Ashish Koul is a Singh Postdoctoral Associate in the Council on South Asian Studies at the MacMillan Center. Her work focuses on caste, Islam, and politics in South Asia, with law and gender as components within that framework. We talk with Professor Koul about her essay, “Making new Muslim Arains: reform and social mobility in colonial Punjab, 1890s-1910s.”
A program that protects families in rural Bangladesh from seasonal income insecurity — established in collaboration with Yale economist Mushfiq Mobarak — is among the world’s most cost-effective anti-poverty interventions, according to charity evaluator GiveWell.org.
The program, No Lean Season, is a new addition to the website’s annual list of top charities, which identifies effective charitable organizations based on evidence of their impact per donation.
No Lean Season offers no-interest $19 loans to poor, rural families in northern Bangladesh to pay for round-trip bus fare. This enables families to send a migrant to cities to find temporary work during the lean season — the period between the planting of rice crops in August and the January harvest — when jobs are scarce in the countryside and food insecurity is widespread.