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Key People

Belinda Bennet

Dr. Belinda Bennet

Managing Trustee

Dr. Belinda Bennet has over three decades of experience working as organizational development and change management consultant with national and international development agencies, corporations, civil society, CBOs and citizens’ groups with special focus on issues of social exclusion.

A passionate leader, she is CEO of Change Alliance, a technical and advisory development consultancy that helps forge alliances to bridge the socio-economic divide and promote inclusive and sustainable growth. She chairs the consortium that delivers the largest programme of the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) – the Poorest Area Civil Society (PACS) Programme – which focuses on rights and entitlements. In 1990s she founded the NGO Sakthi, which works with Dalits and children in Madurai’s slums. She has also served on the boards of Micah Challenge International, UK and World YWCA, and was previously the National President of YWCA, India.

Vikas Gambhir

Vikas Gambhir

Trustee

Mr. Vikas Gambhir has over 25 years of experience as a banker, consultant and advisor to a variety of clients in the fields of finance, manufacturing, healthcare, and social work. For the last decade or so, he has been focusing on social entrepreneurship and non-profit organisations where he has worked with various themes - healthcare, education, and the environment to name a few. Mr. Gambhir has a wealth of experience with handling engagements on implementing partner’s identification, due diligence, capacity building, audits, compliance framework setting, policy setting, training, project reviews, baseline studies, impact work, fundraising support, donor-based reviews, etc. In the knowledge partnership role, he has led various award properties like CEO Awards, HCL Grant, Business World YEA, NASSCOM Emerge 50, Vodafone M4G Awards, PHD, ASSOCHAM, IIM-C Clarion, etc. He was appointed to the PHIA Foundation Board of Trustees on 1st April 2019.

Professor Sukhadeo Thorat

Professor Sukhadeo Thorat

Trustee

Professor Thorat, academic and author, has more than 40 years of teaching and research experience on social inclusion.

He is Emeritus Professor at the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University; and chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) of the Government of India. He was previously the Director of the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies (IIDS).

In 2008, Professor Thorat received the Padmashree Award by the Government of India and the Vidyalankara (Lifetime Achievement Award) by the Purbanchal Academy of Oriental Studies for his outstanding achievement and contribution in Sanskrit education. He was also awarded the Mother Teresa International Award for his contribution to minorities, weaker sections and the people of India.

The renowned academician was one of the recipients of the Padmashree Award in 2008 apart from the coveted Vidyalankara (Lifetime Achievement Award) by the Purbanchal Academy of Oriental Studies for his outstanding achievement and contribution in the field of Sanskrit education. His outstanding achievement and contribution to the minorities, weaker sections fetched him the Mother Teresa International Award.

Prof. Thorat has been selected by Dr Ambedkar Foundation, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India for conferring the Dr B R Ambedkar National Award-2017 for Social Understanding and Upliftment of Weaker Section for the year 2011. In recognition of his contribution towards the upliftment of weaker sections of society.

Dr Roma Solomon

Dr Roma Solomon

Trustee

Dr. Solomon’s association with medical science over 33 years and vast experience at both grassroots and managerial levels of various international organizations has provided her with a strong orientation towards community health. She is Director of the CORE Group Polio Project, India, which attempts to eradicate polio by improving routine immunization in high risk states of India and Nepal; and member and former chair of the Gavi CSO steering committee and oversight advisory group.

She has also worked in the fields of reproductive and child health, and sexual health including HIV and AIDS, and has written widely on the eradication of polio in Uttar Pradesh.

Ashraf Patel

Ashraf Patel

Trustee

After graduating in Physics from Delhi University she completed her post-graduation in PM&IR from XLRI, Jamshedpur and worked as an HR professional in the corporate sector before she became the co-founder and CEO of Pravah in 1993. She subsequently co-founded ComMutiny–The Youth Collective. Both organisations have significantly shaped the youth work field in the country by leading from the from the front and developing world class designs and high impact interventions including the 5tth Space Framework. An Ashoka Fellow and among the finalists of the Jubilant Schwab Award (SEOY- 2016), she was also awarded distinguished Alumni XLRI, 2015. She is currently working on a mission to develop an eco-system of multisectoral institutions called the vartaLeap Coalition. which is working to promote the vision of ‘Every Youth a Jagrik and Every Space Nurturing Jagriks’ to build the narrative of youth leadership based on values of justice, equality, liberty and fraternity at scale. As a passionate advocate, she has been part of policy making as a member of Boards and steering committees of several organisations and collectives at National and International levels. She is the co-author of 'Ocean in a Drop – Inside Out Youth Leadership' (Sage, 2013) and was part of anchoring an Asia-wide research which as part of the International Baseline Study of Youth Work in the Commonwealth.

Surina Narula

Surina Narula

Patron

Surina Narula, the founder and president of the Consortium for Street Children has been doing commendable works for realizing the rights of street children. The trustee of the famed Television for Environment, an environment related film making organization, is known for her patronage in the UK child rights charity, Hope for Children, Motiroti, an organization of arts and theatre. Narula is a patron of Plan India and honorary patron of Plan International USA. Moreover, she is the founder sponsor and festival advisor for the Jaipur Literature Festival, the founder of the Tve Awards and co-founder of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.