GPBF Class2

GP Birla Fellowship for Women Leaders

Sukhada Chaudhary Co-Founder, Chaos Theory -The Coworking Space,Nagpur

Sukhada founded and developed Nagpur’s biggest and most activecoworking and culture space Chaos Theory in 2016, which today is home to more than 6 startups, as well asthe Zomatoand Swiggy office. It also hosts cultural events across categories like poetry open mics, comedy open mics, book readings, techworkshops, coffee brewing workshops and training session. Sukhada in her dedication to building meaningful communities around culture, start-ups and social causes, also founded Nagpur Foodies - an online platform of 74,000+ members in Nagpur that discusses food, and is also the founder of Swapbook Nagpur - a community of 120+ people in Nagpur that meets once a month to exchange and discuss books.  A firm supporter of farmers' causes, she ran a campaign to crowdfund Rs.8,00,000 for the founder of HMT Rice - DadajiKhobragade Sukhada is a Computer science engineer and has completed her MBA from Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA) and has worked in advertising and digital returning to Nagpur to set up base as a digital marketing consultant. She is an avid photographer, reader and quizzer.

Sahana Jose
Head -Community Development,EkStep Foundation, Mangalore

Sahana Jose heads Societal Platforms initiative at EkStep Foundation where she manages their Communication & Engagements.   She also consults other NGOs on branding and communication, and has worked with Pratham Books, Akshara Foundation and TakshashilaInstitution and Bridges of Sports on strengthening their communication effort. Prior to this, she has spent over 8 years in corporate communication, media relations, and leadership communication at Infosys, Sonata Software & Oracle. She has authored articles in IDR & Better India, and has been a speaker at events such as Ashoka's One Solution and Nasscom CSR Leadership Conference. Sahanaholds a Post Graduate Certificate in Communication from Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.An avid reader and an occasional baker, Sahana is passionate about children’s literature and sustainable living.

Ayeshna Kalyan
Co-founder and Director,Varitra Foundation, Karnal

Raised on a farm in Karnal, Ayeshna had a chance to closely experience both the rural and urban lifewhich helped her chose her path to study Journalism and Developmental Communication at Xaviers Mumbai and work as a CSR Professional with TISS. She started Varitra Foundation with the aim to empower people to participate in the formation of an egalitarian and just society through collective efforts in the field of education, health, livelihood, women empowerment, rural development, environment, social protection, etc. in their communities for a large-scale impact. Ayeshnastarted volunteering at the age of 15, tutoring and writing examinations for the visually challenged students in at Xavier's and building stories around issuesthrough research on rural education, disability, gender & sexuality and LGBT community. She was selected as a PravahChangelooms and Wipro Fellow 2019-22. She is also associated with LabourNet where she works on youth development, women livelihood-building through their skill development initiatives in Karnal district.

Purnima Dhar Manhas
Director, Aman Satya Kachroo Trust, Jammu

Purnima is a management graduate from Mumbai Universitywho works as the “administrator” of women helpline schemes for the community especially women of J&K. She also works on helping women gain their confidence & stand for their dignity and in advocacy to change the response of system & society to women’s issues. She has been awarded “The woman of the worth” award by Women’s Club – J&K in honour of her contribution towards restoring dignity of women in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Purnima has engaged with community through social media, blogs for creating awareness among the women on their rights, duties and social responsibilities. She enjoys writing, music and meditation.

Anu Meena
Founder, AGROWAVE, Gurgaon

Anu belongs to a small village 'Manoli' in Rajasthan where she completed her schooling from a small Govt. Hindi medium school. She graduated from IIT Delhi in 2016 and worked in an American startupbriefly. Passionately about solving the difficulties faced by farmers,she started AGROWAVE in 2017 to solveproblems of her grandfather and many farmers. She has been recognized bythe media being listed into Forbes 30 under 30 Asia, Top 10 innovator of India by India Today Magazine and many more. She has been TEDx speaker, Wired Next Generation Japan, conference speaker and speaker in many more events where she inspired many young entrepreneurs through her journey. She has been a mentor in many events and also has been awarded by the ministry of social justice and empowerment. 

Nayan Mehrotra
Founder Reading Room, Education consultant, UNICEF and Language and Learning Foundation,Jaipur

AMasters in Educationfrom Azim Premji University, Bangalore, Nayan has been working in the development sector with different grass root education organisations to bring a paradigm shift in the quality of primary education. Her personal project is a small open library she runs known as ‘Reading Club’ where passionate readers meet every week to experience and discover the joy of reading. She plans to convert this into a ‘Library on Wheels’ and go to hard-to-reach communities in and around Jaipur, spreading the culture of reading, building skills of critical thinking, reasoning and problem solving. Her efforts were also recognised by Pratham Books, who invited her to be a guest story-teller in their outreach program during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2019. Nayan is also working with two organizations as an Education consultant; UNICEF Rajasthan and Language and Learning Foundation (LLF), Delhi. Through UNICEF, she supports the ‘SamagraShikshaAbhiyaan’ to re-vamp the teacher-training programs by developing new material and course designs. With LLF, she works with teachers to understand issues of language teaching; and to research effective approaches that the teachers can implement in the classroom. Currently she is also attending Library Educator Course at Bookworm Goa.

Priyanka K Mohan
Creative Director, Yakshadegula, Founder- Kalakriti Project, Bangalore

Born into the family of artists, Priyanka started learning Bharatanayam and Yakshagana from a very young age. She is recipient of senior and junior scholarship for dance and folk theatre from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. She has received several accolades for her contribution to art. She has the credit of being the first female teacher in a male dominant art form Yakshagana, a traditional folk theatre form of Karnataka. After pursuing her engineering, she worked as a project engineer at WIPRO. Her passion to work in the field of social impact led her to pursue Teach for India fellowship in Hyderabad and work a CSR professional at Wells Fargo to understand the space of funding and development sector. Through Kalakriti, she is looking at popularizing some of the lesser known Indian performing art forms and making learning of art forms accessible. Her initiative was part of the pre-incubation program at IIM Bangalore. She enjoys listening to music, watching plays in her free time.

Shriti Pandey
Founder &Director,Strawcture Eco, Gorakhpur

Shriti is the founder of STRAWcture, an organisation which focuses on solving the housing problem in India by introducing an innovative way of building houses. Her mission is to of make living spaces more functional, aestheticallydesirable, environment friendly and affordable for all.STRAWcture builds houses using compressed agri-fibre panels and Light Guage Steel Framing through designswhich are more environment friendly and affordable than traditional construction. Previously she has worked in the USA as a research assistant at NYU and cost consultant. She then moved back to India to work for the State Bank of India as a Rural Fellow where she worked with a group of 400 women from rural background to collectively market their poultry and goat to provide an alternate source of livelihood. Shritiis a Civil Engineer and has studied Construction Management. She aims to create a world where we consume less and create more by reducing our carbon footprint in everything we do.

Dipika Prasad
Co-Founder, Lakeer, Hyderabad

Dipika is a civic entrepreneur focused on improving the quality of life in Indian cities. She is the co-founder of a Cisco & N/Core-incubated civic-tech organization called Lakeer, which builds open-source tools to support data-driven governance in Indian cities. Lakeer's award-winning flagship product CitySight helps administrators deploy resources in a more citizen-centric and impactful way across multiple quality of life issues such as mobility, poverty alleviation, and climate change resilience.  Dipika has spent the past 8 years working on inclusive development issues across South Asia and East Africa. She has advised and supported organizations such as the World Bank, IFC, the Rockefeller Foundation, Bosch, Unilever, GIZ, and the Shell Foundation. Prior to Lakeer, she co-founded the Intellecap Innovation Lab - an initiative focused on using exponential technologies to drive social change. She also built and scaled India's first and largest virtual incubation platform called "StartupWave". The platform was recognized by the World Economic Forum and Harvard Kennedy School as one of 12 breakthrough ideas shaping the future of global inclusive development. Dipikais a biotech engineer and has an executive specialization in data science. She serves on the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Entrepreneurship where she leads the development of policy recommendations for governments and large corporations to use data to support start-ups. 

Pooja Rai
Co-Founder and CEO, Anthill Creations, Bangalore

Pooja Rai is the co-founder and CEO of Anthill Creations, a social enterprise incubated by NSRCEL IIM Bangalore and N/Core. It aims to make play accessible to all by building low cost and sustainable playscapes in urban areas. Anthill Creations brings in the much-needed play into children’s lives that eventually affects their overall physical emotional and social development for a better growth and life. She is an architecture graduate from IIT Kharagpur. She has also authored a book on women entrepreneurs named ‘The Road Not Taken’ published by IIM Bangalore.

Shuchi Roy
Director, Anahad Foundation, Lucknow

Shuchi Roy as the Director of Anahad Foundation reaches out, managesand helps folk musicians to find a voice and platform for their art. She is responsible for identifying, signing and managing the careers of recordings artists, record producers and songwriters, etc.She had pursued her education in Law from University of Lucknow, is a graduate in History and Psychologyand also looks after the organisation’s legal day to day activities and managingIntellectual Copyrights for the artists.Shuchiis a trained Kathakdancer from NCZCC in Allahabad.

Ambika Satapathy
Co-Founder, ZooFresh Foods, Bhawanipatna, Odisha

AmbikaSatapathy is the co-Founder of ZooFresh Foods Private Limited, a startup aiming to organise the meat industry in India. ZooFresh is operating in Odisha and works with a network of tribal and rural micro-entrepreneurs to create livelihoods. She has worked previously as a Financial Analyst at Tasanaya Hospitality and a Senior Manager at Zomato.Ambika holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from Miranda House and is a Young India Fellow of the Founding Batch

Monika Shukla
Co-Founder,LetsEndorse, Guwahati

Monika is the co-founder and CEO of LetsEndorse and leads the organisations technology and operations.The mission of the organisation is to tackle inequality through equality of opportunity and several local and global issues by disseminate existing and practicable social innovations mission. She has worked previously as a technologist at Goldman Sachs spearheading several employee engagement initiatives. Monika headed marketing/merchandising of Health & Wellness portfolio at Healthkart.com for a year before kick-starting her research project on Corporate Sustainability as a German Chancellor Fellow (Humboldt Foundation). She hails from Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) and graduated as a silver-medalist from IIT Kharagpur (Instrumentation Engineering) in 2010. She was an active member of the Entrepreneurship Cell at the Institute. She went on to pursue her post-graduation in Liberal Arts and Leadership from the Young India Fellowship Program (an initiative of Ashoka University and University of Pennsylvania) Monika is a Global Shaper (World Economic Forum) and a GRI-G4 Sustainability Reporter.  In 2018, she was awarded amongst the Top 15 Women Entrepreneurs who are Transforming India organized by NITI Aayog and United Nations.

Prachi Singhal
Ex- Program Director, Zone Start Ups India, Surat

Prachi started her career with Zone Startups India (International Accelerator Brand) in 2015, and is the manager of the start-up community. She was identified and fast-tracked to be the Program Lead of empoWer – India’s 1stTech Accelerator for Women Entrepreneurs; and later as the Founding Member for setting up the Axis Bank Accelerator Program at Thought Factory in Bangalore. She has headed Gender Inclusion Programs at Zone Startups including empoWer - India’s first tech accelerator program for women entrepreneurs (supported by DST-Govt. Of India, Gov. of Canada, Germany, Microsoft, ICICI bank, payUetc) and POWERED - a first of its kind entrepreneurship program in partnership with Shell Foundation, funded by DST-Govt. Of India and DFID UK, focusing on Women Business Owners in the Energy value chain. Over last three years, she has enabled and engaged over 300 women entrepreneurs, directly supporting 90 women entrepreneurs to scale their ventures. Prachi is passionate towards sustainable development and believes in building a vibrant and cohesive environment for fostering grassroots innovations and leading them towards mass scale implementation. In her free time, Prachi likes to paint and bring life to dull spaces

Rachita Sinha Youth Conservation Action Network (YOUCAN), Pudukottai

Rachita Sinha at Youth Conservation Action Network (YouCAN - http://www.youcan.in) runs the Earth Ambassadors fellowship. She has closed the pilot class and engaged with various community partners working at the convergence of Education, Nature, Environment, child care, young girls and women to empower them to understand their role in building a society. She has previously been a youth enabler working in education and research at Infosys, Mysore training centre for a stint of four years. Rachita was born in Ranchi and grew up in quaint little surburb, Chasnalla, (district Dhanbad) in the coal belt of Indiaseeing and experiencing extreme poverty,hunger and illiteracy. Her mother and village inspired her “mantras”-a woman is the one who can uplift the entire family and can influence change in life of her children; and nature can keep you sane and empower you if you grow your own food and live sustainably. She studied engineering in Visakhapatnam where she was an active volunteer for various ventures of Rotaract.

Zeinorin Stephens
Co-Founder, Hill Wild, Manipur

Zeinorin is the co-founder of Hill Wild which makes chocolates with unique infusion from the hills. Manipur hills have unique diverse fruits and produces which she has leveraged to elevate the livelihoods for her community by converting them into great products. So far she has impacted 70 entrepreneurs and 25 farmers groups. She is expanding into other confectioneries using some products like plum, pineapple, Heimang, wild Apple from the hills. Zeinorin grew up with the philosophy of growing one's food and making our own basic necessities and as a child making her own soap, shoe polish, detergent, shampoo, tending to her own garden, rearing chickens.She continues pursuing this hobby by making something everydaywith her own hands- be it paneer, cheese, lip balm, soy milk, paper making.

Amrita Tripathi
Founder& Editor, TheHealthCollective.in, New Delhi

Amrita Tripathi is an award-winning journalist and former television presenter, a published author and social media advisor.  Passionate about raising Mental Health awareness in India, she is the founder-editor of TheHealthCollective.in, an online repository for conversations around Mental Health and Illness in India. Already establishing itself as a safe space online, the endeavour is to create a pan-national network of contributors and partners, ensuring that wherever people are in the country, they have access to credible and trusted information, and crucially, know they are not alone. Community involvement has been core to creating and growing The Health Collective, and Tripathi is also a co-curator of the gender rights space @genderlogindia. Amrita started her professional life as a trainee sub-editor with The Indian Express, and also interned in radio and worked in TV news, and in digital media. She has written two novels, Broken News and The Sibius Knot, which is a much darker work of fiction than people around her expected. She is working on a third novel and a three-book non-fiction series on mental health in India, co-authoring each title with a leading psychologist. Her hobbies include writing, reading, watching Netflix and Hollywood blockbusters!

Vasanthi Veluri
Co-Founder, Peoli, Almora

VasanthiVeluri is a co-founder of Peoli, a brand built on the ethos of sustainable living through sourcing organic raw materials, honouring indigenous skills and creating livelihood for women in rural region of Himalayas, northern India. Peoli has been awarded with Word Craft Council Award for Excellence in Handicraft (2018). Vasanthi has a graduate degree in Textile design from the National Institute of Design. During her study at the National Institute of Design she worked on various craft projects, along with block printers of Rajasthan and Ahmedabad and conducted research and careful documentation of the textile and beaded jewellery making traditions of the various Naga tribes of North East India. She has also revisited the vernacular craft of hand knitting in Kumaon Hills of Uttarakhand and has explored using hand spun indigenous wool and locally sourced dyestuffs to design hand crafted garments. Respecting and improving local skills, she is a believer of a sustainable and slow living. Her main aim is to nurture the hands, and the hearts of people while providing a fair means of livelihood through her work. Vasanthi has spoken on forums such as Himalayan Echoes: Kumaon Festival of Literature & Arts in Nainital and MaahiRoj: Earth day everyday an annual event at Anantaya, Jaipur; on the issues of sustainable fashion and creating respectable livelihood for women.

Shubhrastha
Co-Founder, Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG), Delhi/ North-East

Shubhrastha has been working as a Campaign Consultant for the past six years. As a co-founder of Citizens for Accountable Governance (CAG), Shubhrastha was part of the six-membered core team of Mr. Narendra Modi’s 2014 Prime Ministerial Campaign. She was leading the research and communication team that comprised of more than 100 volunteers. She also single handedly led the coordination of on-ground campaigns like Statue of Unity, Chai PeCharcha and 3D Hologram rallies in states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand.  She joined Sri Nitish Kumar’s and Mahagathbandhan’s campaign in Bihar and headed the research and communication wing of the campaign. Shehandled social media communication, led the drafting of the campaign’s manifesto - SaatNishchay - (now adopted by the Bihar govt as its flagship program)and led the MahilaPrakoshth activation module in JDU culminating in women centric door to door communication exercise and bicycle campaign.  After the Bihar campaign, Shubhrasthacurrently works with Shri Ram Madhavji’s office and has led seven successful election campaigns in the Northeast, notable ones among them being the Assam, Manipur and Tripura campaigns. She also worked as part of the core campaign team of Shivaj Singh Chauhan. Currently, she is working on the Lok Sabha election campaign in the NE Indian region.  Shubhrastha is an English Literature graduate from Miranda House, she has been part of Legislative Fellows Programme sponsored by US government; of IDU and KASYP based global electoral campaign groups and has been trained in UK and Germany.