Madhuri Kamtam

My name is Madhuri Kamtam, and I am currently a PhD researcher in the School of International Development at the University of East Anglia, UK. I hold a master’s degree in Development Economics from SOAS, University of London and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics (Hons) from Azim Premji University, Bangalore.

My research interests are focused on understanding and addressing issues related to caste, gender, labor economics, the political economy of development, and public policy. I am passionate about exploring the complexities of these topics and discovering ways to create real-world solutions for communities in need.

In addition to my academic work, I have participated in various projects focused on creating change and empowering marginalized communities. These experiences have given me a deep appreciation for the complexities of social issues and the need for collaboration across sectors.

As a researcher, I am committed to contributing to the knowledge and understanding of the challenges facing marginalized communities, with a focus on South Asia. My ultimate goal is to use my skills and knowledge to make a tangible difference in the world and help create more equitable societies.

Current Research:

My doctoral research focuses on exploring the impact of beedi worker legislation on the living and working conditions, as well as the welfare, of women employed as beedi workers in rural India. A key element of my research is examining the role of collective action and unionisation in translating policies into tangible benefits for these workers. To this end, I utilize a mixed-methods approach, including constructing a multi-dimensional index to assess policy implementation in each village via surveys, as well as analyzing qualitative data collected through semi-structured interviews with workers and focus group discussions with unions.

My study seeks to evaluate policy implementation and the various factors that contribute to it, while also analyzing variation in implementation and impact across villages located in Telangana, India. Specifically, my research explores the critical role of collective action in ensuring policy implementation, and examines how this can have a direct effect on the living standards of beedi workers. I believe that this research is a significant contribution to the fields of labour laws, labour rights, and labour welfare in India’s home-based occupations.

By shedding light on the impact of policy on the lives and welfare of beedi workers in rural India, I hope that this research can serve as a valuable resource for policymakers and organizations involved in advocating for the welfare of these workers. Ultimately, I hope that my research will contribute to the development of effective policies that improve the lives of these vulnerable workers and advance the cause of social justice in India.


1. Kamtam, M. (2023) ‘What is it like to be a young Dalit swaero First Generation Learner?’, Round Table India, Available at:
2. Kamtam, M. (2023) ‘Caste Exclusion and Mental Health’, Dalit History Month, Available at:
3. Kamtam, M. (2023) ‘Tobacco’s Adverse Effects on Poorly Paid Women Beedi Workers: View From the Field’, Fieldwork Support Network, University of East Anglia, UK.

Areas of Study:

Caste, gender, labor economics, the political economy of development, and public policy, India

University Page: