Dr. Cherian JosephChairperson
Ms. Meenu VenkateswaranVice-Chair Person
Ms. S.P. SelviTreasurer
Dr. Rudolf C. HerediaIndividual Member
Most Rev. Dr. Joshua Mar Ignathios Founding Institutional Representative, CBCI
Sr Sicily Chittilappilly JMJ. Founding Institutional Representative, CRI
Brother Laurence Abraham CFCFounding Institutional Representative, CRI
Most Rev. Victor Henry ThakurFounding Institutional Representative, CBCI
Mr. P.V. Krishna Rao Individual Member
Mr. Lourdes Peter BaptistaIndividual Member
Dr. Charles IrudayamIndividual Member
Dr. S. M. Haider RizviIndividual Member
Dr. Asha SinghIndividual Member
Dr. Joseph BaraIndividual Member
Sr. Sudha VargheseIndividual Member
Prof. K. SujathaIndividual Member
Ms. Meenu ChawlaIndividual Member
Fr. Raymond AmbroiseIndividual Member
Mr. Adrian Joseph AlmeidaIndividual Member
Mr. Anirban GhoseIndividual Member
Dr. Rekha AbelIndividual Member
Mr. Vengatesh KrishnaExecutive Secretary

Dr. Cherian Joseph

Individual Member

Cherian Joseph is an Independent Human and Institutional Development Consultant with 30 plus years of consulting, research and training experience in organisational development, industrial relations, human resource management and large system work reform. He has worked with corporate, government, bilateral and social sector organisations on medium to long-term change interventions. An organisational sociologist by training, he holds a Ph.D. and postgraduate degree in Sociology from the Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University. He was on the Faculty of the National Labour Institute (Government of India), New Delhi/ NOIDA from 1979 to1995. His recent work includes advising a bilateral supported multinational learning platform for decentralisation and local governance, contributing to block level reform in decentralisation in Sikkim where he was appointed to Task Forces by the Government of Sikkim and facilitating HR systems and development changes in a number of organisations

Ms. Meenu Venkateswaran

Vice-Chair Person
Individual Member

Meenu Venkateswaran is a co-founder of Pravah and currently the Director of Resource Management and Partnerships. Before her stint as director, she was the CEO from 2005 to 2010. Prior to this, she was responsible for leading and mentoring the Teacher Training intervention at Pravah into a very powerful programme for schools. She is also a founding member of Commutiny, the Youth Collective – a collective of individuals and organisations advocating for mainstream youth development. Ms. Venkateswaran has over 20 years' experience in the corporate and development sectors and has worked as a consultant at development organisations. She has been the head of the resource generation function and member of the Management Committee at CRY- Child Rights and You. She has done Masters in Economics and has completed her post-graduation in management from IIM, Bangalore.

Ms. S.P. Selvi

Individual member

S. P. Selvi is responsible for giving strategic direction to Credibility Alliance and guiding its overall development through the role of Executive Director. Previously she was the Head, Programme Desk of the Financial Management Service Foundation, which is involved in financial monitoring and capacity building of voluntary organizations in South Asia. She has also worked with Caritas India during her 25 years career. Ms. Selvi has a Bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Financial Management. She holds Post Graduate Diploma in Management (DIM) and Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Management. She has facilitated a number of workshops in India and abroad for voluntary organizations in the areas of financial management, reporting and related governance. She has also been involved in providing Mentoring Accompaniment support to partner organizations of many international agencies in India in developing financial management systems and reporting and is proficient in the financial and governance aspects relating to Voluntary Organizations. She has also undertaken evaluation of organizations, which involved assessment of governance and financial management related aspects of voluntary organizations.

Dr. Rudolf C. Heredia

Individual Member

Rudolf C. Heredia was a visiting fellow at Boston College for the summer of 1997. He has his doctorate in Sociology from the University of Chicago (1979) and was the founder director of the Social Science Centre, St. Xavier's College, Mumbai from 1980-1992 and Director again in 1994-2003. In 1992-94, he was the Director of Department of Research at Indian Social Institute and edited the Institute's journal, Social Action in 1993-95. From 1998-2003, he was the rector of St. Xavier's College. His interests include issues related to religion, education and globalisation. He has been published in various journals like the Economic and Political Weekly, Contributions to Indian Sociology, New Frontiers in Education, Vidyajidyati Journal of Theological Reflection and in some national newspapers like The Times of India, The Hindu and The Indian Express. His published work consists of a book titled Changing Gods: Rethinking Conversion in India by Penguin India in 2007 and his most recent book was published by Penguin again in October 2012 called Taking Sides: Reservation Quotas and Minority Rights.

Most Rev. Dr. Joshua Mar Ignathios

Founding Institutional Representative, CBCI

Presently Joshua Mar Ignathios is the Bishop of Mavelikara Diocese, Kerala. He is also the Bishop in-charge of the CBCI Office for Education and Culture and the patron of all the Catholic Schools aided and unaided under the Mavelikara Diocese.

He obtained Ph. D from Stella Matituna College of Education, Chennai of the Madras University in 2000. The thesis of his doctorate was "Leadership, Organisational Health with School Effectiveness". The thesis makes a comparative study of Higher Secondary level Schooling in the states of Kerala and Tamilnadu. The thesis reveals the Metropolitan's vision on education and his excellent social outlook.

Most Rev. Dr. Joshua Mar Ignathios served as the Vice Chairman of the Temperance Movement of Kerala Catholic Bishop's Conference (KCBC) , The Secretary of the KCBC, The Chairman of Temperance Movement,Vice President & President of the KCBC, Chairmanship of the Labour Commission of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of India (CBCI)- 2002, President, Chairman, Madyavirudha Janakeeya Munnani-, President, CBCI Commission for Education and Culture,President, KCBC Commission for Vigilance Chairman, Synodal Commission for Laity and Social Action.

Mr. P.V. Krishna Rao

Individual Member

Mr. Rao is a Post Graduate in Labor Management from Tamil Nadu Institute of Labour Studies and Bachelors in Philosophy from Ramakrishna Mission's Vivekananda College Chennai.
Work Experience: 25 years of work experience in organizations and Indian Companies like Ashok Leyland, Karvy Consultants, Dr Reddy's, AstraZeneca, Chevron (India, Sri Lanka and Singapore), Mylan (India & China).
Presently working with: Indian School of Business Hyderabad, as Director HR Areas of Key expertise: Performed diverse roles, Organization Development, Talent Acquisition, Planning, Human Relations, and Leadership role. Led organizations from 500 to 15000 employees in India and overseas.

Sr Sicily Chittilappilly JMJ.

Founding Institutional Representative, CRI

Brother Laurence Abraham CFC

Founding Institutional Representative, CRI

Most Rev. Victor Henry Thakur

Founding Institutional Representative, CBCI

Mr. Lourdes Peter Baptista

Individual Member

A graduate in Law and a post-graduate in Commerce, currently Lourdes Peter Baptista is the Chief Executive of WaterAid in India and Jal Seva Charitable Foundation. Earlier he was the Chief Executive of the Don Bosco Development Society, Associate Senior Faculty with the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India and Finance Executive, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India). His major contribution has been in programme development and management, finance management and organisation development. He has developed the Post Graduate Diploma in Management of NGOs at EDI in the year 2000, set up Don Bosco Development Society in Mumbai and now Jal Seva Charitable Foundation.

Dr. Charles Irudayam

Individual Member

Charles Irudayam is currently Secretary, Office for Justice, Peace and Development, Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, New Delhi. He holds a Master's Degree in Psychology (MA) from Annamalai University, India and a Master's Degree in Religious Studies (MRS), a Licentiate Degree in Theology (STL) and a Doctorate in Theology (Ph.D., STD.) from Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium. He has been the Secretary of the Center for Liberation Theologies, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium from 2003 to 2007. After his doctorate in Belgium he was teaching Moral Theology for three years (2007-2010) in St. Peter's Pontifical Institute, Bangalore. He was the associate Editor of Indian Theological Studies, St. Peter's Pontifical Institute, Bangalore and the Business Manager of Indian Theological Studies and Studies in Church Law, St. Peter's Pontifical Institute from 2008 to 2010. He has authored three books and written many theological articles both in the national and international Journals of Theology. He is a visiting professor at VidyaJyoti College of Theology, New Delhi. He is the member of International Advisory Committee for Hotline Asia from September 2010.

Dr. S. M. Haider Rizvi

Individual Member

Haider Rizvi has M. Phil & Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Post Doctorate in Participatory Designing for International Development from Sheffield Hallam University, UK. A recipient of Manthan South Asia Award 2009, Dr. Haider has been managing national and international development programmes and research projects for the empowerment of poor and marginalized and has worked extensively in areas of strengthening of local self-governance institutions and civil society organisations; education agriculture extension and livelihoods empowerments; labour issues; health; ICT4D; poverty alleviations and gender mainstreaming. He has been published extensively on development issues in international and national peer reviewed journals. Currently, Dr. Haider is working as Director (Policy Analysis) at School of Good Governance and Policy Analysis of Government of Madhya Pradesh. Earlier, he has worked with national and international organizations of repute such as Sheffield Hallam University, UK; Azim Premji Foundation, India; Aga Khan Education Service, India; Sahbhagi Shikshan Kendra, India; V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, India; PRAYAS – Juvenile Aid Centre, India and provided consultancy to various national and international organizations. He is member of various national and international professional bodies.

Dr. Asha Singh

Individual Member

Asha Singh's main interest is centred on working with children using the medium of arts for education. In her work, there is an attempt to combine training in Child Development and Classical dance and theatre, to create modules for participatory initiatives that enrich interactions of teachers and parents with children. Her research and outreach efforts are grounded in theatre in terms of education techniques and centred on pedagogy in teacher education, which has been explored in a diversity of social classes and cultural milieus in her work over the last three decades. She has been working in close collaboration with non-governmental organizations such as Mobile Crèches, Deepalaya, Plan and others who provide optimal facilities for the young. Besides teaching in the Department of Human Development Childhood studies at Lady Irwin College, Delhi University, she helped the Theatre-in-Education company at the National School of Drama to focus on child-oriented techniques. She is also on the Managing Board of Public Schools, and through her involvement with the National Council for Education Research Training (NCERT), India especially the NCF 2005, she has been part of projects seeking to conceptualise creative curriculum designs. In the last decade, she has also used theatre techniques as a form of discussion and healing with children in the context of the aftermath of violence and ongoing political instability. Her association with Galli Galli Sim Sim, the Indian adaptation of Sesame Street a New York based Children's programme, as Director, Education Research, allowed her to further pursue multiple interests to provide for children what is their right. This project allowed her to use child related knowledge for children's programming in television.

Dr. Joseph Bara

Individual Member

Bara was till recently working with the School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and is a historian on the subject of 'Education in Modern India.' He is a former Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. He has published about 20 research articles on education of the tribals and other marginalized groups of India in professional journals in India and abroad, besides editing three books. He is associated with several professional bodies in India and abroad in various capacities. Presently, he is conducting a study of the educational status and challenges of Scheduled Tribes in Jharkhand and Bihar, sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi. His areas of interest are popular and tribal education in India, colonialism and nationalism in Indian education, Christianity and educational development and history of tribes in India.

Sr. Sudha Varghese

Individual Member

Sudha Varghese is a member of the Notre Dame Sisters Congregation. She is active in 50 villages of Danapur and Phulwari Sharif area, about 40 km from Patna. She was awarded a Padma Shri in 2006 and is popularly known as Cycle Sister because in this jet age, she is heralding a revolution on a cycle. Her only belongings are her cycle and a bag. She has been living and working at a village named Jamsaur in Patna District. For the past 20 years, Sudha Varghese, has untiringly devoted herself to the service of Musahars (Musahars are the rat-eating community. They are also the agricultural labourers and are very hardworking people, who are completely landless and marginalised) and the Dalits of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. She runs centres for Musahar girls and works on bringing them into mainstream society. Dr. Varghese's organisation called 'Nari Gunjan' works for empowerment of women and girls from Dalit communities. The organisation runs 50 educational centres, conducts over 100 non-formal, functional literacy centres for the Mahadalit communities, particularly for the Musahars. She fights court cases for those against whom crimes have been committed.

Prof. K. Sujatha

Individual Member

Prof. K. Sujatha is the Professor and Head of the Department of Educational Administration, NUEPA, New Delhi. She has done her Ph.D. (Educational Anthropology) from Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam and an International Diploma in Development Administration from International Institute of Cooperation for University, Rome, Italy. Prof. Sujatha has been a Visiting Fellow at New England University, Australia and has been consulted by UNESCO, UNICEF, British Council, UNDP and UNOPS. She has authored eight books and several research papers; published articles in national and international journals and conducted several empirical research studies. She is the editor of Asian Network of Training and Research Institutions in Educational Planning (ANTRIEP) Newsletter and also the Convenor of NIPEA. Her specialisation is Education of the Disadvantaged Groups, Educational Policy Analysis, Comparative Education in Development Countries and School Management.

Ms. Meenu Chawla

Individual Member

A qualified Chartered Accountant with 20 years of experience, Meenu Chawla has worked in the NGO sector for the last 14 years managing accounting, legal compliances, audits, financial analysis in compliance with regulations, budgeting and grants. She has worked with an audit and taxation firm for six years, has prepared modules and conducted capacity building workshops for over 300 partners in the area of financial management. Ms. Chawla has also prepared reports for various government departments and donor agencies, and conducted financial reviews and evaluations of partners. She has a keen interest in developing Financial Management systems and procedures for NGOs, conducting trainings and contributing to the development sector as a whole.

Fr. Raymond Ambroise

Individual Member

Fr. Raymond Ambroise, one of the founding individual members of NEG-FIRE, was the Chairperson of NEG-FIRE from 2000. When NEG-FIRE was registered in 2005, he was elected to be the Chairperson for two consecutive terms which ended in July 2011. Fr. Raymond is presently the Executive Secretary of Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences with its head office in Manila. His responsibilities include mentoring Radio VERITAS ASIA in 20 languages. He is also the Consultant of Andhra Pradesh Social Service Society.

Mr. Adrian Joseph Almeida

Individual Member

Mr. Adrian Joseph Almeida, is a Gold Medalist in M.Com, from the Madras University and Rotary Award recipient for Vocational Excellence, International Visitor Award, 1987 and Fulbright Scholar Award, 1989.

His key areas of expertise: is in Policy Planning, administration and Project management, formulate annual budgets, recruit, train and supervise personnel; Design, Administer core skills training program for employee empowerment programme for Industries and building linkages between Industry and Institutions etc.

Mr. Almeida is the Founder Director: Centre for Vocational Education and Workforce Development from 1990 till date. He held positions as Principal of Madras Community College, Director of A Director (1996-98) A.M. Jain Institute of Management (1986-1996),Director, M.C. Jain Industrial Training Centre (1986-2001).

Mr. Anirban Ghose

Individual Member

Mr. Anirban Ghose , is a Company Secretary (Inter) from the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, New Delhi and a Bachelor of Business Studies, University of Delhi.

Presently he is the Program Director, PRADAN, New Delhi. PRADAN is India's premier rural development organization. Please visit PRADAN website for more information on the organization. ( www.pradan.net).

His key areas of expertise are around livelihood promotion for poorest, social mobilisation in difficult and remote regions, fostering linkages of marginalised groups with mainstream institutions and helping them access government schemes / programmes participating in grassroot democracy and in leveraging information and communication technology for development, etc. He has hands on experience of staying and working directly with tribal women in remote naxal affected regions.

Dr. Rekha Abel

Individual Member

Dr Rekha Abel has a Ph.D in Applied Linguistics from the University of Hyderabad. Keenly interested in school education and child rights, she joined Catholic Relief Services in 1995 and worked with them anchoring the education and child rights programming for close to 15 years. She has also worked as a Senior Consultant to the Government of Andhra Pradesh on the implementation of RTE in AP. She has also assisted different organizations in developing strategic visions and plans, apart from conducting evaluations and assessments. She is currently based in Bangalore. Her key interests and strengths are in the areas of child rights, education and dalit human rights.

Mr. Vengatesh Krishna

Executive Secretary

Vengatesh Krishna joined NEG-FIRE as Executive Director in January, 2014 and has a Master's degree in Social Work from Loyola College, Chennai. After fourteen years of his career with Catholic Relief Services (CRS-USCCB) India program, he moved to Malawi, Southern Africa as Country Director for Project Concern International (PCI). Before joining NEG-FIRE, he was the Senior Director –Asia, Operations with International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW). His core competencies include Value-based Partnership development, Organizational development, Strategy development, Resource mobilization and mentoring skills. He has managed multi-sector program with special focus on promotion of primary education using right-based approach. He promotes evidence-based advocacy efforts and operations research. He had recently completed study on "Women empowerment practices" of corporates in India for Care/India. He enjoys traveling, cricket and reading fiction.