Ground Report | New Delhi: Women’s Day 2022; Every year, March 8th is celebrated as International Women’s Day. The date that has become one of the most important and famous, and in which equality between men and women is claimed.
It is a reminder of the incessant struggle that women have sustained both for their labour and social rights, in search of and in favour of a completely just and equitable society.
Dhuwarakha Sriram, Chief of Generation Unlimited (YuWaah) and Youth Development and Partnerships at UNICEF
Dhuwarakha is a national of Sri Lanka and an international development expert, with nearly 20 years of strategic planning and programming experience with UNICEF and UNHCR in the areas of adolescent/youth development and participation, gender, and child protection.
As the Chief of Generation Unlimited, Youth Development and Partnerships with UNICEF India, she currently leads and coordinates one of the largest initiatives with and for young people on learning, skilling, employment, youth innovations, and civic engagement with support from the public and private sector partners. She has previously worked with UNICEF Regional Office of West and Central Africa in Senegal and in Sierra Leone, where she managed the programs on child protection and adolescents including the support to the Ebola response.
Prior to this, she worked in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka with UNICEF and UNHCR, and she was involved in the design and implementation of child protection and education programmes in complex emergency settings including the Tsunami response in 2004 – 05. She has also worked as a Research Fellow with the University of Melbourne in 2007.
Tara Singh Vachani – Managing Trustee – Max India Foundation 2.0
Tara works with various implementation partners across India such as Teach for India, among other NGOs, to enable education opportunities for underprivileged children. Whether it was starting a business vertical dedicated to creating a senior care ecosystem – one of the firsts in India and as early as 2013 – or working closely with children at grassroots through our philanthropic arm, her vision for leadership has been simple: people, who engage with them, should return home with a sense of satisfaction that their needs will be taken care of earnestly.
Venturing into a space that is driven by passion, brings a deep sense of purpose, and aids her in charting a territory of her own are the guiding pillars of how she perceives leadership personally. These pillars catalysed her efforts to build an entity or brand in the form of Antara Senior Care which has constantly created a difference in the community.
Meanwhile, their efforts at community building and contribution to the country’s human capital formation through active contribution towards education have benefitted thousands of children. For instance, over 5.4 million beneficiaries were helped through their Education Alliances in 2021, while over 40,000 children received education through other NGO partners and more than 17,000 people were aided by their COVID-19 support programs.
Some of her key achievements are
1) Category creation – one of India’s first well-rounded senior care ecosystems. Built Antara Senior Living from scratch, conceptualizing the idea as early as 2010 and bringing it to fruition in 2013. Following the success of the first project in Dehradun, launched Antara 2.0 – the Assisted Care Services vertical – in 2020.
2) Responsible for the functioning and governance of Max India Foundation (MIF), with a close eye on the strategic implementation of MIF’s programs at the grassroots level.
3) Association with Teach for India gave her exposure to the education space.
4) Currently, chairs the Teach for India’s Delhi Regional Board and is a member of its National Board.
5) Tara holds a seat on the board of ISB.
6) Is a Mentor for the following programs:
a) KARM Fellowship for Young Indian Women
b) Governing and Advisory councils of the Vedica Scholars Programme for Women
c) A jury member for Business Blasters: Delhi Govt’s Entrepreneurship Challenge.
Ms. Sonali Khan, Managing Director at Sesame Workshop India
Sonali Khan leads Sesame Workshop’s educational mission in India to create innovative and engaging content that maximises the educational power of all media to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. As Managing Director of Sesame Workshop – India, Sonali spearheads the organisation that combines the power of mass media with educational outreach to prepare children for school and life. Under her leadership, the organisation develops and implements ground-breaking programs to reach children everywhere – especially those who need it the most.
Sonali is a global advocate for human rights and for ending violence against marginalised communities, with an emphasis on girls and women. Her work has focused on promoting gender equity in education, empowerment of adolescent girls, along with ending domestic violence, sexual harassment, and early marriage. She began her career as a television journalist covering politics and business and has since worked for a variety of organisations that harness the power of media for social change. Sonali is a proud recipient of the prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskar (Women’s Empowerment Award) from the President of India. In 2016, she also received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship for her
Ashraf Patel, Co-founder, Pravah, and ComMutiny
Ashraf has played a key role in shaping the youth work field over two decades as co-founder of Pravah and ComMutiny – The Youth Collective. She is a passionate advocate of inside-out youth leadership and committed to strengthening youth-centric development and societal well-being based on values of justice, equality, liberty, and fraternity. Towards this aim, she is currently co-creating vartaLap Coalition, a cross-sectoral community with 250 leading organisations, policymakers, and key stakeholders who intend to scale the mission ‘Every youth a Jagrik, Every space nurturing Jagriks’ (Jagrik means a self-awakened, active citizen) while keeping alive its soul.
Ashraf has contributed significantly to framing policy and practice on adolescent and youth development at National and International levels. She has co-authored a number of learning resources and a field resource book ‘Ocean in a Drop – Inside Out Youth Leadership’ (Sage 2013). She is an Ashoka Fellow and the Social Entrepreneur of the Year (SEOY 2020).
She is currently on the Board of leading organisations like Oxfam India, PHIA Foundation, IBTADA, Commonwealth Alliance of Youth Work Associations, International Forum for Volunteering in Development (IVCO), and a member of Vikalp Sangam, Catalyst 2030, and The Wellbeing Ecosystem.