Change Agents

Home > Change Agents

Ashwin Krishna is an engineer from Mysore University currently working with Juniper Networks. He is a co-founder of ‘Vayam Sadaiv’, a volunteer group comprising professionals and students. For the past few years they have been empowering an NGO named Divya Deepa which is working with the rural primary education sector. His project entitled ‘Parivarthana’ looks to promote self-sustainable villages in India. For the CSIM project, after exhaustive on-field studies and interviews with practising social entrepreneurs, Ashwin laid out a complete blue-print for rural development encompassing such issues as provision of basic amenities, renewable energy, promoting self-employment and establishing community harmony.

Bharathi Ramprasad is a very active volunteer with organizations like Kathalaya and Sunshine School for Autism. Her own organization, Aachaman’s objective is to provide children in the juvenile justice system access to a better quality of life, education and to rehabilitate and integrate them successfully into society. Her focus will be on augmenting education programmes, counselling and psychological intervention, improvement of health and hygiene and restoration of children to their families. She hopes to attain her objectives through vocational training, rehab and referrals, sports and extra-curricular activities, and secure the involvement of the community in all of this.

Deepak Menon is an Instrumentation engineer and an MBA. He has recently made the transition from Oracle Software to an environmental NGO named Arghyam. For his project he has presented a thematic case for social outsourcing so as to optimize the effectiveness and efficiencies of the social venture. According to him, NGOs can outsource services like fund development, accounting, skills training to professionals while they concentrate on their core competencies. Deepak is looking at a model of a non-profit company to take up these tasks and has worked out a detailed strategy to offer affordable services to NGOs while keeping his own sustained.

Shivalingappa Mahagaonkar is the Vice President of Shivarudra Trust which provides services to senior citizens in Gulbarga district. In collaboration with the Department of Welfare of Senior Citizens and the Disabled, and the local police, Shivalingappa’s Trust has formulated a grievances redress methodology and implements the same. Through the years Shivarudra Trust has directly impacted the lives of 5000 senior citizens and helped to settle legal claims to the tune of 1.5 crores. As part of his CSIM project, Sri Shivalingappa evaluated the already existing schemes and has come up with recommendations and suggestions in the light of the current social scenario of neglect and exploitation of senior citizens.

Vijayanand Nagaraj, a software quality engineer at Sasken Communications, actually coined a term ‘volunteerising’ to emphasize the important role that volunteers have to play in the development sector. He is convinced that apart from intangible benefits to the volunteers themselves, volunteerism has vital economic and social benefits which help to build stable communities. He suggests that NGOs should factor in the contributions of volunteers at the resource planning stage by identifying their base competencies and categorizing them as specialist volunteers like doctors, counselors, technology volunteers, financial, administrative volunteers and ‘floating’ volunteers who can be entrusted with one-time jobs. As a very involved and committed volunteer himself, Vijayanand is helping NGOs put his ideas into practice.

Gowri Kumar’s passion lies with pets, particularly dogs. Her project, termed Buddies, will provide Animal Assisted Activities. (AAT) using “Therapets” such as dogs, rabbits, and fish initially. Other kinds of Therapets will be introduced later on. Her clientele will consist of geriatric patients and terminally ill individuals.As part of her project she has done an exhaustive study of pet therapy and is now in the process of validating her findings and setting up her pilot project. Sri N.B. Jayaprakash needs no introduction to those in the know of development issues in Bangalore. Within a period of a year and a half, Mr Jayaprakash has set up the Bangalore and Mysore chapters of the Dignity Foundation and has opened up two additional satellite centres in Bangalore. The membership within this period has increased from 100 to 1200 and it is no wonder that he is the first ever recipient for the Excellence Award presented by Dignity Foundation and ICICI Prudential. In the midst of all this, he has found the time to think through his project for CSIM termed Parihaar, which deals with another passion area – the welfare of widows and divorcees.

Dr Usha Vasthare, originally from Bangalore, has been living in the USA for the past 26 years. She has served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and Neurosurgery at Temple University School of Medicine. In 2004, Dr. Vasthare decided to take early retirement so that she could devote her life to service. In 2006, she teamed up with her daughter to offer rehabilitative services to stroke patients and caregivers in Bangalore. This served as a six month pilot study that evolved into what is now YogaKshema Rehabilitation and Wellness Center. She joined CSIM to explore how the concept of social entrepreneurship could help her to ensure long-term sustainability for her project.

Asim Siddiqui, an engineer from IIT, Delhi, formerly with Verse Innovations and now working with Janaagraha, and Manish Saraswat, an executive engineer at Yokogawa India Ltd., have thought of a project termed Bhagidaari to promote the spirit of Single cause and directed solutions by gathering money from various CSR funds and channelizing it towards causes in a streamlined manner. They plan to bring together various NGOs working for the same cause to develop a master plan where each has a unique role to play. They will facilitate this by means of a CSR resource pool and monitored NGO performance.

Smita Guha Roy wished to address two issues: a) generating employment in rural women and b) finding an economically viable alternative to plastic. She managed to combine both objectives by training rural women to stitch environment friendly cloth bags. After doing the needs assessment and the feasibility study, she has set up the infrastructure in the village, sourced the raw material, researched the best designs, trained the women, found a market for the products and is now ensuring self-sustainability of the programme. All her efforts are being documented into a manual which will facilitate propagation of the idea.

Mr. D.P.K. Babu,
Founder, AshrayAkruti, Hyderabad
He founded AshrayAkruti with a vision of empowering hearing-impaired children to use their innate capacities to reach their potential and transforming a large group of people depending on lifelong support from the State into a group of healthy, positive contributors to the economy.

Mr.Purnachandra Rao
Principal Founder, NICE
He established NICE along with four like-minded persons to liberate and educate children subjected to child labor, bonded labor in technical and vocational training so as to enable the child to start working as an apprentice soon after he reaches 18 years of age. To further their mission, they established a free residential school facility to provide food, shelter, health, and career path for these children.

Ms. RubinaNafees Fatima
Founder President & CEO, SAFA, Hyderabad
SAFA believes that socio economic empowerment of women begins with income generation and education. In line with its beliefs, SAFA introduces the urban illiterate women to sustainable livelihoods through an area based community model that respects the cultural and social identity of the women in the society and supports them in educating their children.

Mr. Manmohan Jain
Founder, India Literacy Project (ILP) - Hyderabad
ILP Hyderabad aims to promote literacy through the reading habit. It helps to foster a value system, empowers children with a leisure activity, opens vistas, expands knowledge and builds dreams.

Mr. ManjitNath
MNM Trust, Assam
MaheswarNath Memorial (MNM) Trust aims to uplift the socio-economic conditions of the society. The trust works as a medium for people to empower themselves with knowledge and contribute back to the community. It is a concept warehouse where like-minded people share their ideas and conceptualize them.

Mr. Moses Sam Paul
Cofounder, Terra Tech
Terra Tech is a one stop technology solution for the long tail of transportation providers. It designed a 7-inch android tablet that generates additional revenue for the operator by screening advertisements and reduces the dry run of autos by 40 percent.

Ms. Namita Banka
Founder and CEO, Banka Bioloo
Sankalp Award (for social enterprises) for the year 2013 recipient, Banka Bioloo deals with open defecation through the BioDigester toilets that degrade human waste in an effective way. The bio-toilets can be built anywhere in a short time and they don’t need much space.

Mr. VenkatSriraman
Cofounder and Executive Director, eVidyaloka, Bangalore
He cofounded eVidyaloka with a mission to build a replicable, scalable and sustainable delivery model to provide quality education for the children to unleash the power of human connect.

Mr. G.V. Sethuraman
Trustee, Ear to Hear Foundation
The Foundation aims to ensure that the parents of the infants are aware of hearing screening tests and have access to the screening facilities for the cognitive development of the children. It opens the world of communication to the hearing impaired through education, information, support and advocacy.

Mr. Ram Mohan Katla
Founder and Principal Director
Integrated & Inclusive Development of Communities (IDC)
IDC facilitates sustainable and equitable development of a Human Settlement in RUrban (Rural & Urban) through public, private and people participation. The inherent nature of IDC is the flexibility to adapt to the development needs of a community.

Mr. AllvinMuthunayagam
Social Entrepreneur
He joined a trust, Computer Kindness Foundation (CKF), started by his college friends to reduce the school dropouts and make quality education accessible to all children. The trust collects used computers and laptops and donates them to the needy government schools. He believes in the quote "Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to you".

S. Ramalakshmi was an Applications Engineer at Oracle India when she enrolled for the SEO programme. Her project work was with EnAble India, an organization working to empower people with disabilities. Ramalakshmi has also been part of the Tata Jagruti Yatra and volunteered at a number of development organizations. She is now a Director at Hippocampus, heading the technology services.

Jayanth N has a BE Electronics and Communications, from NITK, Surathkal and after his SEO Programme, completed his Masters in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Science. He is Co-Founder & Director at Sampurn(e)arth Environment Solutions Pvt Ltd which is involved in providing end to end decentralized solid waste management solutions. Sampurn(E)arth has won the first place in the 2014 Global Social Ventures Competition held at Berkeley, California.

Kirti Vardhana, former HR Manager at Infosys Technologies, interned with Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Children Rights and studied the NREG Scheme and the enrollment of women from various districts in the scheme. He is now Head (Consulting) at LabourNet Services and has also been selected as an Acumen Fellow, under the India Fellows Program, 2014.

Achala Pani was a social entrepreneur in the making even before she joined CSIM. Her project with CSIM was to work out a sustainability plan for her organization Let’s Live Together and with her design and advocacy skills she has now sparked off a nationwide movement on community adoption of Indian dogs. To quote from a national newspaper. “Her organisation has international standards as regards merchandising, fund-raising, follow-up procedures for adoptions and work ethic and all this is done without large donation sources.” She is also a recipient of the CSIM Fellowship.

Akhila Ramesh, with a degree in architecture and a Masters in Urban Planning and Construction from the University of Singapore is passionate about designing cost effective homes for the urban poor. Her project at CSIM was to evolve a strategic plan for her organization Nivasa which she registered soon after completion of her course. She is a recipient of the CSIM Fellowship as well as MSDS’ Satguru Gyanananda award. Nivasa’s first project in rural housing is well under way, as are a number of innovative concepts for housing for labourers and slum dwellers.

Vinod kumar with a B.E. in Electronics and Communication is a Senior Software Engineer at Aricent Communication. For his project work, he paired up with Ramanuj Mishra, an M.Tech in Cryogenic Engineering from IIT Kharagpur and a Process Engineer with Praxair Ltd. They were placed with Arpitha Associates Pvt Ltd and studied their unique method of value clarification and looked into methods of incorporating this in their corporations. After completion of the course, Vinod is still actively involved with his volunteering work with Vision, organizing health camps and financial aid for treatment of destitute persons. As for Ramanuj, he has given up his high profile job and teamed up with equally qualified friends to found an organization, Cinque Education, to train young managers and provide career development training to students.

Ramesh Balasundaram, a former Project Manager at AOL, had given up his lucrative job in the IT sector and had just registered his NGO, Bal Utsav, when he joined CSIM. For his internship, he worked with the Karnataka State Board for Protection of Child Rights, tracking the allocation of funds by the Slum Welfare Development Board for child welfare (under the JNNURM scheme). Bal Utsav’s Museum School is an innovative concept for educating out of school children and bringing them up to par. Vinay Dora, a B.E. in Computer Science and an Assistant Producer with Yahoo India was placed with Dream a Dream, an organization seeking to impart life skills to children from vulnerable backgrounds while at the same time sensitizing the community through volunteering opportunities. Vinay’s project was to develop a curriculum for life skills training through football., which he successfully accomplished by initiating a partnership with a South African organization called Grassroots Soccer. After completing his Masters in Media Studies in Sweden, he is now Associate Director with Starting Blocks Media Ventures.

Abhijit Bhide has an M.S. in Industrial Engineering, North Carolina State University, USA, and he is Senior Director, Engineering and Delivery, of Fiberlink Communications. Abhijit interned with SVYM's Premavidya project, and helped them accomplish their vision of providing a portal which would enable 'Career Counselling for All'. He is also an active mentor of CSIM student projects.

Nikhil Krishna Rai: Nikhil worked as Associate Project Manager, Specialist Project leader at Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Ltd. After completing his Global MBA as a fulltime student at Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, Nikhil is currently Product Manager at The MathWorks. For his project at CSIM, Nikhil came up with an original strategy and business plan called Bidpool to solve some of Bangalore's traffic and environmental problems.

Vidya Rao is Program Manager-Employment at EnAble India. She is accountable for placement and retention of persons with disability in mainstream jobs, ensuring that PWD employment becomes an integral part of the business strategy of organisations. Doing the course at CSIM helped her to critically re-assess her programme management strategies.

Anusha Jaishankar is an engineer who is now onto a second career working for an NGO, Arghyam, as a consultant. For her CSIM project, she worked on a Road Safety Campaign Plan with Children's Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA). "Positive Ticketing" is a campaign involving youth, the Bangalore Traffic Police and Bangalore road users to ensure that good road behavior does not go unnoticed. Mr. Praveen Sood, Director General of Police has endorsed this idea, and Anusha’s campaign in now gaining ground at full speed.

Nazneen Mistri, former Director of Deutsche Bank, has an experience of over 30 years of IT consulting for banks and financial services institutions. Nazneen agreed to use her experience and skills to help Jude Felix Hockey Academy, an organisation co-founded by her batch mate, Shanmugam, to measure its social impact. P. Shanmugam has a BE in Mechanical Engineering from Bangalore University, works as an officer in Canara Bank and is an international and state hockey player. He is one of the Founding Members of JFHA and is passionate about teaching life skills through the medium of hockey.

Suraksh K.G. and Alapana are an enterprising duo who were still pursuing their B.Com degree when they enrolled in the SEO Programme, and set up their own social enterprise, Dhatri, implementing an idea that was born in CSIM's very first class. Dhatri is about creating employment and providing life skills to rural women. Sabyasachi Mahanti, formerly with IBM as Senior Project Manager, has turned entrepreneur, as a Managing Partner in a start-up, looking to use technology to provide healthcare services, with special emphasis in the rural sector. He and his team have recently completed a pilot study in Orissa and have validated the need for their technological intervention.

Online Course
CSIM offers online training program on Social entrepreneurship.
Register for Online Course

Subscribe to 'Conversations'
Donate Now
With ongoing support, CSIM can help make a brighter future for aspiring social entrepreneurs.
Click Donate