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Influential profiles

Prasad Chikshe
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An engineer-turned-educator and social activist, Prasad spearheads the charge against the severe water crisis in central Maharashtra in India. Unifying about a hundred villages under this cause, Prasad is instigating hope among the people in the face of such debilitating conditions. These villages primarily comprise of grimly impoverished and marginalized at-risk families. Going beyond this landscape, he creatively appeals to urban citizens via social media outreach to come on board as he marches towards transforming a desiccated region into an exemplary self-sustaining fertile land. While successfully driving a campaign against the water crisis, Prasad is also an active influencer and a rural youth icon pitted against substance abuse.

Dr. Anagha Lavalekar
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A psychologist by education, Anagha continues her research pursuits through various initiatives addressing the quality of life, women empowerment, and sexuality education. Along with serving as the head of the Jnana Prabodhini’s Institute of Psychology in Pune, India, Anagha is also known for her prolific writing, suave poetry, and vibrant activism. She also leads the organization’s efforts in organizing urban women to address crucial concerns such as holistic child development and sexuality education.

Abhijit Kapre
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Abhijit donned the uniform in the Indian Navy before trading one noble profession for another while joining Jnana Prabodhini’s rural development efforts in central Maharashtra. Based in Harali, a small village which Jnana Prabodhini reconstructed after a devastating earthquake in 1993, Abhijit heads this rural center that handles various initiatives in formal and informal education, adolescent girl-child development, agricultural education, agro-food industry, and the fight against water scarcity. He is an expert on leadership development and an avid thinker on Indian philosophy, rural development, and education.

Manoj Deolekar
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As the head of Jnana Prabodhini’s experimental sports school in Nigdi, India, Manoj champions the cause of nurturing exceptional athletes through systematic sports education. His students are making strides in athletics and gymnastics, being recognized at national levels. A grand vision of raising athletes capable of bringing home an Olympics gold medal propels him in his journey. Through his selfless service to sports education, that goal is never too far. The Nigdi center he heads is also home to three formal schools and several service projects partnering with hundreds of nearby public schools that serve students predominantly from marginalized families.

Dr. Milind Naik

Milind is a passionate educator at the helm of Jnana Prabodhini’s experimental school in Pune, India. With his doctoral research focused on developing leadership skills among high-ability high-school students, Milind is known for his innovative and tech-friendly interventions to deliver a high-quality education at his school. His percipient initiatives range from building an open access innovation laboratory to weekly special purpose groups aligning with the issues of national integration, rural development, energy and sustainability, etc. His dedicated efforts as a teacher, a principal, and a trainer have touched thousands of students and teachers. Milind lives by the motto of ‘transforming the country, one school at a time’.

Suvarna Gokhale
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Suvarna is a young social entrepreneur who is selflessly committed to the cause of developing leadership among rural women. Through her efforts in running over 300 self-help groups in remote rugged terrains surrounding Pune, India, Suvarna is a strong advocate of rural transformation through women empowerment. Fostering a sense of identity among voiceless women, Suvarna has inspired rural women to champion social change through economic independence. Besides her work as a social reformer, Suvarna is an engaging storyteller and employs her exemplary interpersonal skills to touch lives in the community.

Aditya Shinde
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Aditya is a young educator who leads Jnana Prabodhini’s Gurukul, a school rooted in Indian educational philosophy. Making education purposeful by strengthening the Guru-disciple bonds, Aditya is bringing a change in the lives of many urban and rural students. Recently under his leadership, students from Gurukul accomplished a 1000 mile bicycle expedition between Pune and Kanyakumari, illustrating how a motivated mind can channel our potential to achieve the impossible. Aditya is a galvanizing public speaker and a youth icon who will always greet you with a hearty smile.

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