The puddle in the mind

A lotus bloomed over a puddle

Glistening in the morning sun.

A cheer to the shepard

and to the maiden alike,

While the fisherman pondered on.
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Niti Aayog Report Healthy states, progressive India: A rapid Karnataka-centred assessment

The Healthy states, progressive India report (HSPI report) seeks to assess various Indian states in terms of their performance in health over time. I have noted below a few quick points from a Karnataka-centred perspective. The note is written mainly for the purposes of generating discussion and debate on strengthening Karnataka’s health. This assessment is by no means a comprehensive summary of the report. The full report is available on the Niti Aayog website here: http://niti.gov.in/content/healthy-states-progressive-india-report-ranks-states-and-union-territories# Continue reading

Healthy by chance, or by choice

I was recently invited to speak at a TEDx event organised by a school in Hyderabad. Given my research interests on health equity, I chose to build my talk around a foundational element of public health itself: what makes one healthy, is it a matter of chance (for eg. through genes), or by choice (through specific “healthy” behavioural choices, one “chooses”).

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Quizzing in the days of eBird

Nothing like a good quiz to get a bunch of bird-geeks up and about. That was the experience of helping with putting together a quiz on birds. In the days of eBird of course, it becomes easier to come up with bird trivia from a given location (first photographic record on eBird of the Jerdon’s Courser, for example, or the Bugun Liocichla).  Continue reading

Can carers decide on assisted suicide

Caring for a chronically ill family member is physically and emotionally taxing. I have seen in such situations people struggling with questions on the larger meaning/purpose of life, death, well-being, happiness and such. The very capacity to love and empathize (either oneself or our loved ones) get tested in such situations. I have heard single mothers working daily wages asking if their severely disabled and mentally ill children can be assisted to die… I have also heard parents in extreme poverty lament caring for a severely mentally ill child. These provoke questions at various levels ranging from what is the role of the onlooker/health worker in such situations to the larger question of who’s to blame and whom to hold accountable for such a pathetic situation that some households find themselves in. Is it not largely due to failure of systems and services. Is it just by pure chance that these situations are more taxing in poorer and disadvantaged households?

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