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August 25 & 28: from Berlin - Mozambique - India - Chiapas, Mexico

Irmela Mensah-Schramm removes a poster with the inscription "Foreigners Out" at a street in Berlin's Rudow district. Photo/ Markus Schreiber/AP

Berlin's anti-Nazi Cleaning Lady, scrubbing hatred from public places no matter who she offends. 

How to make something out of nothing. The pros and cons of India's can-do work ethic

Then, an odyssey where sexual assault is an acceptable risk. The peril facing Latina migrants on the road. 

And a playground merry-go-round that doubles as a water pump. A perfect labour-saving device for undeveloped countries. So why isn't it working? 


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Irmela Mensah-Schramm paints over pro-Nazi graffiti in Berlin's Schoeneweide district. Photo/ Markus Schreiber/AP

Scrubbing the hate away

It's been more than sixty years since the end of the Second World War and still you see Nazi stickers and graffiti in the streets of Germany.

It's the leavings of a hateful underground that idealises the evils of Hitler's Third Reich.  

But one very driven woman is on a mission to wipe it out, using paint, and publicity, no matter who she offends. And she's offended a few.

Dispatches contributor Saroja Coelho makes the rounds with a modern-day vigilante, as she puts her trophies on display.    

  Hear Saroja's dispatch here

The Great Indian Jugaad

A driver with his own "jugaad," the makeshift vehicle that inspired the Indian term for on-the-spot innovation (photo/Anandana Kapur)

Next, a look at the Indian spirit of on-the-spot enterprise and innovation, for good or bad.

The Indians have a word for it. They call it "jugaad."  And it's all documented in a film called The Great Indian Jugaad.

As one of the characters in the film puts it, "when you say the word shortcut, you mean India."  Another says, being a jugaadu, one who practises jugaad, is "very next to Einstein."

Naturally, Dispatches was intrigued by this cultural quirk. So we rang up the director, Anandana Kapur, in New Delhi.

Listen to Rick's interview with Anandana now

Troubled water

Six years ago we told you about a clever concept that promised to supply and store clean water for needy African communities.  It was called a Play Pump, and the concept was breathtakingly simple.

You attach a common schoolyard merry-go-'round to a pumping system. And when the kids climb on and spin it, it draws water from an underground well and stores it in a tank above ground.  The maintenance costs are covered by selling ad space on the side of it.

In our story back then, contributor Nicola Fell spoke to 

Play Pump founder Trevor Field in South Africa...

The device seemed to have a bright future.

Amy Costello of PBS Frontline also covered that story . She returned to find out that 

 things hadn't gone exactly as planned...

We caught up with Amy after she returned to the United States to find out what exactly has gone wrong with all those pumps.

 Hear Rick's conversation with Amy

You can watch Amy's documentary "Troubled Water"  and read more about the story on the PBS/Frontline website.


A long shot

For migrants trying to slip over the American border, the way north is violent and dangerous. Especially for women.

Assault and rape have become commonplace. So common in fact, many women prepare for it, by taking contraceptives before they travel. 

In their desperation, they see rape as an acceptable risk, if it means escaping poverty.

Dominique Jarry-Shore brings us their story. It's  a harrowing descent into the harsh reality awaiting migrants on the move.

Hear Dominique's dispatch here 

A Soundtrack from India

Listener Joshi Hammond wrote in over the summer with his own musical memory, from a business trip he took to India. 

This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall and Alison Masemann with technical producer Victor Johnston, senior producer Alan Guettel and Rick MacInnes-Rae  

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