BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dr. Belinda Bennet, President – A versatile, value-based passionate leader with over three decades of working with international development agencies, national civil society, and community-based organisations, and citizens’ groups. She has led and moulded the emergence of strong institutions to work with the rights of children, excluded communities and women. Dr. Bennet played a strategic role in bringing issues of social exclusion to the forefront of development discourses. Dr. Bennet has also been involved with leading major emergency responses in the region reaching millions of affected people.

Ms. Saulina Arnold, Secretary – A meticulous and highly competent Consultant with track record of achieving best results in 40+ years of my successful career in promoting Health of Individuals and Community, Programs for schools/offices/organizations, Health & Development, Effective Engagement of NGOs and act as a consultant in various committees and action, Health, Child/Women/Gender/HIV/AIDS. She was the Executive director of Tamil Nadu Voluntary Health Association prior to becoming a Health consultant for various organizations.

Dr Arumugam Gurusamy, Treasurer – Senior level professional with 29 years of experience in rural development and the industrial sectors. He has designed and managed several medium and large sized programs across South Asian countries focused on Livelihood promotion & poverty reduction, Rural micro entrepreneurship development, Food security, women’s empowerment, humanitarian response and Community Centred Child Development. He has acquired skills and knowledge in program approaches such as Help for Self Help, LRRD (Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development), Mainstreaming CBDRM/DRR, Community Centred Child Development, Youth Engagement & Development, Sustainability measures, Project Cycle Management and Results Based Management (RBM). His core skills include HR, Operational, Team building and in-country laws and compliances.

Ms. Andal, Member – has a wide range of 33 years of rich experience in the field of counselling, capacity building and rehabilitation of distress women. She held varied capacities including Director at different developmental organisations, hospitals and Industries since 1986 Besides project management, she demonstrated her success in dealing with issues affecting dalits, Child abuse, etc., and promoted women empowerment, education and psycho-social care and management for the socially and mentally affected vulnerable communities. She has been well recognised as a trainer by different sectors and co-authored many papers and publications

Ms. Nancy J Anabel, Member – a development professional, has a grounding professional experience of 23 years in the field of rural development, and held senior-level positions at different organizations. In her recent stint of leading a flagship programme i.e. Information, Education, and Communication of M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), she has led and worked with larger pool of multidisciplinary dynamic team for rebuilding and impacting the vulnerable rural communities across 24 states in India. Her professional competencies and contribution to impact the last mile in various organizations have been Food and Nutrition Security, Education, WASH, Health, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Sustainable Livelihoods with the crosscutting components of ICT, social inclusion and gender mainstreaming, institutional / capacity building and result based management. Her strength in strategic planning, partnership and policy influence has led to innovate, impact and upscale models for inclusive development besides resource mobilization, change management and visibility.

Dr. Selvi Kumari, Member  –  is a Consultant focusing on Clinical Psychologist and Training and Research in various organization including schools and hospitals. She has teaching experience and worked as an Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, M.S.Chellamuthu Institute of Mental Health & Rehabilitation and guide Ph. D scholars. Besides she was a visiting Lecturer at Vocational Training and Research Center (VTRC) – Peniel Group of Educational Institutions, Madurai. Her expertise in training includes counselling, Psychotherapy (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy-CBT, Family and Marital Therapy, Therapeutic Interventions for Children and Adolescents, Psychological Assessments, School Mental Health. Dr. Selvi has M.Sc. in Applied Psychology from Women’s Christian College, and M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS).

Dr. S. Venkatraman, Member  – has an M.A and M.Phil. (from Cambridge University, UK) and a Ph.D. (from the London School of Economics, UK). He has more than 2 decades of experience and he is trained and has worked extensively in the field of Social Research, Development Economics, ICT for development, Policy Research, Sector Planning and Management, Skill Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation, Sustainable Development. He has global experience and technical expertise on education and health. He currently works as Senior Consultant in Education Sector of UNESCO including its Headquarters in Paris, regional offices for the Asia Pacific region in Bangkok, Arab region in Beirut and Ha Noi (Vietnam). With UNESCO he has worked with over 90 national governments in South Asia, South East Asia, The Pacific, Middle East, North Africa, East and Southern African region of the world providing technical support and capacity building in policy development, sector planning and management, monitoring and assessment. He has also worked on various capacity at different levels / regions with other UN agencies such as UNICEF (India), The World Bank, DFID, and UNFPA besides being an international consultant to The Asian Development Bank (ADB). He also provides technical support and works as consultant to Government of India and State Governments, International NGOs and National NGOs in India and regional bodies such as Asia Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCIEU, South Korea), South East Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO, Thailand).

ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Dr. Paul P. Appasamy : Honorary Lecturer at Madras School of Economics, graduated with an Engineering degree in India and further continued his studies in Engineering and Management in USA. He received his Ph.D in City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan. He returned to India, where he held various designations at the Madras Institute of Development Studies and Madras School of Economics for about 20 years. He served as Director at both the above-mentioned Institutions for Seven years. He then served as a Vice Chancellor at Karunya University, a Christian Technical University in Coimbatore for over five years. Dr. Appasamy’s research has largely been in the areas of environment, water resources and urban development. His most recent work is on issues related to Higher Education, Environment, Health and Science & Technology in India, particularly the challenges faced by Indian Colleges and Universities. He served as Chairman of the Board of Lady Doak College and Women’s Christian College and has been a member of the United Board’s Task Force on South Asia. He retired in 2012 and now lives in Chennai.

Dr. Vincent Manoharan : He is an Indian Human Rights Activist, known mostly for creating the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), an organization that focuses on stemming the discrimination still present within India’s caste system. Being a member of the Dalit caste, he has witnessed first-hand discrimination created by Human Rights as he grew up in a Christian mission compound in India. Being an Untouchable (Dalit) and a grass root activist for the last 30 years, he is familiar and well versed with the life experience – the pathos and sufferings, hopes and faith – of the discriminated and oppressed. Through this experience, he became motivated to participate in the Indian Human Rights struggle and that became a reason for the foundation of the NCDHR with several other activists in 1998. They started NCDHR with the hope of increasing exposure to the discrimination still present in India. A total of 78 Dalit activists collaborated in forming NCDHR. In 2009, a declaration was made that discrimination against a group of people (Dalits) is a human rights violation and that was a huge success for Manoharan and the NCDHR. He also helped in the founding of the International Dalit Solidarity Network, a group that fights caste discrimination on a global level. In 2007 the Manoharan and the NCDHR won the Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize for their work in the field of Human Rights.

Ms. Deepthi Sukumar – Three decades of experience in policy and advocacy work with special focus on the right to dignity for persons engaged in manual scavenging with the considerable experience in working with international development agencies. Area of interest are women and children especially from marginalized communities with focus on their access to economic rights, quality education and equity.