I am a Ph.D. student in medical anthropology in the Department of Liberal Arts at the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad. I am working Under the supervision of Dr. Haripriya Narasimhan in the area of Reproductive health. My research interests include male reproductive health, infertility, childlessness, family and kinship, disability, and assisted reproductive technologies.
I have conducted ethnographic fieldwork on understanding the local perception of disability resulted from endemic skeletal fluorosis for my M.Phil. Thesis and submitted it in the year 2014. I am currently in 4th year of my Ph.D. course and conducted field work on ‘Male infertility and use of assisted reproductive technologies in Vikarabad.
My current research aims to explore attitudes towards infertility, reproductive health and assisted reproductive technologies in India. I will focus specifically on issues related to male infertility, how men understand it and respond to their infertile condition. In general, it is believed that men deny they are infertile but existing studies across the world show that unless they accept the fact that they are infertile, they cannot seek help. The earlier anthropological studies looked at the anthropology of reproduction, where fertility and infertility were seen as ‘women’s issue.' Some scholars have studied child birth and rituals associated with childbirth. However, men were neglected in the early anthropological studies on infertility. Marcia Inhorn, an anthropologist, filled this gap by exploring Middle Eastern men, but there are no ethnographic studies on infertile men in India. This study aims to fill this gap in the literature by looking at Indian men, in parts of Telangana region, their attitudes towards infertility and the kind of challenges they face as members of the society. The study will employ anthropological methods of in-depth interviews, and observation, in a rural village near Hyderabad city, combined with interviews with biomedical doctors specializing in fertility treatment.