Sugandh Gupta

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

North Carolina, Chapel Hill, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9902

Approve Date

October 25, 2019

Project Title

Gupta, Sugandh (North Carolina, Chapel Hill, U. of) "Dependency, De-Addiction, and the Care by the State in Jammu, India"

SUGANDH GUPTA, then a graduate student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was awarded a grant in October 2019 to aid research on “Dependency, De-Addiction, and the Care by the State in Jammu, India,” supervised by Dr. Jocelyn Chua. This research project investigated the social and clinical impacts of long-term militarization and political conflict on injecting drug users (IDUs), mental health professionals, and government programs that seek to rehabilitate drug users in Jammu City, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), India. It draws upon a) thematic analysis of interviews with recovering IDUs, their family members, mental health professionals, social workers, and government officials; b) participant observation at the Opioid Substitution Treatment Center; and c) archival research on India’s narcotic laws and J&K’s de-addiction policy. The study examined the daily struggles encountered by individuals recovering from IDU, who are reliant upon state-supported services in a disputed territory. Their ability to access these services was regularly disrupted by political unrest and curfews. Clinicians faced manpower shortages, irregular Buprenorphine supplies, neglect of basic amenities, the presence of para-military forces, and a lack of a safe and stable space to operate the clinic. These conditions created panic and frustration for clinicians and barriers to access for clients. The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic further marginalized these services. The study examined how clients, clinicians, family members, and state officials struggle and often must rely on one another to provide regular care and services amidst political conflict in the region.