Planit Speakers


Dr. Rashneh N. Pardiwala - Centre for Environmental Research and Education

Dr. (Ms.) Rashneh N. Pardiwala is an Ecologist from the University of Edinburgh having specialized in the field of Climate Change. She has worked as an environmental scientist on a range research projects in India and abroad and has several publications to her credit. In 2005, Dr. Pardiwala was recognized as a ‘Social Entrepreneur for Change’ and was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship. In 2009 in Tokyo, Dr. Pardiwala was selected as one of Asia’s 21 Young Leaders and conferred the Asia Society Fellowship. In 2011, Rashneh was selected from India as a participant at the Swedish Institute Management Program that focuses on corporate responsibility and sustainability.

Mrs. Kitayun (Katy) Rustom - Centre for Environmental Research and Education

 Mrs. Kitayun (Katy) Rustom began her career as a school teacher. She was the co-founder of the Dahanu Taluka Environmental Welfare Association (DTEWA) an organisation that is well known for its environmental victories through various litigative strategies. She has been on several government appointed committees and bodies. In 1999 she was one of the 6 Indian Environmentalists selected by the Environmental Law Institute, Washington DC. In 2005 she was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship. Katy Rustom has also organised several teacher training workshops and developed and authored learning materials for Environmental Education


Poonam Bir Kasturi - Daily Dump

Trained as an industrial designer, Poonam enjoys the mundane. Her experience with teaching and working in both industrial and craft sectors inform her work on her consultancy and design projects. Daily Dump is an endeavor where she is experimenting with how design can play out in ways that perhaps were not really explored before. Daily Dump is a project that innovates to help change daily behaviour. Most people in India don’t like to handle waste or worry about water or really care about climate change. Daily Dump is finding ways for citizens to take charge of these things and bring about change in a fresh, energizing way.

Ayyappa Masagi - Water Literacy Foundation

Founder of Water Literacy Foundation, Ayyappa Masagi grew up in a poor family in Nagaral, Gadag, a drought prone region of Karnataka. Ayyappa was a witness to the problems his community faced due to water shortage. However, Ayyappa was also aware of the seasonal rainfall in his village and the vast amount of water being lost by runoff or evaporation. With the comforts of working in a prosperous company (L&T) unable to isolate him from his roots, he decided to utilize the wealth of his engineering background in developing water conservation practices in rural India

Hita Unnikrishnan - ATREE

A PhD student at ATREE, Hita works on issues related to climate change and urban poverty. She have been associated with the Center for Education and Documentation as a researcher working on how climate change increases the vulnerabilities of the city’s marginalized communities. She is an International Climate Champion of the British Council and have worked on getting urban homes to convert to CFL lighting from the traditional incandescent bulbs. She is also a Partnership Coordinator for the Indian Youth Climate Network, and the project coordinator for the lake conservation project undertaken by them.

Kuldeep Dantewadia - Reap Benefit

An ordinary guy next door with no extraordinary list of accomplishments, a restless mind with tons of ideas, an optimist at heart hoping for a better world, a national level quizzer with a great interest in obscure trivia. Graduate of Christ College, Bangalore, completed short term course in Centre for Science and Environment- Delhi, a proud Yatri of the Tata Jagriti Yatra. Was selected as a social innovator by Starting Bloc 2011 Boston and was an Indian representative at the South Asian Youth Conference. The Founder of The Environment Group and worked on clients like Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, Volvo, Mantri Square Mall, Bangalore Club etc. Co- Founder Reap Benefit an NGO to promote sustainability in schools and make it a permanent action.

Wilma Rodrigues - Saahas

Ms. Rodrigues is the Founder Member of Saahas, a developmental organization working in the sphere of waste management. A former Business Journalist, she has been associated with the organization since 2001.




Nikhil Nair - SELCO Solar India

With a degree in Business Management, Nikhil started his career in a Silicon Solar Cell manufacturing plant in the Middle East. This experience opened the doors of the promising industry, the Solar sector. Having decided to continue working in the solar space, he is currently Head of Off-Grid Projects at SELCO Solar India, a social enterprise doing work with solar energy primarily in rural areas. Outside work, he has been a national level Toastmaster and a Yatri from the Tata Jagriti Yatra.


Anselm Rosario - Waste Wise Trust

Anselm Rosario is the Founder/Director of Mythri Sarva Seva Samithi, a registered NGO and a not-for-profit organization that specializes in poverty and environmental issues, located in Bangalore. He also heads WASTE WISE TRUST (WWT), which is a nonprofit subsidiary of MSSS.

Anselm Rosario is a pioneer who promoted Decentralized, Community based Solid Waste Management, involving the residents group and integrating waste pickers in the late eighties. He is the recipient of “Ashoka Fellowship” from Ashoka Innovators for the Public, Washington, USA, and Environmental Award from Karnataka Pollution Control Board. He is also a trained teacher of Transcendental Meditation and Siddhi Technique, under His Holiness, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of Transcendental Meditation, at Rishikesh, Himalayas.

Currently, he is promoting Integrated Sustainable Waste Management and Ecological Sanitation, in Bangalore Urban and Rural Districts. He has travelled extensively in India and abroad and has held the position of the Regional Manager for South Asia for the Integrated Sustainable Support for Urban Environment Programme of WASTE, Netherlands, which operates in 18 countries across the world.