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VASUNDHARA - Democratising Natural Resources Governance

 Executive Committee :
Ms Neera M. Singh
Ms. Neera Mendiratta Singh is a founding member of Vasundhara and is currently functioning as the President of its Executive Committee (EC). She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. She has longstanding association with community forestry issues in Odisha and India. Her experience includes research on self-initiated community forestry initiatives, gender and equity issues, and policy advocacy and networking around forest-based livelihood issues. She has an interdisciplinary social sciences Ph.D. from Michigan State University and a Master’s Degree in Forestry Management (India) and B.Sc (Mathematical Statistics) (India).

Ms. Neera Mendiratta Singh
Founder Member
27 Parkland Road
Toronto, ON M1N1Y7
Email: neera.singh@gmail.com, neera.singh@utoronto.ca

Prof. Premananda Panda
Prof. Premananda Panda is associated with the HDF School of Management. He is the former Member Secretary, Academy of Tribal Language and Culture and former Director of SCSTRTI Govt. of Odisha, and is currently functioning as Vice-President of Vasundhara. He was also a Professor and Head of Department of Anthropology, Sambalpur University and has a teaching experience in Anthropology and Management at Post Graduate and MTI level of more than three decades and about two decades respectively. He has been associated academically with more than 35 universities and 15 research institutes in India and 4 universities abroad. He has completed his Ph.D from Sambalpur University and master’s degree in Anthropology from Utkal University. His experience includes Administration in Govt. and Private organisations, Teaching, Research and Training & Development. He has published seven books and more than 60 papers in books and journals of national and international repute.

Prof. Premananda Panda
Qrs – SB 23, Aryaa Village,
Dumuduma, Phase – IV, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
Phone: 91-9437261934

Ms Madhu Sarin
Ms. Madhu Sarin is the member of Vasundhara’s Executive Committee (EC). Since the early 1980s, she has worked on rural development planning, participatory and sustainable forest management, gender justice and women’s empowerment, combining grassroots work with advocacy for policy changes at the state and national levels. Ms Sarin has written extensively on these issues, with papers published in international and national level books and journals. She was a member of the drafting committee and Technical Support Group appointed by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, for the Tribal and Forest Dwellers (Forest Rights) Bill. She is also actively associated with the National Campaign for Survival and Dignity. In addition to being on the governing board of several NGOs in India, such as Vikram Sarabai Centre for Development Interaction (VIKSAT), Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), and Sutra, she also serves on the boards of Regional Community Forestry Training Center (Bangkok) and International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), UK. She has an extensive understanding of issues relating to forests, tribal land rights, and forest governance in Odisha; and provides extensive advisory inputs to Vasundhara’s interventions.

Ms. Madhu Sarin
48, Sector 4, Chandigarh
Phone:  09814004449, +911722741420
Email: madhu.sarin1@gmail.com

Dr. (Ms). V. Rukmini Rao
Dr. Rao is a dedicated social and rural development activist working with women at many levels of Indian Society but particularly with the poor, the underprivileged and the vulnerable. She has a high media profile and credibility in Andhra Pradesh in particular and in India in general on these issues. She is currently Executive Director at the Centre for World Solidarity (CWS) and on the Boards of the Deccan Development Society (DDS) and Gramya (Gramya Resource Centre for Women, which she founded). She also worked for many years with Saheli (Saheli Women’s resource Centre) in Delhi.

Gramya Resource Centre for Women
12-13-440,Street no 1, Tarnaka
Secunderabad 500017.India
website: http://www.gramya.org.in
Phone: 0091-40-42601382
Mobile: 0091-9440860271

Dr. Geetanjoy Sahu
Geetanjoy Sahu is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Science, Technology & Society, School of Habitat Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. His research and teaching interests include environmental jurisprudence, environmental regulation and policy, forest rights and governance, the political economy of public policy and institutions, and environmental movements.
He earlier served as Post-Doctoral Associate at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment and Development (CISED), Bengaluru. He holds PhD in Political Science from the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bengaluru and MPhil from the Hyderabad Central University (HCU), Hyderabad. In 2010, he was selected for the Erasmus Mundus (EMEA) Scholarship from European Union and was associated with Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-Information Department, ITC, Netherlands as a Visiting Fellow. He was awarded the Justice E S Venkataramaiah Memorial Prize in recognition for his best PhD Thesis in Public Administration for the period 2005-2009 at the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore, 2010. In 2007, he was awarded SARAi Fellowship from the Centre for the Study of Developing Society (CSDS), New Delhi as a young PhD student to work on Urban Environmental issues.
He served as a member of various government committees in different capacities. He was a member of Environmental Sub-Group of Kerala State Planning Commission in Preparing the Draft Paper for the 13th Planning Commission, Government of Kerala in 2016. He was part of Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Government of India, New Delhi Committee to discuss the requirement of notification to make the accreditation system for environmental consultants in India mandatory or not in 2016. and also member of Department of Planning and Development, Government of Odisha, Committee to discuss planning activities for the State of Odisha (2013-2014). In addition to this, he is a member of Indian Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE), New Delhi, and anchors the research activity of Community Forest Rights-Learning Advocacy (CFR-LA)- a civil society group that works on community forest rights in India.

Dr. Geetanjoy Sahu
Assistant Professor,
Centre for Science, Technology & Society School of Habitat Studies
Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Deonar, Mumbai-400088
Phone: 91-22-25525375, 9619584969

Mr. Manas Ranjan Mishra
Executive Director
Mr Manas Ranjan Mishra started his professional career in Vasundhara. After working from 1996 to 1999, he moved on to various other assignments including Senior Manager at ActionAid India, Director of Government of Odisha’s Society for Social Audit and Accountability (OSSAAT), and Consultant (Social Audit, Inclusion and Participatory Planning) in the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. He rejoined Vasundhara in 2016 as Director Human Resource and was assigned with the responsibility of Secretary-cum-Executive Director from August 2017. He has a Post Graduate Degree in Forest Management from Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal and a BA (Hons) degree in Economics from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack. Apart from working People’s Rights over Forests and Forest Produce, he has worked on issues of Food Security, Employment, Disaster Response and on understanding and addressing discrimination against Dalits, Tribals, and Women.

Mr. Manas Ranjan Mishra
Po. Patasundarpur, Bhodal
Phone: 9910770420
Email:-manas.odisha@hotmail.com, manas@vasundharaorissa.org

Mr. Y. Giri Rao
Y. Giri Rao joined Vasundhara in 1995 and currently is working as “Director–Advocacy” and represents in EC as Treasure of Vasundhara. He was initially involved in research on institutional issues, and was actively associated with Orissa Jungle Manch, a state-level federation formed for advocating forestry issues in Odisha. More recently he focuses on policy research and advocacy on conservation and livelihood issues, alliance building and media advocacy.

Ga-84, Niladrivihar,
(Near Army Housing Welfare Organisation)
P.O. Sailashree Vihar,
Bhubaneswar - 751021, Odisha
Phone:91 9437110915
Email: ygirirao@vasundharaorissa.org

Mr. Bibhore Deo
Staff Representative
Mr Bibhore Kumar Deo is working as a program associate on community forest rights since Feb 2014 in Vasundhara. He has completed his master degree in Rural Development as well as post graduation diploma in Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System from Utkal University, Odisha. Currently, he coordinates Vasundhara’s work on community forest rights and provides support to Habitat Rights in Odisha and other states. He also leads Vasundhara’s work on training and capacity building on forest rights where his prime responsibilities are to prepare training calendar, designs, and manuals for communities, CSOs, Government functionaries and other relevant actors of this process. He provides training to CSOs, Government officials, PRIs, and educational institutions. His responsibilities also include project proposal development, project coordination, documentation, report writing, building alliances with Government, CSOs and other networks. He represents in EC as the staff representative. He has published two learning documents namely, Recognition of Community Forest Rights; Experiences from Similipal Tiger Reserve and Recognition and Mapping of Community Forest Resource Rights. He also provides legal and technical support to administration as well as non-profit organizations.

At-Kandhal, Po-Nakchi,
Dist - Angul, Odisha
Phone: 9938484671

Democracy, Equity, Social Justice and Ethical Development

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