SASNET’s South Asian Reference Group

On 28 January 2003 the SASNET board decided to appoint a number of six senior South Asian researchers to a Reference group, for the the root node and the board to consult once in a while about SASNET’s overall aims and activities. They all agreed to the appointments.

Two of the original members later left the group, and on 15 February 2005 the board decided to introduce a new member from Nepal in the group, and on 18 August 2007 Dr. Devika from Thiruvananthapuram was also added to the group.
Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta from the Dept. of Paediatrics, Aga Khan University (AKU) in Karachi, Pakistan was one of the original members of the group. However, due to heavy workload (just being promoted to Head for Maternal and Child Health at AKU) he decided to withdraw from the group in January 2009. As a substitute representing Pakistan for the rest of 2009, SASNET’s board at its 27 January 2009 meeting decided to elect Mr. Mohsin Khan, Public Health Specialist, Islamabad, Pakistan.
The South Asian Reference Group ceased to be a formal SASNET institution on 30 September 2010, when the SASNET board also was dissolved. Informally, the group is however still very much connected to SASNET’s networking activities in South Asia.
This is the composition of SASNET’s South Asian Reference Group:

Mohsin Khan
Dr. Rita Afsar, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), Dhaka, Bangladesh. Also Adjunct and Honorary Staff (Earth and Environment) at
The University of Western Australia in Crawley. 
Mr. Mohsin Khan, Health Specialist, Islamabad, Pakistan (also PhD Candidate at IHCAR, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm)
• Dr. Tek Nath Dhakal, Campus Chief of Public Administration Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
Professor Kumudu Wijewardena, Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Sri Jayewardenepura (SJP), Colombo, Sri Lanka • Dr. Dipak Malik, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi & Gandhian Institute of Studies (GIS), Jamui Campus, Bihar, India. • Dr. J. Devika, Centre for Development Studies (CDS), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

On Saturday 3 November 2007, a seminar meeting was organised in New Delhi for SASNET’s South Asian Reference group. The group was invited to give constructive suggestions to the root node, since SASNET’s new Director Anna Lindberg and the Deputy Director Lars Eklund made a contact journey in India during November 2007. The meeting was held at the Nordic Centre in India (NCI) in Nizamuddin, New Delhi. Read a report from the meeting.

In February 2009, SASNET organised a successful workshop on ”Women and migration in South Asia. Health and Social Consequences” in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The workshop focused on research from the South Asian region on the consequences of migration for women, their children and families. Migration include the movements of women or men to get work within or outside their own country or region as well as trafficking of women or children for sexual or other exploitation. The themes to be covered were the effects of such migration with respect to:
     – social consequences
     – gender perspectives including gender-based violence
     – economy at family level
     – health including sexually transmitted diseased
     – child psychology and child development
The workshop was the first effort to realise the concept of SASNET sub-networks, put forward at the informal meeting by SASNET’s South Asian Reference Group held in Delhi in November 2007, later decided upon by SASNET’s board. One of the reference group members, Dr. Kumudu Wijewardena from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura (SJP) in Colombo chaired the Colombo workshop along with Prof. Gunilla Lindmark from the Division of International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Uppsala University. Participants were invited from the South Asia region and from Swedish institutions. Full information about the Colombo workshop