Amrit Dhillon

Amrit Dhillon

Amrit used to work for the BBC in London but decided to return to her country of origin, India, over 15 years ago. Apart from travel articles, she reports on every aspect of Indian society. Rajasthan is her favourite state because of the magnificence of its forts and palaces, the great Thar Desert, exquisite handicrafts, and a colour palette so glorious it can lift the lowest spirits.

Latest from Amrit Dhillon

India’s tycoons take private jets to Goa, Maldives to escape coronavirus-ravaged cities

Business is booming for chartered aircraft in the world’s third worst-hit nation for Covid-19, where a one-hour flight on a 16-seater can cost as much as US$8,000.

9 Jul 2020 - 8:27PM

Business is booming for chartered aircraft in the world’s third worst-hit nation for Covid-19, where a one-hour flight on a 16-seater can cost as much as US$8,000.

India’s tycoons take private jets to Goa, Maldives to escape coronavirus-ravaged cities
India’s Bollywood cuts kissing scenes, epic dance routines under new coronavirus rules

Veteran Bollywood stars including Amitabh Bachchan will also be out of action as no one above the age of 65 will be allowed to work.

4 Jun 2020 - 8:58PM

Veteran Bollywood stars including Amitabh Bachchan will also be out of action as no one above the age of 65 will be allowed to work.

India’s Bollywood cuts kissing scenes, epic dance routines under new coronavirus rules
Coronavirus: fear and foreboding in Mumbai, India’s worst-hit city

About a quarter of India’s more than 80,000 cases are in Mumbai, where hospitals are running out of beds – with the sick and the dead lying side by side.

16 May 2020 - 9:45PM

About a quarter of India’s more than 80,000 cases are in Mumbai, where hospitals are running out of beds – with the sick and the dead lying side by side.

Coronavirus: fear and foreboding in Mumbai, India’s worst-hit city
Tuberculosis crisis in India: disease that kills the most people in the world gains ground with testing and treatment disrupted by lockdown for coronavirus

Is fear the ‘new normal’? People in India scared by coronavirus skip tuberculosis testing and treatment, or are unable to reach clinics because lockdown halted public transport. The result could be thousands of additional deaths.

12 May 2020 - 8:00PM

Is fear the ‘new normal’? People in India scared by coronavirus skip tuberculosis testing and treatment, or are unable to reach clinics because lockdown halted public transport. The result could be thousands of additional deaths.

Tuberculosis crisis in India: disease that kills the most people in the world gains ground with testing and treatment disrupted by lockdown for coronavirus
Asian Angle | Coronavirus: Pinarayi Vijayan, ‘the Andrew Cuomo of Kerala’ is showing India how to handle Covid-19

Vijayan, an old-style Indian politician, is more reassuring than charismatic – and has earned fans for keeping a level head and human touch amid the pandemic.

30 Apr 2020 - 3:09PM

Vijayan, an old-style Indian politician, is more reassuring than charismatic – and has earned fans for keeping a level head and human touch amid the pandemic.

Coronavirus: Pinarayi Vijayan, ‘the Andrew Cuomo of Kerala’ is showing India how to handle Covid-19
Plasma therapy clinical trials to treat Covid-19 patients begin in India

More than 500 Covid-19 patients are involved in India’s first clinical trials of plasma therapy, which coincide with the case of a severely ill patient who was responding positively to the experimental treatment at a New Delhi hospital.

22 Apr 2020 - 6:30PM

More than 500 Covid-19 patients are involved in India’s first clinical trials of plasma therapy, which coincide with the case of a severely ill patient who was responding positively to the experimental treatment at a New Delhi hospital.

Plasma therapy clinical trials to treat Covid-19 patients begin in India
Indian Railways offers coronavirus lifeline, delivering food, turning carriages into hospital wards, and building a prototype ventilator

National rail company, which has halted passenger services, is converting coaches into isolation wards, delivering food to markets, and making hospital beds, stretchers, gurneys and even a prototype ventilator.

13 Apr 2020 - 10:47AM

National rail company, which has halted passenger services, is converting coaches into isolation wards, delivering food to markets, and making hospital beds, stretchers, gurneys and even a prototype ventilator.

Indian Railways offers coronavirus lifeline, delivering food, turning carriages into hospital wards, and building a prototype ventilator
Blue sky thinking: what the coronavirus lockdown shows India about pollution and clearing the air

The global coronavirus lockdown has drastically reduced pollution in cities such as New Delhi in India, where environmentalists are calling for changes in emissions laws and a rethink of how industry will bounce back from the pandemic.

7 Apr 2020 - 11:51PM

The global coronavirus lockdown has drastically reduced pollution in cities such as New Delhi in India, where environmentalists are calling for changes in emissions laws and a rethink of how industry will bounce back from the pandemic.

Blue sky thinking: what the coronavirus lockdown shows India about pollution and clearing the air
New Delhi’s toxic air and how one expat family was affected – sick children, asthma, a death, and a campaign to awaken city to pollution threat

Couple wanted their kids to experience the real India, and traded California for the capital city. They hadn’t factored in its worsening air pollution. Now they could flee Delhi and become ‘pollution refugees’.

5 Nov 2019 - 7:11PM

Couple wanted their kids to experience the real India, and traded California for the capital city. They hadn’t factored in its worsening air pollution. Now they could flee Delhi and become ‘pollution refugees’.

New Delhi’s toxic air and how one expat family was affected – sick children, asthma, a death, and a campaign to awaken city to pollution threat
Ginger House Museum Hotel: a luxurious taste of old Kerala, where (nearly) all the antiques are for sale

Located in a former Kerala warehouse used for drying ginger, the Ginger House Museum Hotel has been lovingly transformed into a luxurious retreat where much of what you see is for sale.

22 Jun 2019 - 1:30PM

Located in a former Kerala warehouse used for drying ginger, the Ginger House Museum Hotel has been lovingly transformed into a luxurious retreat where much of what you see is for sale.

Ginger House Museum Hotel: a luxurious taste of old Kerala, where (nearly) all the antiques are for sale
Blind women trained to find breast cancer lumps by feel are better than doctors at the task

Blind women trained as tactile medical examiners, or MTEs, are better than doctors at finding lumps that are warning signs of breast cancer; the work gives them independence and a measure of fulfilment.

10 Jun 2019 - 7:53PM

Blind women trained as tactile medical examiners, or MTEs, are better than doctors at finding lumps that are warning signs of breast cancer; the work gives them independence and a measure of fulfilment.

Blind women trained to find breast cancer lumps by feel are better than doctors at the task
Worth a trip in India: the lakes and palaces of Udaipur, Venice of the East

Udaipur is a fairy-tale city full of gorgeous palaces, lakes and intricate alleyways that lead to mysterious temples and shops. It also offers excellent Rajasthani food like laal maas, a rich, aromatic and heavily spiced mutton curry.

11 Apr 2019 - 3:57PM

Udaipur is a fairy-tale city full of gorgeous palaces, lakes and intricate alleyways that lead to mysterious temples and shops. It also offers excellent Rajasthani food like laal maas, a rich, aromatic and heavily spiced mutton curry.

Worth a trip in India: the lakes and palaces of Udaipur,  Venice of the East
Vaccinations in India: the heroes helping children from poor families get immunised, and how they do it

Poor Hindus and Muslims throughout India harbour misconceptions about vaccinations, but the situation is improving thanks to community figures who break down barriers, and a government that is learning valuable lessons.

3 Mar 2019 - 6:59PM

Poor Hindus and Muslims throughout India harbour misconceptions about vaccinations, but the situation is improving thanks to community figures who break down barriers, and a government that is learning valuable lessons.

Vaccinations in India: the heroes helping children from poor families get immunised, and how they do it
India’s leprosy disaster, its millions of victims, and the vaccine that could stop many being disfigured

In 2005 India declared leprosy eliminated, stopped looking for sufferers and left it to them to seek help. Few could afford to. Now a vaccine is being rolled out to tackle a disease that twists fingers, melts noses and cripples many.

11 Feb 2019 - 7:20PM

In 2005 India declared leprosy eliminated, stopped looking for sufferers and left it to them to seek help. Few could afford to. Now a vaccine is being rolled out to tackle a disease that twists fingers, melts noses and cripples many.

India’s leprosy disaster, its millions of victims, and the vaccine that could stop many being disfigured
India’s history of cannabis use encourages scientists to explore new ways of using it as a legal painkiller

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine are working to create potential drugs for treating cancer patients. They hope to persuade the government to relax the law and regulate cannabis the way opium is regulated.

27 Dec 2018 - 7:14PM

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine are working to create potential drugs for treating cancer patients. They hope to persuade the government to relax the law and regulate cannabis the way opium is regulated.

India’s history of cannabis use encourages scientists to explore new ways of using it as a legal painkiller
Knee surgery transformed by stem-cell treatment: it could halve need for knee replacements, doctor says

Doctors take a patient’s stem cells and inject them in their knee to grow new cartilage, avoiding the need for knee replacement surgery; arthritis sufferers as old as 89 have benefited from the treatment.

22 Dec 2018 - 1:22PM

Doctors take a patient’s stem cells and inject them in their knee to grow new cartilage, avoiding the need for knee replacement surgery; arthritis sufferers as old as 89 have benefited from the treatment.

Knee surgery transformed by stem-cell treatment: it could halve need for knee replacements, doctor says
Jaipur’s new Gyan Museum provides another reason to visit India’s pink city

Probably the first private museum in the country, the Gyan exhibits the late jeweller Gyan Dhaddha’s collection of Persian rugs, royal costumes, prayer rugs and even ancient scriptures

26 Oct 2018 - 3:45PM

Probably the first private museum in the country, the Gyan exhibits the late jeweller Gyan Dhaddha’s collection of Persian rugs, royal costumes, prayer rugs and even ancient scriptures

Jaipur’s new Gyan Museum provides another reason to visit India’s pink city
Indian victims of faulty hip implants wait on compensation, years after US patients’ US$2.5b payout

Jyoti Rani is one of 4,700 patients in India given a faulty Johnson & Johnson hip implant; eight years after a global recall began, some have finally been told they will be paid compensation; but others are dead, and thousands more have yet to to be traced.

17 Sep 2018 - 8:03PM

Jyoti Rani is one of 4,700 patients in India given a faulty Johnson & Johnson hip implant; eight years after a global recall began, some have finally been told they will be paid compensation; but others are dead, and thousands more have yet to to be traced.

Indian victims of faulty hip implants wait on  compensation, years after US patients’ US$2.5b payout
Too busy to see the doctor? There’s an app for that in India that may be the answer to its chronic health care problems

The MFine app lets users consult doctors from leading hospitals online by phone, text, or video, and could ease the burden on India’s health care system. It also aims to make a doctor’s consultation more comprehensive and effective.

9 Aug 2018 - 8:11PM

The MFine app lets users consult doctors from leading hospitals online by phone, text, or video, and could ease the burden on India’s health care system. It also aims to make a doctor’s consultation more comprehensive and effective.

Too busy to see the doctor? There’s an app for that in India that may be the answer to its chronic health care problems
Why the death penalty will not solve India’s rape problem, but speedy justice would go a long way

The Indian government’s move to introduce the death penalty for rapists of girls is a symbolic gesture with an eye on the elections rather than an effective tool to deter the crime.

4 Aug 2018 - 3:52PM

The Indian government’s move to introduce the death penalty for rapists of girls is a symbolic gesture with an eye on the elections rather than an effective tool to deter the crime.

Why the death penalty will not solve India’s rape problem, but speedy justice would go a long way
Ikea in India: more colour, less DIY, and no leather or meatballs at lifestyle giant’s first store – but will Scandinavian aesthetic sell?

Swedish multinational has had to rethink everything for a country where life is lived in the bedroom, small homes accommodate big family gatherings, customers are not used to self-assembly furniture, and cows are revered.

16 Jul 2018 - 6:27PM

Swedish multinational has had to rethink everything for a country where life is lived in the bedroom, small homes accommodate big family gatherings, customers are not used to self-assembly furniture, and cows are revered.

Ikea in India: more colour, less DIY, and no leather or meatballs at lifestyle giant’s first store – but will Scandinavian aesthetic sell?
Why India’s great communicator Modi has fallen silent on mob lynching epidemic

India’s prime minister has a lot to say, just not about the rampaging mobs who have killed Muslims, Dalits and migrant workers, or about the members of his party who cosy up to killers.

11 Jul 2018 - 6:57AM

India’s prime minister has a lot to say, just not about the rampaging mobs who have killed Muslims, Dalits and migrant workers, or about the members of his party who cosy up to killers.

Why India’s great communicator Modi has fallen silent on mob lynching epidemic
How India’s abortion laws are trailing society, technology and the young single women having more sex

Faced with a 20-week limit and cultural and other legal restrictions, millions of Indian women have abortions outside hospitals and clinics, while many others do not even know the procedure is legal because of a lack of public education

6 Jun 2018 - 4:31PM

Faced with a 20-week limit and cultural and other legal restrictions, millions of Indian women have abortions outside hospitals and clinics, while many others do not even know the procedure is legal because of a lack of public education

How India’s abortion laws are trailing society, technology and the young single women having more sex
Add another stop to the Golden Triangle of India tourism: Alwar – small town whose beauty and rich history offer a taste of Rajasthan

Delhi, Jaipur and Agra are known as India’s Golden Triangle, but it’s time to add Alwar to that itinerary for its dazzling colours, former royal hunting grounds, palace and the forts that dot the countryside around

1 May 2018 - 6:23PM

Delhi, Jaipur and Agra are known as India’s Golden Triangle, but it’s time to add Alwar to that itinerary for its dazzling colours, former royal hunting grounds, palace and the forts that dot the countryside around

Add another stop to the Golden Triangle of India tourism: Alwar – small town whose beauty and rich history offer a taste of Rajasthan
Why obesity is a growing problem in India – diet, aversion to physical work and old idea that if you’re fat you must be prosperous

Cultural factors aggravate India’s obesity problem, and while doctors admit attitudes need to change, they are lobbying for medical insurance to cover surgery that shrinks the stomachs, and appetites, of obese people

25 Apr 2018 - 6:39PM

Cultural factors aggravate India’s obesity problem, and while doctors admit attitudes need to change, they are lobbying for medical insurance to cover surgery that shrinks the stomachs, and appetites, of obese people

Why obesity is a growing problem in India – diet, aversion to physical work and old idea that if you’re fat you must be prosperous
An authentic French bakery in India’s New Delhi – it’s not as hard to find as you might think

Located in the art deco Bikaner House, a majestic mansion built for Indian royalty, the offerings at L’Opéra’s 17th outlet are as splendid as its setting

14 Apr 2018 - 12:15PM

Located in the art deco Bikaner House, a majestic mansion built for Indian royalty, the offerings at L’Opéra’s 17th outlet are as splendid as its setting

An authentic French bakery in India’s New Delhi – it’s not as hard to find as you might think
Indian actress Sridevi’s death exposes TV news as all song and dance, with no substance

The TV coverage of the iconic Indian actress Sridevi’s death reveals that entertainment is masquerading as news in India.

28 Feb 2018 - 11:13PM

The TV coverage of the iconic Indian actress Sridevi’s death reveals that entertainment is masquerading as news in India.

Indian actress Sridevi’s death exposes TV news as all song and dance, with no substance
The rural Indian inventor whose machine to make sanitary pads shattered a taboo and inspired a film, Pad Man

Feature film Pad Man tells the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, who, shocked by his own wife’s secret suffering over menstruation, set out, against the odds, to invent a cheap sanitary pad maker now in wide use all over India

17 Feb 2018 - 7:27PM

Feature film Pad Man tells the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, who, shocked by his own wife’s secret suffering over menstruation, set out, against the odds, to invent a cheap sanitary pad maker now in wide use all over India

The rural Indian inventor whose machine to make sanitary pads shattered a taboo and inspired a film, Pad Man
102-year-old runner who’s setting records around the globe and the diet of wheatgrass, kefir and pulses that fuels her exploits

Indian Man Kaur took up running at the age of 93 at the urging of her son, 79, and hasn’t looked back since, adding javelin and shot put to her repertoire. Her advice for living a long life? Avoid junk food, eat healthily and always exercise

26 May 2020 - 2:03PM

Indian Man Kaur took up running at the age of 93 at the urging of her son, 79, and hasn’t looked back since, adding javelin and shot put to her repertoire. Her advice for living a long life? Avoid junk food, eat healthily and always exercise

102-year-old runner who’s setting records around the globe and the diet of wheatgrass, kefir and pulses that fuels her exploits
How khichdi, mix of lentils and rice, became India’s ‘national dish’, and its almost infinite varieties

The ancient staple is popular around the country, comes in countless varieties and has long been enjoyed by peasants and emperors alike

18 Jan 2018 - 1:10PM

The ancient staple is popular around the country, comes in countless varieties and has long been enjoyed by peasants and emperors alike

How khichdi, mix of lentils and rice, became India’s ‘national dish’,  and its almost infinite varieties