A trained counselor and an MBTI accredited professional, Vinita works in the space of Life Skills for adults and children. A post-graduate from Delhi University, she has been a passionate debater and quizzer through her school and college years. Her journey to becoming a self-aware and empathetic counselor, that began with volunteering at the Salaam Balak Trust is one of self-discovery, persistence and fortitude. Through her professional years of working in seemingly disparate areas of Development with Concern India Foundation and KC Mahindra Education Trust, HR with HDFC Bank and Education with Educomp and as an independent consultant, her natural ability of working with empathy has found both voice and appreciation
She combined her training and passion to set up ‘Thinking and Articulation’ classes ten years ago, through which she works with over a hundred children in the NCR, at a given time period. She created her curriculum that emphasized on Critical thinking, Appreciation for World awareness and Writing styles. These essential skills helped her further her work into Essay writing for admission applications and Interview and GD Training. She also trains aspiring career counselors on Basic Counselling skills, besides undertaking Communication Training for Corporates. She is most proud to have taken a session on Story-Telling at the IIM-Bangalore and Goal-Setting at Government schools in Delhi.
While she enjoys a good book, a sharp review and a compelling narration, what excites her the most is working with children and young adults, both individually and in groups - as counsellor, teacher and mentor, on Goal-Setting, Self-Awareness and Story-Telling.
Amitav Virmani is the Founder and CEO of The Education Alliance (TEA), a non-profit organization focused on improving the quality of education in Government schools. TEA works with the state governments of Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Delhi and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation on education reform initiatives.
Prior to founding The Education Alliance (TEA), Amitav was Country Director, ARK India, a UK based NGO. Amitav and his team launched several programmes focused on school leadership, english language literacy, school vouchers and school quality assesments.
Amitav worked for Bristol Myers Squibb, a Pharma company based in Princeton for 5 years. He has also been involved with his family-run food processing and real-estate business in Punjab since 1994.
Amitav was educated at the Doon School and went on to study Economics at St. Stephens College, Delhi University. He has an MBA from UNC Chapel Hill, USA. He sits on the board of AVPN India, Childrens Book Trust, Virmani Education Trust, Teach for India (Delhi) and Shri Ram Schools. Amitav is a member of the CII Education Task Force and also a member of the International Board of Advisors for Kenan Flagler Business School, UNC, Chapel Hill.
Amitav is an Aspen Fellow, Ashoka Fellow and an N/Core Fellow.
Dr. Y. Suresh Reddy is the Director of SRF Foundation, ( www.srf.com ) the corporate social responsibility arm of SRF Limited ( www.srf-foundation.org ). He completed his Ph. D. in Public Administration from SV University, Tirupati (India) in 1995 and has vast experience of 24 years by associating with Academic, Government, Not for Profit and Corporate Foundations. In the past, he has been associated with Byrraju Foundation, Hyderabad; Dr. Reddy’s Foundation, Hyderabad; CARE India (International NGO), New Delhi and State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), New Delhi.
Dr. Reddy is a specialist in school education and vocational skill training projects. He has skills in the entire Project Cycle Management and building institutions. He has also authored books, titled “Co-operatives & Rural Development” and “Child Labor in India” and has many research papers to his credit. His areas of interest include CSR, school education for deprived, ICT for development, Public Private Community Partnerships for Education, Child Labor, Vocational Skills and Rural Development.
As the head of SRF Foundation, he has built a team of 110 professionals and 9 CSR Champions supported by 145 CSR Council Members, collaborated with various State Government Education Departments and like-minded corporate and civil society agencies – Capgemini, IBM, Coca Cola, Tetra Pak, Schneider, HP, IndiGo Airlines, Brillio, Sunrise, CARE India, Times of India, NDTV, PNB Housing, Signify and UN Habitat and designed and executed the educational programs spread across nine states in the country.
With his efforts, SRF Foundation today stands as one of the respected Development agencies in the country with contributions in the areas of school education and vocational skills impacting lives of 76,000 students directly and 250,000 students indirectly and 5,000 youth spread across nine states of India.
Shaheena Attarwala works at Microsoft as a Design Manager where she leads research & design and for emerging economies. Born into a poor and uneducated family in a village in Uttar Pradesh, she was raised in the slums of Mumbai. Attarwala resisted an early marriage and pursued education fearlessly against her family's will and support. Life in the slum exposed her to severest living conditions, gender bias, and sexual harassment. Her perpetual curiosity to learn and a focus to design a different life for herself paved the path for her subsequent achievements. She holds a degree in Law and her social work initiatives have received recognition from the United Nations.
She was also named as one of the “Unsung Heroes” of India by The India Today in 2019. She is also a fellow at the prestigious GP Birla Fellowship for young women leaders. Her journey has inspired girls to pursue education & career and has changed the mindset of parents. Apart from making the digital world a better place, she also endeavors to open a school for the unprivileged children in her village combining the art of technology and design, as she strongly believes that technology is an equalizer and is a catalyst in reducing the empathy gap in the world.
She advocates that people from vulnerable backgrounds must strive towards being part of the mainstream society through the medium of education and conquer that space. Until that happens the dream of an egalitarian society is faraway.
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