On January 5, 2021 the Institute for South Asia Studies lost a dear friend with the sudden passing of Kimi Bhattacharya, and I lost a friend as well. Kimi’s friendship with the institute goes back many years. Shortly after I became the Chair of the Institute in 2003, I started the Bangla Studies Initiative. Kimi and Shankar were among the very first to step forward with offers to help and to promote what was the first fundraising effort during my tenure. We were all new at this, and didn't always know what we were doing -- but we had so many good times doing it together! They helped organize a fundraiser for the Initiative in Los Angeles, held dinners and fundraising events in their home, and filled the initiative with warmth, hospitality and joy (including throwing a sweet and lovely 50th birthday party for me!). More recently, she and Shankar created the Bhattacharya India Fund, a fund that supports an annual lecture series as well as student grants. It was such a pleasure to be able to talk to her and work with her again, and to be part of the warmth and affectionate energy she exuded. I will miss her. As will all who had the privilege of working with her at the Institute. My thoughts are with Shankar, Rabin and her father-in-law, Purna, at this very difficult time.
Dean, Division of Social Sciences
Professor of Sociology and South Asian Studies
For those wanting to memorialize Kimi’s life, the family requests contributions to the UCSF Foundation, PO Box 45339, San Francisco, CA 94145-0339 (please write in the memo line of your check, “Fund B3156, Kimi Bhattacharya”). Your donation will be directed to support vasculitis research by the physicians and researchers in the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Vasculitis Clinic.