Ashoka India Inducts 17 Leading Social Entrepreneurs into the Ashoka Fellowship

NEW DELHI, Feb. 12, 2015 – Ashoka: Innovators for the Public formally inducted 17 new Ashoka Fellows in India. Ranging from education to health to the environment, 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% fulfils Ashoka’s meticulous criteria. 

The new Ashoka Fellows are:

Priya Agrawal, Antarang: Priya Agrawal’s is challenging the paradigms in career linkages for children from low income backgrounds. She is striving to break the stereotypes around job opportunities deemed fit for these children and looking at equipping them with soft skills as well as social wherewithal to pursue a career, not just job, of their choice.

Kavita Anand, Adhyayan: Kavita is is fundamentally transforming the way school audits can take place to become a powerful tool in the hands of every school. By placing the process of audits in the hands of ‘insiders’ in schools, she is shifting it from a process of scrutiny to that of self-evaluation and reflection.

Samina Bano - Samina Bano believes that the key to building a socially equitable society is through an education system where children from all socio-economic backgrounds have equal access to quality education. She is using the Right to Education (RTE) Act, passed in 2009 but rarely implemented, as a tool to build an inclusive education system that gives equal access to quality education to all children, through her organisation Bharat Abhudaya Foundation.

Edith Elliott, Noora Health: By providing skills, awareness and tools to family members who accompany patients in hospitals, Edith is reducing their dependence on medical professionals like doctors and nurses.

Gopi Gopalakrishnan, World Health Partners: World Health Partners (WHP) identifies and orchestrates the relationship between different stakeholders to create a robust network of healthcare centers under a common brand name, “Sky”, in underserved and remote areas. 

Pallavi Gupta – Pallavi’s organisation Fifth Estate is facilitating a collaboration between the public, private and social sectors through a platform that brings together these stakeholders to identify solutions for social problems and empower local innovations to scale. 

Mathew Jose, Paperman: Mathew is helping the recycling industry in India meet its supply gap by creating a new system of emotional rewards and intrinsic incentives that get citizens and children to separate and aggregate waste.

Ramesh Kumar – Ramesh through his organisation Swarna Pragati is bringing valuable, affordable and high quality houses to the most disadvantaged rural areas through an inclusive process of empowering rural communities and an innovative microfinance system adjusted to building houses.  

Indrani Malkani, V Citizens Action Network: Indrani has created a ‘model school bus system’ that eases traffic and chaos around schools and ensures the safety of children.

Pranil Naik, LeapForWord: To unlock opportunities in higher education and employment, Pranil Naik has designed a unique, plug-and-play model which democratises the teaching and learning of English for first generation learners in rural areas.

Anil Patil, Carers Worldwide: Anil highlights and tackles the problems faced by care-givers in developing countries.

Nalini Saligram - Nalini is promoting healthy lifestyles and chronic disease prevention by implementing educational programs in schools and by changing the culture of workplaces. Her organisation Arogya World also works with women to make healthy decisions in homes.  

Vyjayanthi Sankar: Vyjayanthi's proposed ‘Assessment Research and Training’ entity will be high quality center that will promote excellence in student learning by strengthening the capacity for assessments research and science of learning. 

Sujay Santra - With the mission to bridge the urban-rural gap in health care services, iKure provides access to quality and affordable health care in rural India enabled by a proprietary technology platform called Wireless Health Incident Monitoring System (“WHIMS”). 

Deep Jyoti Sonu, Farm2Food Foundation: Through the “farmpreneur program” in schools, Deep encourages children to create and take charge of school gardens.

Anshul Tewari, Youth Ki Awaaz: Responding to the complete lack of young people’s representation in mainstream media opinion, Anshul Tewari has created a strategic online mouthpiece that introduces and promotes the issues, agendas and opinions of the youth.

Amitav Virmani, The Education Alliance: Amitav is advocating for whole school management of under-utilized or abandoned public schools, by non-profit operators.


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.