Ashoka Announces Election of Seven New Fellows in South Asia

BANGALORE, October 24, 2016 – Ashoka: Innovators for the Public formally elected seven new Ashoka Fellows in South Asia. These social entrepreneurs have pioneered game-changing and scalable innovations. The rigour of the Ashoka selection process is the gold standard for the social entrepreneurship sector. Candidates undergo an extensive process lasting more than six months. Out of the leading social entrepreneurs who are originally considered for the Fellowship, only 1 percent fulfils Ashoka’s meticulous criteria. 

The new Ashoka Fellows are:

Anup Akkihal is combining adaptive technology and a human network built on trust and collaboration to tackle the inefficiencies of last-mile supply chain and ensure accessibility of “essential goods” or “social goods,” like vaccines, agricultural produce and energy products, to the most remote areas in developing countries. For more information see:


A last mile medical supplier learns to use Logistimo

Matrika Devkota is building Nepal’s first comprehensive mental healthcare system, bringing government and communities to work together. He is enabling people living with mental illness to become self advocates for their rights. For more information see:

Mental Health Self Advocates strategising in rural Nepal


Saurav Ghosh is bridging the critical human and financial resources gap needed to transform Panchayats (village governance bodies) into self-corporatised units (“Swanigamit”) that can sustain continuous village development. Saurav is building this strong cadre of ‘Panchayat Development Entrepreneurs” who study village needs and support Panchayat leaders to map appropriate schemes, access and implement them. For more information see:

Saurav Ghosh's Swanigamit Team

Saurav Ghosh's Swanigamit Team


Meera K has built a hyper local news platform owned by citizens, that provides them with the critical information they need to drive change in their communities. For more information see:

Citizens debating water issues in their community

Citizens debating water issues in their community


Akkai Padmashalli is empowering members of minority groups, such as sexual minorities (LGBTQI community), to become leaders; thereby creating a domain for discussions on issues of national importance to become more convergent. For more information see:

Akkai organises sensitisation workshop for 300 police officers in Mysore


Christopher Rego is building peace between diverse groups in Northeast India – the army and local communities and people from various tribes - to work together on the one issue they all agree on: building education infrastructure for providing growth opportunities to their children. For more information see:

Chris Rego with Manipuri children at their hostel residence


Ajit Singh is building a demand within companies for young people who have been trained through an ethical skills development value chain, showing that these employees have lower attrition and higher productivity. As companies begin to demand employees who have come through an ethically vetted skill training system, they hold every player in the system accountable for delivering high-quality skill training, assessment and placement. For more information see:


About Ashoka

Ashoka: Innovators for the Public is the one of the largest networks of social entrepreneurs worldwide, with over 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in 70 countries creating large-scale impact through new innovations. Founded by Bill Drayton in 1980, Ashoka is an international network that is driving the social sector and offering a platform for people dedicated to changing the world. Ashoka pioneered the field of social entrepreneurship and has built multi-level stakeholders across the world who increasingly look to entrepreneurial talent and new ideas to solve social problems.

In India, Ashoka has a vibrant fellowship of over 380 fellows and elects a new cohort of Fellows every year. Ashoka India also selects and elects new Fellows from Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and plays a unique role in integrating the emerging social sector in South Asia.


Note: For more information about the new Fellows and Ashoka India, journalists may contact Trina Talukdar,