Dr. Anita Patil-Deshmukh brings a wide variety of talents and expertise to PUKAR. A trained Neonatologist by profession, Anita received her Masters in Public Health from Harvard University and worked as a faculty Neonatologist at a teaching institution in Chicago for 20 years. During her tenure, she was the Director of the Ambulatory Pediatric Residency program and Director of Continuous Medical Education for the Department of Pediatrics. She played a major leadership role within India Development Service (IDS), a Chicago based pioneering organization that supported multiple, small-scale Integrated Rural Development Projects (IRDP) across India. During her voluntary tenure at IDS, Anita visited 44 projects across 12 states to evaluate and learn from. She helped organized many important seminars in Chicago on developmental issues and build links between several philanthropic initiatives and leaders in India and the United States. Anita relocated to India in 2005 to contribute to the developmental sector and joined PUKAR as executive Director.
Afsana joined PUKAR in 2015 as Barefoot Researcher and joined the Team of “Journey Towards Dignity” project as a field assistant in 2017. Afsana has completed her masters in Hindi Literature and is very happy about the opportunity in PUKAR to gain knowledge and share it with everyone she can. She has enjoyed becoming a Didi, facilitating workshops for her audience of 7th grader BMC school girls and looks forward to increasing her contribution to the project and interacting with more girls and their mother
Hailing from Khadkoli village of Palghar taluka, Anita, a college drop-out, joined PUKAR’s IFA-IGFA project as E-Sevak in 2016. After joining, she understood the importance of education and while working in PUKAR she went back to college, thus completing her education; a “collateral advantage”. Due to her impactful communications within her village and effective working style, she was selected as an INNOVATOR for Unnati Cooperative. She has been busy visiting neighbouring villages and providing E-Services to the villagers at their door steps.
A quiet, unassuming person who believes strongly in the values of equity, equality and inclusivity, Arvind joined PUKAR in 2016 as a facilitator for the flagship program of PUKAR, the Youth Fellowship. With his bachelor’s in economics, masters in social work and large field experience working with deeply marginalized sectors of various communities across state, Arvind has been able contribute richly to the project and has helped evolved it with his passion for innovations. Recently Arvind was one of the 20 youth selected across Maharashtra, for Gender Equity Workshop project.
Small framed with big aspirations and even bigger efforts to fulfill those aspiration, Bali epitomizes youthful verve, confidence and vitality! Bali brings more than 7 years of ‘on the ground experience’ in community building and community based participatory action research. Having been a Barefoot Researchers in PUKAR’s critical projects like Biometrics, Cost of diarrhea, Mental health, Water and TB education in Kaula Bandar, his very own slum, Bali has expertise in interviews, surveys and adorns the mantel of community leader in Kaula Bandar and that of a Program Coordinator in Mandala. A graduate of commerce, Bali has completed his masters in accounting but is happy being with PUKAR instead of ahigh paying job in a company.
Heena is completing her B. Sc and wishes to continue educating herself further and become a role model for her community where girls are forbidden to educate themselves. She was PUKAR’s Yout Fellows in 2016-17 and after acquiring the necessary research skills she opted to become a Alumni -Mentor for two Research Groups in 2017-18. Now she wants to expand her knowledge sector and joins the JDT Team in 2018.
Chirag hails from Vasare Village of Palghar Taluka. 22 year old Chirag is a commerce graduate, who joined PUKAR as a E-Sevaks in 2016. His sense of responsibility and ability to deliver work effectively led to his being chosen as a COORDINATOR in 2018.
Dipali, a 23 year old who completed her 12th and joined as E-Sevak in 2016. With the learnings from PUKAR and her own passion and erudition has propelled Dipali to become a computer operator in her Grampanchayat. She is an INNOVATOR in Unnati Cooperative.
20 years old Kajal, hails from Pargaon village of Palghar taluka and is busy earning and learning. Her erudite nature and passion for reading propelled her to join PUKAR as E-Sevak in 2016. She was selected as an INNOVATOR for Unnati Cooerative based upon her effective leadership in her village.
While completing second year of law degree, and working on the Mythologies of Mumbai-PUKAR project simultaneously, Kiran found his calling and he became the self-taught expert of photography, web design and mapping technology. His media and technology skills led him to become the creator and webmaster of PUKAR as well as program coordinator for ‘Research on Internet Access” project in which he coordinated with IIT-Bombay. Since 2015 Kiran took over as program director for Urbanism, launching “Information for All- E-Governance for All” project in tribal district of Palghar covering 17 villages for Digital literacy. And delivering extra-ordinary results.
Mahesh has extensive prior experience in data management, working for the Lal Bahadur Shastri CAMSAR Merchant Navy Institute for the four years. In addition, he has also managed data at Marine Engineering and Research Institute for six years. He was a Barefoot Researcher through the Youth Fellowship program, where he researched the decision-making power of girls. He joined Healthy Cities, Wealthy Cities, PUKAR’s public health project, in May 2010. He has been very effective in managing and organizing the large volume of data produced by all projects in PUKAR. He also facilitates data collection in the field with the research coordinators when needed.
Kajal, a resident of informal settlement of Kaula Bandar, joined PUKAR as Barefoot Researchers in 2010. A High school graduate, with repeated trainings in PUKAR, Kajal became an expert interviewer and joined PUKAR core team as project assistant. She showed keen interest in learning more about Journey Towards Dignity (JTD) project. This along with her refined communication skills especially with young girls, propelled her to become an assistant facilitator for JTD in 2018.
Nikhil has a Bachelor’s Degree in Internet Technology. He started out as a computer teacher at a school in Dahisar, where he taught for 5 years between 2012 and 2016. While pursuing his job as a teacher, he joined PUKAR in 2014 as a Project Assistant for the Research on Internet Access project in Khamloli Village. As a project coordinator on the Information For All, E-Governance For All project, Nikhil leads the work in 2 villages, with the aim of creating awareness amongst the villagers about e-governance, which ties in well with his experience and education in the field of computers.
Nileema has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Pune University and Master’s Degree in Social Work from Karve Institute of Social Service, Pune. She has 11 years experience working with different ngos and acquired key skills in the area of project management, training and capacity building, research and documentation. Her interest lies in the field of Dalit and tribal rights and research. She worked as Research Officer in 2 research studies with Tata Institute of Social Sciences namely ‘Study of Socio-Economic Profile and Rehabilitation Needs of Muslim Community in Prisons in Maharashtra’ and National Research Study on Human Trafficking in India. She has been awarded Commonwealth Professional Fellowship in 2015 which was tenable at Karuna Trust, UK and Germany.
Nilesh has a Master’s Degree in Oceanography from Mumbai University. He joined PUKAR as a youth fellow in 2012, while simultaneously working as a scientist’s assistant at CMFRI (Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute). He started working with PUKAR in 2016 as a project coordinator on one of the Healthy Cities Wealthy Cities project. As the program coordinator on the many Healthy City projects, Nilesh and his team members are currently studying the health seeking behaviour of residents of M-East ward of Mumbai.
Nitin has completed Higher Secondary Certificate. He joined PUKAR’s Research on Internet Access project in 2014 as an E-Sevak and after learning about the Internet and E-Governance, he took on the responsibility of spreading the knowledge in Dhuktan village. He led the E-Sevak Initiative For Better Governance project in Kokner village. Since 2016, Nitin has been working as coordinator on the Information For All, E-Governance For All project in Chahade and Vasare villages.
Nizam’s usually quiet and peaceful demeanor changes dramatically when facing the poor and marginalized; be it in his own Kaula Bandar (KB) slum or Surya Nagar slum in Vikroli. Being the first generational learners, he has experienced the difficulties of learning new skills. But experience of PUKAR’s Mental health, TB, Diarrhoea and Immunization projects has imparted not just research skills but critical skills in communications and community building in Nizam. Armed with those vital capabilities, Nizam becomes an embodiment of patience, compassion, tolerance, communicative assertion and positive energy once he is on the grounds where he is fully in charge of building the team of Barefoot Researchers. His Urdu mother tongue becomes an added asset. After completing 8thth grade Nizam had to give up his aspirations of further education but since joining PUKAR he has worked hard to complete his Ty. BCom.
Hailing form Pochade village in Palghar district, 20 year old Pranjali is an earner and learner. She joined PUKAR in 2017 as E-Sevak. Currently she has joined the Team of INNOVATORS in Unnati Cooperative and plans to continue this exciting work even after her impending marriage.
Pratiksha has her masters in Mass Communication and Journalism, a diploma is Women and Children’s health and completed basic course in ISABS. She currently teaches Public Relations in prestigious Sathey College. She joined PUKAR as Barefoot Researcher in 2009, working on multiple PUKAR projects embedded in slum health that involved mostly survey, mapping and interviews across the city. After 9 long years of research experience, Pratiksha is ready to join the JTD Team in order to educate the adolescent girls.
Priyanka has completed her Master's Degree in Media and Cultural Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and joined Pukar as Writer - Designer from October 2018. However her curious characteristic soon led her to the path of handling multiple social media platforms. Apart from reading books from different genre she loves traveling and exploring different places and advocates accessibility for persons with disabilities.
Rahul, 22 years old resident of Sakare village in Palghar taluka, is a commerce graduate. He joined PUKAR in 2016 as E-Sevak. In addition to his assigned village he also volunteered to work in 3 surrounding villages in order to provide them the E-Services. This dedication led to his being selected as a COORDINATOR in 2018 and he seems to be enjoying this extra responsibility.
Rahul has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and History, Certificate Course in Computer Hardware and Networking.
In 2014, Rahul joined the Research on Internet Access project as an E-Sevak in Bahadoli village to create awareness about e-governance. He managed the GPS Mapping on social issues for 40 villages in Palghar in 2016. He led the ESIBG project in Gowade village. Since March 2016, Rahul has been leading the Information For All, E-Governance For All project in Tamsai, Pochade and Netali villages as a project coordinator. His areas of expertise are management, planning and teaching.
Rupesh has a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature, Certificate Course in Travel and Tourism. He joined the Research on Internet Access project in 2014 as a field assistant. He led the E-Sevak Initiative For Better Governance project in Lalthane village. Since 2016, Rupesh has been working in the capacity of a coordinator on the Information For All, E-Governance For All project in Khadkoli, Vishrampur, Tandulvadi and Uchavli villages.
Sheeba has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. She has an experience of over 16 years working with different NGOs, focusing on groups of women and girls. She has also worked in the health sector. Her interests include conducting workshops on social issues for children, camps for community, counselling, networking with NGOs etc.
24 year old Shrutika, makes a great role model for young women of Pargaon village in Palghar district. With her masters in Arts and passion for doing something meaningful for her community, Shrutika joined PUKAR as E-Sevak in 2016 while successfully balancing her multiple responsibilities; as a wife and mother of 2 year old child. Despite these responsibilities she shone in her work and was chosen as an INNOVATOR for PUKAER’s Unnati Cooperative and continues to reach out to many other villagers to provide them the E-Services they lack.
While pursuing her master’s in Marathi literature, Shrutika also became a PUKAR Youth Fellow, completed a diploma in Marathi journalism at St. Xavier’s College and an advance level course of Indian Society for Applied Behaviour Sciences (ISABS), thus giving her the edge to become a consultant. and her contributions to Mythology of Mumbai project continued simultaneously. Her research in public health issues has led to her co-authoring six papers in international peer reviewed journals and presentation at many national and international conferences including Harvard University. She is also the associate director for the “Information for All- E-Governance for All- Building Knowledge Bridge for Digital Divide” project supported by Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives and is responsible for all the programmatic implementations on the ground.
Shweta has a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce with a specialisation in Accounting & Finance, VIVA College. She joined PUKAR as an E-Sevak on the Research on Internet Access project in Dhuktan village. She worked as a project administrator on the ESIBG project. Since 2016, Shweta has been working as an Office Administrator on the Information For All, E-Governance For All project. Now she has appointed as a Program Coordinator since June 2018.
A bachelor of Arts, 22 year old Shweta, joined PUKAR in 2016 as E-Sevak and with hard work and determination she was chosen to join Unnati Cooerative that takes E-Services to people’s door steps. She is from Pochade in Palghar district
Simran is the first woman to leave her village of Dahisar in Palghar district and get a job while pursuing her degree in commerce. Her gender and religion have become an advantage in her village where she has successfully trained Self Help Group (SHG) of Muslim Women. Currently she works as an INNOVATOR for PUKAR’s Unnati Copperative.
Sunil has been working as a Program Facilitator with PUKAR after he completed his Masters in Psychology from Mumbai University in 2010. Having been a Youth Fellows himself, he allows his own experience to feed into his current role which includes ideating, innovating, planning, designing and executing the program. To prepare himself well for these responsibilities, Sunil has completed international course in facilitation for gender, diversity and social transformation, a course in active citizenship and participatory communication. In addition, he is pursuing higher level training in the Indian Society for Applied Behavioural Sciences (ISABS). He has supervised around 30 original research studies, focusing largely on issues related to gender, sexuality and expression of identities; working with children of sex workers, rag-pickers, orphans, transgenders and victims of domestic violence. Sunil had developed a special skill in mentoring the most disadvantaged youth from all sectors.
Tejal posseses a Bachelor of Science from Mumbai University, a degree in software engineering and a diploma in Public Health from the Public Health Foundation of India with a focus on Women and Children. After a pit stop in Indian Oil in software management she joined PUKAR as a youth fellow. In addition to co-authoring six papers in International journals, she presented her research on immunization and coding and mapping slum communities at the National Institute of Health Summit, Washington DC in 2012. In addition to her serious contribution to Mythology of Mumbai project over 7 long, years, now Tejal oversees all the projects conducted under the vertical of Healthy Cities Wealthy Cities. Her special interests are in long term case studies.
Utkarsha has a degree in Software Engineering. While pursuing her degree, Utkarsha joined PUKAR as an E-Sevak in Bahadoli Village on the Research on Internet Access project. Her interest shifted to this work and she stayed on with PUKAR. Utkarsha also worked on the E-Sevak Initiative for Better Governance (ESIBG) as a data and office manager.
Vaishali comes from Tandulwadi village in Palghar district, has completed her undergraduate degree, joined PUKAR in 2016 as E-Sevak and is currently works as an INNOVATOR. Her village is predominantly Adivasi and she has struggled hard to ensure every person from her village receives the benefit of E-Services that she is capable of delivering. She is NCC candidate and aspires to be a police woman.
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