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Our trustees make decisions, and help ensure everything runs smoothly.

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Abha Bhaiya

Abha Bhaiya is the executive director of Jagori Rural Charitable Trust. She is one the founders of two feminist organizations in Delhi and Himachal Pradesh of India and a senior advisor to a community-based girls’ and women’s rights and entitlement program spread over 150 villages, which focuses also on female farmers and organic agriculture.  She is a well-known feminist activist in the country and in the Southern Asian region where she has been active for more than four decades. She is involved in some of the international boards of networks and foundations and she has created a special niche in the field of feminist training methodologies, research, and institution building. Abha has worked on several issues including women’s health, multiple sexualities, violence against girls and women, gender fundamentalism and militarization, gender and conflict studies, organic agriculture, governance, and many others.

Her major contribution has been in the field of feminist training methodologies, with extensive experience in conducting feminist trainings for multiple constituencies and in many different countries.

She is a member of some significant regional and transnational platforms and organization. For the last 3 years, she has been the OBR national coordinator in India.

Presently she lives and works in the same location and in addition to everything else, does organic agriculture on the Jagori Rural’s demonstration farm.


Abhimanyu Singh

Mr. Abhimanyu Singh had his schooling at the Mayo College, Ajmer from 1958-68.

He graduated with Honors in History from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi in 1971 and attained the first rank in Master’s in History from Delhi University in 1973.

Mr Singh joined the premier Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1974 and was assigned to the State of Rajasthan.

He spent a year as a Hubert H. Humphrey fellow under the Fulbright program at Pittsburgh University, USA for mid-career professional development (1986-87).

On deputation to the Government of India, Mr. Singh worked for a decade at the Ministry of Human Resource Development in the Department of Education first as Director of Higher Education (1987-92) and then as Joint Secretary, Elementary Education (1995-2000). He represented India on the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) Vancouver, for three years.

Mr Singh returned to Rajasthan from 1992-95 to serve as Education Secretary when he lead and coordinated mass literacy campaigns and community based rural education projects (Shiksha Karmi & Lok Jumbish) resulting in significant improvement in adult literacy and primary education in the state.

In recognition of his contributions to education in India, he was invited to chair the Global Drafting Committee at the World Education Forum at Dakar in 2000.

He joined UNESCO in April 2001 and was responsible for leading and coordinating the Education for All (EFA) movement on behalf of the international development partners for over five years.

Mr Singh was assigned as Director of UNESCO’s office in Nigeria in 2006 and as Director of the UNESCO office in Beijing in 2008 where he is the first Indian to have held the position of a Head of a UN agency. His responsibilities extended to five countries – China, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia and North Korea.

On completion of his service with UNESCO in December 2014, Mr. Singh returned to India and was invited by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to be Team Leader of four Joint review missions to review the flagship programmes on Education for All (Serva Shiksha Abhiyan) and Mid-Day Meals in schools.

He was awarded to research fellowship at the University of Tokyo by the Japan Foundation to study Education 2030 for the New Delhi office.

In May 2016 he was invited to Chair the Foundation for Education and Development, Jaipur  


Sarika Sinha

Education Qualification

  • MSc in gender, Development and Globalization from London School of Education of Economics

  • Post Graduate Diploma in Forestry Management 1999-2001 Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal

International Courses

SANGAT: South Asian network of Gender Activists and Trainers-  Course on feminist, Human Rights and Globalization in Nepal in 2007

International Visitor Leadership Programme by the Government of US in March 2012

Selected for International Course on Sexuality by CREA in Turkey in July 2012

Chevening Scholar from India in 2018

CO-Curricular Achievements

Awards and Achievements

  • Felicitated and Featured on Satyamev Jayte. Featured and felicitates in WE the People in April 2019.

  • Among top three in India in the board exams (CBSE).

  • GOI/NCERT/state level scholarship holder.

  • MoEF scholarship holder at PG level.

  • Chevening scholar at Masters Level.

International Network 

  • Trainer of SANGAT and a member of the feminist alliance across South Asia

  • Member of the One Billion Rising International Secretariat

  • Core member of progressive International, a movement of the progressive groups across the globe

  • Steering committee member of Women’s Regional network, a coalition of women’s movements across Asian countries

  • Member of the International Thematic Women’s Rights Group in ActionAid International


Co-author and editor of the book ‘Rationalization of Health Sector in Chhattisgarh’, published by the State Health Resource Centre, Chhatisgarh.

Co-author of ‘Hashiye ki Awaaz’ (in four volumes) published by Jan Pahel.

Author of ‘Dwindling in the Drought’ which traces the utilization of special package meant for migrant populace across Bundelkhand.

Editor of ‘Towards a Central Act- Witchbranding’ witch traces and reports the inhuman practice of witchbranding across the state.

Author of the ‘Status of the Implementation of the Anti- domestic Violence Act’ in MP

Work experience

Worked with ActionAid International India, (Madhya Pradesh), in the capacity of a programme officer from May 2004-October 2007.

Worked as the Programme Manager of ActionAid International India, MP regional office from October 2007 to Feb. 2008.

Worked as the Regional Manager of ActionAid International India from feb. 2008 to June 2018; a unique partnership of excluded people from across 44 countries over the world.

Working as National Director, Policy, Campaigns and Communications in AcyionAid Association from Dec. 2019 to present, part of the global federation of most excluded people across 44 countries.


Poonam Kathuria

With over 17 years of experience in a leadership role working for gender equality, women’s empowerment and leadership, my skills range from project design and management to situation analysis, action research and capacity development. At the age of 32 I initiated Society for Women’s Action and Training Initiatives 1-SWATI, an organization that works at the state and the national levels on issues related to violence against women, adolescent and women’s health, right to information and governance ( A holistic and cross-sector approach to responding to the complex nature of development challenges has been central in my work.

I am the founder and director of SWATI (Society for Women’s Action and Training Initiatives), a feminist advocacy, education and research organization in Gujarat. My most recent publications are a study of women’s shelters in Gujarat titled, ‘From Being Shelters to Becoming Homes’- Situation Analysis and Recommendations based on a study of Shelter Homes in Gujarat. I am also the editor of a forthcoming co-edited collection: From a Feminist Lens - Women’s Voices, Modes of Campaigning and Non-Violent Ways of Resistance (tentative title) to be published by Zubaan books. I was the Dame Nita Barrow Distinguished Visitor for 2014 at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto Education Fellowship in Social Work management with specialization in Development Thought and Practice, Behavioral Science Centre, St. Xavier’s College, Gujarat, India (1985)

  • MA in Economics, Gujarat University, India (1983)

  • BA in Economics and Political Science Gujarat University, India (1981) Publications and Research Presentations

  • Role of Gram Panchayats in addressing Intimate partner violence-A three state exploratory study, 2018

  • Co-editor, chapter writer in “From a Feminist Lens - Women’s Voices, Mode of Campaigning and Non-violent Ways of Resistance”5, ‘by Zubaan: by the end of 2018

  • What ails shelter homes – a study of conditions in shelter homes in the state of Gujarat, 2013

  • Development of pre-course assignment for the South Asian Network on addressing masculinities, Fellowship 2012

  • Changing Face of Dowry Violence in India: Expert witness and paper presentation.

Daughters of Fire Speaking pain, Seeking Justice; Sustaining resistance. India court of Women on Dowry and Related forms of Violence against Women, 2011

  • Engendering Governance: Role of Gram Panchayats in preventing Violence against Women, SWATI publication, 2010

  • Towards Violence Free Homes - Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act, 2005 - a handbook, SWATI publication, 2007

  • Documentation of best practices in gender mainstreaming, a Women Power Connect and UNDP project, August - October 2007

  • Quality of Care and Health Expenditure by rural communities, a study to understand the impact of privatization and decreased government spending in the public health sector, 2005.

  • Understanding Male Perception of Violence against Women, paper presented at Wellesley Centers for Women International Research & Action Conference, Innovations in Understanding Violence Against Women, Boston, USA, 2004

  • Are we pursuing A Mirage - Eliciting Male involvement on Violence Against Women, Medico Friend Circle bulletin, September – October 2004

  • Women’s Nyaya Samitis: A Gender Just Response to Violence against Women, Seminar Magazine, annual issue, December 2003

  • Violence Against Women - a five district study to find the prevalence and forms of Violence Against Women and Male Perception of Violence Against Women, 2003

  • A Study on women’s reproductive health situation, in three blocks of Surendranagar district, Gujarat, 1995

  • Women And Environment - A struggle for Survival - a case study of Kachchh, paper presented at Institute For Rural Management, 1992

  • A Study of the Hingolgadh Nature Education park : Buffer Zone Restoration in India – Issue and Approaches, a report prepared by Viksat and Centre for Environment Education for US-AID, 1991.

Professional Experience

Founder and Director, Society for Women’s Action and Training Initiative - SWATI, Gujarat, 1994 – present

Training Coordinator, Janvikas, Ahmadabad, 1990 - 1993

I was part of the training support team at Janvikas. The idea of setting up SWATI was incubated at Janvikas and was brought to fruition in 1994.

Program officer, Rural Programs, Centre for Environment Education, Ahmadabad, 1987 - 1990

Select Projects

  • Coordinated a field based eco-development programme in villages around the Hingolgadh Nature Education Park (sanctuary) in Rajkot District, Gujarat. Program associate, Waste Land Development Program, Vikram Sarabhai Centre for Development Interaction - VIKSAT, Ahmadabad, 1985 – 1987

Select Projects

  • As part of the appropriate technology program, implemented a smoke free, energy efficient cook stove program in six villages of Mehsana district. Trained women masons in construction of the cook stoves

  • Developed educational - motivation, technical – material (print and video) on energy efficient cook stoves.

  • Coordinated a research and filmmaking project on the energy saving technologies of Bio-gas, solar (technologies) and Bio-mass (based technologies)(don’t need these words). Four films and five research documents were developed for Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA).

Capacity Building, Planning and Assessment

  • Facilitator for first phase fellowship of South Asian Network on addressing Masculinities - SANAM, Kathmandu, Nepal, December 2012

  • Strengthening Individuals, Communities and systems to Challenge Gender Discrimination and violence Against Women - Assessment of Vishakha Rajasthan for Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, September 2009

  • From Development to Empowerment - Building a Rights perspective to women’s development programs. Workshop with Mahila Samata Society (Education for Women’s Equality program), Assam, India, January, 2008

  • Gender Based Analysis and capacity building for Gender Planning, a workshop with senior functionaries of Mahila Samata Society, Assam, India, February 2008

  • Formulation of core elements of a national gender strategy for Aga Khan Foundation - Afghanistan, review of Programs from a gender perspective, capacity building on gender across programs, October –December 2006

  • Enhancing Marginalized Young People’s Rights in Urban Areas- Program assessment for SAHAJ- Shishu Milap, 2005 and 2007

  • Impact Assessment of project ‘Safe Motherhood through Empowerment and Collective Action’, a MacArthur Fellowship project carried out with Ibtada, in Alwar district, Rajasthan, India, 2004

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Ram Swaroop

Education - Bsc, Diploma in Parmacy


  • Unopposed President of College student union for two terms.

  • Played Basketball at Inter-University & State level.

  • Active Theater activist.

  • Founder President of Indo-Tibetan Friendship Association.

  • Currently Advisor of Indo-Tibetan Friendship Association.

  • Trustee of Yongling K.G. School Mcleodgunj.

  • Trustee of Kunphen Recovery Centre Khaniara.

  • Chief Advisor of Hotel Association Dharamshala.

  • Partner in Apex Multi Specialty Hospital Mcleodgunj near Bus Stop Dharamshala.

  • Associated with Educational, medical & Charitable Organisation.

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