Renu Addlakha



  • Ph.D. (Sociology), University of Delhi
  • M.Phil (Sociology), University of Delhi
  • MA (Social Work), University of Delhi

Renu Addlakha did her doctoral research on the psychiatric profession in India with particular reference to the treatment of women. Her areas of specialisation include the sociology of medicine, mental illness and the psychiatric profession, anthropology of infectious diseases, bioethics and disability studies. She has worked on a number of research projects supported by international agencies like the WHO, DANIDA and the MacArthur Foundation in India. Currently she is engaged in research on gender and disability at the CWDS.



  • (edited) Disability Studies in India: Global Discourses, Local Realities, Routledge, 2013
  • Contemporary Perspectives on Disability in India: Exploring the Linkages between Law, Gender and Experience Saarbrucken (Germany): LAP Lambert Academic Publishers, 2011
  • (co-edited with Stuart Blume, Patrick Devlieger, Osamu Nagase and Myriam Winance) Disability and Society: A Reader New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan, 2009.
  • Deconstructing mental illness: An ethnography of psychiatry women and the family. New Delhi. Zubaan Books, 2008

Guest editor

  • Indian Journal of Gender Studies, 15: 2 (May-August 2008), special issue on ‘Disability, Gender and Society’.


  • Accessing TB services in a tribal district: The Malkangiri project, Orissa. (with Jens Seeberg)Bhubaneswar (Orissa): DANTB, 2005.
  • Rights and vulnerabilities: A research study of migrant women workers in the informal sector in Delhi (as part of Jagori Research Team).Delhi: Jagori, 2004
  • Urban Leprosy Elimination Initiative. New Delhi: DANLEP, 2003 Available online at <<   >
  • Towards leprosy elimination in tribal communities: Experiences from Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. (with Jens Seeberg). Delhi: DANLEP, 2003 Available online at <<   >>
  • Health ethics in South-East Asia (Volume 3): Ethical   issues in clinical practice: A qualitative interview study in six Asian countries (with Jens Seeberg). Delhi: World Health Organization Regional Office for South-East Asia (SEARO Document), 2000 Available online at   << >

Working/Occasional papers

  • Disability and Sexuality: Intersectional Analysis in India, (with Mahima Nayar), Occasional Paper #63, 2017
  • Gender, Subjectivity and Sexual Identity: How Young People with Disabilities Conceptualise the Body, Sex and Marriage in Urban India. Delhi: Centre for Women’s Development Studies. Occasional Paper No. 46, 31 p. 2007.

Accepted research papers

  • The sociology of disability: Conceptual ethnography of an analytical category of India, in Sanjay Srivastava and Janaki Abraham eds. Rethinking India: Essays in Celebration of 50 Years of Contributions to Indian Sociology Volume I, New Delhi: Sage Publications.
  • Home-institution configuration in social welfare. In Fe Hentschke James Williams Eds.  The Work of Home-Making—Homes, Houses, Histories, Berlin.
  • Kinship destabilised! Disability and the micropolitics of care in urban India. Special Issue on Disability Worlds, Current Anthropology.

Articles and Book Chapters

  • Health, disability and equity: conversations among bodies, discourse and law. in Purendra Prasad and Amar Jesani eds. Equity and access: Health care studies in India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • “Women with Visual Disabilities and the Women’s Movement”,  Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. LII (5), 2017.
  • “Reframing Perspectives on Disability, Sexuality and Reproductive Rights” (with Janet Price and Shirin Heidari) in Reproductive Health Matters, Volume 25 Number 49, 2017. DOI of paper is: 10.1080/09688080.2017.1336375.
  • “Dilemma of arranged marriages in people with epilepsy. An expert group appraisal” (with Gagandeep Singh etal,,Epilepsy & Behavior  61 (August) 2016.
    DOI information: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2016.05.034.
  • Gendered constructions of work and disability in contemporary India: Discursive and institutional perspectives. In Asha Hans ed. Disability, gender and the Trajectories of Power. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2015.
  • Mining marginalities and mainstreaming differences: The disability paradigm in perspective. In Bhargavi. V. Davar and T.K. Sundari Ravindran eds. Gendering Mental health: Knowledges, Identities and Institutions. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • Deconstructing emerging disability legislation in India. In Vidhu Verma (ed.) Unequal worlds: Discrimination and social inequality in modern India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • Discursive and Institutional Intersections: Women, Health and Law in Modern India. International Review of Sociology, 2014. DOI: 10.1080/03906701.2014.954327
  • Women’s health, law and culture in India: A contemporary perspective. Stance: the Thai feminist review 4(2553), 2011.
  • Disability-selective abortions in India: Individual choice, disabling environments and the socio-moral order. In Difference on display: Diversity in art, science and society, NAI Ultgevers Publishers, 2010.
  • Engendering disability in the developmental agenda in India: A policy perspective. In Debal K. Singharoy ed. Interrogating Social Development: Global Perspectives and local initiatives, New Delhi: Manohar, 2010.
  • A legal precedent: Reproductive rights of mentally retarded persons in India, Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, VII, 1, 2010.
  • ‘Indigenisation’ not ‘Indianisation’ of Psychiatry: An Anthropological Perspective. Sociological Bulletin, 59 (1), 2010.
  • ‘Gender blind or gender biased? Culture, family and patriarchy in Indian psychiatry’, In Brigitte Sebastian ed. Restoring Mental Health in India: Pluralistic therapies and concepts. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Disability law in India: Paradigm shift or evolving discourse? (with Saptarshi Mandal) Economic and Political Weekly XLIV (41and 42), 2009.
  • Indigenisation of psychiatry in India. In Patrice Cohen ed. Figures contemporaines de la sante en Inde. Paris:L’Harmatttan, 2009.
  • Healthy Sex Life for Visually Challenged Women. In A.K. Mittal (ed) Handbook for Women with Visual Impairment. New Delhi: All India Confederation of the Blind (Sponsored by Dr. H.E. Schulze and Marga Schulze Foundation, Germany), 2008.
  • ’Is economic empowerment the key to social mainstreaming of women with disabilities?’ In Voice of Disabled 25(1), 2008.

Book Reviews

  • Nilika Mehrotra. 2016 Ethnographic explorations (Disability, Gender and State Policy: Exploring Margins) In The Book ReviewXXXVIII (7).
  • MSridevi Rao & Maya Kalyanpur. 2015. South Asia and Disability Studies: Redefining Boundaries and Extending Horizons. (Disability Series in Education (General Editors Susan L. Gabel and Scot Danforth) Volume 15. In Asia Pacific Journal of Education.

Other Publications:

  • Special Chapter 1a Women with Disabilities in India. In India NGO Shadow Report on CEDAW. National Alliance of Women. Women with Disabilities India Network, 2014.
  • The body in Biomedicine. Master’s Programme in Women and Gender Studies, Course, WWG 004, Block 1, Embodiment, Unit 1 pp. 9-21. School of Gender and Development Studies, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi, 2013.
  • Disability and masculinity/Disabled masculinity. Master’s Programme in Women and Gender Studies, Course WWG 004,  Block 2,Abled Bodies and disability, Unit 3 pp. 118-128.  School of Gender and Development Studies, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi, 2013.
  • Disability and women’s work. In Newsletter of Indian Association of Women’s Studies 100 (10): 23-24, 2013.