GP Birla Fellowship Class4

Kanksshi Agarwal 

Founder, NETRI Foundation, Bhopal 

Kanksshi Agarwal is the Founder of NETRI Foundation- India’s first incubator & aggregator  for women in the political ecosystem. She is a policy researcher working at the intersection  of technology, society, gender, and politics. She is also a TEDx speaker. She has been covered  by LiveMint’s 100 women Entrepreneurs who are shaping and building India, as one of the women alongside doyens like Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Priyanka Chopra, etc. She has also been the FemiList-100  awardee by the Gender Security Project for championing the rights of women. She is trained in Leadership,  Organizing, and Action by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government on full scholarship. NETRI has been incubated  by IIM-Bangalore, Nudge Foundation, and supported by Capgemini and JP Morgan Chase. NETRI is building India’s  first politico-tech to aggregate opportunities and resources for people aspiring to join politics in India. NETRI is one  of the top 28 political incubators in the world recognized by the Apolitical Foundation. In the past, she has worked  as a Technology policy researcher with CPR. She has worked with the All India Congress Committee Research  Department and formed a part of the core research team behind drafting the Election Manifesto for Congress  during the General Election of 2019. She has been a part of multiple prestigious fellowships- LAMP Fellowship,  Citizen for Public Leadership Fellowship, and Lead like a Girl- Shenomics Fellowship and has been awarded Rex  Karamveer Chakra (Bronze, Silver-2019) instituted with United Nations. She has received a diploma in Leadership  & Organization Development as a part of The Swedish Institute’s SI Leader Lab. When Kanksshi is not working, she  is writing and reciting poetry, traveling solo, writing hand-written letters, and showing up for friends. She loves  forming connections and collecting stories, and if the world becomes gender-equal she will simply be an artist. 

Tuingamla Angkang 

Founder, Secret Cosmetics, Ukhrul 

Secrets Cosmetics is a visionary cosmetic company, seamlessly blending rich ancestral  knowledge with a passion for great skin. Through innovative skincare formulations, we’ve  empowered women to embrace skin health, fostering confidence and self-love. Our  commitment lies in purity, clean ingredients, ethical practices, and a dedication to supporting  indigenous communities, all without harming our precious planet Earth. Secrets Cosmetics operates on a  sustainable and inclusive business model. 

We source indigenous ingredients directly from local farmers, creating a fair and empowering ecosystem. Our  commitment to ethical practices ensures that our skincare formulations are crafted without harm to the  environment. We prioritize transparency, offering clean and pure products that resonate with consumers seeking  authenticity. The brand’s social impact extends beyond beauty, fostering empowerment among indigenous youth.  Through this holistic approach, Secrets Cosmetics is not just a cosmetic company; it’s a catalyst for positive change  in both the beauty industry and the communities it serves. 

Vandana Asha 

Founder, Rang Karwaan, Champawat 

“Vandana is an applied theatre practitioner and founder of Rang Kaarwaan. She’s a  passionate advocate for community development, hails from multiple small towns in  India. Her early years were marked by limited exposure, and the pursuit of a successful   career seemed like an unattainable dream. Despite these challenges, Vandana’s innate curiosity and creativity  propelled her forward. At the age of 23, Vandana took a leap of faith, leaving her job to explore the transformative  power of arts-based education in rural creating spaces that foster exploration, awareness, and the development  of conscious individuals through arts-based pedagogies. Vandana has spent four years tirelessly working on the  ground, managing a team, navigating fundraising, and handling social media—all while freelancing to support her  cause. Her commitment to behavioral change and long-term engagement with local communities sets her apart.  Beyond her professional pursuits, Vandana enjoys delving into literature, using her love for reading to bridge  educational gaps. She is a Journalist by education and an artist by birth. With her passion being music and dance  since childhood, she enjoys working with adolescents and youth. Her interests and practice lies in creating spaces  for communities and using arts in learning and pedagogy. She also believes and practices a minimalist and  sustainable lifestyle.”

Fatema Attar  

Founder, Fourmoons , Raipur 

Fourmoons is just not a word but a feeling for me. Its deation starts when I was 10 or 12 years  old. My mom quoted me “Tum jo kaam krti ho usme Chaar-chaand laga deti ho” and that  word imprinted in my mind. I promised myself if I am going to start something of my own I  will for sure name it Fourmoons- Adding Chaar chaand into your life. I craft Fragrances for  the businesses which is called scent marke6ng now and I make scented soy candles. I am   seeing myself growing into a Home Fragrance Brand. I luckily come from a family involved in the business of aKars  and perfumes. We are third genera6on into the business. Hence, its no s urprise that I worked previously in the  field of branding and adver6sing but I always had an innate desire to work with aromas. This is a field of Experience and learning each day. I learned a lot by observing my dad but importantly a value where he says – Look at people  who don’t have what you have. It brought peace and sa6sfac6on and gratefulness within. I am person who don’t  leave things in between, because decision will anyways have consequences, either fair or not. You got to keep  doing it. I am eager to learn from role models, get mentoring, direc6ons, inspira6on and comeback with reformed,  clear and executor thoughts. I feel this fellowship is a journey of mul6ple forces coming together for a change; which  most people fear

Harshita Chandra 

Founder, Conscious Ecofashion Pvt. Ltd, Indore 

Harshita Chandra, a talented fashion designer hailing from the prestigious National Institute  of Fashion Technology (NIFT). As a dedicated mother of a vibrant three-year-old and the  loving wife of a civil servant, I seamlessly balance the realms of family and career. For me,  design transcends mere aesthetics, it’s a meticulous problem-solving process. Driven by a  profound mission, I am dedicated to revolutionise parenting through an innovative  approach to fashion. Specialising in spill & stain-free clothing for kids, I aspire to make mothering a breeze for a  million parents. My designs not only reflect my commitment to functionality but also exude a vibrant charm that  resonates with both children and parents. Beyond my professional pursuits, I am a passionate artist. From crafting  small do-it-yourself projects to up-cycling materials into unique artifacts, I channel my creativity into diverse forms  of expression. With an unwavering dedication to both family and design, I stand as a testament to the power of  combining passion with purpose in every aspect of life. 

Rinchen Angmo Chumikchan 

Editor, Reach Ladakh Bulletin, Leh Ladakh 

As the Founding Editor of Reach Ladakh Bulletin from 2021 to 2020, I spearheaded a  dynamic platform aimed at amplifying the voices and stories of Ladakh. Presently, I serve as a media coordinator with the Department of Information and Public Relations, Leh, leveraging communication strategies to foster public engagement and awareness. 

Previously, I was also selected as a Media Fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi, from June 2020  to December 2020. contributing to impactful initiatives in the energy and resources sector. My dedication and  contributions to journalism have been recognized through various accolades, including the prestigious Times  Women Achievers of J&K-2018 award and acknowledgment for outstanding work in journalism by the Tribal Today  group in 2020. Throughout my career, I have showcased versatility in content creation, with publications featured  in renowned platforms such as BBC News, Down To Earth, Firstpost, Dainik Bhaskar, Epilogue, and Reach Ladakh  Bulletin. Engagement in national and international conferences has enriched my perspective and expertise, allowing  me to actively contribute to dialogues shaping media landscapes and societal narratives. Furthermore, I have also  edited a comprehensive guidebook titled Reach Ladakh, Experience the Richness, A Guide to Trekking & Tours in  Ladakh, comprising nearly 300 pages. Driven by a passion for storytelling and a commitment to excellence, I  continue to navigate the dynamic realms of media and communications, striving to inspire and inform audiences  worldwide. 

Varsha Das 

Founder, Empower Studio, Bihar 

Varsha Das, a seasoned professional with over a decade of immersion in the realm of virtual  retail. A distinguished alumna of the prestigious National Institute of Fashion Technology  (NIFT), Varsha has diligently honed her expertise and cultivated a profound understanding  of the intricate dynamics of the retail landscape. As the visionary founder of Empower  Studio, she epitomizes a fusion of creativity, ethical consciousness, and entrepreneurial acumen.

With a steadfast commitment to fostering positive change, Varsha has dedicated her efforts to revolutionizing  the conventional paradigm of consumerism. Her unwavering focus over the past several years has been on  spearheading a movement towards sustainability by championing the cause of eliminating single-use plastic from  everyday environments. Rooted in her profound belief in the power of traditional Indian crafts, Varsha has  embarked on a transformative journey to offer compelling alternatives that not only mitigate environmental  impact but also celebrate indigenous artisanship. Varsha’s message is not just hyperbol, it is a clear call to action,  one that encourages using ordinary circumstances as a catalyst for positive change. She speaks persuasively and  eloquently about the necessity of using everyday moments to make wise decisions that advance the common  good. Her idea of progress is gradual, one step at a time, one decision at a time, rather than big gestures or  revolutionary revolutions. Varsha’s narrative is a tribute to the transformational force of vision, passion, and  tenacity in the annals of modern entrepreneurship. Varsha enjoys reading and is a trained classical dancer with  Visharad from Pracheen Kala Kendra. She has worked in several dance choreographies over the past 20 years and  is a qualified artist of Doordarshan. 

Anushree Dash 

Founder – ADiBha She Vision(NGO), Gender Equality Advocate, Odisha 

A Changemaker and a social reformer known as Pad woman of Odisha for her work in  menstrual health and hygiene space. A human rights activist and gender equality  advocate working towards women empowerment, sex education, gender equality,  prevention of child sexual abuse , child marriage ec cetera. Founder and Chairperson of  NGO – ADiBha She Vision with a motto SHE for SHE! ADiBha She Vision, is a grassroots level non-profit organization known for implementing impactful & innovative social initiatives to uplift vulnerable  people in urban & rural slums as well as tribal areas. It aims to enable access to Primary Healthcare, Education, Skill  Training, Employment, for vulnerable women in marginalized sections by focusing on bringing a reformative change  in the mindsets of the society. She is being actively associated to Women Economic Forum , ALL and several other  prestigious social impact organization. Selected as State President (Odisha) for WICCI, Human Rights Council and  actively associated with many social organizations in advisory role.

Gayathri Devi Kanumuri 

Founder, NariCare , Vizag 

Gayathri Devi Kanumuri, the visionary behind NariCare, is committed to empowering mothers  on their breastfeeding journey. Drawing from her own experiences as a new mother, she  founded NariCare to offer essential resources and guidance to moms facing similar challenges. With a master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California and over six years of experience as a software developer, Gayathri brings technical expertise to her role. Beyond her  professional pursuits, she has a profound passion for music, having immersed herself in classical Carnatic music for  seven years. As a mother to a 3.5-year-old, Gayathri understands the delicate balance between motherhood and  career aspirations. Fueled by her entrepreneurial spirit and personal journey, her vision is dedicated to providing  patient-centric, holistic, and empathetic care to women at different stages of their lives through NariCare.

Shakti Kaur  

 Co-Founder, Anuprayaas, Chandigarh 

I started my career in 2011 as an aerospace engineer with Infosys Limited. Working on airplane designs gave me wings and also taught me the importance of precision and being  detail-oriented. Switching to Cenduit Limited 2016 allowed me to try my hands-on Automation and taught me the value of human life working in clinical trials. As an Assistant Manager for Business Analysis with HSBC in 2018 gave me a whole new insight into handling money. Working with  8 countries and a crazy work schedule I learned a lot about Cultures, inclusivity, honesty, and credibility. I became  a Moon Light Entrepreneur in 2015 with Anuprayaas Now Fulltime Co- Founder since 2019 I head Corporate  Communications & collaboration at Anuprayaas. 

Geetika Kohli  

Founding Director, Thinksta Creative (OPC) Private Limited, Jammu and Kashmir 

Geetika Kohli is an Entrepreneur, Author, and Public Speaker from Jammu & Kashmir.  

Founder of Thinksta (a GOI recognised EduTech Start-up and MSME), that was awarded the ASSOCHAM Start- Up of the Year Award, 2022, her vision for the UT is to work strenuously turning it into an economic utopia and an empowered centre for the arts. She has an unshakeable commitment towards the cause of entrepreneurship  development, literature, gender inclusivity and peace. Geetika is a multilingual writer and has penned eight books  including six poetry and two short story collections. Her ground-breaking writing on gender, history, and diversity  features regularly in the leading dailies of her region and national newspapers like The Daily Guardian. At present,  she is leading an international peace – building poetry movement, ‘Hymns and Harmony’. Her wit has won her  applause from the likes of Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia, K Satchidanandan and Gulzar. Geetika believes ‘courage is  allowing yourself to grow larger than an identity thrust upon you.’ This line being her light, she has illuminated  several minds. As a speaker, she has impacted over 20000 individuals and 30+ organisations till date. Hundreds of  students at Thinksta have found meaningful jobs or access to entrepreneurship opportunities. 

Dr. Monalisa Padhee 

Program Head, Education and Wellness Initiatives, Emp Bindi International Association,  Sambalpur 

Dr. Monalisa Padhee serves as the Program Head of Education and Wellness Initiative at  Emp Bindi International Association, focusing on breaking the intergenerational cycle of  poor health in rural girls and women. Adopting the AAA model (Awareness, Access, and  Advocacy), she and her team co-creates interactive curricula using relatable stories and local arts that transcends literacy barriers and address health issues like sexual and reproductive health and nutrition.  Utilizing various digital tools, they equip grassroots health workers to disseminate health information and provide  basic healthcare services and products. Dr. Padhee, alongside her team of educators, also works on an informal  schooling model in last mile communities and strives to impart holistic education on SDGs and climate change to  marginalized communities. Their “Young Climate Leadership Curriculum” enables rural students to THINK, SPEAK,  and ACT on climate change issues. 

Dr. Monalisa Padhee is a senior Atlantic Fellow for health equity, and alumni of Acumen, Aspen New Voices, and  Swedish Gender Lab fellowships and she actively champions grassroots representation in decision-making  platforms. She holds a Doctoral degree in Medical Science from the University of South Australia. She is a  Sambalpuri folk dancer and loves to groove to any catchy number.

Prathyusha Parakala 

Program Manager for Sustainability, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Hyderabad 

The only woman from the state of Telangana to be the Climate Force Ambassador at the  prestigious International Antarctic Expedition – 2018 and was conferred the Vishishta  Puraskar Award by the Govt. of Telangana. She works towards inspiring other women to take up such adventurous and meaningful journeys. Prathyusha has worked with various NGOs on missions like  child Rights, education, environmental awareness and women empowerment. She was a Fellow with Teach For  India working with kids from under- resourced communities. Prathyusha was previously a Radio Jockey (RJ) and  used her influence to discuss crucial topics in the garb of entertainment. As a TEDx speaker and through all her  roles she aims to raise awareness on positive climate action, encourage sustainable living, and maximizing inner  potential.

Lakshmi Priya 

Deputy collector, Government of Tamil Nadu, Chennai 

I serve as a Deputy Collector in Government of Tamilnadu in the state’s department for  grievance redressal. I have served in various posts, districts during the past 6 year tenure  with the Government of Tamilnadu. I have worked towards empowerment of the  marginalised, vulnerable and in my current posting I work on using technology to improve grievance redressal and service delivery thereby improving the lives of citizens. I was awarded the first Ungal Thogudhiyil Mudhalamaichar (Chief minister in your constituency) award for outstanding contribution to the State Grievance Redressal Mechanism and earlier in 2021 was recognized by the Hon’ble Chief minister, Tamilnadu for  contribution to successful redressal of grievances . During my stint as Sub divisional magistrate I had the opportunity to closely work towards improving the lives of marginalised and the vulnerable. While serving as Adi Dravidar and  Tribal Welfare officer, i worked on improving the education status and reducing dropouts among children from  vulnerable communities through sports and other initiatives. My passion for making a difference motivates me to  go extra mile and look for opportunities to improve lives of people. I am eager to learn and contribute to a network  of like-minded individuals committed to creating a better world.

Devrupa Rakshit 

Associate Editor, The Swaddle, Jamshedpur 

Devrupa Rakshit is a queer, autistic feminist hailing from Jamshedpur. She started her  career as a lawyer in Mumbai after graduating from one of the country’s top national law  schools, but has been working full-time as a journalist at The Swaddle since 2020.  Meanwhile, she has also freelanced for UN Women — besides publications like The Wire,  

Arré, Gaysi, and MAD In Asia Pacific. In 2021, she was recognized by the jury at the Laadli Media and Advertising  Award for Gender Sensitivity (supported by the UNFPA) for her article on stealthing in The Wire. In 2023, she won  the SCARF Media for Mental Health Award for her article in The Swaddle on how a great long-term memory can be 

a bane. She also holds a degree in painting, and as a bilingual poet and storyteller, she was one of the top three  finalists at Signature Masterclass in 2020. She is working on her first book, which explores how the lived experiences  of different sexual assault survivors often diverge almost completely from the “victim”-stereotype. Currently living  in Bangalore, she’s also in the process of starting a small business selling upcycled home decor items from household  waste. 

Swaty Shah 

Co-Founder & CEO , Tinyexplorer Creations LLP, Vadodara 

Swaty’s academic background in IT, coupled with a passion for UX design, shaped her  career over 9 years in the IT industry. However, the arrival of parenthood sparked a  transformative shift, inspiring her to embark on a new journey—founding Tiny Explorer.  Driven by a keen awareness of contemporary challenges, particularly the diminishing  outdoor play opportunities and their adverse effects on children, Swaty set out to create  purposeful indoor play solutions. Her focus is on empowering parents to reduce screen time while nurturing the  physical and mental development of their children. Swaty designs toys and furniture that are not only innovative  but also open-ended, safe, and easily accessible to children. With Tiny Explorer, her vision extends beyond  establishing a captivating brand in India. She is committed to instilling play as a holistic developmental medium for  children. Collaborating with occupational therapists and mental health professionals, Swaty crafts products tailored  to meet the diverse developmental needs of children.

Akanksha Sharma 

Director/CEO, Shashak Lifestyle Pvt Ltd, Pune 

Akanksha Sharma, the co-founder of Shashak Lifestyle Pvt Ltd, is a dynamic force at the  intersection of technology, design, and social impact. With a rich background spanning over a  decade, Akanksha brings unparalleled expertise to the helm of the brands – Wayward Wayz  and Libre Chic. Beyond her role as a tech innovator and business leader, Akanksha is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion. Engaging with the LGBTQ+ community and various social causes,  she extends her impact beyond the boardroom. Outside the corporate landscape, Akanksha’s interests reveal a  multifaceted personality. On sunny days she loves to ride on her Dominar 400. She finds inspiration in diverse  cultures and loves to translate those experiences into vibrant abstract paintings. A tech enthusiast, she’s often  exploring the latest advancements that can bring positive change 

Bhavya Vatrapu 

Vice President, Government of Telangana ITE&C Department, Telangana 

This is Bhavya Vatrapu, a business consultant currently engaged in three projects, the largest  of which involves serving as a strategist for the government of Telangana. The primary goal is  to establish the state as a preferred destination for setting up Global Capability Centers  (GCCs). I strive to allocate my time effectively, maintaining an 80:20 ratio between projects that provide financial compensation and those dedicated to social development. I am highly productive when  working remotely and have a passion for long-term travel while operating from diverse locations. My enthusiasm  for travel is complemented by my dedication to travel blogging, where I share my experiences on I firmly believe that cultivating social relationships is crucial for long-term well-being. This  year, my resolution is to invest time in building strong communities for myself and others, especially for elderly  individuals who may find it challenging to make new friends. I am committed to fostering connections that  contribute to a sense of belonging and companionship.

Vekutholu Vero 

Founder, Hetika Kitchen, Nagaland 

Vekutholu Vero is currently the Head of Operations at the Women Entrepreneur Network  Nagaland (WENN) where she supports fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem for  women in Nagaland. She oversees the daily functioning of WENN and leads the planning, organizing, and execution of WENN activities. Beyond her role at WENN, Vekutholu is the Founder of Hetika Kitchen  and Hetika Cheesecake Shop. With a Master’s degree in English and an early career in academia, she transitioned  into baking and founded Hetika Bakery & Cafe in 2016. Her entrepreneurial journey extends to co-founding  businesses such as Chunkys Granola- a breakfast cereal brand, and Galho Aunty- a cloud kitchen that specializes in  Naga galho dish. She is a Primer Delegate at the EMPRETEC India Foundation’s HiEERA Program, supported by the  United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Vekutholu has been deeply involved in  community development, collaborating with multiple national and local agencies to train rural entrepreneurs. With  over eight years of entrepreneurial acumen, Vekutholu is immersed in mentoring emerging women entrepreneurs  from Nagaland. 

Surabhi Yadav 

Founder, Sajhe Sapne, Kangra 

Surabhi Yadav is the daughter of diversity, someone who bridges gaps between rural and  modern worlds. Raised in Bundelkhand and MP, educated at IIT Delhi and UC Berkeley, she  now dedicates her life to empowering young rural women. She is stubborn about shifting  the narrative about rural women from their pain to potential. As the Founder and CEO of  Sajhe Sapne, a non-profit, Surabhi’s impactful work focuses on breaking intergenerational poverty cycles by training  women in STEM and Management skills so they kick start their long-term careers. Her vision goes beyond  livelihoods, emphasizing “Growth Pathways” for rural women in fields like Coding, Project Management and  Primary Math Teaching. Sajhe Sapne’s innovative rural college model, Sapna Centers, has achieved a 100%  internship and placement rate, transforming 100+ families in over 50 villages across 7 North Indian states. The  project and play based pedagogy of Sajhe Sapne enables young women to also become stronger and freer from  within thus making them decision makers rather than just blind followers. She is also the creator of Project Basanti:  Women at Leisure, which is acclaimed both nationally and internationally for its uniqueness. She is a recognised  Tedx speaker whose new-age feminist thinking has shaped public discourse on gendered nature of leisure, labour  as well as aspirations of young rural women 


Senior Program Manager, Quest Alliance, Hyderabad 

“Sameera is currently working as a Senior Program Manager looking after Andhra Pradesh  and Telangana States, Monitoring and Evaluation and Knowledge  Partnerships/Collaboratives for the Schools program in Quest Alliance. Quest Alliance is a  non-profit based out of Bangalore working since the past 15 years in the field of Education and Employability. A UGC NET-qualified, former Assistant Professor in Computer Science, she has 9 years of  experience working in the Education sector, having worked with PG, UG students and government secondary school students. A gold medalist throughout her school and college career, she holds a postgraduate degree (MSc) in  Computer Science. She has working experience in areas of Life and Career Skills, Computational Thinking, Coding  and Gender along with Facilitation and Communication Design. Her alternate passion includes watching, reviewing  and talking about movies and series. She’s volunteered for several film and art festivals across the country and also  completed a Film Appreciation summer course jointly offered by FTII and NFAI, Pune.”