The following transcript contains the remarks given by Ira A. Jackson, Visiting Lecturer on Sociology at Harvard University, at the conclusion of the Mittal Institute’s Bangladesh Rising Conference on September 16, 2019.
Category : In Region
The World Health Organization estimates that over 1.4 million children in the world are blind, and “approximately three-quarters of the world’s blind children live in the poorest regions of Africa and Asia.” In India, only 40 percent of the 23,000 primary healthcare centers have the capacity to provide refractive services that could eliminate preventable blindness in children. Since 2005, Project Prakash has been working at the very grassroots of India, connecting hundreds of villages to the most sophisticated eye care available and building awareness about treatable and preventable blindness.
Working with the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Harvard doctoral student Sonali Dhingra has brought to life a collection of South Asian paintings and sculptures from across the Indian subcontinent, provided by private collectors Carol (alumna of Wellesley College, ’79) and John Rutherford. This fall, the Rutherford Collection will be on display at the Davis Museum from September 12 to December 15, 2019.
The beginning of 2020 will mark a massive celebration of science and technology with the India Science Fest, which aims to bridge the gap between science and society. This extravaganza is a non-profit initiative to help youth engage with the latest in science from across the world, fueling curiosity and demystifying the scientific career path. Aspiring Minds, an Indian-born global assessments leader, is a lead organizer of the Festival in association with the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University, the primary academic partner for the event.
The Mittal Institute’s Building Bharat-Boston Biosciences (B4) program works to establish connections between institutions in India and Boston to promote scientific research and build new knowledge in the field of biosciences. Each year, the B4 program holds two workshops in India that convenes a group of talented Indian university students and introduces them to the latest developments in the life sciences. Over the summer, one of these workshops was hosted at IISER in Pune as part of the program, bringing in 25 students from universities and institutions all across India to receive training from experts in Advanced Light Microscopy techniques, ranging from basic microscopy to super-resolution imaging.
We spoke with Salil Shetty, Senior Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard Kennedy School and Mittal Institute Research Affiliate, to learn more about his perspective on the current events unfolding in Kashmir. Shetty, a human rights expert and the former Secretary General of Amnesty International, will spend the next year at Harvard performing research and lending his expertise to the community.
By Pranati Parikh. This summer, I participated in the Sanskrit program in Pune, Maharashtra, offered by the American Institute of Indian Studies. It surprised no one, I think, that I spent approximately ten weeks of my summer in India — a country to which I owe my cultural and religious heritage, a country which is home to people who look like me, who use similar blends of spices in their daily cooking, and from whose mouths spills a cadence of speech that echoes my own family. India is as familiar to me as my mother’s hands. And, yet, this summer was a glimpse into a new India. It was a time for appreciating granularities in a familiar topography, and finding it splendidly unfamiliar at every step, yet, in the end, discovering a place for myself.
Bangladesh is growing rapidly — both in population size and its economy. Its rich and complex history continues to guide its growth and development today, creating a thriving mix of cultures and ideals. We spoke with Gary Bass — a keynote speaker at our upcoming Bangladesh Rising conference, Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, and author of The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide — to learn his perspective on the current state of Bangladesh’s politics, economics, and humanitarian efforts.
Until recently, Jhabua — a district in the western part of Madhya Pradesh — was largely a tribal area. But despite its recent development, village communities in the area still lack access to basic resources, such as education, proper nutrition, and clean drinking water. In these communities, excess fluoride in the water has caused skeletal and dental fluorosis, which, at their most severe, can result in stunted, abnormal growth, and damaged joints and bones.
Looking to fund your research, internship, or language study in South Asia this winter? Applications to our graduate and undergraduate grants are open for Winter 2019! Be sure to apply by Friday, October 11, 2019 at 11:59 PM.
Bangladesh has a complicated history, existing under many names and empires — sometimes independently, other times as a colony or kingdom. Its borders have been drawn and redrawn extensively over the past 4,000 years. At different points in its history, this small section of South Asia repelled Greek invaders, housed a series of Indian dynasties, was conquered by an Islamic empire, supported multiple Hindu kingdoms, was colonized by Europe, and regained its independence as a modern nation.
India’s National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB) illustrates yet another example of the Government of India moving forward with a major health digitization program that will affect millions of citizens. However, data researchers, academics, and activists have expressed some concerns about the development of this policy, bringing up fears of security breaches and privacy controls.