the jpf story
In the Fall of 2018, we, the affiliates of Jnana Prabodhini organization in India, situated in the United States for higher education or jobs, started convening on a weekly basis. We habitually discussed our homeland, India and the contemporary nationwide challenges it faced.
Although these meetings were initially informal, the thought of contributing back in some form or the other was making rounds. Together, we identified education, rural development and women leadership as the areas that need urgent attention. Aiming to mobilize finances and expertise for our cause, we conceived of Jnana Prabodhini Foundation (JPF) in the Fall of 2019, almost a year later.
Adhering to the values of our parent organization, JPF is a non-political, non-profit organization committed to the cause of social welfare in India through the three target areas we have identified. However, not confined to India, we plan on a presence in the US and abroad.
With the support of Jnana Prabodhini’s extensive global network combined with the encouragement of our alma mater, we have set out on this honest mission.
About Jnana Prabodhini, India
Jnana Prabodhini, JPF’s parent organization is a non-profit headquartered in Pune, India. Founded in 1962 as an educational and research institution, Jnana Prabodhini’s work has now expanded to rural development, women empowerment, healthcare, and national integration. Jnana Prabodhini directly reaches over 100,000 people through its 5 main centers (Pune, Nigdi, Solapur, Harali, and Ambajogai) and several other concerted programs spread across Maharashtra, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, and the North-East. Today it continues to grow as a dedicated, multi-faceted, non-partisan, and spiritually-guided organization.
Jnana Prabodhini Foundation identifies rural development, education, & women leadership as the areas with the greatest challenges. JPF promotes activities for drought relief, energy sufficiency, healthcare & women empowerment to fulfill basic needs in rural India. JPF also addresses the need for talent development, skill development & teacher’s training programs to enhance the quality of education in India.
The logo stands for the community-orientated approach the Jnana Prabodhini Foundation upholds in all three of its verticals. One can see the letters J, P, and F in the logo. The three circles indicate people, again symbolizing the community orientedness of our work. Lastly, the symmetry within J and P letters form a knot like design that stands for the ties we have with our motherland.
Subhash Deshpande, fondly known as Subhashrao, has been a leader in the social sector for over 50 years. As the trust secretary of Jnana Prabodhini, Subashrao has driven development, engaged communities, and implemented effective solutions in Jnana Prabodhini’s work in rural development, business management and training, social entrepreneurship, and education. By preparing a blueprint for 225 villages, Subashrao has led efforts to empower Indian villages toward self-sustainability. Along with designing projects that promote hygiene and sanitation, Subashrao has also focused on developing women entrepreneurs and mitigating the water crisis in villages near Pune.
Suvarna Gokhle, a social entrepreneur who is selflessly committed to the cause of developing leadership among rural women. Her 30 years of work in the field of women leadership and rural development has helped thousands of families to confidently stand on their feet. Through her efforts in running over 300 self-help groups in remote rugged terrains surrounding Pune, India, she is a strong advocate of rural transformation through women empowerment. Fostering a sense of identity among voiceless women, she has inspired rural women to champion social change through economic independence.
Dr. Shamkant Navathe
Dr. Shamkant Navathe is a computer scientist and professor renowned for his contributions to database systems. He has authored books and papers on conceptual modeling, database design, and data integration. Navathe's work earned him prestigious awards including ACM SIGMOD Contributions Award and IEEE TCDE Service Award. He is also actively involved in social work, promoting computer literacy in underprivileged communities through collaborations with organizations like Atlanta Public Schools and International Community School. Through his work, Navathe has helped bridge the digital divide and promote equal access to education and technology.
past Advisory committee
Ashutosh Barmukh, as the Youth Organization Secretary at Jnana Prabodhini Pune, has led the dynamic youth organization with over 1000 members. As an inspiring and visionary leader, Ashutosh has worked with youth of all ages for over 25 years, guiding and galvanizing them into contributing to national development while leading a socially productive life and has. Serving as a liaison officer for Jnana Prabodhini, Ashutosh has developed numerous interorganization relationships and is leading multiple collaborative projects in the remote and borderline states of India.
Dr. Bhooshan Kelkar
Dr. Bhooshan Kelkar is an IIT graduate and earned his Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence in 1995. After working in a startup in California until 2000, Dr. Kelkar spent 13 exemplary years at IBM, being declared as the "IBM Master Innovator" in 2011 and holds 21 US patents in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Dr. Kelkar left IBM in 2013 to start his firm "Nuflex Talent Solutions", which works in the areas of employability and innovation and aligns with various initiatives of the Jnana Prabodhini Foundation. We are glad to have Dr. Kelkar on JPF's Advisory Board!
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