Divya Ravindranath

Senior Consultant - Academics & Research | divyar at iihs dot ac dot in

2018    PhD, Social Work, Brown School, Washington University in St Louis, MO, USA
2010    Diploma in Environmental Law, National Law School University India, Bangalore
2007    MA, Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
2005    BA, English Literature, Mumbai University, Mumbai



Countries: India
States: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Cities: Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Port Blair
Languages: English, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada

Divya Ravindranath studies informal work, social protection, gender and urban health. She has worked with several not-for-profit organisations in urban and rural India, where most of her work focussed on issues of common pool resources, urban infrastructure and livelihoods. Divya has also been a visiting faculty at CEPT, Ahmedabad, where she taught qualitative research methods to postgraduate and doctoral students.


Her doctoral work focussed on child undernutrition and maternal access to healthcare services and government programmes among migrant households engaged in construction work. Building on this, her work at IIHS examines how women in the informal economy experience the mother-worker conundrum as they seek to balance paid work and childcare in the absence of any form of maternity benefits. Her ongoing project looks at time-use and breastfeeding practices at informal work sites.


Divya teaches advanced ethnographic methods and co-teaches urban health in the elective term, as faculty at the IIHS Urban Fellows Programme.

Journal Articles:

  • Hong, A., Baker, L., Curiel, R. P., Duminy, J., Buswala, B., Guan, C., & Ravindranath, D. (2022). Reconciling big data and thick data to advance the new urban science and smart city governance. Journal of Urban Affairs. https://doi.org/10.1080/07352166.2021.2021085
  • Rohela, P., Bhan, A., Ravindranath, D., Bose, D. L., & Pathare, S. (2020). Must there be a “war” against coronavirus?. Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 5(3), 222-226.
  • Ravindranath, D., Trani, J-F., & Lannotti, L. (2019). Nutrition among children of migrant construction workers in Ahmedabad, India. International Journal for Equity in Health, 18(1), 143.
  • Metzger, M. W., Bender, A., Flowers, A., Murugan, V., & Ravindranath, D. (2019). Step by step: Tenant accounts of securing and maintaining quality housing with a housing choice voucher. Journal of Community practice, 27(1), 31-44.
  • Ravindranath, D. (2017). Visa regulations and labour market restrictions: implications for Indian immigrant women in the United States. The Indian Journal of Labour Economics60(2), 217-232.
  • Bender, A., Metzger, M., Murugan, V., & Ravindranath, D. (2016). Housing choices as school choices: Subsidized renters’ agency in an uncertain policy context. City & Community, 15(4), 444-467.


Book/Book chapters

  • Surie, A., Goswami, A., Arakali, A., Revi, A., Ravindranath, D., Bhan, G., Anand, G., Balakrishnan, K., Kapoor, N., Sami, N., Vasanth, P., Anand, S., Smitha, M. B., Viswanath, S., Baberwal, S., Mitra, S., Batikar, T., & John, V. (2023). Towards a new urban practice: The urban fellows programme 2016-2022. Indian Institute for Human Settlements. https://doi.org/10.24943/9788195847303
  • Ravindranath, D., & Mohan, P. (2022). Migration and health: Charting questions for future research. In S. I. Rajan (Ed.), India migration report 2021: Migrants and health (pp. 1-8). Routledge.
  • Ravindranath, D (2019). Access to maternal health programs. In S. I. Rajan & M. Sumeetha (Eds.), Handbook on internal migration in India (pp. 738-748). New Delhi: Sage.


Other Writing:

Public Intellectual Writing:

  • Bhan, G., Ravindranath, D., Rai Chouwdhury, A., Mehra, R., Sinha, D., Kiran, A., & Malladi, T. (2022). Reproducing a household: Recognising and assessing paid and unpaid domestic work in urban India. Indian Institute for Human Settlements. https://doi.org/10.24943/RHRAPUDWUI11.2022
  • Bhan, G., Ravindranath, D., Rai Chouwdhury, A., Mehra, R., Sinha, D., Kiran, A., & Malladi, T. (2022). Deficits in decent work: Employer perspectives and practices on the quality of employment in domestic work in Urban India. Indian Institute for Human Settlements. https://doi.org/10.24943/DDWEPPQEDWUI11.2022
  • Bhan, G., Ravindranath, D., Rai Chouwdhury, A., Mehra, R., Sinha, D., Kiran, A., & Malladi, T. (2022). Employer practices and perceptions on paid domestic work: Recruitment, employment relationships, and social protection. Indian Institute for Human Settlements.  https://doi.org/10.24943/EPPPDWRERSP11.2022
  • Ravindranath, D. (2022, May 15). Pain and womanhood: An exploration of how we allow ourselves to feel — and heal. News9live.com. https://www.news9live.com/art-culture/society/pain-and-womanhood-an-exploration-of-how-we-allow-ourselves-to-feel-and-heal-170397
  • Neethi, P., Chowdhury, A. R., & Ravindranath, D. (2022, March 8). International women’s day | working women too, with a dream of good childcare. The Hindu. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/working-women-too-with-a-dream-of-good-childcare/article65202368.ece?
  • Ravindranath, D., Chowdhury, A. R., Surie, A., & Bhan, G. (2021). Effects of social protection for women in informal work on maternal and child health outcomes: A systematic Literature Review. Indian Institute for Human Settlements.
  • Ravindranath, D. (2017). The “Dependent” Indian women in the US—A new beginning. Economic and Political Weekly52(2), 27-30.
  • Ravidranath, D., & Siegel, S. (2015). Low wages and fast food. Economic and Political Weekly50(18), 18-21
  • Prusaczyk, B., Ravindranath, D., Davis, M., & Sewell, W. (2014). The Ferguson verdict: Tracing the movement against racism. Economic and Political Weekly, 49(47).
  • Ravindranath, D., Davis, M., Prusaczyk, B., & Sewell, W. (2014). Race in contemporary America: Protest, police and media in Ferguson. Economic & Political Weekly, 49, (43-44), 22-24.



  • Ravindranath, D. (2021, August 7). This world breastfeeding week, India needs to Ask why Its maternity benefit laws fall short. The Wire. https://thewire.in/health/this-world-breastfeeding-week-india-needs-to-ask-why-its-maternity-benefit-laws-fall-short
  • Ravindranath, D., & Kumar, V. (2021, June 01). India’s large informal workforce must be prioritised in our COVID-19 vaccine strategy. The Wire. https://thewire.in/rights/our-large-informal-workforce-must-be-prioritised-in-our-covid-19-vaccine-strategy
  • Kapilashrami, A., Issac, A., Sharma, J., Wickramage, K., John, E. A., Ravindranath, D., Aziz, R., Duigan, P. (2020, May 29). Neglect of low-income migrants in covid-19 response. The BMJ Opinion.
  • Ravindranath, D. (2020).  [Milk teeth by Amrita Mahale]. Unbanisation, 1-4.
  • Ravindranath, D., & Daniel, U. (2020, May 05). Understanding the implications of the COVID-19 lockdown on migrant workers’ children. The Wire.
  • Ravindranath, D. (2019, September, 27). How labour conditions at construction sites are leading to higher rates of child malnutrition. Scroll.in.
  • Ravindranath, D., & Varma, D. (2019, March 25). Seasonal migration and health in India: Constraints for research and practice. Ideas for India.
  • Ravindranath, D. (2017, July 9). Making Ahmedabad mine. The Wire.
  • Ravindranath, D. (2017, February 4). The ‘other’ visa issue: Acknowledging the crisis that may be looming for H4 visa holders. The Wire.

Conference Proceedings:

  • Ravindranath, D. (2018). Maternal health and access to healthcare among migrant workers engaged in informal construction work (Ahmedabad, India). In A. N. Sharma, I. C. Awasthi, T. Endow, B. Reddy, M. Prasad, S. K. Dubey, & S. Dhote (Eds.), 60 th Labour Economics Conference (pp. 184-185). Mumbai: Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research.
  • Barriers to breastfeeding and complementary feeding: field notes from construction sites in Ahmedabad. Presented at the International Conference on Nutrition before, beyond and during first 1000 days of life – evidence and action, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad.
  • Presented a research seminar on “Malnutrition among children of migrant construction workers: status and perceptions, household challenges and policy gaps” at Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Azim Premji University, Alternative Law Forum and Institute of Public Health, Bangalore,
  • Presented a talk on ‘Race in Contemporary America’ at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad.
  • Significance of CPRs in sustaining rural livelihoods. Presented at the Conference on Indian Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE), Hyderabad.
  • Presented on ‘Common Pool Resources in India’ at the International Association for Study of Commons, Hyderabad.
  • Participated in the ‘Gender Water Equity’ Workshop organised by TISS, SaciWaters, Gender Water Alliance, SOPPECOM, Goa.