Board Members

Rukmini RaoDr. Rukmini Rao is a founder-member, Saheli Resource Centre for Women, New Delhi and worked with the organisation from 1981 till 1989 when she returned to Hyderabad.  She works closely with a network of NGOs in India to promote child rights, women’s rights and rights of indigenous communities. She has won the “Woman of the Year” award in 2014.

Jayashree P Kunju is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a founding partner of iBAS Consulting Pvt Ltd a company based in Bangalore, providing financial management, consulting and coaching services. She is a published writer and poet. She believes that a significant aspect of her life that altered her thinking and future was when she herself suffered from leprosy. She loves being in the work of leprosy and her mission is of a world where people affected by leprosy, their families and the health workers can be respected for the extraordinary commitment it takes to counter the fear and stigma attached to the disease.

Lt. Gen (Retd) Madhawa Anand Tutakne, a medical doctor by profession and since 1968 was associated with Army and Air force Hospitals as Dermatologist. He has extensively worked as Officer In charge Leprosy Centre, MH, Agra, Barrackpore, Pune and was awarded for best research work in leprosy. Apart from extensive work, he has published, presented several papers, authorship in text books, delivered prestigious orations and guest lectures. He held several positions such as Prof. Dermatology, Dean Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune and Vice Chancellor of Symbiosis Institutions, Pune and currently is the Medical Advisor of the Symbiosis institutions.

UrmilaDr. Urmila Pingle, currently the Managing Trustee of Centre for People Forestry, is also a member of governing body of LEPRA for the past two decades. She attained MBBS and PhD in Genetics from the Indian Statistical Institute. A social and medical anthropologist by profession, whose genetic and dietary research among the tribes has unlocked many new vistas. Dr. Urmila, whose genetic and dietary research among the tribes of the area has opened many new vistas. She is a consultant for many projects and studies of international and national organisations as well as for government at state and national level. She is a member of many professional societies, with four decades of diverse field, research experience in tribal / forestry areas of central India, experience in formulation of natural resource and tribal development policies in India. She has published two scholarly books on Anthropology, Nutrition and Genetic of Tribals in Andhra Pradesh and nearly twenty articles in reputed journals.

Dr. Y.B. Jayanth KumarDr. Jayanth Kumar, a professional has 22 years of experience both at the grass-root and management level in a development sector. He is visually impaired by birth, but has an ability to work under given circumstances. He is well known in designing and creating street plays, dramas, and skits on disability issues. Presently Jayanth is working as Head, Programmes for AIFO supporting CBR programmes in India and Bangladesh. The Government of Karnataka felicitated Dr. Jayanth Kumar, CBR Coordinator of AIFO India for the successful completion of Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology in 2010.

Meena GuptaMeena Gupta joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1971 and has worked in various senior positions in the Government of Odisha and the Government of India since then. She has worked for significant periods of time in the sectors of health, labour, tribal affairs and environment & forests. As Secretary, Health in the Government of Odisha, she introduced several pioneering reforms. In the Ministry of Labour in Government of India she was associated with the Child Labour (Protection & Regulation) Act, and the National Child Labour Projects. She also worked in the ILO Office, New Delhi for four years on a child labour project which extended support to the Government of India’s effort. She was Secretary to the Government of India; also worked as, Secretary in the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Secretary in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs retired in June 2008. She has been member of LEPRA since 2003.

MeenakshiMeenakshi Batra, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Charities Aid Foundation India, since July 2012, has more than two decades of experience in international development and humanitarian work. Having worked with various agencies like Save the Children, Oxfam, War Child, Child Fund International, Department for International Development (DFID) in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Ms.Batra is skilled in the management of large-scale multi-sector programmes, directing large country programmes, strategic planning, organisational development, change management and senior management/leadership development. She is also experienced in leading emergency responses to earthquakes, cyclones, floods, droughts and post-conflict programmes.

Dayakar ThotaProf. (Lt. Col.) Dayakar Thota, Medical Director, Ramdev Rao Memorial Hospital, Kukatpally, Hyderabad, and Chief Consultant, Institute of Health Systems (IHS), is a medical doctor, who served in the Indian Army in various capacities between 1971 and 1994. With vast teaching experience in hospital administration, Prof. Thota also serves as an examiner for post-graduate studies for the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Diplomate of National Board of Examinations (DNBE) and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). Prof. Thota is a life member of the Indian Association for Medical Informatics (IAMI), Hyderabad; Indian Society of Health Administration (ISHA), Bengaluru; Academy of Hospital Administration (AHA), New Delhi; Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE), Manipal; Institute of Health Systems (IHS), Hyderabad and twice-elected President of the Association of Hospital and Health Administrators, Hyderabad.

Dil Kishore RamanDr. Dil Kishore Raman, Medical Superintendent, Narayan Medical College and Hospital, Jamuhar, Bihar, since 2014, has an MD in Paediatrics. In his four decades of service in various government departments and hospitals in Patna, Bihar, he also held Additional Charge in the Office of the State Leprosy Officer from 1999-2005 and Additional Charge in the Office of the Controlling Officer State TB; State Leprosy Control & Eradication Programme and State Malaria & Kala- Azar Control Programme, from 2006-08.

Guru Sharan SachdevGuru Sharan Sachdev, Independent Reforms Facilitator since 2012, is a governance and health systems development expert specialising in health sector policy and strategy development in the government of Madhya Pradesh. Sachdev writes, edits, translates and reviews documents for Vikas Samvad. Endowed with a flair for networking with stakeholders, he is adept at promoting and facilitating meeting of development partners. Mr.Sachdev has co-authored, Vision Document for State Child Health and Nutrition Mission-2020, for the government of Madhya Pradesh.

Vihwa Mohan KatochDr.Vishwa Mohan Katoch, M.D. (Microbiology), currently the Chair, National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Rajasthan University of Health Sciences (RUHS), Jaipur. As the Founder and Secretary of the Department of Health Research (DHR), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, between 2008 and 2015, Dr. Katoch played an important role in developing and implementing new schemes like the establishment of multi-disciplinary research units (MRUs) in government medical colleges; Model Rural Health Research units (MRHRUs); Virology Research Laboratories in states and medical colleges; Human Resources for Health Research with focus on medical colleges and Grant-in-Aid schemes for projects focussed on intersectoral collaboration and coordination. Dr. Katoch has led several delegations and represented India in international conferences. A Fellow of several prestigious Science academies in the country, he has won many awards for his scientific achievements.

Country Management Team

Prasant has over 20 years of experience in humanitarian and development sectors especially in the areas of strategy development, leadership, child protection, partnership management, HIV/AIDS, networking and fundraising.

He has a Masters in Social Work from Dr. C.V. Raman University and Rural Management from the prestigious Institute of Rural Management, Gujarat.

He served as a Country Director for many NGOs and worked in countries like Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique and Angola), Asia (Afghanistan, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia Thailand and Myanmar) and UK. Prasant is a polyglot with fluency in several languages, including Spanish, Odia, Bengali, Hindi, Portuguese and others.

Domain Heads

Om is an accomplished result driven finance professional with more than 14 years of progressive experience with strong track-record of delivering top performance in finance management. He possesses vast experience in financial markets, especially in the development sector with sound knowledge of legal and financial requirements of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs). In addition to finance, Om, also handles the HR operations.

He holds a Masters in Commerce and has a professional qualification of ICWAI – Inter. He regularly upskills himself to stay abreast with the latest developments in areas of finance and HR operations.

He has been the key force behind strengthening of the financial systems, donor reporting guidelines and establishment of Financial and Procedures Manual for the organisation and its partner NGO’s.

Kasturi has over 14 years of corporate experience is in varied industries like Renewal Energy, Biochemicals, Nutraceuticals and Pharmaceuticals in the areas of business development, partnerships and strategic alliances. She brings with her a rich experience of structured thinking, problem solving, negotiation and project management. Her diverse skill sets have helped her in having successful transitions across various industries.

She has post graduate degrees in Molecular Cancer Biology and Biotechnology from USC, Columbia and George Washington University, Washington D.C. Additionally she also has an MBA in International Business and a degree from NALSAR law school in Intellectual Property Rights.

She heads the Resource Mobilisation and Communications Unit of LEPRA.  She believes that real success can only be measured by the number of lives that have changed for the better.

aparnaDr. Aparna Srikantam is an MD (Microbiology) from SV Medical College, NTR University of Health Sciences, AP, lndia. She has over 18 years’ robust research experience, complemented by extensive administrative and managerial experience. In addition, she has several international and national publications to her credit. Her last assignment was Head of Microbiology at Vijaya Diagnostic Centre, Hyderabad. Aparna has worked with LEPRA (BPHRC) as Group Leader, Microbiology Division during 2002-2014.

Arun has over 15 years of experience working as a health development professional in government and international non-governmental organisations. He has a vast experience in facilitating organisation next stage of development initiatives, developing project specific Standard Operating Procedures (SoP) and facilitated many qualitative & quantitative research studies. He has a great network with the health authorities and implemented projects with more than 50 NGOs at a time.

He has Masters Degrees’ in Social Work & Sociology (MSW) and Public Health (MPH) from Kakatiya and Annamalai Universities. He is greatly experienced in implementation and strategy planning for various Tuberculosis projects working along with national, state and district authorities.

State Coordinators

rajniRajni is a development professional with 20 years’ experience. He is a graduate in science with specialisation in physiotherapy from Hind Kush Nivaran Sangh (HKNS), New Delhi.

Rajni, in collaboration with TATA Steel was also instrumental in initiating the operations in the state of Jharkhand. He is a qualified master trainer, facilitator and expert in interventions on Community Health Programmes in the areas of Lymphatic Filariasis and leprosy, TB, HIV/AIDS and vector-borne diseases. Rajni and his team contributed for the WHO SEARO book on “Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention in Lymphatic Filariasis”, that serves a manual in operating Lymphatic Filariasis programmes across countries.

Rajni was himself impaired due to Lymphatic Filariasis and has faced the medical, physical, and social challenges involved with this. He enjoys listening to classical music and songs.

Radhika is State Coordinator of LEPRA, Andhra Pradesh Operations. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and Human Resource Management. She has significant experience in implementing Projects on Health, Women Empowerment, Livelihood Promotions and Child Rights.

She has been working with LEPRA since 2008, coordinating the Projects on Leprosy, Lymphatic Filariasis and HIV/AIDS in Andhra Region. She is good at Programme Management.

She was a state level Training of Trainer (ToT) in Health and Nutrition wing under SERP, IKP. Her expertise also includes CBO Management and is good at Media Advocacy for Promoting the Rights of persons affected with diseases.

Pritha is an accomplished development sector professional with more than 14 years of rich experience and expertise in programme management, training, counselling and technical guidance for Social Reforms function.

She has a Masters in Social Work from Visva Bharati University, having experience of working in the field of Public health programmes, both at State level (West Bengal) and Regional level (Orissa & Jharkhand). She has expertise in the areas of HIV-AIDS, Tuberculosis, Mother and Child Health and is a key player in designing, creating and implementing several policies, workshops, campaigns and seminars.

She joined LEPRA in 2017 as a Programme Manager, VIHAAN (GFATM Programme) and was involved in overall planning and management of the program in the state of Odisha and Chhattisgarh through 15 partners. Thereafter, working in the field of Leprosy, Lymphatic Filariasis, and Eye Care inspired her to continue working with LEPRA as the State Co-Ordinator, Odisha.

naveenNaveen has taken charge of State Coordinator – MP operations since September, 2014 and prior to that, he was managing LEPRA Zinc-ORS project in Madhya Pradesh. Naveen has 17 years’ of experience working in the field of Public Health. His experience especially in the field of HIV/AIDS is more than 12 years, served at various levels such as Counsellor, District Supervisor and Project Officer in Technical Support Unit. He has vast experience in monitoring and evaluation, capacity building, programme planning, mentoring and supportive supervision. He is also a Master Trainer under SAKSHAM project of GFATM R7 from Psychology department of Dr. H.S. Gaur University Sagar. Naveen attained his Post Graduation M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Dr. H.S. Gaur Central University Sagar, MP in 1991, and Public Health Field Leader Fellowship with CDC US Government from PHMI, Hyderabad in 2008 and PG Diploma in Psychological Counselling in 2009 from Dr. H.S. Gaur Central University Sagar.