The India Project: An Agent for Change and Social Inclusion
The India Project is a non-profit organization that was started in 1968 by Padmashree Dr. Sharad Kumar Dicksheet, a plastic surgeon based in the US, as a mechanism to deliver surgical care to marginalized populations with limited or no access. After he passed away in 2011, the board leveraged the amazing infrastructure this man had created over the last four decades in India to not only deliver surgical and medical care, but to also begin self-sustenance and empowerment projects in various rural and slum settings. Projects have included cleft-lip facial reconstruction camps, rescue of women and children from trafficking situations, self-sustenance strategies for villages with infertile vegetation environments, HIV screening camps, delivery of health care to the Hijra communities, education projects, among many other ongoing initiatives. The project continues to grow and the talk will highlight key strategies that have led to successful integration of these initiatives into the local infrastructure.
Supriya Dixit Hayer, MD is currently a researcher within the Department of Family Medicine. She lives at the intersection of art, science and spirituality. She studies the role of Ayurveda and Mindfulness in the alleviation of chronic disease states and is a vocal advocate for their use as a preventive and self-care maintenance strategy. In addition to being a researcher and physician, Hayer is currently pursuing her masters in clinical investigation as well as a masters in marriage and family therapy. She also teaches Ayurveda to medical students and has conducted workshops on mindfulness and led large scale guided meditations across the globe. She is the president of the India Project (www.indiaprojectinc.org), which she continues and expands in her father’s memory, and the founder and president of Rasika Art Society, a non-profit that has been recently formed to share contemporary visual Indian art and culture with the local community here in Madison.