Sugandha Sukrutaraj, the founder of AMBA and the author of its curriculum is an Ashoka Fellow and has 14 years of experience working with intellectually disabled adults. This is following 11 years of experience in the mainstream world of Aviation and Information Technology, giving her the combination of mainstream know-how and the nuance of catering to intellectually disabled adults. She has developed the learning model and built into it a process of sustainability, allowing AMBA to scale to 16 states in India.
She was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007 for her initiative in conceiving the holistic AMBA concept for the moderate to severe intellectually challenged adults who do not have the social skills to work directly in the mainstream.
Air Marshal Denzil Keelor (Retd.) PVSM, KC, AVSM, VrC
Chairman, Special Olympics Bharat
Air Marshal Denzil Keelor received four Presidential awards from four consecutive Presidents of India, Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM), Kirti Chakra (KC), Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM) and Vir Chakra (VrC) and four commendations from of the Chief of Air Staff, thus making him the highest decorated officer in the country.
Late Captain Rajan George – Indian Navy (Retd.)
04 October 1949 to 30 April 2013
Rajan was an armament technologist in “Torpedo and Naval Weapon Systems Design & Repair". He graduated from Marshal Andrei Grechko Naval Academy, Leningrad (now St Petersburg). He held and excelled in positions of responsibility while in the Navy. “Captain Rajan George will be long remembered as the Indian Navy's technical whiz kid who diligently kept our complex warship systems combat ready.” Admiral Sushil Kumar, Former Chief of the Indian Navy.
Rajan gave AMBA 9 years of continued support in creating the perfect show case at the AMBA core center while managing the entire operations and administration for AMBA. The elements he brought to the table which made a huge difference was his creative thinking and his passion in understanding and creating solutions for the AMBA community juxtaposed with the discipline and professionalism symbolic of his Naval background.
Late Prof. V. Radhakrishnan
18 May 1929 to 3 March 2011
Affectionately referred to as Rad, he was a renowned space scientist, and a founding father of space astronomy in India. His genius and heart reached far beyond the fields of Astrophysics and Astronomy. He became a patron of the intellectually challenged from the very beginning of AMBA's journey. It is owing to his magnanimity that AMBA set up shop at his ancestral home, 'Panchavati-C.V. Raman's Residence', in Bangalore. With his zeal and infectious belief in our work, we have continued to strive towards our beliefs and goals, much like he did till the very end.
Deepak is the CEO of Urban Insight and has been for the past 16 years. His business ingenuity and prudence provides AMBA with the objective ‘third eye’, and examples of best business practices. Deepak’s passion for the intellectually challenged community and its future reflects in the time and energy he has spent for AMBA since 2006.
Indira is a parent of a peer trainer at the core center. She has served the Indian Bureau of Mines, Ministry of Mines-Government of India, since 1976, retiring in 2014. She is an active provider of support and confidence to the intellectually challenged community. For AMBA alone, she has enabled crucial barter savings and accurate systems of audit. Her dedication to the community remains unparalleled.
Sarina S. Singh
Sarina is a parent of a peer trainer at the core center. She has been a nominee on the Sophia Opportunity PTA for 6 years and counseled parents of children with intellectual disability for 20 years. She is a devoted champion of the community, often providing last mile solutions to the challenges faced by the custodians of the intellectually challenged. Sarina is not unused to going out of her way to help AMBA, paving a road to the future.
Dr. Poornima Ramesh
Dr. Poornima is a parent of a peer trainer at the core centre. She is a renowned gynaecologist and started The Department Of Highrisk Pregnancy Unit At Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur in 2007. Her dedication and wealth of knowledge has been instrumental in AMBA's growth.
Nasreen is a parent of a peer trainer at AMBA and is a qualified Software post graduate. Having a daughter with Intellectual Disability, she left her mainstream job as an Export Manager and underwent a special education training program in the United States to better understand the disability . She is also specialized in and is practicing child counseling and parenting counseling.Along with this, she also manages a family business with her husband.
Rekha Nadkarni, is proud to be known as Jutika's mom.
Born and brought up in Mumbai, she moved to Chennai after marriage. She works for Standard Chartered Operations and has a lot of valuable experience in the banking field.
Rekha is blessed with two daughters Renuka and Jutika. Rekha moved to Bangalore in 2012 to admit Jutika into the AMBA program. Rekha feels that AMBA is the best thing that has happened to their family. Seeing Jutika happy and settled is a dream come true for her.
Peer Trainer and Peer Supervisor who has developed into an amazing asset for the AMBA Core Centre
A wise and extremely responsible Trainer and Supervisor at the AMBA Core Center
BOARD OF ADVISORS
Ajit Patil began his career (2001) in USA with American Megatrends Inc after his M. Tech in Electronics Design & Technology. He later relocated to India (2006) where he wanted to make a difference in the community and contribute in India growth. He worked with Dell for close to a decade and lead CSR team at Dell R&D Center Bangalore.
He closely worked with Dream A Dream and Sri Shankara Cancer Foundation NGOs which are the CSR partners for Dell. As a CSR lead at site level, he ran multiple events with Dell partner NGOs and achieved the highest level of unique volunteer participation. He was given the Community Ambassador award by Dell in 2008.
He is currently a senior Engineering Manager at Seagate Technology in the Cloud Systems division. Beside his recognition in community service, he also received multiple awards for his execution, commitment & dedication in his engineering career.
(Business Development & CSR)
Arjun Nohwar heads the enterprise vertical for Uber (Uber for Business) in India. Prior to joining Uber, he worked for nine years with the Tata group (as a TAS officer), the last three years of which were spent working with the Group Chairman on international business development and sovereign coverage. He has worked across the automotive, telecom, real estate and financial services industries and also spent a year at the Planning Commission of India devising the country’s manufacturing strategy, as well as mechanisms to effect its implementation. A keen Golfer and avid reader, he is currently based out of Mumbai.
(Education & Livelihood)
Deepak started his journey as a sculptor; He Taught ART History in Kodaikanal International School for 3 years & thereafter consciously moved into the Social Space working with young adults with intellectual disabilities/different abilities in Lund, South Sweden since 2006 where he has been teaching in the Swedish language.
The Swedes have an absolutely amazing support system for this community, where the primary goal is integration into standard society. He works together with occupational therapists and job-apprentice coaches to develop individual skills necessary for them to come out into the job market using film, theater and art. These are the areas where our young people excel without exception.
We so often find that, we as a society are almost always expecting this community to adapt and compromise themselves in order to belong. It is time our society adapted to make room for them. The benefits would certainly outweigh any effort on our part, leading to a richer experience for all of us.
(Business Development & CSR)
Indriyajit Sethi works with the Tata Group, for Group Strategic Sourcing as a Vice President. He has been with the group for over 14 years. He evangelized and lead the strategic Tata group aggregated buying programme managing strategic buying partnerships worth over half a billion Euros. His prior experience includes heading regional sales teams and as head of brand marketing in FMCG and retail banking. He is also on the Asia board of GBTA(Global Business Travel Association).He Graduated from IIM Kolkata in 1988 and later in 2013 worked on a publication titled 'Creating Corporate Advantage: The Case of the Tata Group' along with his three people team at the Indian School of Business for HBS.
Ira began her carrier as a trainer and facilitator of youth programs at the National Debate Center in Kazakhstan, AIESEC and later at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her interest in identifying and developing leaders took Ira to Maharashtra, India where she worked with women. She led a rural retail network called SURE. Later, drawn to ideas of systemic social change, Ira joined Ashoka India. Working at Ashoka, Ira scouted the country in search of future leading social entrepreneurs. She also spearheaded several collaborative initiatives involving Ashoka Fellows. Seeing a need to create more flexible sources of financial support for social innovation, Ira transitioned to the field of philanthropy. In this avatar she worked with GiveIndia to build a philanthropic community in Delhi. Currently, Ira lives in Bangalore and consults with several Citizen Sector Organizations. Ira is originally from Kazakhstan and holds a degree in International Affairs from German - Kazakh University. She enjoys the outdoors, learning languages, dance and martial arts.
Krishnamani is a Bangalore based fashion designer with over 20 years of expertise in combining Indian Textures with Western Sensibilities. She has used her label ‘KRSNA’ to reach far and wide across the countrythrough fashion shows, retail outlets, and causes she believes in. She has retailed at Echelon at The Leela Palace, Barometer, and Cinnamon in Bangalore, as well as in Mangalore and Chennai. Passionate about empowerment and social enterprise, Krishnamani is always experimenting with and using her personal strengths to improve the lives of others.
N. P. RAMESH,
Ramesh runs his own Financial and Technical Consultancy Firm called “FINATECH” . Its services include, Loan syndication/ arrangement of credit to companies, SME sectors, and all other individual constitutions under Small ,Medium and Large sector category. FINATECH is also a direct marketing agency for Kotak Mahendra bank and SCB bank, Reliance commercials, Bajaj Finance Capital, Chola Mandalam Finance, for their housing Loan, Mortgage loan and personal loan products. Ramesh has over 23 years of extensive experience in banking operations, credit appraisals and production technology. He commenced his professional career as Production In Charge with reputed Textile Manufactures like Bombay Dyeing and Binny Ltd. (1980-1983) after having completed his B.tech in Textile Engineering. He later joined a Nationalized Bank as Specialized Officer particularly to handle the Credit portfolios of the Bank.
Ramesh has 28 years of global industry experience. He started his career with Unilever and worked with them in India and in the United Kingdom for over 20 years. During his association with Unilever, he set up Indigo, the shared services subsidiary for Unilever and led its development globally. When Unilever sold the business, he oversaw the transition of Indigo to Capgemini. In Capgemini, he led the BPO business for Asia and was a member of the global BPO board. During this period he lived and worked in China and led a 4000 member team across India, China and Australia. Ramesh has global experience in the consumer goods and Outsourcing Industries in over 20 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Ramesh is a management post graduate from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
(Business & Media)
Shereen Bhan is the Delhi Bureau Chief and Executive Editor of CNBC-TV18, India. She joined UTV news and current affairs division and produced shows like We the People for Star TV and Line of Fire for Sab TV. Her stint with CNBC-TV18 began in December 2000. Bhan anchors and produces several flagship shows like Young Turks, India Business Hour, The Nation's Business and Power Turks. She has done some of the biggest interviews on CNBC-TV18, including Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Benazir Bhutto and Deepak Chopra. She also anchors and puts together CNBC-TV18's ground events like the Managing India brainstorm and the CNBC Industry Vectors. In April 2005 she was selected as FICCI women of the year award, then in Sept-2005 Femina/Indiatimes had included her among the 20 beautiful faces of the year. Her effortless deliverance of news and features alike as well as her cheerful disposition has made her a favorite in thousands of Indian homes. She was featured on the cover page of Verge December 2008 issue.
Vishal co-founded Dream A Dream (www.dreamadream.org) along with 11 others and is currently its CEO. Dream A Dream is a not for profit organization, acknowledged as an innovator in life Skills development amongst young people from urban slum communities, creating innovative ways for community volunteering and setting very high-standards of transparency, accountability and impact. Vishal is also deeply committed to mentoring start-up NGOs and young social entrepreneurs. He has co-authored a paper along with Dr. David Pearson and Dr. Fiona Kennedy titled, “The Life Skills Assessment Scale: Measuring the life skills of disadvantaged children in the developing world” and published Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, Volume 42, No 2 (2014). Vishal is an Ashoka Fellow (www.ashoka.org), an Eisenhower Fellow and sits on Boards of Unltd India and India Cares.
Dr. Kalyan Banerjee,
Dr. Kalyan Banerjee has been in homeopathic practice in for forty years. He is the first homeopath to be awarded the Padma Shri for medicine, one of India’s highest civilian awards. He is sought out by patients, doctors and surgeons from all over the world for his expertise in the management of advanced cases of cancers, organ failures, grand mal seizures, multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease, hypothyroidism, infertility, systemic lupous erythematosis and other complicated cases beyond the reach of other systems of medicine. He passes on this experience by training doctors.
Dr. Kalyan Banerjee has presented numerous papers in National and International Conference on a myriad range of topics, including Leukemia, Acute and Chronic Renal Failure, Complicated Fevers, Disseminated Intravascular Coagulopathy, Thalassemia, Hemophilia; Hepatitis B and C, Nephrotic Syndrome, Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and many others.
Dr. Kalyan Banerjee’s Clinic now averages a daily patient volume of 1000 and is one of the busiest medical practices in the world. Dr. Banerjee leads a team of dedicated doctors who often spend 16-hour work days tending to all the patients from all over the world who queue up for days to meet with the doctors at the Clinic. From the first day of his practice, Dr. Kalyan Banerjee has been treating patients for free for half the working day, every day. More than three million free prescriptions have been served by the Clinic.