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EDGE 2020

2020 has been a year of great learning for all of us. Through all the uncertainty that we have witnessed this year, we have seen immense trauma that has left us exhausted; but at the end of the day, we have found hope in the countless stories of humanitarian kindness and perseverance. And this helps us continue the work we need to do.

EDGE this year was centred around the theme ‘Hope’ – bringing to the forefront stories of human resilience, grit and compassion that has made an impact at the deepest levels. We explored first-hand accounts of the struggles faced by different communities and deliberated on the difficult, but warranted, a journey of rebuilding before us.

Watch all videos of EDGE 2020 here.

Aditya Natraj
Founder & Director, KEF

Aditya Natraj is the founder and director of Kaivalya Education Foundation (KEF), a Piramal Initiative. KEF supports leadership development of state, district and school leaders to effect change. It works with 1300 school leaders, 450 district leaders and 1200 state leaders across 10 states to effect systemic change. KEF also runs the Gandhi Fellowship programme – a two year full-time programme to train young people in leading social change. Previously, Aditya was Director of Pratham in Gujarat, Vice-President of Business Development at ProXchange and a consultant at KPMG. Aditya is an Ashoka Fellow, an Echoing Green Fellow and an Aspen India Fellow.

Aiswarya A
Chief Manager, EdelGive Foundation

Aiswarya is responsible for building value in EdelGive Foundation’s partnership with its funding partners, through convening forums designed for knowledge sharing and cross learning. A former journalist, having extensive experience in program monitoring and impact reporting, Aiswarya oversees donor engagement at EdelGive, crafting and communicating stories of impact to funders through conversations and communiques.

Aksha Ali
Student, Samaritan Mission School

Aksha Ali has been an active member of the Access Microscholarship Program. She has an instinct for debate, dramatics, and is a good manager who can handle crises calmly. At the moment, she wants to focus on the upcoming board examination.

Amit Garg
Migration and Livelihoods Expert

Driven towards preservation of human rights & dignity in complex business supply chains.

Anita Dongre
Designer & Founder, House of Anita Dongre

Anita Dongre is one of India’s leading fashion designers, she is the founder of House of Anita Dongre. Her signature style shows an affinity for indigenous craft tradition, coupled with a modern aesthetic. An ethical vegan, environmentalist and revivalist of local craft, Anita advocates compassionate living, which is why her designs do not use any fur or leather.The Anita Dongre Foundation has given countless rural women an equal voice by providing them with livelihood opportunities and skill training.

Anju Gupta
ADG - Uttar Pradesh Police

Anju Gupta, a police officer from 1990 batch IPS, UP Cadre, is currently ADG - Uttar Pradesh Police. An awardee of the President Medal for Distinguished Services and a Gallantry Medal, she has worked in specialised units in eight districts of UP, served eight years in the Central Government, and has stints with the United Nations in Bangkok, Kosovo, and New Delhi.

Anshu Gupta
Founder & Director, Goonj

Anshu Gupta, popularly known as the 'Clothing Man' is the Founder of an Indian based nonprofit – Goonj. One of India’s leading social entrepreneurs Anshu brings to the table an instinctive empathy and connect with people, moving the focus from the conventional – giver’s pride to the unconventional – receiver’s dignity

Anurag Behar
CEO, Azim Premji Foundation

Anurag Behar has been engaged with efforts to improve education in India for the past sixteen years. He has been a vocal advocate for the critical importance of public systems, in particular the public education system. His many years in business have given him an insider’s view into both the possibilities and limits of markets. For the past few years, he has also been engaged with environmental and ecological issues.

Ashish Dhawan
Founder-Chairman, Central Square Foundation

Founder and Chairman of Central Square Foundation (CSF) and a Founding Member of Ashoka University. Prior to this, he worked for twenty years in the investment management business and ran one of India's leading private equity funds, ChrysCapital. In June 2012, he left his full-time role at Chrys Capital to start CSF to pursue evidence-driven and innovation-led system reform in school education.

Atul Gandhi
Head-Investment, EdelGive Foundation

Atul leads the Investment and Monitoring & Evaluation portfolio at EdelGive Foundation. He comes with over 14 years of development sector experience and has worked with organisations like Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Pathfinder International, Tata Institute of Social sciences on programs supported by agencies like Aga Khan Foundation, USAID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. He has been involved in supporting several organisations in conducting baselines, mid-term or end-line evaluations and also for designing computerised MIS application. Atul has four publications in national/international journals to his credit including a book, and has also participated and presented papers at international conferences.

Faye D’Souza
Journalist & Entrepreneur

Faye D’Souza is an award winning journalist, who has changed the way news is covered on Indian Television by focusing the audience’s attention on the issues that matter to the citizens rather than those that fuel the emotions of partisan debates. Her focus on accountability of government, responsible taxation, safety of women and children, education, health and urban development has also resulted in several policy changes that have proven that a journalist can still bring about improvements in the status quo. Post her exit from television, she has begun her entrepreneurial journey and will soon launch her own digital news platform - targeted at the young urban Indian audience.

Gayatri Divecha
CSR Head, Godrej Industries

Gayatri Divecha heads Corporate Social Responsibility for Godrej Industries and Associate Companies. She drives the Group’s sustainability agenda that works towards skilling and entrepreneurship, prevention of vector-borne diseases, rural livelihoods, and access to entitlements. Gayatri has worked in the development sector across a range of roles and organisations including in academia, the private sector, and non-profits. Prior to Godrej, she was part of the Corporate Sustainability team at HSBC India, driving the bank’s portfolio of community investment programmes.

Gayatri Nair Lobo
COO, A.T.E Chandra Foundation

Gayatri Nair Lobo is the COO at ATE Chandra Foundation, and brings with her a mix of close to 20 years of strategy consulting and development sector experience, having worked most recently as CEO of India School Leadership Institute (ISLI). Before joining ISLI, Gayatri was at Dalberg Advisors and prior to that as the Chief Operating Officer at Teach For India, part of the scale-up of operations during its first six years.

Geeta Goel
Country Director, Dell Foundation-India

Geeta manages the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation’s operations in India to transform the lives of urban low-income communities through improved education, livelihoods and financial inclusion. In her role, Geeta manages the strategy and implementation of the foundation’s work in India in two key areas of Education and Family Economic Stability. Prior to this role, Geeta led the foundation’s Mission Investing work globally. Before joining the foundation, Geeta spent more than 12 years with the corporate finance group of PricewaterhouseCoopers in India, advising large Indian and multinational clients on joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, business plans, and valuations.

Chairperson, Savera Mahila Manch

Kamlesh is the Chairperson of Savera Mahila Manch, Umren, Alwar (a federation of 272 SHGs and 3000 women members). She joined the SHG in 2009 and has been the Chairperson since past 2.5 years. She comes from the scheduled caste community, and she lives with seven members in her family; her husband is a mason. She is a successful entrepreneur who runs a tailoring and garments shop. During the Covid lockdown, she participated actively by stitching and distributing masks, arranging for food for the needy. Savera Manch has actively participated in the Grain bank initiative.

Chairperson, Kranti Mahila Manch

Khatija is the Chairperson of Kranti Mahila Manch, Laxmangarh, Alwar (a federation of 362 SHGs and 4200 women members)
Khatija joined the self-help group in 2010. She has studied till Class V and has five members in her family; her husband is a masonry labourer. She has led the federation to new heights under her leadership by increasing the number of SHGs from 220 to 360. She also acts as a trainer for strengthening the SHGs and federations. Kranti Mahila Manch led the Grain bank

Kireet Khurana
Director - Storyteller

Kireet Khurana is an Indian filmmaker, storyteller, and ad-film director. He has won more than 30 awards, including six prestigious President's National Awards for his films, the first of which he won in 1995 for the animated film Mahagiri. He has made over 12 short films, and over 500 ad films. His latest short film ‘Safar’ shows the plight of migrant workers.

M Hari Menon
Country Director, BMGF

M Hari Menon leads the India Office of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also oversees the foundation’s work in South and South-East Asia. In this role as director of the India Office, Hari is in charge of managing the foundation's work areas in India, with an objective to improve conditions of family health, sanitation, digital financial inclusion, agriculture, and gender equality. He leads these efforts to advance the country’s health and development goals by working closely with India's central and state governments, local and global non-profits, community groups, researchers, and the private sector. Hari has led many complex portfolios in the foundation and has been successful in advancing the goals by engaging with governments, public and private partners, philanthropists, and non-governmental organizations. He brings valuable experience gained through multiple leadership roles across the foundation and has strong relationships with partners across the development ecosystem. From 2011 to 2013, Hari served as strategic philanthropy adviser to Rohini Nilekani. He also has experience in the consumer goods and information technology sectors with companies like Colgate Palmolive and Infosys Technologies.

Manish Sabharwal
Chairman, TeamLease Services Limited

Manish is Chairman and co-founder of Teamlease Services, one of India’s leading staffing and human capital firm. In 1996 he co-founded India Life, an HR outsourcing company that was acquired by Hewitt associates in 2002. Consequently, he was CEO of Hewitt Outsourcing (Asia) in Singapore. Manish serves on various state and central government committees on education, employment, and employability.

Mina Das
Secretary, Nishtha

Mina Das serves as the secretary of Nishtha. She carries 35 years of experience in the field of development and with a special focus on women empowerment. At Nishtha, she works in the areas of leadership building, ensuring access to education, protection, healthcare provision, and economic self-reliance. Mina is also a member of various governmental and non-governmental committees.

M. R. Rangaswami
Founder, Indiaspora Forum

M.R Rangaswami is a software executive, investor, entrepreneur, corporate eco-strategy expert, community builder and philanthropist. Recognized as a software business expert, he participated in the rapid expansion of the Silicon Valley software industry during his tenure as an executive at both large and small software companies. . In 2012 M.R. founded Indiaspora to unite Indian Americans and to transform their success into meaningful impact in India and on the global stage.

Nandita Das
Actor, Director & Social Advocate

Nandita has acted in more than 40 feature films in 10 different languages. Nandita also wrote, directed, and acted in the play, Between the Lines, in 2012, that dealt with the subtle gender inequalities that exist in educated urban couples. In 2019 she produced a music video, India's Got Colour with many celebrated actors, to further the conversation on diversity of skin tones.

Naghma Mulla
President & COO

Naghma Mulla is the President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of EdelGive Foundation, the philanthropic initiative of Edelweiss Group – one of India’s leading diversified financial services group. As COO, Naghma has been instrumental in driving the vision of EdelGive Foundation towards the growth and scale of the organisations the foundation supports. Naghma plays a large role in enabling commitments to our diverse portfolio of NGOs, by creating valuable partnerships with reputed international and national stakeholders within the sector. Today, EdelGive has also built two successful collaboratives - The Collaborators for Transforming Education (in partnership with the Government of Maharashtra) and the Coalition for Women’s Empowerment – both developed and nurtured by her. Naghma is also a member of the Core Committee of the India Climate Collaborative – a collaboration of India’s leading philanthropies committed to addressing the climate crisis in India. Naghma is mentor at the Nadathur S. Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at IIM Bangalore, providing strategic support to several start-ups.
She began her career with Bajaj Alliance General Insurance and played an instrumental role in their foundational team.
She is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and has a Master of Commerce (M. Com.) degree from Pune University.

Nikita Ketkar
CEO, Masoom

As the CEO of Masoom, Nikita plays the role of a passionate guide and mentor for the burgeoning NGO that has chosen to tread a different path by focusing on the night schools of Mumbai. Nikita’s is a story of a young and educated woman who finally found her calling in service.

Osama Manzar
Founder Director, DEF

Osama Manzar is a global leader on the mission of eradicating information poverty from India and global south using digital tools through Digital Empowerment Foundation, an organisation he founded in 2002. A British Chevening Scholar and an International Visitors Leadership Program Fellow of the US State Department, Osama is a social entrepreneur, author, columnist, angel investor, mentor, and sits on several government and policy committees in India and outside working in the areas of Internet, access, and digital inclusion. Osama has instituted 10 awards for recognising digital innovations for development.

Pallavi Sobti Rajpal
Deputy CEO, Utthan

Pallavi is currently co-leading Utthan as Deputy CEO, with a focus on Organisational Development, Knowledge Generation & Advocacy, across its Thrust Areas. With a background in Economics and Sociology, a keen interest in advocacy, analytical documentation and intervention design at grassroots level, she has been working in the sector since the last 18 years with a focus on human rights of women and the marginalized.

Dr. Prakash Tyagi
Executive Director - GRAVIS

As the Executive Director of GRAVIS in India, Dr. Prakash Tyagi has been leading the organization for the last ten years. GRAVIS works extensively in the Thar Desert of India with key focuses on water security, food security, and community health. GRAVIS reaches out to about 1.2 million people living in poverty with its work and has helped the formation of over 3,000 community-based organisations.

Rohini Nilekani
Founder-Chairperson, Arghyam

Rohini Nilekani is the Founder-Chairperson of Arghyam, a foundation she set up for sustainable water and sanitation, which funds initiatives all across India. She is also co-founder and Director of EkStep, a non-profit education platform. She was Founder-Chairperson and chief funder of Pratham Books. An accomplished writer, she has authored several books. As a committed philanthropist in 2017, she, together with her husband Nandan Nilekani, signed the Giving Pledge, which commits half their wealth to philanthropic causes.

Sal Khan
Founder & CEO, Khan Academy

Sal Khan is the founder and CEO of Khan Academy, a nonprofit educational organization that offers free lessons in math, science, and humanities in multiple languages, as well as tools for parents, teachers, and districts to track student progress.

Sarman Prajapati
Construction Worker from Damoh

Associated with Jan Sahas, Sarman Prajapati, walked back home when the nation-wide lockdown was announced for the first time.

Shahzadi Gulafsha
Student, Samaritan Mission School

Shahzadi is a student of Class X, with a keen interest in science, and she aims to become a doctor. She is the daughter of a simple perfume (itr) vendor. She has served as the ‘Head Girl’ of the school in 2019, and has also represented the school in many prestigious competitions such as the Bournvita Quiz Contest.

Soumya Rajan
Founder & CEO, Waterfield Advisors

As the founder of Waterfield Advisors, Soumya brings over 25 years of financial services experience. She has advised several of India’s leading business families on issues related to the success and continuity of their family enterprise, including managing their family investments, succession transitions, mentoring the NextGen, corporate and family governance, conflict resolution, business strategy and philanthropy.

Supia Khatun
Survivor Leader, Utthan & ILFAT

A 25 year old fearless survivor leader of Utthan and ILFAT, Supiya is a powerful woman who has been at the forefront of fighting traffickers and accessing justice for herself and many other victims of sex trafficking. She is a mother, daughter, wife, entrepreneur running a micro-business, an SHG leader, a PIL petitioner advocating for legal and policy reforms, and an inspiring dreamer who dreams and works towards a world free of trafficking and slavery!

Uma Chatterjee
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Sanjog

Uma Chatterjee is the co-founder and executive director of Sanjog, a technical resource organisation based in Kolkata. As a clinical psychologist, psychosocial trainer, and researcher, Uma’s experience lies in developing and implementing training tools and capacity building workshops, facilitating trauma support groups, and research in the area of child and adolescent psychology. Currently, Uma is co-authoring a book on sexuality, power, and violence in workplaces.

Vidya Shah
Chairperson & CEO, EdelGive Foundation

Vidya Shah is the Chairperson and CEO of EdelGive Foundation. She left behind her successful career in investment banking to start EdelGive Foundation, and over the last 13 years has steered the growth of Edelweiss’ social investments to develop EdelGive into a strategic philanthropic organisation. Having witnessed the potential of small to mid-sized, high calibre NGOs to better address India’s development concerns, Vidya has channelled EdelGive’s structure of giving to include both financial and non-financial support to this special cohort of organisations. In addition to being a non-executive director at Edelweiss, Vidya also serves on the boards of various prominent CSOs such as Agastya International Foundation, Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy at Ashoka University, Mann Deshi Foundation and the Indian School of Public Policy. She also serves on the Governing Board of the Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur. Vidya earned an MBA degree from IIM-Ahmedabad and spent the first 11 years of her career in the field of investment banking.

Vinod Ram
Principal, Samaritan Mission School

Vinod Ram is the Principal of the Samaritan Mission School. A Masters in English along with Bachelors in Education, Vinod Ram has an experience of 20 years in the field of education. His vision is to take the institution to a new height of excellence. Always ready to take up new challenges and transform them into opportunities is his venture. A great crisis manager who keeps his team motivated.

Vivek Kumar
Co-Founder & CEO, Kshamtalaya Foundation

Vivek Kumar is the Co-Founder and CEO of Kshamtalaya - The school of potential – in the dejected village of Kotra, Rajasthan. A proactive leader in the space of education, Vivek has also been a Gandhi Fellow in the past. His ambition is to help all children identify their true potential.

Evening 1
In search of new lives

We have a terrific lineup of conversations awaiting you on Thursday, 3rd of December 2020, 6:00 pm onwards.

Read the agenda here.
Read the highlights of Evening 1 here.

Evening 2
Unlock Education

The enforced closure of educational institutions worldwide is posing a severe challenge to the continuous learning and development of students. On Evening 2 of EDGE 2020, we explored the impact of the lockdown on the Education sector. Read the Agenda here.
Read the Highlights of Evening 2 here.

Evening 3
Whose voice is it anyway?

The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women, across all segments of society. Yet, women continue to emerge as leaders in their communities. It is time we hear her voice.
Read the Agenda here.
Read the Highlights of Evening 3 here.

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