Category : In Region
The Mittal Institute welcomes Rahul Gupta as a Research Affiliate. Rahul’s mission is a malaria-free India, and then the world, through the development of healthy housing strategies to complement the current core malaria interventions of insecticidal bed nets and indoor residual spraying. The Mittal Institute spoke with him about his past experience in the banking world, and current commitment to public health.
Han Choi, a Master’s student in the Department of Global Health & Population at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, spent her summer interning with LEAPS, a program that trains female youth to deliver early childhood care and education in rural Pakistan. Focusing on community development, she aimed to empower youth leaders by giving them a voice through the coordination of creative platforms, like webinars. With LEAPS, she worked to expand on local perspectives and recent data through qualitative analyses that are action-driven, to build advocacy on national/global platforms for South Asian youth. She shared a summary of her project.
It started as a solution to a challenge: how do we help students from India’s government schools follow their dreams and explore their curiosity towards science, technology, and everything in between? The answer took the form of Scienspur: an initiative led by Nagaraju ‘Nag’ Dhanyasi and Vinay Vikas, who brought together their network of Ph.D.s and postdocs using a Mittal Institute grant to provide free science courses to students from public colleges across India.
Nirupama Rao, a former Foreign Secretary of India, unknots this complex saga of the early years of the India-China relationship in her new book, The Fractured Himalaya. As a diplomat-practitioner, Rao’s telling is based not only on archival material from India, China, Britain and the United States, but also on a deep personal knowledge of China, where she served as India’s Ambassador. She shared her new book with the Mittal Institute ahead of her upcoming February 17 Borders in Modern Asia Seminar Series talk, “The Fractured Himalaya.”
Prabhat Jha, Professor in Disease Control at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and one of the event panelists, gave the Mittal Institute some insight into what he will focus on during the talk. As an epidemiologist, Dr. Jha studies the major causes of death in developing countries – including those from COVID-19. He is the lead author of a study published in Science that estimates India’s total COVID-19 deaths are “substantially greater than estimated from official reports.” He shared more on his survey in the interview below.
Sujata Saunik, former Mittal Institute Research Affiliate and current Additional Chief Secretary of the Government of Maharashtra, spoke with the Mittal Institute about her new book, “Deconstructing the Kumbh Mela: Nashik-Trimbakeshwar 2015 – A Public Health Perspective,” which details some of the underpinings of planning the Kumbh Mela. She was the Principal Health Secretary during the 2015 Kumbh Mela, and in the book documents the detailed planning, preparedness and foresight necessary to plan an event of such magnitude. Sujata says the book is a celebration of the zeal of the entire workforce that is involved in the event, and she shares her experience in the interview that follows.
Assessing Early Childhood Responsiveness in Pakistan: A Student Grant Report from Elizabeth Hentschel ’26
Elizabeth Hentschel, a doctoral student in the Department of Global Health and Population, based at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, spent this past summer working in-country in Pakistan on a dissertation research project, “Measuring Nurturing Care: A Pathway to Healthy Child Development and Protection.” Funded in part by a Mittal Institute Summer Research Grant, Elizabeth’s project took her to Naushahro Feroze, in the Sindh Province of Pakistan where she spent a month at a child development research site. She lead the efforts to create two evidence-informed measures for assessing responsive care and early learning for children.