THE BOARD OF ADVISORS

(In Alphabetical Order)

 

KAMLA BHASIN

A social scientist by training, Kamla Bhasin has worked in the areas of gender, development, peace, identity politics, militarisation, human rights and democracy since the 70s, exploring and articulating connections between these issues and promoting synergies between different movements. 

Currently, Bhasin works with Sangat – A Feminist Network as adviser. She is an active member of the Jagori Women's Resource Centre. She is the South Asia Coordinator of One Billion Rising, a global campaign to end violence against women and girls. She is the Co-Chair of the worldwide network PeaceWomen Across the Globe. She is also a member of the South Asians for Human Rights. Previously, she has worked with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations for 27 years. 

Bhasin's work focuses on capacity building of young activists and networking among civil society organisations in South Asia. 

Bhasin has written extensively on gender, participatory and sustainable development and media. She has created a large body of songs, slogans, posters and banners for various people’s movements, including the famous poem on girls' education, Kyunki Main Ladki Hoon, Mujhe Padhna Hai.

A recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award (South Asian Laadli Media Awards for Gender Sensitivity), Bhasin is committed to the creation of a peaceful, democratic and pluralist South Asia.

 


 
Dr. MALLIKA SARABHAI

Dr. Mallika Sarabhai is one of India’s leading choreographers and dancers for over four decades. In constant demand as a soloist and with her dance company Darpana, she has been creating and performing both classical and contemporary works.

She has produced over 3,000 hours of televised work, addressing issues of environment, women, communal harmony and violence. She has a Ph.D. in Organisational Behaviour and has been the Honorary Director of Darpana Academy of Performing Arts for 40 years.

She first came to international notice when she played the role of Draupadi in Peter Brook’s The Mahabharata, for five years, first in French and then in English, performing in France, North America, Australia, Japan and Scotland. 

Always an activist for societal education and women’s empowerment, Dr. Sarabhai began using her work for social change. In 1989 she created the first of her hard-hitting solo theatrical works, Shakti: The Power of Women. Since then, she has created numerous stage productions, which have highlighted crucial issues and advocated change; several of these productions have toured internationally as well as across India. 

In the mid-90s, Dr. Sarabhai began to develop her own contemporary dance vocabulary and went on to create short and full-length works which have been presented in India and over 50 other countries.

Dr. Sarabhai is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan. 


 

Dr. MEENAKSHI GOPINATH

Dr. Meenakshi Gopinath is the Founder and Director of WISCOMP, an initiative that promotes leadership of South Asian women in the areas of peace, security and regional cooperation. She is also Chair of the Board of Governors, the Centre for Policy Research and Principal Emerita of Lady Shri Ram College, where she served as Principal for 26 years.

Dr. Gopinath was the first woman to serve as a member of the National Security Advisory Board of India. She also headed the Saksham Committee Task Force of the University Grants Commission; the Saksham Report initiated several policy reforms on gender equity in higher education institutes.

She has authored Pakistan in Transition, and co-authored Conflict Resolution – Trends and Prospects and Transcending Conflict.

She has received the Padma Shri, the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award, the Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence in Education, the Mahila Shiromani Award, the Delhi Citizen Forum Award, the Qimpro Platinum Standard Award for Education, and Celebrating Womanhood South Asian Recognition.

Dr. Gopinath is a member of the Nonviolent Peaceforce, and on the council of the University for Peace, the Asian University for Women and the Shri Ram Foundation. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Peace Prints. A Fulbright scholar, she has received the Australian International Education Foundation Fellowship and the UGC Indo-Israel Exchange Fellowship. 


 

PRAHLAD SINGH TIPANYA 

When Prahlad Singh Tipanya first heard a Kabir bhajan, it wasn't the 15th-century saint-poet's words, but it's rendition on a tamboura, a five-string plucked instrument; it captivated him. The year was 1978, and he was a 24-year-old school teacher in a village in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. He has no association with any tradition of music. However, this became a defining moment for the way his life was going to unfold.

Tipanya entered the world of all-night sessions of spiritual singers, who have kept Kabir alive in an unbroken oral tradition for 600 years, as a learner. 25 years later, he had emerged a household name, a powerful vocalist with a signature folk idiom, possessing a magnetic ability to communicate with his audiences.

His concerts, performed across India and the world, are engagements with the spiritual and social thoughts of Kabir; they stress the need to rise above petty divisiveness, empty ritualism and idolatry to adopt love as the ultimate religion.

In 1997, Tipanya set up the Kabir Smarak Seva Shodh Sansthan in his village Luniya Khedi. It organises an annual festival where thousands congregate to listen to Kabir’s words through bhajans and discourses by singers and spiritual leaders. 

Tipanya is a recipient of the Padma Shri.


 

Dr. R. A. MASHELKAR 

Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, National Research Professor, has been Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Chairman of the National Innovation Foundation as well as President of the Indian National Science Academy, the Global Research Alliance and the Institute of Chemical Engineers (UK).

In recognition of his pioneering research contributions in polymer science and engineering, he has been honoured as a Fellow of Royal Society, Foreign Fellow of the US National Academy of Science, Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Engineering, Foreign Associate of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Fellow of the US National Academy of Inventors.

42 universities from around the world have honoured him with honorary doctorates. However, he is probably best known to the common man because of his Intellectual Property Rights crusade against the US patents on turmeric and Basmati rice.

The sixty-plus awards won by him include the prestigious TWAS-Lenovo Science Prize, Business Week (USA) Stars of Asia Award and the JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award.

Dr. Mashelkar, who was a member of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister for over thirty years, has been honoured with the Padma Shri, the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan, three of India's highest civilian honours.

 


 
SAROSH J. GHANDY

Sarosh Ghandy, a metallurgical engineering graduate from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, joined the Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company or TELCO (now Tata Motors) as an assistant metallurgist in the late 1950s. Over a period of 14 years, he rose to become the General Manager of the Jamshedpur Works of TELCO. He joined the TELCO Board of Directors in 1973.

Ghandy was an Executive Director of TELCO between 1973 and 1999. He resigned to take up the Managing Directorship of a TELCO subsidiary, TELCON. He retired in December 2002.

Ghandy has been the Chairman of prominent social organisations, such as the Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), the Eastern Region Committee of the AICTE, Gram Vikas Kendra, Parivar Kalyan Sansthan, and the Nav Jagrat Manav Samaj, which works for leprosy eradication and rehabilitation. 

He occupied the JRD Tata Chair for Business Ethics at the XLRI and was Chairman of the Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship between 2000 and 2010.

At present, Ghandy is the Chairman of Initiatives of Change for Business and is on the Board of Directors of Kirloskar Electric, Nettur Technical Training Foundation, NTTF-Edutech, Janaadhar India and Parinaam Foundation, to name a few.


 

Dr. SYEDA SAIYIDAIN HAMEED

Dr. Syeda Saiyidain Hameed is a former Member of the Planning Commission and a former Member of the National Commission for Women. A feminist and a writer, she is widely recognised for her passionate engagement in public affairs and social issues, especially for women, minorities and peace. She is the Founder Member of the Muslim Women’s Forum and Women's Initiative for Peace in South Asia.

In 2000, Dr. Hameed toured across India listening to voices of Muslim women via public hearings. This led to her landmark report, Voice of the Voiceless: Status of Muslim Women in India. Its recommendations were presented to the government, religious bodies and civil society for policy formulation. Yet another series of meetings and public hearings led to her report, My Voice Shall be Heard. It is believed to have inspired the constitution of the famous Justice Sachar Committee that studied the social, economic and educational status of Muslims in India.

In 2018, she organised a colloquium titled Pathbreakers: The Twentieth Century Muslim Women of India; this created awareness about those who, during and after the independence movement, were at the forefront of nation-building but remained unsung.  

Dr. Hameed is a recipient of the Padma Shri, the Al-Ameen All India Community Leadership Award, Bi Amma Award, and the Delhi Women of the Decade Achievers Award.


 
UMENDRA DUTT

Umendra Dutt is the Founder and Executive Director of Kheti Virasat Mission (KVM), a social movement for sustainable farming, food safety and seed sovereignty in Punjab; he began to build the movement from ground- up, way back in 1996.

Associated with non-profits, action groups and patent law crusades, Dutt created enduring synergies between KVM and farmers’ associations, medical fraternities, environmental scientists, youth groups and activists; in the last decade, this has enabled the creation of real alternatives for farmers in the spaces of ecological agriculture and water conservation.

Dutt has been a member of the National Task Force on Organic Farming and the National Standing Committee on Human Resource and Communication. Currently, he is an Executive Council Member at the National Institute of Plant Health Management, a member of the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education and the Founder-Member of the Ekatam Manav Pratishthan.

He is the recipient of the Jal Prahari Award (Government of India), the Punjab Environment Activist Award, the ZEE Agri Award, Tarantaran: Pride of Punjab Award and the Rajpal Sidhu Award for Environmental Activism (Canada).

Dutt is the Editor of Balihari Kudrat, a Punjabi-Hindi bi-monthly magazine on environmental concerns. He is an expert columnist with reputed newspapers. He is also an award-winning writer of short stories and plays.


 

 

 

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