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Prof. Shyamala Devi is the first lady professor of economics in A.P. with a tribal background. She studied in Osmania University and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She is teaching since 1979 and has been awarded a National Overseas Fellowship by the Government of India to do research. From 1995 to 1998 she did a comparative study of "Gypsy" Roma / Ghor "Banjaras" Communities in Europe and Andhra Pradesh, India entitled: "The Search for Identity of Gypsies of the World and the Impact of Different Economic Systems".

Prof. Devi was a visiting professor and senior research fellow at the University of Greenwich in London, UK and the Centre for Asian Studies Amsterdam of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Professor Shyamala Devi's recent comparative study of Roma in Europe and Ghor in India, along with her documentary video film on some aspects of the above topic, have sparked off a lively and continuing debate. The debate focuses on the cultural diversity and the nature of socio-economic discriminations faced by 'Gypsy' ethnic groups all over the world from their early migrations onward. Her research work includes interviews with victims of the Second World War holocaust and present day fascist skinheads both in Central and Eastern European countries.

The debate also touches on how to face the racial, class and caste differences and impact of modernization, economic liberalization and globalization in the daily lives of the 'Gypsy' ethnic groups. Most of Professor Devi's research work is action-oriented with an interdisciplinary approach.

Prof. Devi has done extensive field work in Ghor ("Banjara") settlements in India and Roma "Gypsy" camps in Europe. She strongly believes in and involves herself only in social action research and not research for the sake of research. She has conducted and participated in more than 200 workshops, seminars and conferences from village level to international level and she is known as an active socially committed academic since her graduation in 1972. She has also published many articles in national and international reputed journals.

Prof. Devi responds to the occasions and participates in activities for social change in favour of the needy and deprived sections of the population. Most of her action research is related to the problems of poor rural and 'tribal' people, against anti-people's policies and for structural change.

At present she is professor of economics at Kakatiya University, Warangal.


Prof. Dr. B. R. Shyamala Devi,

Professor of Economics, Dept. of Economics, KU
Vidyaranyapuri, Kakatiya University, Warangal,
A.P.
Cell Phone: 98491 64352 (temp.)
E-mail:  brsdevi@yahoo.com

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