Sharvari Karandikar, associate professor in the College of Social Work, took her sabbatical in Mumbia, India, focusing on research projects with the Nirmala Niketan Institute College of Social Work and various nonprofits.
The 2019-2020 academic year has been an exciting year for me completing my sabbatical in Mumbai, India. I started the year by visiting the India Gateway, making connections and understanding the services offered by them. The staff was very helpful in providing contacts and resources.
My sabbatical was focused on multiple research projects and building new connections with nonprofits in the field. My first study was a research on exploring physical, verbal, financial and sexual violence among street connected children in Mumbai. Partnering with the Nirmala Niketan Institute College of Social Work and their students, together we successfully collected data with almost 400 street-connected children across Mumbai.
My second study involved understanding domestic remittance patterns and financial capabilities of female sex workers in the Kamathipura red-light area of Mumbai. One side benefit of this study was that I was also able to connect with nonprofit organizations in Kamathipura that work tirelessly for providing services to the women. I volunteered with Kshamata (translates to "capability" in Hindi) a nonprofit organization that works with women and girls rescued from sex trafficking situations. My work with this organization focused on understanding needs of sex workers in the red-light area of Bhiwandi, Mumbai for developing sustainable and progressive interventions for them. In addition, I had an opportunity to teach qualitative research to PhD students from the Nirmala Niketan Institute College of Social Work.
This was a truly rewarding experience for me. This sabbatical has gone by really fast but it’s been one of the most rewarding years of my academic career!