Ashoka India Fellows

Ashoka Fellows are leading social entrepreneurs who we recognize to have innovative solutions to social problems and the potential to change patterns across society. They demonstrate unrivaled commitment to bold new ideas and prove that compassion, creativity, and collaboration are tremendous forces for change. Ashoka Fellows work in over 60 countries around the globe in every area of human need.

Read about all Ashoka fellows on the Ashoka Global website here.

City: Calcutta
Field of Work: Economic Development

Aparna is creating a global microretail chain that features disadvantaged women as both suppliers and sellers. Her retail chain, which opened in Kolkata last year with distinctively branded mobile points of sale, is beginning to expand to other Indian states and has attracted the attention of NRI groups as far away as Europe and the US.

Field of Work: Civic Engagement, Human Rights, Learning/Education

Paramita believes communities living in red light areas in India continue to experience the highest rate of violence and abuse, not just because of external perceptions, but also because of internalized sights of disempowerment. By putting the local youth in charge of change, Paramita has completely stopped forced intergenerational prostitution and pimping in one of Kolkata’s major Red Light...

Field of Work: Health

After years of study and reflection, while earning masters in public health with great distinction at Johns Hopkins University, Drs. Abhay and Rani Bang have returned to launch a program that is as practical as it is sweepingly creative. It promises significant changes both in the public delivery of services and in public health priorities and policy.

Field of Work: Health

After earning masters in public health at Johns Hopkins University(USA), Drs. Abhay and Rani Bang are launching a program in India that promises significant changes both in the public delivery of services and in public health priorities and policy.

City: Tripura
Field of Work: Environment

Kamal Kanti Banik links river conservation to the livelihoods of local nearby residents. He is restoring fish populations in the Muhuri River in northeastern India by motivating local fishermen to preserve freshwater diversity and the river’s health while improving their own economic outlook.

Field of Work: Learning/Education

Samina is building an inclusive and accountable education system, opening up access for children to an equitable education irrespective of socio-economic status. To do this Samina is building a movement of students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and government officials who are demanding an inclusive education system through policy and implementing it through accountability...

City: Mumbai
Field of Work: Civic Engagement

Sanjay Bapat has created a full-featured virtual space for individuals and groups promoting development and social progress in India, making it easy to share ideas, form effective partnerships, and build momentum for positive social change.

City: Kolkatta
Field of Work: Learning/Education

Abhijit Bardhan is using his established networks to launch a grassroots movement to train teachers to change the way science is taught in government-run schools. He began by creating a competitive program to reward innovative scientific experiments in secondary schools. It culminated in the National Children's Science Congress. In getting the program established nationally, Abhijit realized...

City: New Delhi
Field of Work: Health

Merry Barua is creating a comprehensive set of services on the Indian subcontinent that improve the quality of life for autistic children and the people in their lives, while making known the need for public and governmental recognition of this communication disorder.

City: Guwahai
Field of Work: Economic Development

Pranjal Baruah is organizing farmers in Assam around mushroom cultivation. He puts farmers in control of their produce through his land-to-lab strategies and training and support for "mushroom entrepreneurs." In addition to creating new livelihood opportunities for thousands of unemployed youth and landless families in Assam, Pranjal is developing a new market for mushroom consumption. By...