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 86,545 rural families from 1,335 villages spread out in 7 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
Sushil Ramola is a social entrepreneur and a civil society volunteer. He is a founding member and current President of Integrated Mountain Initiative (www.inmi.in), a citizens’ platform for bringing all stakeholders together around issues of sustainability and collaborative action in the Indian Himalayan region.
Sushil hails from Uttarakhand and, completed his schooling from Shimla. After a long stint of intrapreneurship, leading businesses and board membership in the corporate sector in India and overseas, he founded a community led rural tourism initiative DueNorth (www.duenorth.in) in his native village Saur in 2008. Around this time, he also founded and ran a social enterprise B-ABLE (www.b-able.in), which provides skills and meaningful livelihood opportunities to a large number of less educated and disadvantaged youth in 28 states of India.
Sushil is engaged with many well-known civil society organizations as mentor and serves as member on several boards. He is a chemical engineer and an alumnus from IIM Ahmedabad.
Rekha Masilamani is a well known reproductive rights activist, a public health expert and independent Development Consultant.
She is currently Secretarty with Agragami, a development organization seeking to change the lives of the most vulnerable families, with improved nutrition, sanitation, health and eductation. Her previous engagements include working as Country Representative for Pathfinder International, an international nonprofit dedicated to bring access to sexual and reproductive health to vulnerable communities.
Priyanka Singh has over 20 years of development experience working with communities in diverse parts of the country. She currently serves as the Head of Interglobe Foundation, the CSR initiative of a large Indian conglomerate, with businesses in hospitality and travel sector.
Her experience includes working as Chief Executive for Seva Mandir. A 50 year old grassroots NGO based in Rajasthan. During her years at Seva Mandir, she added to the program quality, program portfolio, and geographical outreach of the program. She also led many strategic research partnerships with reputed Academic Institutions in India and abroad and forged successful CSR Partnerships.
Priyanka has served on boards of several non profits and her alma mater- Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA).
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.
Ajay Mehta joined Indian Railways in 1980 after working briefly for the government instituted Commission for Controls and Subsidies. He was Chief Executive of Seva Mandir from 1990 to 1999. Thereafter he served as the General Secretary of the Association of Voluntary Organization for Rural Development (AVARD) for two years.
His other engagements include a 10 year stint with The National Foundation for India (NFI) as the executive director starting in 2001 and a stint with State Planning Board of Rajasthan.
He is currently a trustee of Seva Mandir and the president of Board of Control of Vidya Bhawan Society.
Former Senior Partner and Member, PwC India Leadership Team
Rohit Bhasin is a Chartered Accountant with over 35 years 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 serving as a Board member/Trustee, including some well known not for profit organisations such as Welham Girls School, Azad Foundation, Mobile Creches and the PwC India Foundation.
Rohit is also certified as a coach by two international organisations and is a mentor/coach to several industry leaders.
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).
Prasanna was working as consultant on Aquaculture, positive water balance and Integrated Natural Resource Management prior to his joining SRIJAN in 2012 as Programme Leader. He has 32 years’ expertise in designing large scale development projects and has rich experience in implementation of rural development related projects.
He started his career as Assistant Engineer with 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 and, 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 technical aspects of Indian Equity Market.
Prasanna was engaged in consulting roles with projects supported by the Department of International Development, Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), OECF (Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund, Japan) and Government of India’s MGNREGA initiatives. Over the years, he has gathered deep expertise in Policy Advocacy, Rural Livelihoods Management, Environment and 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 livelihoods opportunities for the underprivileged. He is an avid reader, photographer and has deep interest in Indian native trees and environmental related issues.
Prasanna has a graduate degree in Agriculture Engineering from College of Agriculture Engineering,from Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya (JNKVV), Jabalpur followed by a post graduate degree in Aquaculture Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
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).
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.
Bharat has been in the developmental sector for over 10 years and plays the lead role in strengthening the operations and impact of SHG-Federations promoted by SRIJAN. He also contributes to SRIJAN’s efforts towards sustainable livelihoods and empowerment of rural women.
Bharat is passionate about bridging the gap in direct access to markets for farmers and eliminating the exploitation of poor rural communities by middlemen.
Bharat has a graduate degree in Agriculture from GB Pant Institute, India. After which he attended Texas A&M University and Purdue University to study molecular biology of plants.
Sadique has over 14 years’ experience in the development sector, with expertise in Project Management, Monitoring, Evaluation and Impact Assessment. He has offered extensive consulting and advisory services to implement end-to-end livelihoods and value chain projects.
Sadique started his journey in the social sector as a subject matter specialist at Action for Social Advancement. He has since worked with various organizations including SRIJAN, NABARD Consultancy Services (NABCONS), International Wheat & Maize Improvement Centre (CIMMYT- India) and Ernst & Young (Social Sector vertical).
At SRIJAN, Sadique leads the Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (M&E) function for various development projects. He is also a member of the Fund Raising Committee.
Sadique has a post graduate diploma in rural development from Xavier Institute of Social Service, Ranchi, followed by an M.S in Agricultural Economics from the Oklahoma State University. Sadique is a recipient of the Ford Foundation Fellowship (Cohort 2008-2010).
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.
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.
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.
Biswanath has over 25 years’ experience in accounting, finance and audit for various Government, Non-Profit and Micro Finance Institutions. He has deep expertise in framing policies and guidelines on internal control and finance & accounting.
Before joining SRIJAN, Biswanath has worked with the Royal Government of Bhutan, V. Nagarajan & Co., Deepalaya, and Nimbus Consulting, apart from providing audit services to institutions such as PRADAN, Shramik Bharti, Human Development Foundation of Sikkim, Bhartiya Samruddhi Finance Ltd., and Bank of India.
At SRIJAN, Biswanath heads Finance and Accounts functions and leads a team of 20+ staff. He is responsible for all accounting, internal audits, trainings and statutory compliance issues and liaisons with all Indian and International donors.
Biswanath has a Bachelor’s degree in commerce from Calcutta University.
Recently, an organization called ‘Srijan Mahila Sahyog Samiti’/ ‘Srijan Vikas Sahkari Sahyog Samiti’/ ‘Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Limited’’., Bhagalpur, Bihar, has been in the news for an alleged scam.
For those who are wondering whether there is any connection between that organization and our Self-Reliant Initiatives through Joint Action (referred to as SRIJAN), we clarify that SRIJAN is in no way connected to or associated with Srijan Mahila Sahyog Samiti’/ ‘Srijan Vikas Sahkari Sahyog Samiti’/ ‘Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Limited’’., Bhagalpur, Bihar”