University of Heidelberg

Dr. Hari Kumar Bhaskaran Nair

Dr. Hari Kumar Bhaskaran Nair

Dr. Hari Kumar Bhaskaran Nair was born in Kerala and graduated from the Government Ayurveda college in Thiruvananthapuram. During his studies, he was the Chairman of the Student's Union and won the best debater prize at the Kerala University Youth Festival in 2000. He has served as the Medical Superintendent of the Ayurvedic Hospitals run by the Nair Service Society (a social and educational charity) in Vallamkulam and Aranmula villages in Kerala since their inception. He has taught at the Vijnanakalavedi centre for cultural education and the Mar Athanassios college for Advanced studies in Kerala and was on the faculty for the 2008 Prince Charles Foundation for Integrated Health Ayurveda Study Tour to Kerala. He decided to join the M.A. Health and Society in South Asia due to his interest in medical anthropology and since he wanted to connect his training in traditional medicine with the main stream academic subjects. He wrote his master thesis on affliction and therapeutics in a traditional healing practice in north Kerala and is currently preparing its publication with Lambert Academic Book House. His fieldwork also resulted in the co-authorship of one article about this healing practice. He completed the MAHASSA program with good academic credentials and was therefore invited to give talks at the Outpatient Clinic for Natural Medicine at the University of Heidelberg's Department of International Health, the Department of Indology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and the British Association of Accredited Ayurvedic Practitioners in London. Furthermore, he had a special citation for the Charles Leslie Prize at the 2009 annual International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine conference in Bhutan. After his M.A. studies, he returned to Kerala, where he is currently working as the medical superintendent of two Ayurvedic hospitals. He also works as an affiliated researcher at the Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Research in Thiruvalla, India. He is still active in academic research in the fields of medical anthropology and healing traditions of South Asia. He was invited to speak by the Department of Medical Humanities at Hong Kong University in March, 2010 and the Department of Medical Anthropology at the University of South Florida for its upcoming conference in November 2010. He has plans to complete his PhD in Medical Anthropology at the earliest opportunity. His areas of interest are rituals and healing, Ayurveda and mental health, anthropology of traditional healing practices, integrated medicine, South Asia studies and Kerala studies.

Dr. Hari Kumar Bhaskaran Nair's M.A. thesis can be found here.

Update: After completing MAHASSA, Dr. Bhaskar is presently working as Coordinator of 4 Ayurveda Hospitals in Kerala and doing a part-time PhD at the Athena Institute, VU University , Amsterdam on the title- Psychiatric Pluralism in Kerala. Prof.Joske Bunders from Athena and Prof.Asha Banu Soletti from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai are supervising his project.

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