Sanjay Acharya is an independent documentary producer, photographer, writer, editor and radio broadcaster. He has produced audiovisual documentaries on environmental issues, including desertification, wetlands management, marine coastal ecosystems, mountains and tropical forests. He edited the UN/ESCAP State of the Environment Report 1990 ahead of the Rio Earth Summit and produced publications for the Asian Development Bank (“Sustainable Development in Asia”) as well as on poverty alleviation programmes run by the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), Dhaka.
He worked on community health projects for UNICEF: Integrated Child Development Services, Iodine deficiency disorders; diarrhoea management and Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT); leprosy; breastfeeding; immunization; iron-deficiency anaemia in the Asia-Pacific region and in Africa. He worked on advocating basic services in primary health care, drinking water and sanitation, nutrition, primary education, ante-natal and post-natal care, and income-generating activities for women. He was Vice President, Voluntary Health Association of India (Delhi Chapter).
Acharya was Head of Department at the Mass Communication Research Centre, New Delhi, where he taught a Masters’ Degree programme in developmental communication focusing on still photography and audio-visual production, and also lectured on environment and social development issues at the Indian Institute of Public Administration, the National Academy of Administration, the School of Planning and Architecture, and the School of Journalism at the University of Iowa. In 1980-81, he was Head of Photography and audio-visual communication in a UNICEF-funded project which set up the Development Support Communication Division within the Ministry of Education of the Royal Government of Bhutan in Thimphu. His book “Bhutan: Kingdom in the Himalaya” was published in 1999.
Acharya was a professional broadcaster with the national broadcaster All India Radio since the 1970s. He anchored the news and programmes of national importance. He accompanied the Indian Prime Minister on state visits and broadcast live from the White House in Washington D.C., the Kremlin in Moscow, and Tokyo to cover summit meetings between Heads of State and Government.
2001-2002, Acharya was Head of media communications, UN Summit on Financing for Development Secretariat, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA), New York. He subsequently led a research team to evaluate media campaign on early childhood care and development for UNICEF in the Maldives.
In July 2016, he retired as head of Media Relations & Public Information at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN specialized agency dealing with information and communication technologies, based in Geneva, where he was the organization’s spokesman since 2003. He is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
In 2017, he was elected Member of the Council of Management of the Aero Club of India. Acharya is an avid sailplane pilot and holds the Indian record for Altitude (29,500 ft) for which he was awarded a Lennie Pin from the Symons Wave Foundation for his solo motorless flight over the Sierra Nevada, USA.