Past Event

“Writing Indian Stories: Uncovering the Legacies of Care in India"

November 3, 2022
5:30 PM - 6:00 PM
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Thursday, November 3

“Writing Indian Stories: Uncovering the Legacies of Care in India"

A Panel Discussion with Discussants

Jyoti Thottam (New York Times)

Jennifer Dohrn (Columbia School of Nursing)

Moderator:  Ravina Aggarwal (Columbia Global Centers, Mumbai)

Organized by the Columbia Global Center at Mumbai, and co-sponsored by the Columbia School of Nursing and the South Asia Institute

Reception: 5:30pm – 6:00pm

Panel Discussion: 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Location:  Auditorium, The Forum, 601 West 125th Street at Broadway, Manhattanville Campus


In the same year that India became independent and established its first nursing council, how did an unlikely group of six nuns from the rough hills of Kentucky arrive in a small town in Bihar to establish a medical practice that would bring care to thousands?

Columbia Global Centers, Mumbai, invites you to a conversation with Jyoti Thottam, who leads the editorial board of The New York Times and has recently authored Sisters of Mokama: The Pioneering Women Who Brought Hope and Healing to India (Penguin Random House 2022). The book traces the inspiring story of Nazareth Hospital in Mokama, Bihar and the courageous women behind it, who included Thottam’s mother, who trained as a nurse under the nuns in Mokama.  Thottam draws upon twenty years of research to piece together a historical narrative that gives us a glimpse of a world rebuilding itself from the tumult of World War II and Partition, in a world where many women could forge their own paths for the first time.  The conversation will address these themes, expand on the author’s investigative process including her work with archives and oral histories, and locate the legacy of the women of Nazareth Hospital at a time when the world finds itself once again in need of deep care and healing.

Jyoti Thottam leads the editorial board of The New York Times, which she joined in March 2018. Prior to the Times, she was the South Asia Bureau Chief for Time Magazine for four years. She has also worked with Al Jazeera America and local newspapers in New York and Florida.

Professor Jennifer Dohrn is the Director, Office of Global Initiatives and PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for Advanced Practice Nursing at Columbia Nursing School. As Director of Midwifery Services, she initiated the first freestanding maternity center in the Bronx, New York.

Dr. Ravina Aggarwal is the Director of the Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai and a sociocultural anthropologist with three decades of research in the Himalayan region. In addition to her several academic publications, she has recently authored the mystery novel, Searching for the Songbird (Zubaan Books, 2022).