ASSOCIATION FOR HARM REDUCTION EDUCATION AND RESEARCH
Is a registered body of multi-disciplinary medical professionals from diverse specialties, who share a collective common vision for increasing the public awareness of harms resulting due to various human behaviors associated with tobacco consumption, narcotics, alcohol, and obesity.
AHRER: Aims to be a unifying platform for engaging multiple stakeholders from policy makers, health practitioners, academics, social and behavioral scientists and representatives of advocacy bodies and NGO’s and enabling network building to facilitate knowledge sharing, exchange of ideas and overarching partnerships on the issue of harm reduction measures and strategies. With constantly evolving public health landscape in India, there is an compelling need for medical professionals to lead the policy discourse embedded with scientific evidence based in the country.
To contribute to the improvement of public health awareness by educating Indian public on health, and related domains including familial, social, financial and societal consequences of tobacco consumption, narcotics, alcohol, and obesity.
Dr. Aparajeet Kar
Consultant Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine
Experienced Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in hospitals & health care industries. Skilled in Pulmonology and Critical Care.Strong consulting experience with a Doctor of Medicine (MD) focused in Interventional Pulmonology and Interventional Critical Care/Intensive Medicine
Dr. Kiran Melkote
Dr. Kiran Melkote is an Orthopaedic Surgeon practicing in Delhi NCR region at a tertiary care institute.
He has been involved with AHRER as a member since the last 3 years and has been appointed as a Director since April 2023.
Dr. Melkote completed his studies from M.S. Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore and Manipal Hospitals, Bangalore. He has achieved advanced certifications in Trauma and Life support, Complex Shoulder and Elbow Trauma and Joint replacements.
Dr. Melkote is a passionate advocate for Harm Reduction especially in the context of Tobacco use. He has a lived experience as a former smoker and is actively working on tobacco cessation and nicotine substitution as twin strategies for saving lives affected by tobacco use. He has consistently urged for inclusion of current / former tobacco users in tobacco policy groups. He strongly believes in country specific tobacco control measures based on the tobacco use pattern and has been advocating for a renewed focus on Indian oral tobacco use (smokeless tobacco)
Prof. (Dr.) Nimesh G. Desai
MD(Psych), MPH(USA), MRCPsych (UK)
Senior Consultant Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist
Former Member Secretary/CEO, SMHA, Delhi
Former Director, IHBAS, Delhi
President, ManovikasChariatble Society
Dr. Desai Is a Psychiatrist with 40 years of experience and is a trained and committed public health professional
He served on the faculty of some of the best academic institutions:
- National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore (1982 – 1988)
- AIIMS, Delhi (1988 – 1998)
- Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry,IHBAS (Institute of Human Behaviour & Allied Sciences) Delhi (1998 – 2010) – also Medical Superintendent for many of these years
- Director of IHBAS, Delhi (2010 – 2021)
His leadership for the growth and development of IHBAS is widely recognized, and under his tenure, IHBAS became one of the best hospital-based academic institutions in the country and was recognized as an “Institute of National Importance” by the Govt. of India in the field of mental health.
Under his leadership and guidance, IHBAS was one of the few Health Care Organizations (HCOs) to have achieved Full Accreditation from NABH for Patient Safety & Quality of Care- amongst very few Govt. Funded public sector hospitals, and the first mental health & neuro science hospitals across all sectors.
The Research & Development field projects led by him individually, many funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) & the World Health Organization (WHO) are considered exceptionally outstanding leading to formulation of a module/programme for Urban Mental Health Programme based on Research project on Urban Mental Health & the service delivery experience of the National Programme’s outreach activities in Delhi
He contributed to the formulation of National Guidelines of the National Disaster Management Authority(NDMA) on the subject of Mental Health & Psychosocial Servicesand made critical individual contribution as the Coordinator - based on research & service delivery experience in Gujarat Earthquake & Tsunami.
He also contributed for the development of innovative programmes for outreach health services, including mental health services for the homeless population
He has been closely involved in development of a network of Tobacco Cessation Clinics in the country
He has been awarded the prestigious Humphrey Fulbright Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA. He also obtained his Masters of Public Health(MPH) in 2001, from the School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
In 2003, he was awarded Fellowship of the National Academy of Medical Sciences(NAMS), India
In 2005, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK conferred on him the degree of MRCPsych
He has been elected to important positions, by his peer group in the national professional body viz. Indian Psychiatric Society(IPS) as:
- Honorary General Secretary (1997-99)
- Honorary Editor for the national journal (2005-07)
He has received 5 national level awards for original research, and one Oration Award
He has published 100 research papers, 10 book chapters & 10 research monographs
He has been a member of key working groups of national organizations - for policies and programmes including:
- National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
- National Knowledge Commission (NKC)
- National Disaster Management Authority(NDMA)
- Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
- National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)
He also provides regular consultation to print media, radio & television programmes on mental health & public health.
He has been the subject expert for a 26-episode Television (on Doordarshan) series on Psychological & Social Aspects of Hindi Cinema (Cinema Dil Se)
He has been an expert anchor on a Television Serial (on Doordarshan) for health information & empowerment (Kar Bhala Soch Bhala) for more than 2 years (100 episodes)
Dr. Rajesh Sharan
MSc (Life Sciences), PhD, Post-doctoral Research at Institute of Medicine, KFA, Juelich (Germany), Former Dean, School of Life Sciences, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong.
Former Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong
Director of Design Innovation Center
Molecular Biologist, Biochemist, Biotechnologist and Cancer & Radiation Biologist
Visiting Associate at the Inter-University Accelerator Center, New Delhi.
Dr. Sharan superannuated from North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), a Central University, at Shillong in India in 2021 as:
(1) Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Genetics at Department of Biochemistry,
(2) Dean of School of Life Sciences (SLS), and
(3) Director of Design Innovation Center (DIC);
He holds a Ph. D. from JNU, New Delhi (1983) with post-doctoral research at Institute of Medicine, KFA, Juelich (Germany) (1987) with teaching & research experience of nearly four decades
He is a Molecular Biologist, Biochemist,Biotechnologist and Cancer & Radiation Biologist by training with rich research experience in the fields of Betel (Areca) nut & chemical induced carcinogenesis and molecular mechanisms of radiation induced damage to DNA & its repair with expertise in biomarker discovery for cancer and radiation damage assessment or for their clinical applications;
He is deeply interested in public health issues and associated research in the domain of combustible and smokeless tobacco and the concept of harm reduction;
He established a decade-long Indo-German Bilateral Research Collaboration with KFA, Juelich, ‘Research for the Future’ project at Department of Human Genetics & Radiation Biology, Osaka University and continuing with multiple research collaborations in India;
He is a Visiting/Invited Professor at FZ, Juelich (Germany) and Osaka University (Japan);
He has received important research funding (4 international and 10 national grants/agencies);
During his tenure, he has supervised 18 doctoral students and over 2 dozen interns (international & national);
Dr. Sharan brings a wealth of experience in almost all facets of academic administration in a university system in India, including being the Dean of Student’s Affairs, Members of the Court and Executive Council of central universities and national organizations (over 2½ decades);
He has served as President of Indian Society for Radiation Biology (ISRB) for 2 terms, holds Life Membership of over half a dozen scholarly and professional bodies and is currently a Member of an International Collaborative Research Project (CRP) of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna;
He has published over 120 scholarly research papers, including 5 edited books and 1 text book adaptation;
He also holds two patents to his credit;
He has served as an Associate Editor (handling) of the Journal of Radiation Research for over a decade with rich reviewing experience for most international journals in his academic domain;
Dr. Sharan has travelled widely in India and abroad in various capacities acquiring comprehensive understanding of issues and challenges in the domain of academic excellence.
Dr. Bharat Gopal
MD, DNB, MNAMS, FIAMS, FIAB, FNCCP, FAPSR(JAPAN), FCCP(USA)
ERS Fellowship, Interventional Pulmonology(Ancona,Italy)
Advanced Training in Endobronchial Ultrasound(Brisbane, Australia)
Sr Consultant-Pulmonology, Sleep Medicine & Critical Care
Director, National Chest Centre
Secretary, Foundation for Cardiorespiratory Disorders (India)
Dr. Gopal has an experience of more than 25years in the field of Pulmonology & Sleep medicine and has been previously associated with some of the premier healthcare institutions including RML Hospital (GOI) & Private Hospitals like Fortis Healthcare, Maharaja Agrasen Hospital, Delhi Heart and Lung Institute & Metro Group of Hospitals.
He specializes in the management of:
- Difficult to Control Severe Asthma
- Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders
- ILD and Lung Fibrosis
- Pleural Diseases
- Smoking-related Diseases like COPD
- Post-COVID Lung Diseases
- Allergic Diseases of the Nose, Sinuses, and Lungs
- Interventional Pulmonology
He was one of the first doctors to start EBUS in the country. Dr. Gopal is highly skilled in all procedures including Bronchoscopy, Lung Biopsy, Cryobiopsies, Thoracoscopy etc.
Dr. Gopal has received numerous awards and accolades including:
- Young Scientist Award – National College of Chest Physicians
- Best Doctor Award- Indian Medical Association (Delhi)
- Vishisht Chikitsa Ratan Award by Delhi Medical Association
- Meri Delhi Shreshth Shree Award
- Fellow, American College of Chest Physicians (USA)
- Fellow, Asia Pacific Society of Respirology (Japan)
- Fellow, National College of Chest Physicians (India)
- Fellow, Indian Academy of Medical Specialities
- Member, Royal Society of Tropical Medicine (UK)