Dilip D'Souza was educated in Pilani, Providence, Delhi, Rishi Valley, Bombay, Cambridge, Austin and several places in between. He was once a computer scientist, but now he writes for a living. People think of that as a major switch, but to Dilip, it seemed almost natural. Computer science stresses clear thinking, reason, logic and getting to the heart of matters. He likes to think those things shape his writing.
Dilip writes about themes like development, nationalism, science, poverty, as well as travel. His writing is fueled by travel, for he believes he must know and understand, first-hand, the issues he writes about. He searches for the small stories that hold larger lessons, because it's in telling those stories that his writing is most effective.
He has won several awards for his writing, including the Statesman Rural Reporting award and the Outlook/Picador nonfiction prize. He has published three books, a monograph of essays on patriotism, and has contributed to a number of anthologies. His most recent book is "Roadrunner: An Indian Quest in America".
Dilip lives in Bombay with his wife Vibha and children Sahir and Surabhi. He misses his Rhodesian Ridgeback, Shaka.
Director, L V Prasad Eye Institute
Dr G Chandra has been associated with the LV Prasad Eye Institute from its inception in 1987. Dr. GC as he is popularly known is currently the Director of Kallam Anji Reddy Campus at Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. He is an astute clinician and a passionate and popular teacher. As the head of the Glaucoma Service at LV Prasad Eye Institute, he has trained over 35 glaucoma fellows 7 of whom were international. His contributions as the Director of Education at LV Prasad Eye Institute have been recognized by the institution of a Chair on his name “G Chandra Sekhar Chair of Director of Education”.
He has published over 70 papers in national and international peer reviewed journals and has been a reviewer for a number of Ophthalmology journals. He holds the position of adjunct clinical Professor at the University of Rochester and Case Western Reserve University. He has served as the President of the Glaucoma Society of India (2005-06) and is a member of the Glaucoma Research Society affiliated to the International Council of Ophthalmology (with a membership limited to 100). He serves on the Clinical Guidelines Committee of ICO and the Membership Committee of Glaucoma Research Society.
The LVPEI network spans two tertiary centers in Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam, and 80 secondary and primary care centers. In the past 23 years LVPEI has provided outpatient services to 6 million people and surgical care to over 600,000 patients – 53 percent of them free, regardless of the complexity.
Founder, SELCO India. Social Entrepreneur
Dr. Hande earned his Doctorate in energy engineering (solar specialty) at the University of Massachusetts (Lowell). He has an undergraduate degree in Energy Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur. Harish co-founded SELCO India. , a social venture to promote sustainable technologies in rural India. With its headquarters in Bangalore, SELCO has 25 branches in Karnataka and Gujarat. Today SELCO India has installed solar lighting systems in over 85,000 households in the rural areas of these states. Harish has been the recipient of several awards like the Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy 2005, Tech Museum Award 2005, Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation. He was also the featured attendee and speaker at the Clinton Global Initiative 2007.
Activist, National Coordinator - Jaagte Raho! campaign, Janaagraha
An alumnus of IIT Madras, Jasmine Shah was the brain behind the Jaago Re! One Billion Votes campaign of Janaagraha and Tata Tea, which worked towards awakening and enabling the youth of India to register for voting for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Registering over 6 lakh young voters in 8 months, the campaign ended up being the largest voter registration campaign ever in India.
Jasmine is currently the National Coordinator of Janaagraha’s Jaagte Raho! campaign which seeks to redefine electoral engagement in urban India over the long term. Prior to joining Janaagraha in 2007, Jasmine worked in the corporate sector with ITC Ltd. for 3 years.
Jasmine is passionate about India’s urban transformation and greater civic and political engagement amongst the youth. He has been involved in multiple initiatives within Janaagraha such as Bangalore City Connect, Ward Infrastructure and Services Assessment (WISA) Index and India Urban Space that seek to improve the urban planning and governance framework in India. Jasmine leads Janaagraha’s advocacy efforts with Election Commission of India for reforms in urban electoral processes
Beginning Fall 2010, Jasmine will be pursuing a Master’s Course in Public Administration at Columbia University under a Fulbright Fellowship.
Founder, HeadStart Network. Technology Entrepreneur and Community Organizer
Kallol is a serial entrepreneur and founder of entrepreneur and innovation driven community organisations in India. After graduating from the London School of Economics in 1998, Kallol worked at Reliance Industries in their Mumbai headquarters before starting off with his first software product venture from which he successfully exited a year later in 2001. He has spent the last 10 years building software products and businesses in Europe, Japan and in India and is working on his third product venture (www.lukup.com) and an angel investment fund (www.headstartventures.in) now.
After returning to India in late 2004, Kallol co-founded the HeadStart Network Foundation in 2007 which has grown from 15 entrepreneurs to more than 15,000 now and ACM Bangalore which promotes innovation in computer science and technology. He has been key to the organization of large entrepreneur and innovation focussed events, an incubation initiative at the Indian Institute of Science's Center of Electronics Development and Technology (CEDT) and has created market access programs for startups by partnering with Indian and multinational corporates who are prospective early adopters of new products and technology.
Kallol was born and brought up in Assam and is advising the Red River (www.theredriver.in), an organization that provides livelihood to home based weavers and artisans in the North east. He has lived in Delhi, Mumbai, London and Bangalore over the past 15 years and loves travelling, spending time on reading and researching work in computer science and interacting with entrepreneurs.
Founder, Managing Trustee, KiliKili
Kavitha Krishnamoorthy is the founder of Kilikili, a movement that believes that all children, irrespective of ability, have a right to play with each other in an environment that fosters mutual learning and respect. She is a Masters in Social Work and has extensively worked on children's rights focussing on children and homelessness, child labour and education through YUVA, a Mumbai-based NGO working on urbanisation and MAYA, Bangalore where she worked on an Elementary Education reform project. Her experience as a parent has brought her in touch with childhood disability, with her work now focussing on enabling social inclusion of children with disabilities through play.
Kilikili has succesfully lobbied the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (Bangalore Municipal Corporation) to make play spaces in public parks accessible to children with disabilities, with a policy guideline for the BBMP in the process of being developed. Kilikili also works to impress upon schools and families the critical developmental and inclusive importance of play for young children. Exploring what play means for children with autism is her current area of focus.
Dr. Mayeda Jamal
RA at London School of Economics and Political Science
Mayeda Jamal initially joined the Institute of Organisational Social Psychology at London School of Economics and Political Science as a MPhil student and later moved to Stockholm School of Economics in Sweden to continue her PhD at the Center for Media and Economic Psychology. Mayeda was a visiting researcher at LSE during her research and her doctoral thesis is on creation of social exclusion in policy and practice in the UK. She has a Masters degree in Human Resource Management and a B.A. in Economics.
Mayeda has conducted workshops with children at risk in the UK using multimedia tools and is interested in exploring creative pathways to inclusion of marginalised communities/ organisations for enhancing their social integration and development. Within LML, Mayeda is currently involved in extending the Spritivity network to India.
Pramal is partnered with Chaitanya, a recently created MFI, seeking to understand how best they can reach those rural households most in need of financial services. He completed a project working with Vidya Poshak’s Graduate Finishing School, where he successfully developed training methodologies for a three-month programme which secures corporate employment for meritorious, but financially disadvantaged rural graduates.
Pramal was involved in leadership positions within the UK Hindu Student community, culminating with his contribution on the executive committee for NHSF, where he was instrumental in encouraging a sense of community and participation amongst students across London.
Pramal co-organised the Learning Journey, a 10-day experience for British Indians to immerse and engage with the vibrant development sector organisations with a view to inspire a sense of social service and global inter-connectedness. The warmth of the host NGO, Manav Sadhna, inspired him to leave his corporate career and volunteer in the slums of Ahmedabad – where the seeds of service were planted and beckoned his return. The Indicorps Fellowship provided the opportunity he sought to satiate this willingness to immerse in community development and self-exploration.
Previously, Pramal worked as M&A Tax Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers (UK) and completed his education at The London School of Economics. Raised in England, Pramal has always been passionate about Indian culture (especially food), travel and spirituality. He enjoys sharing his life experiences through a blog and digital photography. When at home, he loves to join his parents excite young children at Shishukunj to learn morals and values through the Hindu culture and festivals.
Angel Investor, Board of Directors, DesiCrew
An alumnus of IIT Delhi, Rajiv was one of the founding members of Infosys BPO (earlier Progeon), the business process outsourcing (BPO) subsidiary of Infosys Technologies where he was the Head of Operations and subsequently the Head of Business Transformation. He then moved to OnMobile, as Chief Operating Officer. Now an angel investor, Rajiv serves on the Board of Directors of DesiCrew, a rural BPO employing thousands of educated but underemployed individuals.
Tennis player, "Champion for Peace" for "Peace and Sport"
Rohan Bopanna entered the world of professional tennis 2003, as a big-serving 23-year-old. After seven years of competing in prestigious tournaments nationally and internationally, he has cemented his position as a major force to reckon with, particularly in the international doubles circuit and playing singles in the Davis Cup. At the peak of his tennis career, Rohan and partner Pakistani Aisam (fondly known as the Indo-Pak express) are currently at their highest ATP Ranking of number 15, post their most recent Wimbledon quarterfinal entry.
Rohan has proudly represented India in numerous Davis Cup ties, and also partnered Sania Mirza during a memorable victory at the Hopman Cup against Australia in early 2008. Rohan won his first major title at the Los Angeles Open (August 2008) where he partnered with Eric Butorac of the USA. This win came on the heels of a hotly contested Newport Open where the renowned ‘Indo-Pak Express’ pair reached the finals of the tournament The Indo-Pak express have enjoyed much success together, also winning four consecutive Challenger Trophies in 2007 and having an excellent run in 2010 which included victory at the South African Open ATP tournament in Johannesburg.
Going by his recent success and richly deserved accolades, one can be sure that Rohan will take home many more titles in the following years, and the crowning glory could very well be success at the Commonwealth Games or the upcoming Olympics and Asian Games.
Head, Programs, Dream A Dream
Sneha have been associated with various development organizations since 1999. She has a Masters in Humanitarian Action from The University of Groningen, The Netherlands and Societies in Transition from University College Dublin. She has worked directly with poor rural communities in various parts of the country, managing, coordinating, developing projects and enabling their interface with government and other external agencies. Her professional experience is in the area(s) of Education, Water and Sanitation, Livelihoods and Youth empowerment.
She heads the program department at Dream a Dream and strongly believes that life skills and active volunteering are the way forward towards a more inclusive society. "What excites me most about working with Dream A Dream is it's tremendous potential for growth and it’s unique conceptualizations of childhood."
Country Head, Ashoka, India. Social Entrepreneur
Solomon JP is part of the Ashoka Global Leadership team and is the Country head of Ashoka in India since March 2010. He was also elected an Ashoka fellow in 2006 when he was working with MAYA and the associated companies and organizations he founded and worked.
Before moving on to Ashoka, Solomon founded a Bangalore based non-profit called MAYA in 1989 with a focus on the eradication of child labor and livelihood development of poor communities. In MAYA he worked along with his team to reform public schools and early child care using citizen action to change the quality of schools in two states in India and still scaling to reach thousands of schools. He also setup two for-profit enterprises, one is Maya Organic, which works with artisans to develop and market high quality products around the world and another company LabourNet that has a network of urban informal sector workers together using Internet and communications technology to track workers and help them find Jobs.
Managing Director, Grameen Koota
Suresh Krishna has been at the helm of activities at Grameen Financial Services Private Limited since its inception in 1999 and has guided the company through a very successful growth phase, playing an integral role in its transformation from an NGO to an NBFC, and building it into an organisation of repute in the industry. Today Grameen Financial Services is an 1400 employee strong organisation with two divisions – Grameen Koota which serves over 4.5 lakh poor and low income households across 150 branches (Karnataka and Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), and Maarg which offers loan products to over 4,000 individual borrowers.
Prior to joining Grameen Koota, Suresh worked with an NGO that focused on micro enterprise development, non-formal education and the promotion of women self-help groups. He also founded and managed small business enterprises in computer education and enterprise networks, and industrial safety products.
He is currently on the board of Sa–dhan (The national body of MFIs) and Sadhana Innovative Financial Products and Services Ltd. Suresh is also the Chairman of Microfinance Focus, an online monthly publication focused on Microfinance news and trends. He played a vital role in establishing The association of Karnataka Microfinance Institution (AKMI).
Apart from microfinance, Suresh has a keen interest in micro housing, financial literacy, client education, alternative energies, waste management and organic and modern farming. He is a post graduate in Sociology and holds a diploma in computer applications and an MPEFB (Management Program for Entrepreneurs and Family Business) from IIM Bangalore.
Suresh Krishna is married and has a 6 year-old daughter.