We are committed to contribute in unique ways to support our mission of reaching the poorest and tackling poverty
Who we are
“Self-reliance for rural community is our goal. And while doing so, we should always be compassionate and sensitive to the conditions in which they live.”
SRIJAN was founded in 1997 by Ved Arya to make a difference in the lives of the rural poor through direct action. An opportunity to meet and observe the Gandhian way of life of Baba Amte and his wife Sadhna Amte, convinced Ved that educated professionals are needed to uplift rural communities with self-sustaining livelihood opportunities.
An alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Ahmedabad, Ved left a career in the technology sector in pursuit of a mission to bring relief and self-reliance to the underprivileged. SRIJAN started out with small projects in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan with support from donors such as Tata Trusts and The World Bank. Today SRIJAN is making a difference to the lives of over 1,25,679 rural families from 1,537 villages spread out in 6 Indian states with active collaboration from Government agencies, private and institutional donors.
In 2016 he founded the Buddha Fellowship Program – a unique platform offering a complete eco-system for young emerging leaders from India’s premier educational institutions such as IITs and IIMs, an opportunity to build development enterprises
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 PlanNivedita 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.
Mukteshwari Bosco (Mukti), founded Healing Fields Foundation in the year 2000 and has utilized her deep understanding of rural communities and their needs to pioneer a series of community-driven innovations in health and women’s empowerment. Mukti's twenty-year journey developing community health and empowerment began with one of the first few micro-insurance programs in India for which she was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007, and has expanded to include education, health services and livelihood development. Today, Mukti leads a preventative health education program that reaches over 6 million families in India in about 5000 villages.She is a graduate of Christian Medical College, Vellore, and later did her Masters from the Administrative Staff College of India with Johns Hopkins University. She has been awarded the Women Social Entrepreneur by MSDS Foundation and was the finalist of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year awarded by the World Economic Forum and Jubilant Bharatiya Foundation in 2019. In 2022, The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington felicitated Mukti with the Roux Prize – the world's largest award for evidence-based public health achievement, awarded annually to an individual who has used health evidence in “bold ways to make people healthier” – and to highlight how visionaries use data to change lives.Healing Fields was also honored to be chosen as one of the Top 50 last-mile responders in India by the World Economic Forum, in recognition of their work during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Former Chief Executive Officer, Axis Bank Foundation
C. Babu Joseph was the Chief Executive Officer of Axis Bank Foundation from 2010 to 2015. He joined the Bank in 1995 and served at different branch positions before moving to the corporate headquarters in Mumbai in 2005 to head the Advances Department. Prior to joining Axis Bank, C. Babu Joseph worked at the State Bank of Travancore (now a part of State Bank of India).
Narendranath is an Integrator PRADAN. He joined PRADAN thirty-three years back and have contributed
significantly to evolving ideas and programmes around rural livelihoods and women’s empowerment.
The work done by Naren and colleagues in the late-80s paved way for the emergence of the Self-Help-
Group movement in Eastern India. As a field professional in PRADAN in Jharkhand and Rajasthan, Naren
organised rural women in SHGs and implemented livelihood programmes. Later he was involved in a
number of national and international research and documentation efforts to build knowledge from
practice. Naren set up the National Resource Centre for Livelihoods in PRADAN for influencing and
informing the design and implementation of the flagship development initiatives of the Government
such as the NRLM and MGNREGA, and facilitated policy dialoguing. He functions as Board member in a
few civil society organisations and also takes keen interest in fostering NGO networks. He lives in Delhi
with his wife and daughter.
Rohini has a Ph.D. in Economics from Boston University. She has held faculty positions at Emory University, the University of Michigan and the Indian Statistical Institute before joining the Delhi School of Economics in 2005. The focus of her research is on how social and political institutions interact to shape patterns of economic and social inequality in modern democracies. She has also worked on a variety of public policy issues in India. These include studies on the effects of economic liberalisation on productivity and wage inequality, access to microfinance and the impact of school nutrition programs on child outcomes and environmental regulation.
Former Senior Partner and Member, PwC India Leadership Team
Rohit Bhasin is a Chartered Accountant with over 38 years of experience in leading organisations such as Standard Chartered Bank, AIG Inc, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). In addition to general management expertise, he has a strong functional experience in the Finance area including Business Strategy, Investment Advisory, Business Planning & Restructuring and Corporate Finance, across sectors.
Rohit is currently a member of the Governing Council (Board) of Save the Children, India, a non-profit organisation that has been serving disadvantaged children since the 1920s. He is also associated with other non-governmental organisations such as the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), the Azad Foundation, and Mobile Creches.
Rohit is also certified as a coach by two international organisations and is a mentor/coach to several industry leaders.
Prasanna worked as a consultant on Aquaculture, Positive Water Balance, Soil and Water Conservation, land restoration, and Integrated Natural Resource Management before joining SRIJAN in 2012. He has 34 years of expertise in designing large-scale development projects and has rich experience in implementing rural development on farm rural livelihoods-related projects.
He started his career as Assistant Engineer with an erstwhile MP Fisheries Development Corporation. He spent almost two decades with the Government of Madhya Pradesh, overseeing and implementing various projects in livelihoods promotion, poverty alleviation, fisheries, and aquaculture initiatives in tribal areas of Chhattisgarh. He held many positions, including Project In charge of one of the sub-projects of Bhoj WetLand Project Bhopal, Technical Officer of State Land Use Board, and State Monitoring and Learning Coordinator in the World Bank-funded MP - DPIP.
He has also worked as an Investment Advisor and co-authored books on the Indian Equity Market's technical aspects.
Prasanna was engaged in consulting roles with projects supported by the Department of International Development, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), OECF (Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund, Japan), and India's MGNREGA initiatives. Over the years, he has gathered deep expertise in Policy Advocacy, Rural Livelihoods Management, Environment, Climate Change, Positive Water Balance, and Regenerative Agriculture.
Prasanna's beliefs are rooted in the holistic development of rural communities by bringing together the power of communities, technology, and innovations to ensure sustainable livelihood opportunities for the underprivileged. He is an avid reader and photographer and has a deep interest in Indian Native Trees and Environmental Issues.
Prasanna has a graduate degree in Agriculture Engineering from College of Agriculture Engineering, JNKVV, (Jabalpur) and did his Masters in Aquaculture Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, (IIT), Kharagpur
Namita Pandey is with SRIJAN for the past 15 years. She has gained deep expertise working with underprivileged women and in mobilizing rural communities. Before moving to SRIJAN’s headquarters in Delhi, Namita worked in the remote parts of Rajasthan’s Tonk district, where she promoted Federations led by women and helped women from scheduled tribes and scheduled castes form sustainable collectives.
In her current role, Namita manages the human resources for SRIJAN, leading the recruitment process, skills and capacity building.
Namita has a B.Tech in Civil Engineering from Gobind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, India.
Stuti is an old-timer with SRIJAN, having been an integral part of the team since 2006. Stuti played a key role in SRIJAN’s locations at Ichhawar & Jaisinagar, Madhya Pradesh, where she was engaged in the grassroots implementation of irrigation and horticulture projects and, ensuring participation of women in the local governance system.
In her current role, Stuti manages the operations of SRIJAN’s locations at Angul, Odisha and Jatara, Madhya Pradesh. She contributes to knowledge management and the strategic directions for SRIJAN and is also a member of the fund raising committee.
Stuti holds the cause of gender equality, women empowerment and the skills and capacity building of rural women within gram panchayats very close to her heart.
Stuti has a graduate degree in Agriculture from Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) and acquired her Masters in Gender and Development (GAD) from Institute of Development Studies from the University of Sussex. She is a recipient of Chevening Fellowship (2016).
A development professional with 15 years’ experience in the sector, Purushottam specializes in Sustainable Agriculture and Horticulture development, Natural Resource Management, Livelihood Engagement and Community Wellbeing.
As Program Manager for Madhya Pradesh, Purushottam leads SRIJAN’s initiatives in horticulture projects covering 3000 orchard farmers, helping them succeed in developing sustainable Nano orchards in rain fed remote areas. Purushottam was also engaged with Reliance Foundation as Team Leader for Netrang (Gujrat) and Sendhwa (Madhya Pradesh) clusters.
Purushottam has a Masters in Agriculture with specialization in Agronomy from Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Jabalpur.
Rupendra comes with close to 14 years’ experience in the Development Sector. His core competency lies is project management, process design and program assessment. He has extensive experience working on projects in Agriculture, Horticulture and Natural Resource Management (NRM) while working with organizations including SRIJAN and Reliance Foundation.
Rupendra’s current responsibility in SRIJAN involves extending complete operational support for various projects in Rajasthan. As Programme Manager, he is in-charge of donor relations and reporting, team structure and resource deployment for projects.
Rupendra has a Masters in Agriculture from Rajasthan Agriculture University.
Zahid has been with SRIJAN since 2012. As Team Leader of SRIJAN’s location at Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh, he successfully led community based projects in Horticulture, Agriculture and Value Chains for Non Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) in Chhindwara.
In his current capacity he leads the Value Chain initiatives for Non Timber Forest Produce for all locations of SRIJAN, countrywide. He is responsible for steering the direction, strategy and expansion of NTFP production, and its market linkage for building sustainable livelihoods for the rural and tribal communities in India.
Zahid is passionate about studying community dynamics, culture and practices and, in working towards inclusive development of the rural poor in India.
Zahid has a Masters in Social Work from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, coupled with a Graduate Degree in Business Studies from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He also has a Diploma in Development Leadership from The Coady International Institute, Canada.
Ansuman Tripathy is the Finance Manager of SRIJAN. In the current capacity, he leads the Finance function of SRIJAN across all locations.He comes with 21 years of experience in corporate and development sector specialising in the areas of Strategy implementation, Financial Management, Grants & Contracts Management, Compliances under FCRA & Taxation, Capacity Building, Procurement and Administration.He has worked with development organisations of repute like Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives, Population Services International, IPE Global Limited, Public Health Foundation of India having handled large scale projects in Eastern states of India and Delhi.He holds a Master’s in business administrations with specialisation In Finance from Fakir Mohan University, Odisha and CA Final from ICAI, New Delhi