May 2011

Uttam Sengupta
3 May 2011
Eminent political journalist and media personality Uttam Sengupta shared his ideas on the role of media in public life, especially its responsibility in shaping public opinion. He spoke of his initial days as a reporter in Bihar (now divided into Jharkhand and Bihar), the very real threats and temptations faced by his peers in that politically volatile climate, and their varied responses to them. He then spoke of the re-shaping of media ethics by the business interests of corporate houses that now own most media, and how resistence is particularly difficult in print-journalism. Yet he ended his talk on an optimistic note, hoping that the recent political upheavals around the world will also restablish the independence of journalists and the press.

Abhijit Chowdhury
24 May 2011
Dr. Abhijit Chowdhury of the Liver Foundation West Bengal was one of our chief collaboraters for the Chandrakanta Patil Memorial Eastern India Regional Health Assembly, and this talk was the first of his many interactions with the Pratichi team before the event. He spoke of the many inequities in health that remain unseen and unfelt by the urban middle- and upper-classes. He also spoke of the danger in pathologising health, which enables the government to spend enormous amounts on medicine -- thereby profiting suppliers -- while withdrawing funding from projects providing food/nutrition, clean water, and public hygiene. For better health, he said, most people in urban and rural India need regular nutrition, clean drinking water, pre- and post-natal for women and children, and protection against common ailments. Advanced medical training is important, but not to the exclusion of these easily-provided amenities.