ARJUN SHEKHAR
Arjun Shekhar holds a Masters in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and a Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations from XLRI Jamshedpur. He founded a consulting firm called Vyaktitva in New Delhi in 1997 that unfolds the true elements of people and organisations. Over the years, Shekhar has designed and led assignments with VSO, Oxfam, GE International Services, Hughes Software, Airtel, and many other organisations in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. Earlier, while at NIIT, he developed an automated learning package with leading quality thinker, Philip Crosby, and earned the NIIT Award for Creative Excellence for instructional methodologies.
Shekhar is also a co-founder of Pravah, a non-profit organisation based in Delhi that works towards sensitising and building youth leaders. He has been involved in the design of psycho-social curricula, 5th spaces, and learning journeys for diverse youth audiences. He is also co-founder and board member of ComMutiny – The Youth Collective that promotes the concept of 5th spaces by running advocacy campaigns and creating learning resources (films, books, apps, music albums etc). He co-authored an internationally acclaimed book on the concept of 5th spaces called Ocean in a Drop – Inside-out Youth Leadership published by Sage in 2013. Post that he has co-authored another book ‘ComMutiny – Sparkling Indside out Youth Leadership Revolution’ published by Konark in 2019. He has also written two English novels that have been well received by critics and audiences in India.
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ASHRAF PATEL
Ashraf is the Co-founder of ComMutiny and the fundraising champion. She is passionate about promoting youth development through the co-creation of 5th Spaces across the country in partnership with youth engaging oganisations. She is also a human development professional by heart and is interested broadly in the field of lifelong learning and the issue of social inclusion. Her key attention currently is on advocating for great investment in youth work from all stakeholders and strengthening partnership and nurturing national international and regional youth collectivesA post graduate in Human Resources from XLRI, she is a co-founder of Pravah. She was the first CEO of Pravah and shaped the early years of the organization for nine years. She is an Ashoka Fellow and was also one of the finalists in Jubilant Schwab Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2016. She was awarded distinguished Alumni in 2015 by her Alma mater XLRI. Ashraf is currently representing ComMutiny- The Youth Collective on the steering committee of the Commonwealth Youth Workers Association (CAYWA). She is part of the steering groups of campaigns and organizations including Pravah and Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA).

She has co-authored a powerful book published by Sage in 2013, Ocean in a Drop – Inside Out Youth Leadership along with Kamini Prakash, Meenu Venkateswaran and Arjun Shekhar. And Played a key role in the production of Co-creating youth Spaces: A practice-based guide for youth facilitators 2014 in partnership with ComMutiny and Pravah and NYKS. Ashraf has effectively placed the youth agenda in drafting policies as a member of working groups on adolescents and youth set up by the Ministry of Youth and HRD for the XIth and XIIth Plan in 2008 and 2011 respectively. She has been part of policy making as well the design and development of a number of creative curriculum in the adolescent and youth development filed. At ComMutiny, in her role as convener she is currently focusing on developing second line leadership and building systems and processes and nurturing new partnership. At work, she motivates herself and the teams as well as the member organizations and partners of ComMutiny to achieve their best potential by enthusing them with energy through meaningful conversations and direct engagement on the go. She also dedicates part of her time in supporting the Pravah partnership portfolio.

One of her favourite quotes is “let’s go home” and for her home can be anywhere. Where there is learning and growth, ownership, love, freedom and social hope.

She can be reached at ashraf@commutiny.in

DURBA GHOSE

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
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.

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MEENU VENKATESWARAN

Meenu is an alumnus of Delhi School of Economics and IIM Bangalore and has over 30 years of experience with leading organizations in the corporate and social sectors including Pravah, CRY (Child Rights and You), SRF Finance and MARG Marketing and Research Group. She is also co-founder of Pravah and ComMutiny.  As CEO of Pravah from 2005 – 2010, she led the strategy development process for the organization and its various programs, managed and nurtured a team of competent professionals, and provided oversight to all of Pravah’s programmes. She has been actively engaged with the design and implementation of innovative programs and curricula for organizations, adolescents, youth, teachers and youth facilitators. She currently works part time at Pravah. 

She is on the board of several non-profits, and has undertaken consulting assignments with national and international organisations including Ashoka Innovators for the Public, Action Aid India, Change Alliance, CRY (Child Rights and You), Credibility Alliance, CII, Fresh Water Action Network, South Asia, Global Health Strategies Institute, IPPF, Plan International, and Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

RAMNARAYAN SYAG

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
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

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

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.