At the height of his corporate career as President of the Birla Group of Companies, Nirbhay Jain launched the NGO empowHER India, then known as SKS Chakshu Foundation, with the aim to improve the lives of those less fortunate. He worked tirelessly to channel social responsibility targets of the corporate sector and the more fortunate, determined to empower the less fortunate through education,...
self-reliance and sustained livelihood. His nurturing leadership has seen empowHer India transform and improve the lives of the poor in the villages and underdeveloped rural areas of Panvel. Coming from humble beginnings and having lived in tough rural conditions himself, Mr. Jain has spent his entire life committed to the cause of uplifting the poor and the backward.
Urmila Jain Trustee
Urmila Jain has been the guiding force of empowHER India. She has spent over 20 years striving for the empowerment of people in the villages and underdeveloped rural areas of Panvel. She has been instrumental in bringing education, health, social welfare and other development initiatives to the people in these areas. Today, her abiding dedication and efforts have helped positively transform ... more than 65 villages. She continues to work for the numerous development programs of empowHER India.
Utsav Kapadia Trustee
Utsav Kapadia is former managing director of Kaira Can Company Ltd., a leading manufacturer in the container industry. An IIT-Bombay alumni with a Masters in Industrial Metallurgy and Management Techniques and Welding Technology from the UK, he has used his over 30-year industrial and corporate business management experience to structure empowHER India’s operations from the grassroots level....
Mr. Kapadia believes that the right blend of innovation and understanding of rural requirements and temperaments can maximise available resources and lead to a brighter future. Mr. Kapadia is also a board of director and trustee of various organisations such as the Kalyandas Memorial Sports Foundation, the H.P.L. Public Charitable Trust and the Annakrish Trust. He is part of the consulting committee for the Borderless World Foundation that runs orphanages for young girls in strife-affected areas of Kashmir. He regards the Indian dairy pioneer Dr. Verghese Kurien as his inspiration and believes in giving back selflessly to society.
Varsha Jain Trustee
Varsha Jain is former in-charge-principal, Premlila Vithaldas Polytechnic Mumbai (PV Polytechnic), 2010-2012. A qualified and trained educationist, Mrs. Jain has over 20 years experience in the field of education. She has been involved with empowHER India’s development activities in the villages of Panvel from its inception. Her ability to speak in Marathi helped the empowHER India connect with...
the locals and further their work in the community. As community coordinator in the villages, Mrs. Jain rallied the resources and faculty at PV Polytechnic to develop short-term training programmes for income-generation and offered these to the SHGs in the villages around Panvel. She initiated vocational programmes in fruit and vegetable processing and dehydration and stitch craft (enhancement of garments) for the SHG members at the PV Polytechnic in Mumbai. She has also organised training in processing of medicinal herbs for tribal women from the foothills of Matheran and training in optical lens fitting for the school dropouts. She has conducted marketing training workshops for empowHER India SHG members. She has also organised various medical check-up camps and career counselling activities for the students at the Rakesh Jain Secondary School, Panvel. She constantly looks for opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives.
Shefali Kapadia Trustee
Shefali Kapadia is a trained interior design professional from the New York School of Interior Design. She has also been a buyer and consultant in the home furnishings space for several international home furnishing stores. Ms. Kapadia leads the marketing, branding, communications, digital and social media platforms at empowHER India. Ms. Kapadia is also responsible for fund raising, working with...
corporate and individual donors to generate awareness for programme initiatives. She also manages special projects such as health camps and nutrition programmes for women and has helped empowHER India expand its scope of offerings through the women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs). A student of philosophy, Ms. Kapadia believes her commitment to serve people broadens her understanding of life. Her mother’s work at NAB, NASEOH, Maharashtra State Women’s Council and other private trusts inspired her to make a positive impact in people’s lives. She has experienced in the villages of Panvel the domino effect a woman, empowered with information and opportunities, has on her family, village and community. She believes in adopting an innovative approach to improving the livelihoods of the less fortunate.
Vishal Jain Trustee
Vishal Jain has 20 years of global management consulting experience with McKinsey and with Bridge Strategy Group. As a management consultant he has worked for some of the largest companies in the world helping them on issues related to strategic direction, operational excellence and organisational alignment. He now runs a niche insurance BPO with offices in Bangalore and Pune that provide services...
to insurance companies in the UK and USA. He is interested in addressing challenges associated with India’s rapid urbanisation. Mr. Jain has been associated with empowHER India for almost two decades. He is an avid promoter of women’s empowerment through providing education and livelihood opportunities, as well as a strong believer in the “one home one toilet” philosophy — all of which align perfectly with empowHER India’s mission. Additionally, Mr. Jain serves as a Trustee on two other NGOs – Janwani, which promotes sustainable development in the Pune Metropolitan Region and Shelter Associates which assists the urban poor in cities and towns across Maharashtra to gain access to better sanitation, housing and livelihoods. He has served as an advisor to the Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporations on improving Solid Waste Management. He also led a national-level task force created by the Ministry of Urban Development to benchmark cities on the delivery of basic municipal services.
Paras Chowdhary Member – Advisory Board
Armed with a degree in physics from the prestigious St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, Chowdhary has spearheaded some of the biggest companies in India including Apollo Tyres, RPG Group and CEAT tyres. In 2013, he decided to retire from active corporate life and settle down in Pune. He continues to give direction and shape the way ahead for CEAT, Philips Carbon and a few other companies of the RPG Group....
Chowdhary got acquainted with empowHER India through the organisation’s school in Panvel and was impressed with the work done by the empowHER India. His wife, Mrs. Rekha Chowdhary, a well-known choreographer decided to teach Bharatnatyam and Indian folk dances to 65 school girls who went on to perform in the Annual Show of the school in 2016. Having spent his childhood and completing his basic education from the tribal belt of Jharkhand, Mr Chowdhary understands the positive impact empowHER India has had on rural Panvel and wishes to contribute for the same.
Sanjiv Anand Member – Advisory Board
Sanjiv Anand is managing director, Cedar Consulting, a leading and award-winning global management and information technology consulting firm with 15 offices globally. A Harvard Business School and Stern Graduate School of Business alumni, Anand has over 30 years of management consulting experience across the globe. He has been instrumental in developing strategy for US telecom and electronic...
markets, subsequently setting up operations in Asia and the Middle East. He has assisted the Boards and CEOs of leading global and regional companies develop and execute business strategy, transformation business operations, and address strategic HR and restructuring challenges. He is an international expert on the Balanced Scorecard having executed over 200 scorecards. Mr. Anand has driven over $1 Billion FDI into Asia and has assisted private equity firms in over $300 million in investments. He is well published and has been a keynote speaker at global conferences. A former YPO & WPO Chair, he is the author of Unlocking Human Capital to Drive Performance: A CEO’s Handbook published by McGraw Hill.
Sushil Kumar Jiwarajka Member – Advisory Board
Sushil Kumar Jiwarajka is a prominent industrialist and chairman of Artheon Group of companies and chairman and managing director of Essjay Ericsson Pvt. Ltd. having business interests in telecom, renewable energy and e-commerce. He has been chairman, FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry), WRC (2000-March 2014), chairman, Indo-Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry...
(2005-March 2013), president, Infrastructure & Logistics Federation of India (ILFI), national vice-president, Air Passengers Association of India, past president of the International Chamber of Commerce, India, managing trustee, Dwarkadas Jiwarajka Memorial Trust, Mumbai and past president of All India Organisation of Employers. He has been a member of several central and state government committees and is an independent director on the board of several companies. He has mentored and nurtured several young entrepreneurs and has promoted Omnigrid Micro Power Company Pvt. Ltd., an award-winning company that has been providing clean power using renewable energy for telecom sites and rural communities. He has been funding the construction of 60 toilets every year at empowHER India and is involved in realising the goal of building 10,000 toilets in rural India by 2020. He believes that giving back to society is an obligation of every well-to-do citizen. Among the causes close to his heart are sanitation, health of rural women and education of the girl child.
Anandi Vangal Director – Education
After 25 years as an educator in Indian urban and international schools, Anandi Vangal joined the Rakesh Jain Secondary School with a mission to upgrade the institute and bring it into the 21st century. Her vision is that the future of India lies in the rural sector and to bring them into today’s times, students must be taught technical and modern education while keeping their inherent and indigenous...
Indian value systems intact. She has done this by modernising the school in core areas. Ms. Vangal has brought about many progressive changes in the school by introducing new activities and holding various workshops and community welfare programmes for the children. She believes in inculcating humane, sensitive, compassionate and progressive values in children and in making education holistic so that school becomes a home away from home. She has made it her mission to make education more appealing and conducive for children and strives to help them acquire knowledge that will enable them to overcome life’s many challenges. A keen observer of life, she embraces change and believes that those more fortunate must help the less fortunate.
Saif Shehabi and Rashida Shehabi Volunteer IT service providers, empowHER India
Saif, a software engineer, and Rashida, a dietitian, have been running their IT consulting firm, Graficali successfully since the past 20 years. Saif believes that software is an art and treats each client's problem as a canvas to paint a software solution on it. Rashida brings in the required creativity to not only give a good look and feel to that software solution but to enhance it with the required user experience....
Inspired to give back to society, they have been involved with empowHER India’s work in providing skills to women in the villages of Panvel. They believe in absolute transparency in operation. Their ability to execute projects and get the work done has increased output at empowHER India at the grassroots level. This motivates them to do more work in this fast-growing organization.
Anamara Baig CEO, empowHER India
Anamara Baig has over 9 years’ experience in program implementation, donor management and business development. She is the former Head of Donor Management at Pratham Education Foundation, one of the largest non--profit organizations in India working in the Education and Skill Development space. She firmly believes that solutions should be evidence based, scalable and easily replicable. During her...
time at Pratham she has worked on large scale programs such as Read India, impacting over 4 million children annually and has overseen implementation of programs leveraging technology to deliver learning solutions. In her capacity as Head of Donor Management, she has managed relationships with key Pratham partners both in India and globally. She was the primary Pratham India representative to all Pratham overseas chapters such as Pratham USA, Pratham UK and Pratham Canada. She also served as the Executive Assistant to the Co--Founder and former CEO of Pratham, where she worked on all aspects of program design, implementation and impact evaluation for key government and corporate partnerships. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Jai Hind College and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Kent. Her endeavour is to undertake social initiatives that empower communities, especially women, in order to create a long term sustainable impact.
Annie Cardoz Programs Manager- Donor Management
Annie Cardoz has an international experience of 2 years and national work experience of 4 years in the social field. She has completed her Bachelors in Forensic Science from the Institute of Forensic Science, Mumbai India and has a Master’s degree in Criminology from Bond University. She has been associated to the Australian Red Cross, a mentor at the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME)
in Australia and is a member of the Rotaract Club and YWCA in Mumbai. She has worked on a range of projects, with various stakeholders and an array of beneficiaries from different walks of life. She currently leads the Program Management of donations for empowHER India, manages the interns and volunteers and provides support to all the programs under the umbrella of empowHER India. She believes that through empowHER India she can transform the lives of rural women and girls to help them become successful change makers in their villages. She enjoys learning new things, updating herself and meeting new people, and finds these skills especially advantageous when kicking off projects.
Bhakti Mehta Khatri Program Manager Marketing & Communications
Bhakti Mehta Khatri has over 7 years of communications experience in the social sector. She has completed her Bachelors in Marketing and Economics from George Mason University, USA. She has worked with various grassroot organizations across the globe, on setting up their online and offline communications efforts. These organizations include; MCAEL, USA, Concern India Foundation, Tulip Children and ...
Sudanese Refugee Camp, Egypt. She has worked in raising awareness for children in need from various causes. At empowHER, Bhakti leads the Communication and Marketing efforts of the organization. Her objective is to use her knowledge and skills to advocate the organization’s vision and mission. She believes by having a good communication strategy for the organization brands the organization well in terms of donor management.
Bhagwat Pandey Accounts Manager
Bhagwat Pandey has a Bachelor of Commerce with 8 years of account experience in the social sector. He deals with aspects of statutory accounting, government accounting laws and other compliance requirement of the organization. He has worked with various social organizations in the accounting department; The Akanksha Foundation and SNEHA, advocating causes; Education, Nutrition, Adolescence Gaining Ground (Youth), ...
Maternal and Neo natal project, Nurse Aid Program, Palliative Care Unit, Prevention of Violence against Women & Child and Livelihood for the Women.
Mohan Chavan Program Manager- Implementation
Mohan Chavan brings to the table over 20 years of extensive experience in child development, livelihood, skill development, program management, coordination, and socio-economic development. He headed the team at Jalswarajya, a project funded by the World Bank with the support of Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Associated with Sudarshan Chemical Ind. Ltd, Swades Foundation, Samparc SOS village, Kirloskar consultant Ltd in the past 20 years,...
he has helped various organizations in designing programs, CSR polies and strategies. He has been a Master Trainer in good governance, Panchayat Raj, and Right to Information. Mohan’s skills in project assessment, evaluation, impact analysis, resource planning, scheduling, tracking, and implementation adds value to the overall Program management. He has hands-on experience in developing and sustaining working relations with government bodies and departments, Gram Panchayats, local rural communities, financial institutions and NGOs. He is an enterprising leader with skills focused at accomplishing common goals. He is the Program Manager for the overall programs at empowHER India. With his extensive experience and knowledge of Corporate Social Responsibility, sustainability processes, and operations his objective is to lead the organization to further success.
Dharmaraj Pradhan Program Head - Adolescence Girls
Dharmaraj Anandi Govinda Pradhan has a Masters of Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. He has specialized in the areas of livelihood and social entrepreneurship. With over 8 years of experience, he spent 6 years focussing in the development sector. Dharmaraj has been associated with Swades Foundation and Maharashtra State Rural Livelihoods Mission in the Konkan region. He has worked in the areas of rural development, women empowerment,...
health and nutrition, financial inclusion and skill development. He has been appointed as the Head of Adolescent Girls Program at empowHER India. His objective is to be able to use his skills and knowledge to create a lasting impact for the growth of the organization.
Saurabh Sareen Program Head- WASH
Saurabh Sareen has been in the development sector for over 12 years. He has a Masters in Social Work and extensive knowledge in the field of WASH. As a development professional he has worked with grass route and management level organizations including; SEWS India and UNICEF. He has been with empowHER India since 2018 as the Head of WASH Program. His objective is to work innovatively in challenging ...
environments and to see well impacted growth to the beneficiaries.
Vishal Shantaram Vankade Admin and Documentation Support
Vishal Shnataram Vankade has a Bachelor Of Computer Application with over 8 years of Team Lead experience. At empowHER India, he manages the day to day activities of the organisation and the projects at hand. His objective is to continue taking new responsibilities and contributing to the organization's success.
Sandeep Prabhakar Salvi
Sandeep Prabhakar Salvi has been with working with empowHER India, previously know as SKS Chaksu Foundation, since 2006. Mr Sandeep manages the day to day running of the main office and assisting other departments on daily basis.
Aniket Gawade Communications Associate
Aniket Gawade has 3 years of experience as a Software Engineer and over a years experience in the development sector. He is a passionate photographer with an experience of working with indigenous Indian communities. He enjoys creating human interest stories and bringing the stories of such communities to life. Having worked with researchers, anthropologists and interning with The Indian Express he has carried out self funded projects...
focusing on the indigenous communities and the environmental issues surrounding them. Along with his visual skills he has hands-on experience in graphic designing and managing social media handles. At empowHER India, Aniket works as a Communications Associate. His objective is to bring in all his experience and creativity to support and implement the communications strategies in order to elevate the organisation's reach.
Working at empowHer to raise funds through the Tata Mumbai Marathon was truly a wholesome experience. The project taught me skills like time and people management and the fact that we were able to raise funds for a good cause instilled a sense of pride in me. I was deeply inspired by everyone at the organisation and their vision of bringing about a change. I’m truly grateful to have been a part of this project and gotten this opportunity.
Ayushi Khaturia (Communication Intern)
I am Nitu Santosh Patil and I live in Chindhran village, Karjat. I am the operator of the Water ATM installed in our village by empowHER. Before the installation of the Water ATM, we used to pay Rs. 40 for 20 litres of water. Now we pay Rs. 10 for 20 litres. In a week, around 75-100 villagers visit this Water ATM to fill clean drinking water. Because of my job at this Water ATM, I get paid which helps me with my household expenses and also receive clean drinking water for my family.
Empower India is an NGO that makes the impossible, possible. I know personally Mr. Nirbhay Jain, Founder & Chairman and his team for the last 6 years. They are an extremely committed and passionate group. I am glad to associate with the NGO in activities like Construction of Water-well at Hilltop village, providing R.O. Purified Drinking Water Plant for Villagers and Potable Water to School Children as a CSR initiative of our Company. I am sure that they properly utilize every penny of the donations for the right purpose and to the right beneficiary.
Gulab Mukane’s family is the owner of a new toilet through the support of Bombay Community Publich Trust. When asked about owning one a smile beaned across Gulab’s face; "I can leave my children to use the toilet even at night without any fear because it is close to my house."
Gulab Mukhane (Beneficiary, Karjat))
EmpowHER India has been working in Karjat Taluka for the past year. They have been working on constructing individual toilets, providing clean drinking water and have also provided with COVID essential materials such as PPE Kits, Masks, Sanitizers, gloves and temperature gun. Since the involvement of the organization they have built 300 toilets and have provided with 5 wells in the remote areas which help solve the water area.
They have been working significantly in our taluka and especially the remote regions by constructing good quality toilets and running the health related programs for the Adivasi people in the remotest areas. I wish they will continue their work in similar way to help and uplift the Adivasi people in Karjat taluka and I thank them for their great work.
Puri (Block Development Officer, Karjat)
308, Nirman Kendra
Famous Studio Lane
Dr. E. Moses Road
Mumbai 400 011, INDIA.
The Nav Bharat Co-operative Society,
Row House No. 4,
Sector 2, New Panvel,
Raigad, Maharashtra- 410206, India.
C/O Prabhakar Rane,
Katkar Wadi (Adiwasi Wadi),
Near Murbad Road, at post Kashele,
Taluka Karjat, District: Raigad,
Maharashtra- 410201, India