Research Radio Ep 18: What Prevents Indian Public Hospitals from Being Hygienic?

In this episode, we speak to Payal Hathi and Nikhil Srivastav about how infection control and caste-based discrimination are closely connected.


“Wash your hands with soap for twenty seconds and wear masks." Such reminders have become ubiquitous since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals are supposed to be the flag bearers of hygienic practices to curb the spread of infectious diseases. Today, we’ll ask if public hospitals in India are hygienic. 

We will speak to Payal Hathi and Nikhil Srivastav about how caste-based-discrimination by Savarnas negatively affects the health of patients and leads to exploitative work conditions for hospital cleaners. Payal Hathi is with the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics (r.i.c.e) and is a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. Nikhil Srivastav is also associated with r.i.c.e. and Research And Action for Health in India (RAAHI). We will discuss their article "Caste Prejudice and Infection: Why a Dangerous Lack of Hygiene Persists in Government Hospitals."

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