Born in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, I lived for the most part in New Delhi, the capital of India. After an M.Phil in Sociology I worked with nonprofits, civic bodies and the United Nations.
In my initial days as a fresh grad student my first job was to assist in studying inter-caste agrarian relations in rural Uttar Pradesh, India. Conducting fieldwork in a rigid "caste"society was real space defined by norms of purity and pollution. Moving between each caste hamlet revealed further a highly segmented living. It was surprising to note how much of the "differences" were maintained as the research progressed. For my ostensible well being, I was the female researcher who the dominant caste adopted!
Subsequent and more substantive assignments followed where I documented youth movements in rural India, evaluated programs on environment, women's empowerment, community participation; led health programs for women and children and wrote policy documents for varied audiences.
In 1999 I moved to the United States and volunteered with Ten Thousand Villages, Boston University and many town entities. My experiences as an early immigrant and being immediately deemed "different" was familiar yet new.
This newness like “fern odors on untraveled roads” so well represented in Dickinson’s poems is for me imbued with meaning as I continue to navigate and explore new directions.
While I stay connected to my roots, I am also part of the global processes that bring us to different territories, peoples and circumstances. This to me provides for a rich set of experiences of "liminal" (a la van Gennep!) state of being as one navigates the "lurking irrealities" (Berger and Luckmann) of living "abroad."
Global Environment Justice Documentaries, (September 2018): Developed lesson guide on the film “Yindabad” (a Spanish rendition of the word “Zindabad”) based on Medha Patkar’s work with the Narmada Bachao Andolan(Save the Narmada River movement).
British Council Division; Assessed gender participation through reservation of seats for women in project on malaria eradication in Gujarat, India
Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA); Evaluated women’s participation and community involvement in a leprosy eradication program
USAID; Desk research on gender focus of bilateral aid agencies in environment programs
Indo-Canada Environment Facility (ICEF); Capacity building and training for project staff at all levels engaged in developing local farm and forestry units in rural Madhya Pradesh, India
International Land Coalition: (2015-2016) consultancy provided to document learning opportunities on sustainable forest management practices, indigenous women’s knowledge systems, community driven efforts, environmental and social advocacy that link social justice and ecological health.
Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, India(2015); contributed to policy recommendation on urban poverty and gender issues along with Sunita Kotnala and Shivani Bharadwaj.