Ms. Shabana Azmi is a national award-winning theatre and film personality with over four decades of acting experience.
She is involved in various social movements and campaigns for rights and justice, particularly for women and minorities. Shabana Azmi has been awarded the Gandhi International Peace Prize, 2006 by Gandhi Foundation, London. Shabana Azmi is the first Indian to have received the prestigious International Gandhi Peace prize at the House of Commons in London. She was also awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2012 by the Government of India.
Besides, she has also won the prestigious Padma Shri in 1988, Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence in Secularism in 1994 and several other national and international recognitions for her contributions to the Indian cinema, theatre and to social causes. She was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the President of India in 1997-2003.
Professor Shantha Sinha is a Professor of Political Science in Hyderabad Central University, Andhra Pradesh.
She was the first Chairperson the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) for two consecutive terms. The NCPCR was set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.
Professor Shantha Sinha has been an ardent student of the Indian independence movement and is the founder of the most important movement in India for the universalization of school education.
She is the founder Secretary Trustee of MV Foundation, a registered trust based in Andhra Pradesh.
In recognition of her efforts, she was awarded the Padma Shri in 1998 and the Ramon Magsaysay Award for community leadership in 2003.
Mr. Vijay Shunglu is former Comptroller and Auditor General of India. He has more than three decades of experience as civil servant with special expertise in finance and auditing.
During his service with the Government of India he had held several key portfolios at state such as Principal Secretary- Finance, Commercial Taxes; Secretary Planning; and at the central level such as Jt/Addl Secretary in the Ministries of Commerce, Finance and in the Cabinet Secretariat; Special Secretary Power; Secretary in the Department of Company Affairs, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
He has been the Chairperson of several Committees constituted by the Government of India, such as Empowered Group – Common Wealth Games; High Level Panel Energy Distribution Companies; Sardar Sarovar Relief and Rehabilitation oversight Committee; Advisory Board of the Power Grid Corporation, India and Assets Reconstruction Corporation.
He is also the Chairperson of Delhi Public School Society.
Ms. Kamla Bhasin has been a foremost feminist activist of India for the last four decades.
A social scientist by training, Ms. Bhasin has been actively engaged with issues related to development, education, gender, media and several others since 1970. Currently, she works with Sangat – a South Asian Feminist Network; with JAGORI (of which she is a founder member), Women’s Resource and Training Centre and Jagori Rural Charitable Trust as an active member; and with SAHR (South Asians for Human Rights) as a member. She is also co-chair of the worldwide network, Peace Women across the Globe.
Ms. Bhasin and Sangat coordinated OBR (One Billion Rising) events around South Asia enabling thousands to join the campaign and RISE and DANCE. She has also had an active association with Food and Agriculture Organization, New Delhi and supports campaigns to end poverty and strengthen women at the South Asia-level. She has worked with the rural poor on issues of agriculture, economics and educational activities. She has been a prolific writer too, with many books and articles to her credit. She also likes writing songs for women and children. In addition, she is an acclaimed trainer on gender rights.
Mr. Poguri Chennaiah is an activist who has been engaged with the rural poor, Especially Dalits and agricultural workers, for nearly three decades.
He has been instrumental in taking up the cause of agricultural labourers through various campaigns for land rights. He has also organized a very strong agricultural workers’ union, bringing together many activist groups and giving them the vision and direction to become social movements without affiliation to any particular political party.
He is the National Advisor of National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) and founder member and Secretary of National coordination– Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union (APVVU – A federation of Agricultural workers, Marginal farmers, fisher folk, shepherds, forest workers and rural artisans).
Ms. Rita Sarin, Country Director of The Hunger Project (THP) in India, leads a nation-wide alliance of more than 60 organizations implementing strategies to empower women in local democracy.
She has had long innings while working on issues of women’s rights, gender equality and local self-governance. Prior to joining THP, Ms. Sarin worked for the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) for 15 years where she established and supported a network of 120 NGOs in 18 states.
Ms. Sarin was awarded the World of Difference 100 Award by The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) – an International umbrella organization of women’s networks representing more than 50,000 women worldwide whose mission is to empower women economically. She was also honored as one of the 25 women leaders at the Women of Excellence Awards by FICCI Ladies Organization.
Dr. Syeda Hameed is a former member of the Planning Commission of India. She is also a former Chancellor of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University in Hyderabad.
Dr. Hameed’s career demonstrates a long-standing commitment to sustainable development and the education of women. As a member of the National Commission for Women, Dr. Hameed rendered dedicated service to the cause of addressing women’s issues. She was also a member of the Minority Commission of India. Making it a priority to be at the forefront of development, Dr. Hameed has been a founding member of a great number of rights and education groups including the Muslim Women’s Forum, the Women’s Initiative for Peace in South Asia, South Asians for Human Rights, and the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation.
A respected women’s and Muslim women’s campaigner and scholar, Dr. Hameed was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007 and has nearly three decades of experience in activism and academics.
Professor Jayati Ghosh is one of the world’s leading female economists.
She is Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, and the Executive Secretary of International Development Economics Associates (IDEAS). She is one of the founders of the Economic Research Foundation in New Delhi, a non-profit trust devoted to progressive economic research.She is a regular columnist for several Indian journals and newspapers.
She was the principal author of the West Bengal Human Development Report which has received the UNDP Prize for excellence in analysis. She was conferred International Labour Organization’s Decent Work Research Prize along with Professor Eve Landau in February, 2011. She is closely involved with a range of progressive organizations and social movements.
Ms. Poonam Muttreja is the Executive Director of the Population Foundation of India (PFI).
She has over three decades of experience in the socio-development sector. Before joining PFI, Ms. Muttreja worked with the McArthur Foundation as Country Director where she was responsible for the Foundation’s population and reproductive health grants in India. Earlier in her career, Ms. Muttreja worked with UNDP as Advisor to the Country Representative.
In Cambridge, Massachusetts, she directed an environmental programme concerned with orienting policy-makers on issues of development, environment and poverty. She has taught courses on social action and human development at Hampshire College in Maine and Earlham College in Indiana. As the Founder Director of the Ashoka Foundation, Dastkar and SRUTI (Society for Rural, Urban and Tribal Initiatives), Ms. Muttreja has made an active contribution to the NGO sector in India. She associated with several national and international organizations in the capacity of a member of the governing board and advisory council.
Mr. Shantanu Consul, a 1974-batch Karnataka-cadre IAS officer, started his career as Deputy Commissioner of Bidar in Karnataka in 1982.
In addition to several positions that he held with the Government of India, Mr. Consul also served as Secretary, Border Management under MHA; Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Minerals; Secretary, Department of Drinking Water Supply of the Government of India. While serving as Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pensions, in the year 2010, he was appointed by the Prime Minister’s Office as a member of the VK Shunglu Committee probing alleged financial irregularities in the Delhi Commonwealth Games.
He retired from IAS in October, 2010.
Social anthropologist by training, and a development activist who has lived and worked with indigenous people and dalit communities in India, Mr Sandeep Chachra is currently the Executive Director of ActionAid India. He also acts as Secretary and ex-officio member of the Governing Board but with no voting powers.
Prior to this for the last four years he has been an International lead for ActionAid International’s, just and democratic governance and economic justice theme. He has worked in several capacities in ActionAid International and other development organisations for the last two decades. Among his more recent publication contributions include Whose Freedoms? MDGs as if people matter!. He has written several papers, and developed resource packs for activists, including the most recent paper, India and the National Question. Sandeep is an active part of a collective in developing the Global Economic Literacy and Budget Accountability platform (http://www.elbag.org/) and the South-South Peoples Solidarity Forum (http://www.southsolidarityforum.org/). He has been involved with the work of peasant movements in Asia and Africa and has been a keen supporter of developing social movement platforms. He is also working on developing the South Asia processes for the World Forum of Alternatives.
Sandeep also volunteers time as the National Advisor on Homelessness and Urban Poverty to the Supreme Court Commissioners of India on Right to Food case. A development activist, Sandeep has written several papers and has developed resource-packs for activists. He is also the Managing Editor of Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy (SAGE Publications). The journal seeks to renew debate on the agrarian question and to respond to challenges of the twenty-first century namely food, energy, climate and economic crises.