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Prabha Chandran

Writer and communications advisor

Prabha Chandran has been an editor with some of India’s leading newspapers and has written extensively on current affairs and lifestyle issues through the 90s pioneering several lifestyle publications both online and offline.
Since 2002, Prabha has been working internationally mostly with the World Bank on a series of specialised communications projects.

She implemented the national information campaign for the first population census of the newly-independent nation of East Timor for UNFPA and the huge reconstruction program by the World Bank in Indonesia following the tsunami of 2004. She has worked closely with senior government officials, donors and international media in many Asian countries, managing strategic communications for large World Bank projects and senior management
She has also lived and worked on development communications in Hanoi, Belgrade, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Nairob. She has a lot of experience working in post disaster, post conflict areas and mentoring national communications staff.

Prabha divides her time between her homes in Oslo and New Delhi where she plans to work more directly on women’s issues particularly in support of the girl child. She is married to Olav Ofstad, a conflict management specialist from Norway and has two sons. She writes, cooks for friends and loves travelling in her spare time.

Mansi Thapliyal / Reuters

‘Politics of the Womb’: A Book That Shows Why The Commercial Surrogacy Ban Is Essential

Coming on the heels of the new Bill which bans commercial baby-bearing or surrogacy is an uncompromising investigation into the serious health hazards of assisted reproduction, the murky market for genetic materials to create designer babies and the ruthless exploitation of women. Packed with alarming data from global studies and interviews with leading practitioners, surrogate mothers, couples undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), fixers and donors, Politics of the Womb, is a seminal work by writer-activist Pinki Virani... and it hasn't come a day too soon.
04/09/2016 1:32 PM IST
Emilio Madrid-Kuser

Could Mumbai Be The Next Fukushima? Amitav Ghosh Thinks It’s Possible

"The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable", published this week by Penguin Random House India, is a searing cry from the heart to act upon the gathering climate crisis. Amitav Ghosh forced me -- someone who has worked on climate mitigation and disaster risk reduction projects with the World Bank for years -- to step out of the development-and-energy prism of my work and look at climate change in its totality, as a broadly cultural phenomenon.
14/07/2016 1:43 PM IST

From Sex To Cricket, Here's What's Changed In 25 Years Of Liberalized India

Those born after 1985 cannot know the deprivations, the global isolation, the limited horizons and the stranglehold of the State on our lives. As we mark a quarter century of liberalization next month, we have reason to cheer despite the raucous dissent and dismay surrounding us. <em>What's Changed: 25 Years of Liberalized India</em> , edited by brand guru Kartikeya Kompella, is a compilation of thought-provoking essays by some of the men and women who rode the wave of liberalization that changed our lives.
28/06/2016 8:34 AM IST
Niyazz via Getty Images

Exclusive: Doctors And Hospitals Are Playing With Lives For Profit, Say Authors Of Medical Exposé

In their book <em>Dissenting Diagnosis</em>, doctors and activists Abhay Shukla and Arun Gadre give us a chilling inside account of widespread malpractices afflicting the healthcare industry. The nexus between corporate hospitals, pharma companies and doctors has increased the risks and costs of healthcare to such an extent that millions of middle -class Indians descend into poverty when they fall sick.
02/05/2016 8:07 AM IST
Prabha Chandran

Meet H.E. Melba Pria, The Mexican Ambassador Who Rides In Style

Mexico's young and dynamic Ambassador to India, H.E. Melba Pria, draws attention not only because she uses an autorickshaw as her official transport and plans to run the Berlin marathon in September for the Indian Cancer Society, but because bilateral trade and ties between India and Mexico have never been better.
07/04/2016 10:15 AM IST

How Vacations With The Who's Who Trickle Down To Villagers

How did the young, glamorous wife of former US ambassador to India, Richard Celeste, step out of the glitzy Page 3 of tabloids to help bring potable water to so many villages in India? "It began with taking our houseguests on field trips across India when Dick was ambassador," recalls Jacqueline. "They would fall in love with India and many of them wanted to give something back."
22/03/2016 8:19 AM IST
SAJJAD HUSSAIN via Getty Images

What Makes Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan Effective People [BOOK EXCERPT]

Who is an effective person? "Anyone who uses his or her talent to help others and makes a difference," says Dr T V Rao in a new book, <em>Effective People</em>, published by Random House India, which draws salient lessons from the lives of India's most famous professionals, social workers and business tycoons. In this excerpt he examines the lives of two Bollywood legends, Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan.
10/01/2016 8:38 AM IST
Prabha Chandran

Ruskin Bond Shares The Secrets Of A Writer's Life

Bond started by writing lists in Delhi when he was 8 years old. Soon he was keeping a diary that later became the basis of his first novel published at 17. He writes every morning, at least 500 -2000 words, "so you get it out of the way. Write about anything that comes to mind. I started recording thoughts, dreams..."
20/12/2015 8:24 AM IST
via Getty Images

Storm In A Teacup: Troubles Are Boiling Over For Darjeeling Tea, Says New Book

India's only GI-patented product, the exclusive Darjeeling tea, grown on 86 designated estates in the region, is fighting for survival on the frontlines of climate change. In <em>Darjeeling: A History Of The World's Greatest Tea</em>, published recently by Bloomsbury, author Jeff Koehler documents the decline in tea production on various estates due to changing rainfall, hailstorms, unseasonal cold and drought.
03/12/2015 8:56 AM IST
chameleonseye via Getty Images

EXCLUSIVE: We Are Doing What We Can To Release Indians In ISIS Captivity, Says Palestine's Ambassador To India

In the wake of the brutal Paris attacks, Palestine's influence with ISIS could be pivotal, not least in mediating the release of Indian captives held by the terrorist organisation in Iraq. In a no-holds-barred interview, Palestine's Ambassador to India, HE <strong>Adnan Abualhaija</strong>, hits out at the global media for ignoring crimes against Palestinians by an Israeli government controlled by ultra-right wing groups, Israel's avowed reluctance for a two-state solution, the "Judaizing" of Jerusalem and India's growing ties with Israel seen against Palestine's influence in the Arab world.
17/11/2015 11:59 AM IST
khandrola via Getty Images

What Are You Doing To Make Bharat Swachh?

When I walk down millionaire's row in the seaside town of Drobak outside Oslo where I live in summer, I see the owners of stately mansions and exclusive boats scrubbing their decks, cleaning cars, shovelling leaves from the driveway, conveying trash in top- of-the-line electric Teslas to the neighbourhood dump. They would be astonished to learn this was dirty work meant for underlings or lower caste people. How can ensuring cleanliness be dirty?
12/10/2015 8:10 AM IST
don't use before my permission via Getty Images

Which South Asia Do You Live In?

Which South Asia do you live in? The one which offers world-class metros and malls, super-speciality hospitals, gourmet eateries and designer homes where servants make your meals, drive your car or clean your mess? Or do you live in the South Asia where sanitation, water and electricity are a luxury, where filth, ignorance and violence means death comes early and more frequently from illness, poverty and natural disasters? Statistically, the latter is more likely.
08/09/2015 8:14 AM IST
Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg

Exclusive Interview With Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, Norway's New Ambassador To India

Norway's new ambassador to India, Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, 61, found time on his first day in office, 1 September 2015, to discuss plans to further strengthen "commercial, political and scientific ties" with India. Be it in polar research in climate change, women's empowerment in gram panchayats, Norway's "Make in India" program, and living in India's exciting but polluted capital he was candid and optimistic.
03/09/2015 12:55 PM IST