Aruna Bhattacharya Chakravarty

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Medical Anthropology
  • Social and Behavioural Sciences in Public Health
  • Health Systems Policy Research
  • Qualitative Research Methodology


I am a Medical Anthropologist by training and use Behavioural and Social Science lens in Public Health and Health Systems Policy Research and Evaluation Research for policy recommendations. I am engaged in academia in research and teaching for 21 years in the realm of Medical Anthropology, Health systems Policy Research and Public Health.

I worked on tuberculosis in urban slums of Delhi for my doctoral thesis, and I was awarded PhD in Anthropology from University of Delhi in 2004. I obtained MSc in Anthropology (1998) and BSc in Zoology (1996) from University of Delhi. I was a recipient of Ranker’s Prize from Miranda House for securing second position in the university in MSc. I received Young Scientist Award from Indian Science Congress for my doctoral work in 2003

In addition, I received advanced training in qualitative research methods in international health at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (2007) and participated in collaborative research studies in India on stigma in HIV. I was an Australia Leadership Award Fellow for research in HIV and STI and was affiliated with the University of Sydney in 2011. She was a recipient of Harvard School of Public Health scholarship, for specialized training in Ethics in Public Health Research.

Prior to joining Azim Premji University, I worked as an Associate Professor at Indian Institute of Public Health-Delhi, PHFI (20092017); I was the lead faculty for Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health and carried out public health and health systems research. In the past, I have worked with ICMR-NARI in Pune; DANIDA, a Danish bi-lateral organization in Madhya Pradesh and Orissa, and the World Bank, in health systems, tribal health, and capacity building in public health research. I have also worked with Population Council for multi-site research on HIV and harm reduction programs, reproductive health and gender-based violence in India and Bangladesh. 

I am a visiting faculty for ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology, Jamia Milia Islamia University, Ambedkar University Delhi, XLRI Jamshedpur, MNNIT Allahabad, and AIMS Kochi.

I am currently one of the global Coordinators of LGBTQI cluster in SHAPES forum of Health Systems Global. I am part of MPH faculty team at ICMR-NIE, Chennai.


Publications and Writings:

Journal Articles

  • N, N., Jadhav, S., Bhattacharya, A., Gamit, S., Mehta, C., Purohit, P., Patel, R., & Doshi, M. (2020). Recasting Food. CASTE / A Global Journal on Social Exclusion, 1(1), 1 – 16. https://​doi​.org/​10​.​26812​/​c​a​s​t​e​.​v​1i1.6
  • Bhattacharya Chakravarty A, Rangan S, Dholakia Y, Rai S, Kamble S, et al. (2019) Such a long journey: What health seeking pathways of patients with drug resistant tuberculosis in Mumbai tell us. PLOS ONE, 14(1): e0209924. https://​doi​.org/​10​.​1371​/​j​o​u​r​n​a​l​.​p​o​n​e​.​0209924
  • Chakravarty, AB., (2017) Adolescent Girls and their Healthy Transition to Adulthood — Some Perspectives. MOJ Women’s Health 4(2): 00083. https://​doi​.org/​10​.​15406​/​m​o​j​w​h​.​2017​.​04​.​00083
  • Betancourt, Theresa S., Stephanie S. Zulkowski, Arathi Ravichandran, Honora Einhorn, Nikita Arora, Aruna Bhattacharya Chakravarty, and Robert T. Brennan. (2015).​“Development of the SAFE Checklist Tool for Assessing Site-Level Threats to Child Protection: Use of Delphi Methods and Application to Two Sites in India.” PLOS ONE.10(11): e0141222. https://​doi​.org/​10​.​1371​/​j​o​u​r​n​a​l​.​p​o​n​e​.​0141222.
  • Tun, W, Sarna, A, Bhattacharya, A, Apicella, L, Shashikumar, Y Lewis, D.(2014).​Characteristics of Sex Partners and Sexual Partnership Correlates of Inconsistent Condom Use Among Male Injection Drug Users In India. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health. 45 (4).
  • Ghosh-Jerath S, Singh A, Bhattacharya A, Ray S, Yunus S, Zodpey SP. (2013).​Dimensions of nutritional vulnerability: Assessment of women and children in Sahariya tribal community of Madhya Pradesh in India. Indian J Public Health. 57: 260 – 7.
  • Sarna, A, Tun, W, Bhattacharya, A, Lewis, D, Shashikumar, Y, Apicella, L. (2012).​Assessment of unsafe injection practices and sexual behaviours among male injecting drug users in two urban cities of India using respondent driven sampling. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health. 43.
  • Kirti Deshpande, M S Shivaswamy, Vishal Diwan, Ayesha De Costa, Aruna Bhattacharya, Vijay K Mahadik.(2013). Establishment of Social Club for Adolescents living in Urban Slums: A potential tool to impart HIV/AIDS Education. J Indian Med Assoc.111(5):320 – 3.
  • Deshpande K, Sivaswamy M, Diwan V, DeCosta A, Bhattacharya A, Mahadik V. (2008).​Setting up social Clubs for adolescents living in a slum area of Ujjain: A potential tool to impart HIV/AIDS education. Health and Population-Perspectives and Issues. 31 (3), 189 – 197.
  • Bhattacharya A, Dwivedi R, Nandeswar S, DeCosta A, Diwan V. (2008). To weigh or not to weigh?” Socio-cultural practices affecting weighing at birth in Vidisha, India. J. Neonat. Nurs. 14 (6), 199 – 206.
  • G K Kshatriya, Aruna Bhattacharya, Mansi Gauniyal. (2005). Biological and behavioural aspects of HIV/AIDS. Indian Anthropologist. Special issue on Women, HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, sponsored by UNESCO, New Delhi. 35: 1&2, 69 – 82.
  • Aruna Bhattacharya and Gautam K Kshatriya. (2005). An anthropological and haematological study of pulmonary Tuberculosis patients from Slums of Delhi. Journal of the department of Anthropology, University of Calcutta. 9: 1&2, 132 – 140


  • Satia. J., Chauhan. K., Bhattacharya. A., Mishra. N. (Eds).(2015). Innovations in Family Planning ‑Case Studies from India. SAGE India.
  • Sahu T, Satapathy DM, Sahani N C, Bhattacharya A, Seeberg J. (2005). Health status of tribal population in an unreached area of Malkangiri District. In Accessing TB Services in a Tribal District: The Malkangiri Project, Orissa. DANTB.
  • Contributed three chapters on​‘Gender, Poverty and Health’,​‘Operations Research in Danida Project’, and​‘Danida phase-III activities (19982004)’, in Diwan V, DeCosta A, editors. Challenges and opportunities: DANIDA’s 25 years in Madhya Pradesh. DANIDA2004.

Newspaper article


  • Towards Urban Health Equity. (2021, forthcoming). School of development, Azim Premji University. 
  • Written Preface to the Report from Second Research Workshop (May 8 – 11, 2001) on Gender and Tuberculosis at the Nordic School of Public Health, Goteberg, Sweden.
  • RCH-II Baseline report- Rajasthan Report. (2001). IIHMR-IIPS publication.
  • Male perspective on domestic violence against women. (2001). ICRW, Washington. 


  • Qualitative Evidence Symposium at Fiocruz Institute, Brasilia, Brazil (October 2019) Organised symposium workshop, ​Software does not analysis qualitative data, researchers do: qualitative research analysis without using software in multisite research studies.
  • Global Maternal Health Conference, Arusha, Tanzania. ( January 2013)​. Discussing Social Cultural dimensions of teenage pregnancy in Meghalaya. (Oral Presentation)
  • National Young Lives Conference, Tirupati. (Aug 2012). ​A Comprehensive, Holistic Approach to Understanding and Improving Children’s Security. (Oral Presentation)
  • Lessons of Global Health from India, University College of London, London, (June’20, 2012). Exclusion And Self-Exclusion from Supplementary Nutrition Programme: Brief Focussed Ethnographies from Selected Villages of Gujarat — 2012 – 2013. (Poster presentation)
  • 3rd Regional Conference of International Union of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Hong Kong.( 8 – 11 July 2011)
  • 16th International conference on Qualitative Health Research in Vancouver, Canada.(October 2010).​Shopping for Treatment: Tuberculosis in Urban Slums in Delhi, India. Abstract published in International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 9( 4). December 2010. (Oral Presentation)
  • Sexual risk behaviour of Injecting Drug Users (IDU) in Delhi and Imphal, was selected for presentation in International Conference on action to strengthen linkages between sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS, Goa. (February-2007).
  • A paper on​Tuberculosis in urban slums of Delhi: factors affecting the Occurrence, transmission and treatment is selected for oral presentation at Global Forum for Health ‑10. Cairo. (29th October-2nd November,2006)
  • Poster presented at Global Forum for Health‑9. Mumbai. (12 – 16th September, 2005).​Does a rights-based approach to health communication make a difference for TB control among the poorest?.

Current Work:

I am currently leading a research on COVID-19 health seeking behaviour in marginalised communities in and around Bengaluru.