In Memory of Dr. Radium Bhattacharya

With sorrow, we report that Dr. Radium Bhattacharya, the founder-president of Indian Network of NGOs on HIV/AIDS (INN) passed away on 20 December 2009. Dr. Radium was one of the first to step forward in the 1980s to mount India’s response to HIV/AIDS. She was a scientist, an organizer and a relentless advocate for over two decades and will be sorely missed by her colleagues in India and around the world. Read more

Working tirelessly to increase partnerships and civil society representation in India’s AIDS response, she most notably founded INN in 1994 and nurtured its growth over the last 16 years, engaging a vibrant network of more than 500 non-governmental organizations.

Under her leadership, INN raised awareness about the need to increase HIV prevention options for women, spotlighting the role of microbicides and female condoms at its 2001 National Convention. Dr. Radium’s efforts led to the establishment of India’s National Working Group on Microbicides as well as a range of high-profile events and dialogue that connected over a thousand people across the Indian sub-continent.

The Global Campaign for Microbicides (GCM) Director Yasmin Halima commented on Dr. Radium’s role as an ally and advisor to the Global Campaign’s work in India. “We stand on the shoulders of giants – and in the field of microbicides, Dr. Radium’s work deserves to be recognized as such. Without the tireless effort of those who dedicate their lives for the right of women to protect themselves against HIV, our work would not be possible. She shared our conviction that civil society must be equal partners in the search for effective microbicides,” she added.

Published in: GC News, Issue 118