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2012 Summer in South Asia Fellows

Tessa Adzemovic, Biochemistry/French
Tessa worked in New Delhi with the Hazrat Inayat Khan Foundations.  She explored the challenges of an urban vil¬lage population using demographic, ethnographic, and survey data. The community studied was Nizamuddin Basti, an urban slum in Southeast Delhi. Historically Sufi Muslim, the people of the basti, live in poor conditions and have a low overall average income and literacy rate.

Bradley Iott, Anthropology/Urban Studies
Bradley conducted interviews and observational research at a health clinic run by an NGO in Nizamuddin, Delhi. He wanted to understand what kinds of implications and constrictions were faced by doctors and healthcare providers in this basti setting. Specifically, he was interested in the effects of culture and traditions of patients on the community’s health.

Rabia Mahmood, Psychology/Gender & Health
Rabia studied health policy surrounding HIV/ AIDS in India during her visit. She researched social, political, and cultural issues that may play a role in swaying health policy while also working in an HIV testing clinic where she assessed knowledge of sexual health. Her research focused on understanding how best to eradicate the disease in both rural and urban areas of India, while also learning and understanding the methods used to create a larger span of awareness among Indians.

Marisa Perera, Psychology/Spanish
Mental illness has been found to be prevalent among homeless populations on an international scale. Numerous interventions to combat mental illness are based on Western values, specifically strategies that foster individual stability. The efficacy of such interventions may be reduced in treating mental illness in Eastern homeless populations due to different cultural values. Marisa’s project examined the potency of mental health interventions that emphasize family relations in a section of the homeless, mentally ill urban, population in Chennai, India.

Nicholas Pilarski, Theatre Arts/Global Media Studies
Nicholas made the argument that the success of Jana Sanskriti’s Theatre of the Oppressed movement in the South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal was due to the organizations unique theatrical aesthetic, programing, and grassroots play development that provide space for intellectual autonomy to occur in individuals facing oppression.

Eric Ranyal, Chemical Engineering
Eric investigated the culture and awareness of electronic medical records (EMR) systems in Indian hospitals. The project was coordinated in conjunction with OHUM Healthcare, Inc., a company that seeks to provide EMR solutions to receptive hospitals.  Eric learned that India had not yet fully realized the benefits associated with EMR systems. However, there are a small number of hospitals attempting to pioneer the field of EMR systems, and once implemented, they will serve as models for other hospitals to follow suit.

Carolyn Yarina, Chemical Engineering
Carolyn explored different tactics towards making an impact in rural India. These tactics included selling directly to the rural poor, providing a free service, or selling/donating to an organization that the rural poor use. In reaching these people it was integral to not only have a good design; you needed to have the right marketing and distribution strategy.