Global Health Sophomore Seeks to Improve Women’s Health in Rural India

Shreya Arora (NHS’24) in an outdoor photograph with buildings in the skyline behind her.
Shreya Arora (NHS’24)

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July 26, 2021 – Shreya Arora (NHS’24), a global health major on the pre-med track, founded and serves as president of a group seeking to improve health for women in rural India.

This summer, through a grant from the Georgetown University Social Innovation and Public Service (SIPS) Fund, Arora will be able to further advance the work of Georgetown’s chapter of Project RISHI – an abbreviation for “Rural India Social & Health Improvement.”

“We’re currently working in rural Rajasthan, India on menstrual health advocacy and empowerment projects,” Arora said, noting she has partnered with nonprofits in New Delhi, Tamil Nadu, and Rajasthan.

“We’re excited to bring Project RISHI to Georgetown and looking forward to expanding our team in the fall.” (Visit Project RISHI’s website.)

‘Excellent Program’

As a child, Arora mostly lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as for two years in Mumbai.

“I first learned about Georgetown when I visited Washington DC with my family during my freshman year of high school and had an opportunity to visit the campus,” she said. “When I began my college search, I was drawn to Georgetown’s commitment to social justice, international focus, and excellent program in global health.”

The summer before her senior year of high school Arora had the opportunity to travel to and work in Bududa, Uganda as a part of a fellowship program administered by the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children – an experience that sparked her “passion.”

“My time in Uganda helped me realize that addressing health challenges requires more than medical knowledge,” she reflected. “It requires an understanding and nuanced appreciation of the human experience and its diversity.”

‘Addressing Health Inequities’

“I knew Georgetown’s emphasis on interdisciplinary studies and the breadth of courses offered through the global health major would enable me to develop a holistic approach to addressing health inequities,” Arora added.

Describing the university and her major as “the perfect fit for me,” she highlighted “the tight-knit community of the NHS and the opportunities to form strong relationships with professors, deans, and peers.”

She praised the professors for their efforts to work closely with the undergraduates despite the virtual learning environment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even through the pandemic, my global health professors were supportive and made every effort to get to know the first-year class,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to exploring all the different electives offered through the NHS and completing my global health practicum abroad during my senior year.”

Activities and Plans

Arora had the opportunity to serve as a representative on the school’s Academic Council, a role she will continue this academic year. She also gives tours to campus visitors through the Blue & Gray Tour Guide Society.

Currently, she is an intern at Kavle Consulting, which she described as “a women-led consulting firm that strives to move the needle in global health and nutrition.”

“Our team is working with UNICEF Kenya and the government of Kenya to examine the impact of COVID-19 on the diets of women and adolescent boys and girls in Kenya,” she said. “I’m looking forward to improving my qualitative analysis skills and working on critical global health issues in Africa.”

Her future plans include an MPH and medical school and continued work nationally and globally on public health issues. “While my plans are not yet set, I’m excited to see where my Georgetown global health education takes me,” Arora said.

By Bill Cessato