flood damage in 2017. This and recurring climate events have deprived families like hers of food security and nutritious diet

‘We are drowning in the fear of floods’ by Sanket Jain | Kolhapur, Maharashtra
Tenant farmers and agricultural labourers in Kolhapur district are struggling with mental health issues as excessive rainfall and flooding repeatedly destroy their crops and livelihoods

In Kolhapur, ASHAs tell a SAD story by Sanket Jain | Kolhapur, Maharashtra
All is not well with the mental health of women health workers in rural Maharashtra as they grapple with the adverse effects of climate change and deteriorating working conditions

‘Our village was under water for three days’ by Rahul and Aishani Goswami | Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh
Farmers like Devendra, in Sund of Narwar tehsil, say their land still bears the ravages of the 2021 floods in Madhya Pradesh | February 1, 2023

In Vidarbha: agrarian distress, playing on the mind by Parth M.N. | Yavatmal, Maharashtra
Climate uncertainty and the resulting financial loss have created a mental health crisis in this drought-prone region in Maharashtra | March 22, 2023