The Conference Organising Committee (COC) of the Sixth National Bioethics Conference consists of the following representatives from the FMES-IJME and MASUM.
Dr Hemlata Pisal, Project Coordinator, Health, MASUM
Dr Hemlata Pisal has a PhD in Physical Anthropology from Pune University, a Master's in International Health from Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland, and a diploma in LGBT and Human Rights from RFSU & RFSL, Sweden. She received scholarships from the Tribal Research and Training Institute (Pune), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (Switzerland) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sweden). She has worked among various tribal communities from Amravati, Gadchiroli, Nandurbar, Junnar, Thane and Nashik. She has worked on stigmatised issues of women's health, such as abortion, HIV/AIDS, and domestic violence, and with stigmatised sexual minority communities such as female sex workers and transgenders. She has written on these issues in Marathi magazines and edited books, including a book published by MASUM, HIV/AIDS: Majhya Janiva, Maajhi Jababdari (my awareness, my responsibility) for community health workers. She has conducted several trainings on adolescent health, women's health, gender, HIV/AIDS, sexuality and the health rights of sexual minorities.
Ms Leni Chaudhury is trained in the social sciences from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, and has been in the development sector for nearly 15 years, conducting research, training, campaigns and advocacy on gender and health, health systems reforms, and health and human rights, especially the right to healthcare and reproductive health.
Ms Chaudhury is a member of the High Court Committee on monitoring of malnutrition cases in Mumbai. As a board member of several organisations such as the Healis Sekhsaria Institute of Public Health, the Forum for Medical Ethics, Vidhayak Trust and Salaam Mumbai Foundation, she has contributed towards the strategic development of these organisations. She has been central to the coordination of the People's Health Movement, Maharashtra; the Learning Collaborative; the Campaign on Accountability and Transparency of Social Sector Rights; India Youth Fund; and the India Chapter of Global Youth Fund in partnership with UN-HABITAT.
At present Ms Chaudhury works with the Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation, a grant-making organization, as the Head of Programs.
Ms Leni Chaudhury, Member, FMES
Dr Ramesh Awasthi, Co-convener, MASUM
Ramesh Awasthi is an alumnus of IIT, New Delhi. He obtained his PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from UDCT, Mumbai and Masters in Economics from Meerut University. Dr. Awasthi has been active in struggles related to civil liberties in India, since the early 1970s. He co-founded MASUM, a rural women's organisation in 1987, after living in a drought prone rural area for five years and has been its co-convenor since then. He spent one year in the department of International Health at the John Hopkins University in Baltimore as a visiting fellow. He has made significant contribution in the development sector through his interventions at the community level in economic empowerment of rural community including micro-credit, in addressing child labour and in advancing minority rights. He has been actively involved in participatory reviews and capacity building of NGOs at the national level. He is currently on the Governing Boards of the Foundation for Research in Community Health (FRCH) and the Maharashtra Association of Anthropological Sciences (MAAS).
Dr Sanjay Nagral is a surgeon with specialisation in hepato-pancreatobiliary surgery and liver transplantation, who practices in Mumbai in both the public and private sectors. He is the coordinator of the department of surgical gastroenterology at Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai, and head of the department of general surgery at the KB Bhabha Municipal General Hospital, Mumbai. He is also involved in postgraduate training as a recognised teacher and guide for surgical gastroenterology and general surgery training programmes. He is the joint secretary of the Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee based in Mumbai, which regulates cadaveric transplant activity in Mumbai, and the chairperson of its liver committee. He has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed medical journals to his credit.
Dr Nagral is publisher of IJME and a member of its editorial board. He is involved with the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, the Indian circle of the worldwide People Health Movement. He has contributed articles on health and medical ethics to various publications including the Times of India, Hindustan Times, Mumbai Mirror, Economic & Political Weekly, Rediff, National Medical Journal of India, BMJ and IJME.
Dr Sanjay Nagral, Chairperson, FMES, and Publisher, IJME
Dr Sunita V S Bandewar, Working Editor, IJME, Member, Managing Committee, FMES
Sunita Bandewar has training in Anthropology and Bioethics. She was with CEHAT – Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes, Anusandhan Trust for 15 years. She was awarded an International Fellowship by the International Fogarty Centre, NIH, USA to pursue Masters in Health Sciences (Bioethics) at the Joint Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto, Canada in 2003-04. Her engagement with health as a field of enquiry over these past 20 years is primarily via empirical research and advocacy in the areas of, broadly speaking, women and health, global health, and bioethics. She was a senior research fellow in bioethics and global health at the University of Toronto on the initiative titled â€˜Ethical, Social, Cultural Program in Global Health', Canada for five years. Through this Program, she had extensive opportunities to work in the African continent and engage with newer ethical challenges in global health. She has published a number of papers in peer reviewed journals. Amongst others, she serves on the International Ethics Review Board, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Geneva; on the Managing Committee, Forum for Medical Ethics Society, Mumbai, the publisher of the IJME; and on the Board of Trustees of Sama Resource Group for Women and Health, New Delhi. Her primary engagement is her association with the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, Mumbai in the capacity of one of the working editors and is deeply involved in editorial work as well as organizational matters. Currently, she works independently as a senior research professional, a consultant and a trainer in the areas of bioethics, global health, research methodology, program evaluation and policy analysis..