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Nivedita Banerji
A Masters from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, Nivedita Banerji has lived and worked among the tribal communities of the Narmada valley, Central India, for the last 32 years and led the SPS Women's Empowerment Programme. She has guided the SPS strategy of building powerful local institutions led by women, with the vision that these would emerge as a key building block for effective empowerment of the poor, giving these neglected regions a necessary voice in mainstream development and strengthening Indian democracy at the grass-roots. Within SPS she created Kumbaya, a social enterprise that empowers women and people of disability with the art of stitching. Starting with 12 women, 28 years back, today it is a well- known brand and a Producer Company. Her gift for design and the philosophy behind it is embedded deeply in the work of SPS – in the innovative architecture of the Baba Amte Centre for People’s Empowerment; in the watershed works and the nationally acclaimed SPS Watershed Training Manuals that have been translated into many languages. Nivedita Banerji has been the Secretary from 2008 to 2014. In recognition of her contributions, Nivedita Banerji was invited to be a Member of the Government of India’s Working Group on Minor Irrigation and Watershed Management for the 12th Five Year Plan Nivedita Banerji has authored the West Bengal part in the book Saris of India –Bihar & West Bengal published by Wiley Eastern Ltd., London.  She has co-authored the paper “Government Schedule of Rates: Working Against Rural Labour”, (along with P.S. Vijay Shankar, Rangu Rao and Mihir Shah) published in the Economic and Political Weekly, in April, 2006. She is on the board of Nivasa, an Architectural Not-for-Profit Trust, that works to enable humane and dignified living conditions for the underserved segment in India, through design.