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The Ram Family / Center for Global Health Scholar Award

The Ram Family Center for Global Health Scholar Award was established to honor Dr. Bellamane M. Ram and Dr. Anjan Kumari Ram who practiced medicine in India and the United States. The award supports interdisciplinary work in communities in Southern India and is open to students from all schools across grounds.

2016 Ram Family CGH Scholars in IndiaIn 2016, Ashwanth Samuel, Mary Long, and Claudia Muratore, (CLAS) in partnership with Vodafone and in cooperation with the Indian Institute for Financial Management and Research, assessed how mobile banking affects the traditional roles of women in South Indian villages and potentially enhances their economic and social resources. Major players in poverty alleviation, economic policy, banking, and financial services understand the benefit from mobile banking, resulting in a surge in availability but a paucity of studies about socio-economic impact, especially on women and children in poor Global South countries. This project assessed the potential for mobile banking to  increase women’s economic and social resources, including protecting income and savings and the correlate potential impact  of secured finances on improving their family’s mental and physical health. UVa Professor of Sociology, Rae Blumberg, has mentored Ram Family Scholars, helping them to develop appropriate research methodologies and providing extensive resources.

2015 Ram Family Scholar, Prathibha Chintagunta's research focused on the intersection of chilld health and nutrition, gender disparities and improved economic outcomes via microloan programs. Based on the premise that women's improved level of economic autonomy has direct correlation with the improved health of children, she worked collaboratively with the Ramky Foundation to assess synergistic programs which address health and microloan programs which help women earn and control income.

The 2014 Ram Family Center for Global Health Scholar Award designees are a team of students who are partnering with the Social Outreach Foundation, a school for children, to create a culturally and regionally-customized general hygiene and nutrition course to be incorporated into the school’s curriculum. The SOF administrator wrote, "We encourage this project, as the child or student is usually the harbinger of change and progress in the family, leading to a better community."

Priya Khanna, McIntire School of Commerce, 2016, Ishaan Dharia, CLAS, Economics, 2015 and Shivangi Singh, CLAS (undeclared) are the team leaders. They have also received funding from the Community Based Undergraduate Research Grant.

In 2013, Jane von Gaudecker, Doctoral candidate in the UVA School of Nursing, received the Ram Family Award to advance an ongoing qualitative study among people with epilepsy and its treatment gap in Kozhikode, South India. India is one of the countries most severely impacted by this issue. Jane will continue her work through 2014.

In 2012, the Ram Family Award supported a partnership: Veronica Sudekum, a 1st year student in the School of Medicine worked collaboratively with the Glenn and Susan Brace CGH Scholar Awardee, Morgan Mullins, a Global Development Studies Major in the College of Arts and Sciences. Vernonica's project, "The preventable burden of early childhood malnutrition: an analysis of enduring cognitive, academic and physical sequelae," and Morgan's, was based, in part, on the initial work conducted in 2011. Dr. Guerrant mentored both projects.

The first Ram Family Scholar awardee was Pranay Sinha, School of Medicine, 2014. Pranay worked closely with CGH Founder Dr. Richard Guerrant on the effect of malnutrition on cognition among college students in southern India. Pranay worked to facilitate opportunities for subsequent scholars to build on partnerships he helped to strengthen at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India.