Founder, SOS Children's Villages
Tara Ali Baig was a writer and social reformer. She held many responsibilities during her lifetime including being the first Asian woman President of the International Union for Child Welfare in Geneva; Founder of Indian Council for Child Welfare and President of SOS Children’s Villages of India for 22 years from 1967 to 1989.
Director, Barefoot College
Sanjit 'Bunker' Roy established the Social Work and Research Center, now called the Barefoot College, in Tilonia, Rajasthan, to educate, train, and empower rural communities through traditional wisdom and techniques. Founded in 1972, the college is inspired by the core Gandhian belief that knowledge, skills and wisdom found in villages should be used for its development before getting skills from outside.
Director, Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA)
A former lawyer and social worker, Ela Bhatt launched the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) – a trade union of self-employed women workers in the unorganized sector, in Ahmedabad in 1972. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and with a goal to organise women workers and their families towards economic self-reliance, SEWA now has a membership of over 1.2 million women workers in nine states of India.
Former Professor of Law, University of Delhi
Professor Lotika Sarkar is a widely-known pioneer in the fields of law, women’s studies and human rights. She taught criminal law and conflict of laws at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi and has been an active member of the Indian Law Institute. She was a member of the Government of India‘s Committee on the Status of Women in India and has been a founding member of several institutions—the Indian Association for Women Studies and the Centre for Women‘s Development Studies.
Executive Director, Population Foundation of India
Poonam Muttreja is one of the founders of Dastkar, a society that aims at improving the economic status of craftspeople; and co-founder of Nagrik Ekta Manch, a relief effort that helped Sikhs victimised by the 1984 violence. Prior to joining PFI in 1994, she worked briefly with UNDP in India. Poonam Muttreja is also the Director of MacArthur’s India Office, overseeing their Population & Reproductive Health grants in India.
Director, Child in Need Institute (CINI)
Samir Chaudhuri founded the Child in Need Institute (CINI), a non government organisation in 1974, which targets its services to deprived women and children living in the slums and villages around Kolkata. Samir Chaudhuri qualified as a physician in 1961 from University of Rangoon and subsequently trained as a pediatrician, specialising in child nutrition from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi in 1970.
Former Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research
One of India’s most eminent scientists and internationally renowned pathologist and nutrition scientist, Prof V. Ramalingaswami became the second Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, at a very young age. He later became Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) where he took public health to the community by convincing the government that the problem of goitre could simply be addressed through fortification of common salt with iodine.