Areas of Interest & Expertise
- Political Economy of Health
- Equity, Ethics and Social Justice
- Human Rights, Accountability and Governance
- Caste and Gender Intersections of Marginalisation
- Amebkarite Perspectives of Social Justice and Emancipation
- Health Systems and Rights
- Civil Society, Democracy and Social Movements
Edward Premdas Pinto is a human rights lawyer and public health practitioner-academic (pracademic) with 28 years of engagement with the social justice issues of marginalized communities in India.
Prior to joining Azim Premji University, he held leadership roles in Centre for Health and Social Justice, Delhi (Director – Research and Advocacy, theme lead: Health Governance and Accountability), Society for Community Health Awareness, Research and Action – SOCHARA (Director), Bangalore. He functioned as the Global Coordinator of the Secretariat of COPASAH–Community of Practitioners on Accountability and Social Action for Health — from 2014 to 2020, the international global south network of accountability practitioners. He was the coordinator of the global symposium on Citizenship, Governance and Accountability in Health (Delhi, Oct.15 – 19, 2019). He was one of the co-initiators of Jagrutha Mahila Sanghatane (JMS), in the district of Raichur (Karnataka) in 1999. JMS is a Dalit Women Agricultural Laborers’ Collective addressing caste and gender based structural oppression.
His praxis of social justice and rights based development practice includes engaging with rural youth (Dakshina Kannada/Mangalore – Karnataka), Kathkari tribal communities (Maharashtra), foot-path/pavement dwellers (Mumbai), dam displaced communities (Madhya Pradesh-Maharashtra) and Dalit women, Manual Scavengers, Devadasis and Agricultural labourers in Karnataka). His critical development practice has been enriched through his engagement with several social movements and campaigns in the country such as National Alliance of People’s Movements, People’s Health Movement, Wage Workers’ Labour Unions, grassroots community based organisations and civil society coalitions at the national and international solidarity networks. As a human rights lawyer, he has practiced in judicial courts and has played a key role in organising training lawyers on issues of social justice in association with Karnataka Legal Service Authority, and legal trainings for civil society leaders resulting in over 300 application/complaints and petitions with the Lokayukta, state and national human rights commissions on various issues of human rights violations.
His academic journey includes studies and research in social sciences (Masters in Social Sciences, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai), Bachelors and Masters in Law from Karnataka State Law University, Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Rights Law from the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, and a PhD. In public health and law from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. His academic studies have been inter-disciplinary in nature and have been pursued alongside engaging with civil society on issues of social rights. He has received diploma in Human Rights Educators’ International Training by EQUITAS and John Abbot College, Montréal, Canada. He has delivered lectures in public health and ethics, qualitative research, law-making process, criminal justice system and structural issues, community health approaches, social analysis in academic institutions. He has designed modules and conducted capacity building short courses for public health managers, health care providers and civil society leaders on social analysis, health and human rights, social accountability and governance, rights based approaches to development practice, community based monitoring and access to health care services. As the executive editor of SEVAK, a popular Konkani monthly magazine published from Mangalore and being in being on the editorial committees of civil society research and practice communiques, he has written over 75 pieces that include editorials, feature articles and commentaries on contemporary socio-political issues in Konkani, Kannada and English languages.
Publications and Writings
Books and Book Chapters
- Pinto, EP (2020). Health Justice in India: Citizenship, Power and Health Care Jurisprudence. Springer Publications (In Press).
- Pinto, EP (2018). Public Health Rights and Ethics: Conflicts, Contestations and Expanding Horizons (Chapter 2) in Ethics in Public Health: An Anthology of Research and Practice in India, eds. Subbiah and Mishra., Springer Publications.
Journal and Peer reviewed papers
- Pinto, E P, Vasan A, Seethappa V, Xavier X. (2018). Politics of Evidence and Right to Health Care in India: The Challenges in Fixing Accountability of Medical Doctors in Patient Rights Violations in the Private Health Care Sector in India, Archives of Health Sciences, 1(1): 1 – 19.
- Pinto, E P. (2017) The Jurisprudence of Emergency Medical Care in India: An Ethics Perspective, Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 2N(4),Oct-Dec 2017, 231 – 8
- Vasan, A., Pinto, E P, Srinivasa V, Seethappa V. (2017). Political Interests and Private Healthcare Lobby Collude to Stifle Patients’ Rights in Karnataka. Economic and Political Weekly Vol. 52, Issue No. 50, 16 December 2017
- Socio-political Determinants of Health Care Jurisprudence in Post-independent India – Doctoral thesis submitted to Jawaharlal Nehru University (2017).
- Public Health Law in India – A Study on Public Health Law in India with a Special Reference to Article 21 of the Constitution of India and Judicial Perspectives — Dissertation for PG in Law (Karnataka Law University 2010).
- Right to Health as a Fundamental Right – A dissertation for PG Diploma in Human Rights Law (National Law School India University, Bangalore 2007).
- An Exploratory Study on the Life Conditions of Dalits in Karnataka – [Ethnographic Study], Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, 1999).
Collaborative Research studies
- Social Justice Framework for Regulation of Health Services (Nossal Institute, Melbourne University — April 1, 2013 – July 31, 2013).
- Contributed to Legal Rights Index of the Hunger Reduction Commitment Index developed by IDS (Sussex), Oxfam India and PHFI Delhi (September – December 2012).
- ‘An Exploratory Study of Village Health Sanitation Committees (VHSC) and Arogya Raksha Samiti (ARS) Functioning in Karnataka’ (Collaborative research undertaken in collaboration with Karnataka State Health Resource Centre, 2012)
- ‘Review of Incentive scheme for Government health personnel in Karnataka’ (Collaborative research — undertaken in collaboration with Karnataka State Health Resource Centre, 2012)
- ‘Review of Utilisation on Janani Suraksha Yojane (JSY) in Karnataka’ (Collaborative research – undertaken in collaboration with Karnataka State Health Resource Centre, 2012).
- ‘Barriers to Access Healthcare and Perpetuation of Poverty and Malnutrition Among the Urban Poor — A Study on Poverty, Ill-Health and Malnutrition’ — in 20 slums of Bangalore (In collaboration with Action Aid, 2012).
Research Based Working papers (Published)
- Pinto EP., Das A and Contractor, S. (2017). Community Accountability Processes for Maternal Health Rights. CHSJ Working Papers on Social Accountability in Health. Delhi: Centre for Health and Social Justice.
- Balestra, G.L. & Pinto, EP. (2017). Social Accountability in Health in Eastern and Southern Africa: Practitioners’ Perspectives of Trends, Strengths, Challenges and Opportunities in the Field. A Conceptual Issue Paper written as part of COPASAH Knowledge Synthesis. New Delhi: CHSJ-COPASAH.
- Das, A., Pinto EP., Contractor Sana et. al. (2016). Engendered Accountability for Responsive Health Governance. CHSJ Working Papers on Social Accountability in Health. Delhi: Centre for Health and Social Justice.
- Pinto, EP., Muddanagudi, C., Goswami, S., Mallikappa, S. (2019). Reclaiming Dignity, Justice and Wellbeing: A Case study of Jagrutha Mahila Sanghatane – A Dalit Women Agricultural Labourers’ Collective – and its Social Accountability Processes Challenging Caste-Class and Patriarchal Systems of Oppression. A Case Study published by COPASAH, New Delhi: CHSJ-COPASAH.
- Dhaleta, S., Obalesh, KB., Pinto, EP. (2019). Pourakarmikas March Towards Dignified Life and Liberation: A Case Study on Advocacy Processes and Strategies of THAMATE for the Rights of Manual Scavengers in Tumkur, Karnataka (India). A Case Study published by COPASAH, New Delhi: CHSJ-COPASAH.
- Pinto EP (2016). Politics of Evidence and Maternal-Reproductive Health: Shifting Policies in a Weakened Public Health System and Judicial Response to Denial of Maternal &Reproductive Rights to Health Care. Delhi: Centre for Health and Social Justice.
- Pinto EP and Vasan A. (2016). ‘Doctored’ Evidence to ‘cul-de-sac’ of Evidence: The Challenges in Fixing Accountability of Medical Doctors in Patient Rights Violations in the Private Health Care Sector Delhi: Centre for Health and Social Justice.
- Pinto EP (2016). Processing health care litigations in the Supreme Court of India: Experiences of Petitioners. Delhi: Centre for Health and Social Justice.
Presentations of Papers (Recent)
He has presented over 50 papers in the international and national conferences on subjects related to human rights, development, health care jurisprudence, maternal-reproductive health, patient rights, accountability and responsive health systems, people’s centred health systems, ethical analysis of institutional behaviour of health care providers and caste-discrimination and social justice.
- Pinto EP, The Challenges of Health Workers in India, ‘Global Symposium on Health Workforce Accreditation and Regulation – Advancing the WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health Milestones 2020’, Istanbul (Turkey), December 10, 2019.
- Pinto EP, Obalesh KB, Narasamma, DALITS AND VULNERABILITIES — Unpacking structural, inter-sectional and existential layers of Dalit marginalisation and ethical challenges and dilemmas of their strategic empowerment: How can bio-ethics community respond?, ‘14th World Congress of Bioethics & 7th National Bioethics Congress’, Bengaluru (India), December 05, 2018.
- Pinto EP, Inequities, eclipsing rights and the hope of ethics: Foregrounding ethics for claiming health rights in India, ‘14th World Congress of Bioethics & 7th National Bioethics Congress’, Bengaluru, December 07, 2018.
- Pinto EP. Engaging Judicial Power to Transform Health Systems, ‘Conference on Accountability for Health Accountability’, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, July 20, 2017.
- Pinto EP. Recognition of Women’s Rights to Survive Pregnancy and Childbirth: A Public Health and Health Systems Perspective, ‘Symposium on Reproductive Rights in Indian Courts: Celebrating Progress, Identifying Challenges, and Discussing the Way Forward’, Centre for Health Law, Ethics and Technology (Jindal Global Law School, Delhi) and Centre for Reproductive Rights (New York), Delhi, February 11, 2017.
- Pinto EP. The Emergent Ethics Jurisprudence: An ethics perspective on the jurisprudence of emergency medical care litigations in India, ‘6th National Bio-ethics conference: Healing and Dying with Dignity: Ethical Issues in Palliative Care, end-of-life care and Euthanasia’, YASHADA, Pune, January 13 – 15, 2017.
- Pinto EP. Accountability Process as Integral to Citizen Empowerment and Advocacy for their Right to Dignity, ‘Conference on Governance and Reproductive Health Supplies’, School of International Service, American University, Washington DC, June 27, 2016
- Pinto EP. Politics of Health Care and Right to Health Care in India — Shifting Policies in a Weakened Public Health System and Judicial Response to Denial of Maternal &Reproductive Rights to Health Care, ‘International Conference on Thinking with Evidence, Seeking Certainty, Making Truth’, Lassnet, Delhi, December 10, 2016.
- Pinto EP and Vasan A. Doctored’ Evidence to ‘cul-de-sac’ of Evidence: The Challenges in Fixing Accountability of Medical Doctors in Patient Rights Violations in the Private Health Care Sector, ‘International Conference on Thinking with Evidence, Seeking Certainty, Making Truth’, Lassnet, Delhi, December 10, 2016.
- Pinto EP. Transforming Maternal- Reproductive Health Crises into Opportunities for Accentuating Health System Resilience by Engaging Judicial Fora, Global Health Systems Research Symposium, International Convention Centre, Vancouver, Canada, November 14 – 18, 2016.
- Pinto EP. Empowered citizen vs profit powered health business: Harnessing judicial power to challenge health as a ‘commercial good’ towards reinforcing health as a ‘public good’, Global Health Systems Research Symposium, International Convention Centre, Vancouver, Canada, November 14 – 18, 2016.
- Pinto EP. Processing Health Care Litigations in the Supreme Court of India: Experiences of Petitioners, ‘International Conference on the Supreme Court of India and Progressive Social Change’, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru and the University of Chicago, Delhi, University of Chicago Centre, December 12, 2015.
- Pinto EP. Bottom Up Accountability and Transparency Praxis, ‘Transparency Accountability Learn Open Community Workshop’, TALearn, Jakarta (Indonesia), March 11, 2014.
- Pinto EP. Accountability and Responsive Health Systems, ‘The International Symposium on Global Governance and Health: Critical Perspectives on Transnational Actors, Mechanisms and Processes and Implications for Population Health in India’, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India, September 7 – 9, 2014.
- Pinto EP and Das, A. Open Learning Spirals: Pedagogical innovations for peer learning to facilitate knowledge translation and capacity building towards people oriented health systems in South Asia, Global Health Systems Research Symposium, , Cape Town, Convention Centre, Sept 30 – Oct 3, 2014
- Pinto EP. Ethics Deficit Health Care Institutions – An Ethical Analysis of the Institutional Behaviour Based on the Select Case Studies, ‘the 5th National Bio-ethics Conference’, St. John’s Medical College, Bengaluru, India, December 13, 2014,
- Pinto EP. Role of Contexts in Accountability Praxis, ‘Research Conference on Escaping Universal Blueprints and Tiny Context Islands – Framing Patterns in the Transparency and Accountability Field to Guide Programming and Research’, Open Society Foundations and Overseas Development Institute, London, November 11, 2013.
- Pinto EP. Human Rights Education for Health Activists, (Conference on Human Rights Education at) ‘the 2012 International Human Rights Training Programme’, St. John Abbot College and Equitas, Montréal (Canada), June 15, 2012.
- Pinto EP. Human Rights Violations and Dalit Women, ‘XI International Human Rights Colloquium’, Conectas, Sao Paulo (Brazil), November 06, 2011.
Publication in Popular Media:
- India’s HIV Bill does little to ensure access to treatment. Scroll.in, Jan 07, 2017.
- Half –hearted at half-way: Missing political will for walking the talk in health care, The Dialogue, June 11, 2017.
- Proposed Labour Code Aims to Provide Social Security to All, But at the Cost of Workers’ Voices, The Wire.in. May 12, 2017.
- Decoding the politics of the supreme Court judgment on sterilisation camps, The Wire.in, New Delhi, September 23, 2016.
- ‘Social Discrimination in Health (with reference to class, caste, gender and religious minorities)’, Medico Friend Circle Bulletin, No.357 – 360, 2014, 1 – 7.
- ‘Anatomy of an Inhuman Form of Protest by Bhangis to Assert their Human Dignity against Social Discrimination’, Medico Friend Circle Bulletin, No.357 – 360, 2014, 19 – 21.
- Edited, translated and published 5 books of compiled articles on the theme of Marginalised communities & Health: English – (i) Beyond the Waves – experiences of working with communities in Tamilnadu (ii) Health for the Marginalised Communities (Compilation of Articles, one article authored); (iv) Arogya matthu maanava Hakku (Kannada) (v) Arogyadalli samathe mathu asamathe (Kannada) (vi) Arogyada raajakiya arthikathe (Kannada), Bangalore: SOCHARA publications, 2018.
Knowledge Resources and Toolkits
- Conceptualised and contributed to Advancing Reproductive and Sexual Health Rights: A Resource Book for Practitioners on Human Rights Based Framework and Approach to RSHR. Delhi: Centre for Health and Social Justice, 2018.
- Designed an online resource material for online learning on social accountability in health. ELearn CBM, (2014).
- Designed resource module ‘Legal Empowerment for Rights Based Advocacy’ for the Handbook on Community Mobilisation of People with Unique Sexuality, Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT), Bangalore (November 2011 – March 2012).
- Designed Training Module on ‘Understanding Systemic Marginalisation and discrimination and legal perspectives for advocacy’ – for sexual minorities (organizations: Sangama 2008 & Payana 2011).
- Contributed to the training manual for resource persons in Community Monitoring published by NRHM and Govt of Karnataka in collaboration with Karuna Trust, 16th Main, Jayanagar, Bangalore — 560041 written collaboratively (January 2009).
- Designed and co-authored Training Manual on training village members of Village Health and Sanitation Committee (Kannada) Published by State Community Monitoring and Planning Team under the community participation component of NRHM, anchored by Population Foundation of India and Centre for Health and Social Justice, Delhi (2008).
- Research on ‘Social exclusion of Dalit women and its impact on their health and wellbeing’
- Reclaiming Dignity and Justice, paper based on the processes of empowerment of Dalit Women in Karnataka
- Editor for the issue on Accountability and Health Care of Indian Journal of Medical Ethics (Papers based on the Global Symposium on Citizenship, Governance and Accountability in Health Care Co-ordinated by the Author)