Sanjoy Hazarika is Managing Trustee, Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES); Editor, Writer and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Policy Research. He has written extensively on the North-east and made documentary films about the region and the neighborhood where he travels, including Tibet, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
He is an awardwinning former correspondent of The New York Times and launched and edited The North East Page at the Statesman for four years between 2002 and January 2007. He also writes columns for the Indo-Asian News Service, Hindustan and other newspapers and journals and is a frequent speaker on issues related to the North-east.
He was a member of the National Security Advisory Board, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) review committee, of an advisory panel for the NE in the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution and has held fellowships at Harvard University and the University of Kentucky.
In October 2006, he was a “Practitioner in Residence” at Tufts University, which honoured his innovation, research and policy advocacy. He is also a Member of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi, Member, Advisory Committee, North East Research Centre of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) and has most recently been appointed to the National Disaster Management Advisory Board.
He is also member of various expert committees in India’s Planning Commission for the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-2012.) He is acknowledged as a specialist on migration and issues in the North-east; his books include Bhopal, the lesson of a tragedy; Strangers of the Mist; Tales of War and Peace from India’s North East; Rites of Passage: border crossings, imagined homelands – India’s East and Bangladesh.
He has conceived and developed projects of health intervention, governance, livelihoods in Assam and a participative Vision 2020 exercise for the North-eastern Council of the Government of India, involving more than 40,000 respondents, one of the biggest such surveys in the region with 20 partner NGO groups and over 100 enumerators.
One of his major projects with long term policy applications is Akha (Hope): the development of ships for health services in the islands of the Brahmaputra river, which reach thousands of people who have been without access to basic health care and other facilities for over 60 years. Another is a project on protecting the Gangetic dolphin in Assam by mobilizing local communities, developing awareness and alternative livelihoods and organic fish bait for those who have hunted the dolphin for its oil which has been used as bait; a significant component of this campaign is to train local villagers in green tourism, with the dolphin the key attraction. A film has also been made on the dolphins.
He divides his time between the North-east and Delhi apart from other travels in the country and abroad.