NOTE: I read this book and responded immediately by translating into English assuming that the author’s foreword allowed anyone to do this and based on public statements attributed to him inviting widespread dissemination, and interpreting it as a waiver of his rights. However, the author has noted that translation requires his prior permission. With apologies to the author for issuing a translation without their permission, the previous translation uploaded here is hereby withdrawn.If you are looking for a version of the translation uploaded by “esvin.martese” on Archive.org, scroll below to end of post.
Over the past several years, watching raging social media debates and the shaping of merit in public discourse in India spurred this editorial on merit in public health/policy that appeared in BMJ Global Health as an editorial on August 6, 2021. Many thanks to Seye Abimbola, the journal’s Editor-in-Chief for his comments. As noted in the acknowledgements, a lot of internal reflection and churning from various life events, many of them not necessarily pleasant have shaped this editorial.
In November 2017, the WHO’s Alliance for Health Policy & Systems Research came out with a reader on human resources for health. This effort was lead by Asha George and colleagues at the University of Western Cape in South Africa along with Kerry Scott and Veloshnee Govender. As editors, they brought several people together (including myself) to work on seven chapters that summarised current health policy and systems evidence base on what we called as a software components of human resources for health.
With close to 300 species recorded, the Hesaraghatta wetlands north of Bengaluru is one of the important wintering sites for tends of thousands of migratory birds that winter every year. In addition, its open grassland, marshes and the waterbody needs to be protected from various corporate interests which invariably have an eye on such open lands and acquire it for “development”. Invariably, such “development” neglects many local communities who get walled out of such commons as the land gets privatised. Often, the step to getting it privatised is to first declare it as “wasteland” etc.
The Karnataka Forest Department has put up a proposal to declare it as a conservation reserve. This is an important first step at securing the land and granting it State protection…even if the FD might eventually have a poor track record in preserving the “commons” character of the land…that is someting one will have to keep on working with them on. However, the choice is between an exclusionary State entity and private land sharks and the former is always the best choice, given at least the accountability framework that State entities fall under.
Now the responsibility falls upon the shoulders of the Karnataka State Wildlife Board, a statutory authority headed by the Chief Minister of Karnataka with members from multiple departments including the Forest, Policy, Social Welfare and Animal Health departments, and also including scientists from Zoological Survey of India, Wildlife Institute of India (Dehradun) and Botanical Survey of India and non-governmental members.
Sadly, the board is missing individuals with proven track-record of conservation on-ground or one of the several wonderful ecologists that are from Karnataka and have worked extensively across multiple protected areas. Nonetheless, the existing board has a big responsiblity of ensuring that they stand up against commercial interests and secure the future of the birdlife and wildlife that depends on Hesaraghatta for our future generations; for aesthetic interest, for ecological interests and of course as a small contribution in our efforts against climate change. Fingers crossed.
There has been rather little research or innovation in improving the efficacy of the KFD vaccine, a rather old product. Decided to understand vaccine safety using this product as a proxy and here is a compilation of ongoing work to understand this.
Sociologist and activist Abhay Xaxa has written this poem that I found deeply illuminating for many privileged folks like myself who work with Adivasi communities. Since the poem in English is not accessible to many of my Kannada-speaking colleagues & collaborators, with help from Latha Chilgod, we produced a crude Kannada translation of the poem. A dream to set it to tune in Kannada one day, perhaps with help from some of the amazing Adivasi musicians here in Chamarajanagar…one day….meanwhile, below is our Kannada translation and further down is the original in English that I believe was first published in Roundtable India.