Artha Global hosted a conversation with Rukmini S., senior journalist and author on ‘Stories Numbers Tell: Adding Context to Data’ Thursday, July 28, 2022 from 6:00 PM-7.00 PM IST. This was an in person, on-the-record event hosted at the Artha Global office in Khar West, Mumbai.

About the event:

In May 2022, when the World Health Organization released its numbers on global excess deaths during the first two years of COVID-19, nearly 4.7 million excess deaths were attributed to India. This was a third of the global toll and in stark contrast to India’s official figure of a cumulative 0.52 million COVID-19 deaths. But well before the WHO estimates, Rukmini S, one of India’s leading data journalists, had raised questions about the accuracy of the official figures through her groundbreaking work on excess deaths. Rukmini brings this expertise to bear in her book, Whole Numbers and Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India, demonstrating how data can be used to build narratives, derive insights and dispel enduring myths that often masquerade as facts. Join us as she discusses the stories numbers tell and how they shape our understanding of the world and its realities.

About the speaker:

Rukmini S is an independent data journalist and author. Her work focuses on inequality, gender, caste and politics. Rukmini was earlier National Data Editor of The Hindu newspaper and now writes independently for Indian and international publications. Since March 2020, Rukmini has also hosted a podcast, The Moving Curve, which won an Emergent Ventures COVID-19 India Prize in 2020. She also received the Likho Awards for Excellence in Media in 2019, an Honourable Mention for the Chameli Devi Jain Awards for Outstanding Woman Journalist in 2020, and a Sigma Award in 2022 for her work on estimating COVID-19 deaths. Her first book, Whole Numbers and Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India, was published by Amazon Westland in December 2021.