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Category : Social Enterprise


Street Vending E-Carts, Funded by LMSAI Grant, Launch in India

Street Vending E-Carts, Funded by LMSAI Grant, Launch in India

Electric Rehi, or e-Rehri for short, is a 2022 Seed for Change grant recipient that is working towards providing affordable, electric and modular carts for street vendors in Indian cities, making the daily delivery of fresh produce efficient for both the vendors and the consumers alike. Electric vehicle technology is retrofitted to traditional Indian street carts, creating an incremental and affordable transition to green energy. Using this method, any existing cart can be transformed into an electric vehicle while retaining its ability to function as a mechanical tricycle cart. 

Author Scott MacMillan Shares New Book on Sir Fazle Hasan Abed’s Legacy

Author Scott MacMillan Shares New Book on Sir Fazle Hasan Abed’s Legacy

Fazle Hasan Abed was a mild-mannered accountant who may be the most influential man most people have never even heard of. As the founder of BRAC, his work had a profound impact on the lives of millions. A former finance executive with almost no experience in relief aid, he founded BRAC, originally the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee, in 1972, aiming to help a few thousand war refugees. A half century later, BRAC is by many measures the largest nongovernmental organization in the world—and by many accounts, the most effective anti-poverty program ever.

Scott MacMillan, director of learning and innovation at BRAC USA, sat down with the Mittal Institute to speak about his newly-released autobiography of Fazle Hasan Abed, entitled Hope Over Faith: Fazle Hasan Abed and the Science of Ending Global Poverty. Join Scott for a book launch talk on November 8, hosted by the Mittal Institute and BRAC.

Previewing Harvard-Tufts Conference: Tariq Omar Ali on the Partition of Labor and Capital

Previewing Harvard-Tufts Conference: Tariq Omar Ali on the Partition of Labor and Capital

Tariq Omar Ali received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard and is now an Associate Professor at Georgetown University. His research focuses on nineteenth and twentieth century South Asia and global histories of capital with a particular interest in how the material and everyday lives of ordinary men and women are shaped by transnational circulations of commodities and capital. His first book, A Local History of Global Capital: Jute and Peasant Life in the Bengal Delta was published by Princeton University Press, 2018. He will be presenting his new research examining how decolonization, independence, and the rise of the nation-state restructured the working lives of peasants, boatmen, itinerant traders, and small businessmen in post-colonial East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh) in the 1950s and 1960s at the Tufts-Harvard Conference on the 75th Anniversary of Independence and Partition, October 7-9. Prof. Ali will be speaking on Friday, October 7 at 4:30 p.m. on a panel chaired by Prof. Amartya Sen at the ASEAN Auditorium, Cabot Building, Tufts University. 

Annual Symposium Sparks Discussion on South Asia, Past and Present

Annual Symposium Sparks Discussion on South Asia, Past and Present

The Mittal Institute wrapped up its Annual Symposium yesterday after two days of dynamic panels that touched on South Asia from myriad disciplines and lenses, including the arts, the environment, health, economics, and the next generation. The theme, “The Making of Modern South Asia,” celebrated and commemorated 75 years of independence from British India and brought together guests in person in Cambridge and virtually from countries around the globe. 

2022 Seed for Change Winners Set to Implement Transformative Ideas for India and Pakistan

2022 Seed for Change Winners Set to Implement Transformative Ideas for India and Pakistan

Through the Seed for Change (SFC) Program, the Mittal Institute fosters and supports the development of a healthy, vibrant ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in both India and Pakistan. Each year, the Mittal Institute holds this competition to identify and reward interdisciplinary student projects that positively impact social, economic, and environmental issues in India and Pakistan.

LMSAI Symposium Preview: The Next Generation of South Asian Scholars

LMSAI Symposium Preview: The Next Generation of South Asian Scholars

Vidya Subramanian, this year’s Mittal Institute Raghunathan Family Fellow, is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research interests lie at the intersection of technologies and societies. Vidya’s current research investigates the changing nature of citizenship in the technological society we now inhabit. Focusing on India, her research is loosely framed by two large issues: the first is on the colonization of the everyday so-called real world by the digital; and the second focuses on how power permeates and is implicated in such technologies. She is mentored by Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School. Vidya will be a panelist during a discussion on the “Next Generation of Scholars” at the Mittal Institute’s Annual Symposium on May 19, which will focus on the theme “The Making of Modern South Asia.”

Hemakshi Meghani: Nurturing Principled Political Leaders Through the Indian School of Democracy

Hemakshi Meghani: Nurturing Principled Political Leaders Through the Indian School of Democracy

Hemakshi Meghani, co-founder of the Indian School of Democracy (ISD), is a Harvard Kennedy School graduate, where she studied as a World Bank Graduate Scholar. She began her journey as a Teach for India Fellow before working with Boston Consulting Group and two startups in the education and sociopolitical consulting space. Hemakshi is passionate about politics, bottom-up social reform, and making democracy work for every citizen of the country, and she shared some insights into her experience building ISD.

Welcoming Pakistani Artist Mehwish Abid: New Visiting Artist Fellow

Welcoming Pakistani Artist Mehwish Abid: New Visiting Artist Fellow

The Mittal Institute welcomed a new VAF Artist, Mehwish Abid, to campus this week, for the start of her eight-week research fellowship at Harvard. The program connects artists from South Asia with Harvard’s intellectual resources, and allows a platform for mid-career artists to conduct independent research that explores critical issues in South Asia through the lens of art and design.

‘Indian Sex Life’: Durba Mitra on Strict Social Norms

‘Indian Sex Life’: Durba Mitra on Strict Social Norms

Durba Mitra, Carol K. Pforzheimer Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute and Assistant Professor of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality has been awarded the Bernard S. Cohn Book Prize by the Association for Asian Studies for her book, Indian Sex Life: Sexuality and the Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought. This prize honors “outstanding and innovative scholarship across discipline and country of specialization for a first single-authored monograph on South Asia.” Indian Sex Life, which demonstrates how ideas of deviant female sexuality became foundational to modern social thought, also received an honorable mention for the J. Willard Hurst Book Prize from the Law & Society Association.

Harvard, through Their Eyes: New Visiting Artist Fellows Showcase First Week on Campus

Harvard, through Their Eyes: New Visiting Artist Fellows Showcase First Week on Campus

The Mittal Institute welcomed two new VAF Artists, Bunu Dhungana and Pragat Jain, to campus this week, for the start of their eight-week research fellowship at Harvard. The program connects artists from South Asia with Harvard’s intellectual resources, and allows a platform for mid-career artists to conduct independent research that explores critical issues in South Asia through the lens of art and design.