Arjun Shekhar is the founder of Vyaktitva, a performance support consulting firm and a co-founder and current President of Pravah. A Masters in Economics and Human Resources from XLRI, Jamshedpur, Arjun has co-created with others at Pravah and Vyaktitva some of the deepest learning journeys in the field of youth development. He has also developed and facilitated various youth leadership development curriculums . A published author his first book ‘A Flawed God’ was published in early 2011. He is the co-author of ‘Ocean in a Drop’ which has been published by Sage.
Ashraf is the co–founder of Pravah and ComMutiny – The Youth Collective (CYC). Pravah and ComMutiny – The Youth Collective together are building vibrant eco-systems across India to launch young social entrepreneurs, changemakers and active citizens. Both organisations promote a youth-centric approach to development called the ‘5th Space’. The 5th is a space that exists beyond and between the 4 legitimate spaces occupied by youth that is Family, Friends, Education / Career and Leisure . The erstwhile spaces for youth are more often than not governed by others, the 5th Space alternatively is governed by young people and rejects the instrumentalist view towards young people. It focuses on transforming young people by engaging them in social change and promoting their social action experiments. It nurtures social inclusion, holistic development and fosters social hope by promoting feelings of freedom, ownership, love and learning and growth Pravah works directly with young people on a wide range of programs and also supports capacity building of youth organisations and youth workers. ComMutiny – The Youth Collective focuses on creating powerful media resources and platforms and youth friendly high impact campaigns on the 5th Space along with its members which represent some of the best youth lead and youth engaging organisations in the country. Over 22 years, Pravah and CYC have worked directly with 100,000 youth across rural and urban India to train them in the principles and processes of the 5th Space and incubated 300 young social entrepreneurs and social experiments across 20 states. The collective on ground and online reach of these organisations has been over 15,00,000 people. Pravah and CYC together were among the 4 finalists for the Schwab Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2015. Prior to setting up Pravah, Ashraf was with Escorts Finance and SRF Ltd. A post graduate in HR from XLRI, she is an Ashoka Fellow. She is also been a representative on a number of working groups appointed by the Government and other National and International organisations to inform programs and policies on youth development and social entrepreneurship.
Dhirendra Pratap Singh is the President and co-founder of Milaan, which is a youth-led non-profit organization. Milaan works to empower, enable, and engage young people from economically and socially challenged backgrounds through creating collective learning paces to explore their potential. With a Masters degree in Development Studies from Amity University, he has also been a recipient of the Karamveer Puruskar and Youth Ambassador for Peace Award by Universal Peace Federation on 24th Jan 2007. In the past, Dhirendra has worked with many international and national development organizations like Vidya Grants India, United Way of Delhi, ASER, etc. He is also the Co-Founder of Azadi, an US based impact venture, with a commitment to making menstruation a non-issue in India.
Durba Ghose’s passion lies in strengthening the interlinkages between human development, social development, communication and the world of arts. Having started her professional life in the field of Education over two decades ago, she moved to Development Communication in 1995 and acted as Director-Communications at Pravah, Delhi from 2005. From 2009, she headed Resource Management and Partnerships as a co-founder and Executive Board Member at Commutiny – The Youth Collective. She was awarded the Commonwealth Professional Fellowship in 2005-06 and co-founded Mittika, a development resource organization based in Delhi in 2013. In the course of her career, Durba has worked intensively on behaviour-change communication, curriculum design and training, arts education, grants management and development and management of a number of programs in areas of youth participation, gender, performing arts and education. She has curated a range of publications, especially research studies and manuals and designed and managed several on-ground campaigns, websites and social media platforms. She has also consulted with a range of national and international organizations, and as a trained classical dancer, performed widely in India and abroad.
Father Jerry Thomas is the Director of Bosco Institute in Jorhat (Assam) affiliated to Dibrugarh University. The institute offers a Masters programme in Social Work to prepare professionally sound and socially committed social workers in and around India’s North East. From 2001 to 2007, Father Jerry was director of the North Eastern Regional Youth Commission and is responsible for introducing the peace education program for and with youth in all the states of the region. He has been engaged in youth and social development related activities in the north eastern states of India for the last 25 years.
Meenu Venkateswaran is a co-founder at Pravah and has been heading it as Chief Executive since 2005. Before this, Meenu led the Teachers Training intervention at Pravah into a powerful program for schools. Over the last 20 years, Meenu has worked in both the corporate and development sectors. She has been a consultant to development organizations and was the head of the resource generation function at CRY- Child Rights and You, and a member of the Managing Committee. She has a Masters in Economics and has completed her post graduation in Management from IIM, Bangalore.
Nirupama Sarathy completed her graduation in Economics and went on to study Social Work. She has worked with Pravah in Delhi and Jaipur on various programmes promoting youth active citizenship; she has also volunteered with a number of groups including Patang in Sambalpur and Prajnya in Chennai. She has had an active concern to work towards gender equality and is also actively working with Patang in Orissa to create a platform for young people and actively engage them in social justice issues.
RAMA RAO VEDULA
Rama Rao Vedula graduated from TISS in 1999. She worked at Vividha, a Women’s Resource Center in Jaipur and was a part of the Women’s Movement and various Campaigns for People’s Rights in Rajasthan . She also worked with Muskaan, a group in Bhopal working among urban slum communities on issues of education and urban poverty. She has conducted a study, ‘Spaces for Communication: Use of Mobiles in a Women’s College’ as a Sarai Media Fellow in 2006 to explore the notions of spaces among young people. Rama is the Process Facilitator, Commutiny Learning and Leadership Journey at CYC.
Dr. Ramnarayan Syag is currently a member and co founder of Samavesh Society for Development and Governance. He is currently an active member of coordination team of MP Swashasan Abhiyan , a CSO working on strengthening Gram Sabha and Panchayat Raj. Before Samavesh, he was worked for over 20 years with Eklavya Foundation since inception in Hoshangabad Science Teaching Program. All along, he has also been supporting various government and non-government initiatives in the areas of development, governance and education. He has been an active member of the Panchayat training team constituted by SIRD Jabalpur, WALMI Bhopal, Government of Madhya Pradesh (MP) and The Academy of Administration. He was an Anchor at Aagaz Academy, Bhopal nurturing transformative leadership amongst EWR (elected women representatives). He has also supported resource development team of Doosra Dashak, Rajasthan. He conceptualized and developed Chakmak club (an autonomous and inclusive space for children for their self development and reflection) and Kabir Vichar Manch for youth and adults. He is a doctorate in teacher education and was a Teacher Educator in DAV College of Education, Abohar (Punjab).
Ravi Gulati is a co-founder of Manzil – a dynamic community of children and young people from the age of 7 to 30 that he has built and nurtured since 1997, that strives to help them discover their potential for self and for society. Apart from CYC, he is also a board member of Pravah, a Delhi based NGO involved in promoting youth active citizenship, and Jansamarth, an NGO working in remote Himalayan villages primarily on affordable and sustainable energy solutions through village owned and managed micro-hydro power units. Some of his main interests are education, environment and alternative economics. He is an MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad.
Rustam Vania is a creative communications consultant and a faculty member at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. As an editorial and information designer, he is interested in the interface between educational needs and creative design/communication solutions. He has over a decade’s experience in creating popular creative communication strategies for science, environment and development education. He was the founder editor and designer of Gobar Times, a monthly magazine supplement to Down To Earth, the science and environment fortnightly published by the New Delhi based Centre for Science and Environment.
Vartika Jaini is the Executive Director, Collectives for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives and also Development Manager with Sir Ratan Tata Trust. She is a post graduate in rural management from IIRMA, Gujarat. She has been in charge of shaping the youth and civil society as well as the microfinance portfolio of The Sir Ratan Tata Trust over the past 8 years.
Vinod Sreedhar runs Journeys with Meaning, an initiative where he takes groups of young people to different parts of the country, on earth-friendly journeys that allow them to explore, introspect, and deepen their connection with themselves, nature, diverse social issues and communities. He was earlier a co-founder at Phase Five, an organization whose focus was to help create a more sustainable planet by taking the initiative, developing a deeper sense of ownership and by creating more democratic spaces. Vinod is also a media professional and music composer who has been composing music professionally for film and television since 1997.