Programme Leadership:

Meenu Vadera, Executive Director Having worked on women’s issues for over 20 years as a grassroot worker, trainer, implementer and a leader, this unique new project initiated by her, stands as testimony to her commitment towards enabling women to live a life of dignity and freedom. Besides India, she has been involved in development initiatives as the Country Director of Action Aid in Uganda (1998-2003). Having returned to India since, she has led an innovative initiative of Aagaz Academies-Schools of Leadership for elected women panchayat leaders. A graduate from London School of Economics with a M.Sc. in Social Policy and Planning, she has also written and published many articles on women’s rights.

Shrinivas Rao – Programme Director, Delhi State Shrinivas is a social worker by profession, having done his M.Phil in Economics. He has worked on issues of rural and urban development and local self-governments in Delhi and Chhattisgarh. He comes with a lot of grassroots experience. Shrinivas has previous experience of working with PRIA and UNDP.

Arati Pandya – Programme Director, Haryana (Gurgaon) Before joining Azad Foundation, Arati has worked with organisations like CRY, Christian Aid and Handicap International at senior management level managing projects/programmes. With M.Phil in Economics, Arati has about 20 years of experience in the development sector with project/programme management as her core competency. She has also spent several years in conducting development research studies.

Anita Mathur – Programme Director, Rajasthan (Jaipur) Anita has worked in the field of Women Empowerment for about 35 years now. With a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Reading, UK, she is one of the Founder-Members of AsthaSansthan, Udaipur that works for the empowerment of tribal and poor communities in Rajasthan. She has also been involved with various governmental and non-governmental organisations (such as Action Aid-Nepal, Cordaid, AagazAkademi, Hivos, Christian Aid, Oxfam-India, Madhya Pradesh Rural Livelihood Project, Rajasthan Mission on Livelihood). Her expertise lies in the field of Capacity Building, Evaluations and building Gender Perspectives.

Indira Pancholi – Director, Research, Documentation & Publications With a Masters in Philosophy, Indira, has 25 years of grassroots experience of working on civil, political and human rights of women. She is a feminist activist. Indira has done a lot of documentation and writing on socio-political issues of women in rural and urban communities.

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