Hometown: Mumbai, India
Education: BS in Biology, Health: Science, Society and Policy at Brandeis University, MA
Specific Field Interests: Maternal and Child Health, Nutrition, Health Education and building awareness
Placement: Calcutta Kids, Kolkata, West Bengal
Area of Focus: Education
Highlights: Around the time when Sriya was 15 years old, she got engaged into social work that moved her to realize that there are people who she can help. The spirit of social justice at Brandeis University and the inspiring work done by many students only encouraged her to go further with her aim of helping people. Sriya discovered the “Health, Science, Society & Policy” (HSSP) program and decided to double major in HSSP and Biology at Brandeis University. This linked well with her goal of wanting to work in the health sector in India. She had lived in Mumbai for most of her life but, during the summer of 2009, she had her first experience of venturing into urban slums with several other Brandeis students who worked with “Revive Mumbai,” a group formed by Brandeis students in the wake of the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, to bring theatre for social change in the Sagam Nagar slum area. The following summer, Sriya returned to India and volunteered with an NGO called the Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action (SNEHA) in Mumbai. Sriya also interned with Observer Research Foundation, Mumbai on a project to outline the various mental health policies in India and did a case study on the M.B. Barvalia Foundation in Mumbai. Through her previous practical experiences she has seen the structural, administrative and on-the-ground issues faced by people, particularly from the low socio-economic backgrounds. The focus should be on development of Infrastructure, Urban development, Health, Sanitation, etc. She understands the importance of global health and has observed that creating awareness can help decrease many preventable diseases. The idea is to start somewhere. Being from India, she feels more familiar with the people and creating change seems like a realistic goal that can be achieved with some hard work on her part. She would also like to use art forms like theatre and photography as a means of creating awareness. Sriya also enjoys cooking, painting and watching movies!