Profiles

Josie Wittmer: Inside India's overlooked community of women waste-pickers

The search for new knowledge often takes a researcher down a fascinating path. For example, when feminist Geography and Development researcher Dr. Josie Wittmer was in India gathering information for her doctoral thesis, Women's work in the 'clean city': Perspectives on well-being, waste governance, and inclusion from the urban margins in Ahmedabad India, she expected to engage with women waste-pickers on their own perceived wellbeing (in contrast to accounts of waste worker’s biological determinants of health). Women waste-picker participants in her study also wanted to talk about changes in their everyday work activities, which were resulting from emerging policies and urban planning initiatives.

Bharat Punjabi: India and Canada can learn from each other about water management

Water is an element, so its scarcity is more likely due to poor management than it simply disappearing. Dr. Bharat Punjabi, a Research Fellow at the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto, ponders India’s growing water scarcity at a picturesque, lush and expansive farmland outside Mumbai, India, where problems stemming from uninformed policy and governance is affecting farmers’ livelihoods.

G. A. Easwar: Connecting South Asian Diasporas in the Canadian Mosaic

When G. A. Easwar first arrived in Canada 26 years ago with his wife Shagorika and his two young sons, he was astonished at the vast differences that separated the Canadian landscape from his home in India. During his early years in India and later in Dubai, Easwar was surrounded by local members of the Indian community – a stark difference to Canada, where the South Asian community was much smaller in the mid-1990s.

Ashna Jassi: Bridging the gender gap in Canadian South Asian research

Growing up in a Canadian Punjabi community, Ashna Jassi was quickly exposed to differences in expectations for sons and daughters within South Asian households including expectations around elderly care. Being attentive to these differences would prove to be more than fruitful for Ashna, a second-generation Punjabi Canadian, as it would guide her PhD research and dissertation focus at the University of Guelph.

Karine Gagné: Adventures in Ladakh were a bridge to global issues

An exhausting travel schedule awaited Dr. Karine Gagné when she arrived in Delhi, India, after a 14-hour journey from Canada in April 2019. Her destination, Zanskar in the Himalayan Mountains, was still a full two days away, in a bumpy truck over very rocky roads. And while the heat of Delhi gave way to more moderate temperatures in higher elevations, it was a gruelling trip nonetheless.

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