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Resilient Futures India Initiative comes to East London

Workshops that will take place at Queen Mary University of London on 3 and 4 July 2019 will continue to drive interdisciplinary research across a wide range of subjects designed to build research capacity and deliver meaningful policy focused impact in India.  

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Mumbai train station
Mumbai train station

They represent the second stage of the Resilient Futures India Initiative which is a multilateral partnership between India and the UK, launched in New Delhi earlier this year

The Resilient Futures India Initiative is led by Queen Mary’s Global Policy Institute and supported by multiple Indian university partners, the British Council and the Commonwealth Secretary General.  As an open partnership it builds relationships between academic, civil society, policy makers and industry leaders in India and the UK to design durable solutions for people, communities and systems in contexts of uncertainty. 

The launch in New Delhi in February 2019 featured workshops and discussions that brought together professionals from different disciplines including public health, psychiatry, law, political science, policy, administration and geography, as well as Indian and UK academics, NGOs and policy makers.  Following on from the launch, research projects in mental health, health systems and women’s rights have been designed with the aim of their being developed at the July workshops at Queen Mary in collaboration with potential policy and funding partners.

Positive mental health 

One of four projects in development under the Resilient Futures India Initiative focuses on the promotion of positive mental health among India’s young people.  While recognising that schools play an important role in enhancing resilience among their students, the family unit serves as the bedrock and foundation that holds individuals together, and family values influence and often prioritise individual values.  Whilst recognising the diversity of actual family experiences, this research proposes to recruit the family as a focus of intervention and work through the family, examining the possibility that individual mental health and well-being can be fostered and sustained by enhancing family resilience.

Another project examines practices of resilience to domestic violence in India towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable development goal 16 for peace, justice and strong institutions. Despite the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act in 2005, in India a crime is committed against women every three minutes and 37 per cent of married women experience domestic violence.  The Resilient Futures India Initiative research project ‘Surviving Violence’ aims to work with government, civil society and survivors to address the gap between law and policy and access to support services in order to realise justice for domestic violence victims in India. This research draws on existing civil society-academic partnerships across three states:  Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Haryana and the research team will engage participatory and feminist legal research methodology, ensuring that the experience and narratives of domestic violence victims and survivors are at the centre of this work. 

Professor Colin Grant, Queen Mary’s Vice-Principal (International), is responsible for the university’s Global Policy Institute and has been at the forefront of the Resilient Futures India Initiative.  He comments:  “We are delighted to welcome colleagues and friends old and new from India to our campus in East London.  We have a very full agenda for the two days and I anticipate the formulation of a range of new, sustainable research partnerships that will deliver innovative and impactful interventions to enhance resilient lives, communities and systems in both India and the UK.”

During the period of the workshops, Lord Patel of Bradford will host a reception at the House of Lords for the Resilient Futures India Initiative partners.

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