From Violence Against Women to Affirming Life:
A View on 'Women and Health' in India

A Dialogue with Dr. Mira Dakin Sadgopal

Thursday, November 8, 2007, 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Cal Poly Pomona Campus, The Heritage Conference Room, CLA Tower, 8th Floor

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Dr. Mira Dakin Sadgopal is Managing Trustee of Tathapi, a small center for ‘Women and Health’ Resource Development based in the city of Pune, southeast of Mumbai, and working throughout the state of Maharashtra in western India.

A native of California, Mira has been also a citizen of India since 1977. She got her medical degree (MBBS) from Bombay University in 1974. Then for sixteen years she worked with Kishore Bharati, a community based rural development project in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. There she collaborated with the women members of a landless laborer’s union to run “Zaroori Dawai ki Suvidha”, a local village co-operative “essential medicines facility”. With them, she carried out a local study on child deaths, which they referred to as 'Falling Blossoms'. She also began her work in Fertility Awareness Education with these women. Since the seventies, off and on, she has engaged with traditional indigenous midwives.

Following the Union Carbide factory gas leak disaster in Bhopal in December 1984, Mira joined the medical relief effort among the survivors. She was involved with the first investigation into the health consequences among women and authored the first health awareness book for the survivors. She continues her involvement with them today as a board member of the Sambhavna Trust, Bhopal.

After shifting to Pune in 1990, she was awarded the Ashoka ‘Innovators for the Public’ fellowship to continue her work in fertility awareness education (1992-95). Since 1993, she has been an active core member of the 'Women and Health' (WAH!) Program at both national and state levels, for the training of health program co-ordinators. Her organization Tathapi (www.tathapi.com) arose in 2000 out of the Documentation Unit of the Maharashtra WAH! Training Program. Currently Mira is organizing the Jeeva Project, a collective investigation with traditional indigenous midwives of India and south Asia into a unique aspect of the tradition, the revival of a newborn by stimulating the placenta.

Mira Sadgopal is the author of In Our Hands, a workbook for women in fertility and sexuality awareness, published by Tathapi. She has edited two books: Her Healing Heritage and Na Shariram Nadhi - My Body is Mine and has authored several articles. Recently she contributed by editing the Indian Women’s Health Charter that emerged out of a nationwide process in 2006 called National Dialogue: Women, Health and Development (follow-up to the 10 th International Women and Health Meeting held in New Delhi in 2005).

She is the recepient of the 2007 Chingari Award for Women Against Corporate Crimes given annually to a woman activist advancing the cause of a community fighting corporate criminal activity in India.

 

For more information, contact: Prof. Tara Sethia, Director, Ahimsa Center (909) 869-3868.

Dialogue is Free. RSVP by November 7 to <ahimsacenter@csupomona.edu>

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