Infochange India

About Us

Wed22Oct2014

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About Us

www.infochangeindia.org is an online repository of information and analysis on social justice and sustainable development in India.

Currently in its 11th year online, Infochange is a free-access resource base, with special sections on poverty & livelihoods, social exclusion, environment and climate change, women and child rights, the impact of globalisation, governance, public health, urbanisation, migration and displacement, gender and sexual rights, cultural diversity and peace-building and more.

Infochange is one of the earliest knowledge-building and knowledge-sharing portals in India. Our content has been contributed by a wide, credible and informed network of over 400 of India's leading writers, researchers, civil society activists, policymakers, development journalists and subject specialists.

Our portal provides a mix of perspective, analysis and independent reportage from the corners of India, including marginalised areas. All our content is designed to be accessible and readable, taking information for social change out of seminar rooms and to the people, enabling them to participate in drawing up an agenda for a more equitable and sustainable world.

Roughly 2,000 readers visit our site every day. They come from diverse sectors and include students, scholars, academics, farmers, policymakers, campaigners, development workers and people from marginalised communities.

Infochange content is widely linked, cited and reprinted in scores of mainstream and specialised publications/portals.

Infochange won the Manthan Award, supported by the Department of Information Technology, Government of India, for best e-content for development.

Infochange is an initiative of the Centre for Communication and Development Studies (CCDS), a non-profit institution that uses innovative communication processes to build an informed, open and inclusive society. CCDS fosters new platforms for research, advocacy, dialogue and citizens' action on pluralism, social justice and sustainable development in India.

Infochange Agenda, CCDS's theme-based quarterly print dossier, is also available online at www.infochangeindia.org. Agenda has been in publication since 2004. Agenda is designed to 1) take our content into university libraries, governmental and non-governmental policymaking institutions and to leading opinion-makers; 2) take information about development/social justice into the mainstream media; 3) provide comprehensive but concise learning/discussion material for trainings, seminars and campaigns.

Agenda documents the ways in which lives and livelihoods are impacted by 'development' or failures of governance, and changed by innovative solutions at the grassroots.

CCDS also publishes lively and readable booklets and pamphlets addressed at young adults and students on topics such as gender and sexuality, globalisation, cultural diversity and inclusion. Many of these are available on our youth outreach portal www.openspaceindia.org.

Terms of use

We encourage use of the content on this website for educational and non-profit purposes. But please credit the individual writers and www.infochangeindia.org when using our content, and send us links/copies of the content you have used.

Any commercial use of the material on Infochangeindia.org requires express written consent from the copyright owners of the original materials.

The Team

CCDS has been promoted by a team of experienced, highly-regarded and competent media professionals, communication experts, development researchers and analysts. All mid-career professionals, we were brought together by the shared desire to use our knowledge and skills in ways that would help bring about change in the lives of the most deprived sections of society. And in doing so, bring about change in our own lives. Each member of the team has substantial years of experience in either activism or communications and in most cases, both these fields. CCDS thus has an extensive network of journalist-activists/activist-journalists. This network is perfectly placed to synergise perspective, knowledge, skill and experience, so that communication and information are used to effect institutional and social change.

Editors

Hutokshi Doctor: A journalist who has worked in the Indian media for over 25 years, she has held senior editorial positions at several leading mainstream publications including The Times of India, The Independent and The Illustrated Weekly of India. For the last 12 years she has been working exclusively with communications for social change. She was editor of Humanscape, a journal on social change and social action which she co-founded. She is one of the founders of the Centre for Communication and Development Studies, which manages this website, and is its Director. She has also managed several communications projects for development organisations, campaigns and programmes.

John Samuel: has been a human rights activist, policy researcher, writer, institution-builder and development manager for more than 20 years. He has been working with social movements, human rights and advocacy organisations and development organisations at the grassroots, national and international levels. He has initiated and promoted national and international campaigns for human rights, accountable governance and social justice, including the Rights to Information in India and the Global Call to Action Against Poverty. He was formerly the Executive Director of the National Centre for Adovocacy Studies. He has helped to establish more than 10 organisations and networks at the national and international level, including the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability, Social Watch India, Asia Media Forum and CCDS. He is the Managing Trustee of CCDS.

Associates and Subject Specialists

Ammu Joseph is an independent journalist and author based in Bangalore, India, and writing primarily on issues relating to gender, children, human development and the media. Her publications include five books: Whose News? The Media and Women's Issues (Sage, 1994 and 2006, co-authored/edited with Kalpana Sharma), Women in Journalism: Making News (Konark, 2000 and Penguin India 2005), Terror, Counter-Terror: Women Speak Out (Kali for Women/Zed Books, 2003, co-authored/edited with Kalpana Sharma), Storylines: Conversations with Women Writers and Just Between Us: Women Speak about their Writing (Women's World India/Women Unlimited, 2003 and 2004, co-authored/edited with Vasanth Kannabiran, Ritu Menon, Gouri Salvi and Volga ).

Anosh Malekarhas been a full-time senior researcher with CCDS for three years. He has considerable experience in reporting the impact of public policy on grassroots communities, and processes that allow communities to influence public policy. His reportage for www.infochangeindia.org has been widely appreciated and awarded. At present he is an Infochange Associate, who contributes regularly to the portal.

Anil Dharker is a senior editor, writer and columnist. He is the former editor of The Illustrated Weekly of India, The Independent, Debonair and Midday. His columns have documented trends in society, the media, politics, human rights, the arts and sport for over 25 years. He is a columnist for The Hindu, The Times of India and several other leading publications.

Anu Kumar is a former assistant editor of Economic and Political Weekly, Mumbai. She is interested in issues relating to education, development and environment and has contributed articles to EPW and other newspapers on these subjects. She was awarded a CSE fellowship on Making Water Everybody's Business between in 2002. She is currently working on a PhD from the University of Mumbai on grassroots women activists and their contribution to issues of civic concern.

Arshia Sattar has a PhD in South Asian Languages and Civilisations from the University of Chicago . Her abridged translations of the Sanskrit Kathasaritsagara and Valmiki's Ramayana have both been published by Penguin Books. Her book reviews and articles appeared regularly in ,The Times of India, The Illustrated Weekly of India and the Indian Review of Books. She has also worked with documentary film and theatre. She taught Indian Studies at the Mahindra United World College of India in Pune for five years. She currently works as a freelance writer and researcher.

Aseem Shrivastava wrote his doctoral thesis on Environmental Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has taught economics for many years at college and university level in India and the US. Most recently, he taught philosophy at Nordic College, Norway. He now works as an independent writer, focusing on issues emanating from globalisation, including specifically on Special Economic Zones. His articles have appeared in The Hindu, Outlook, Economic and Political Weekly, Seminar, and Himal.

Ashish Kothari is a founder-member of Kalpavriksh, a 30-year-old environmental research and action group. He is active in several grassroots movements, and has co-ordinated the process to formulate India 's National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. He has been a member of several government committees including the Expert Group on the Biodiversity Act, the committee to revise the National Wildlife Action Plan, and the Environmental Appraisal Committee for River Valley Projects. He has been co-chair of the IUCN inter-commission Strategic Direction on Governance, Equity and Livelihoods in Relation to Protected Areas (TILCEPA), served on the board of Greenpeace International, and is currently chair of Greenpeace India's Board.

Ashok Gopal is an independent writer and editor based in Pune. He has over 20 years of experience with several publications, including Imprint and The Times of India. He specialises in corporate communications, technical writing and writing for CD-ROMs and websites. He is a communications consultant to several development organisations and institutions and also teaches communications to students of journalism and management.

Bharti Ali was head of the Women and Child Programme of MARG, New Delhi. Her work includes research on domestic violence, Panchayati Raj, sexual exploitation of SC/ST women, child labour, reproductive health, documentation of NGO experience in educating adolescent girls etc. She has also been involved in the setting up of the documentation system of the National Alliance of Women's Organisations (NAWO). Gender sensitisation training with the Delhi Police and NGOs and child rights training with school teachers have been a major activity. She is an executive secretary of HAQ: Centre for Child Rights, New Delhi.

Darryl D'Monte was Resident Editor of The Times of India and The Indian Express in Mumbai. He writes a column on environment and development, which is published in several Indian newspapers and websites. His book Temples or Tombs? Industry Versus Environment was published in 1985. He is the chairperson of the Forum of Environmental Journalists in India.

Devinder Sharma is a food and trade policy analyst. Trained as an agricultural scientist, Sharma was Development Editor of The Indian Express. He now researches policy issues concerning sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and intellectual property rights, environment and development, food security and poverty, and the implications of the free trade paradigm. He is a visiting fellow to several universities abroad. He has authored GATT and India: The Politics of Agriculture; GATT to WTO: Seeds of Despair and In the Famine Trap. He is the winner of the 2001 Chaudhary Charan Singh Award for Excellence in Journalism, instituted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi.

Enakshi Ganguly Thukral is currently the executive director of HAQ: Centre for Child Rights, New Delhi . She has been working on issues of child rights and gender justice for over 15 years. She has worked with the Indian Social Institute and Multiple Action Research Group (MARG), New Delhi. Child participation processes and child rights training with children and schoolteachers has been an important area of concentration in the last few years.

Kalpana Sharma is an independent journalist, columnist and media consultant based in Mumbai. She writes a fortnightly column in The Hindu titled The Other Half. She writes for several other Indian publications as well. Until 2007, Kalpana was Deputy Editor and Chief of Bureau of The Hindu in Mumbai. In over three decades as a full-time journalist, she has held senior positions at Himmat Weekly, Indian Express and The Times of India. Her special areas of interest are environmental and developmental issues and gender. In 1982 she worked with Anil Agarwal of the Centre for Science and Environment to edit the first Citizens' Report on the State of the Environment. During her years at The Hindu, she was responsible for the annual Survey of the Environment published by The Hindu, a collection of articles on contemporary environmental issues that appeared in the form of a separate priced publication. Kalpana has also followed and commented on urban issues, especially in the context of Mumbai's development. She is the author of Rediscovering Dharavi:Stories from Asia's Largest Slum (Penguin 2000). Her other books, which she has co-edited with Ammu Joseph, are Whose News? The Media and Women's Issues (Sage, 1994 and 2006) and Terror Counter-Terror: Women Speak Out (Kali for Women, 2003).

Kaustubh Moghe is associated with Kalpavriksh and has worked as a researcher/ wildlife biologist with the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. He was involved with the Tourism Impact Assessment at Corbett National Park, Uttaranchal, India. Currently, he is authoring a portion of 'Restoration Practices in Abandoned Opencast Mine Areas in India', which is part of the Mining and Biodiversity subthematic review of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP).

Laxmi Murthy is associate editor, Himal Southasian. Her writings, with a focus on giving voice to issues marginalised by mainstream media, have appeared in major dailies including The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu and the Indian Express. Laxmi was an editor at the Women's Feature Service, an international news-feature agency specialising in development issues from a gender perspective and was also South Asia coordinator for the Tolerance Prize, an award for excellence in journalism instituted by the International Federation of Journalists.

Mari Marcel Thekaekara is founder-associate director of ACCORD, an organisation that works with the tribals of Gudalur, Tamil Nadu. She is a frequent contributor to The Hindu and Frontline and was a columnist for New Internationalist, UK. Her articles have also appeared in the Economic and Political Weekly and other leading publications. She is the author of Endless Filth, a book on the safai kamdars of Gujarat , published by Books for Change. She was commissioned by the Directory of Social Change, UK, to do a study of poverty and development in the United Kingdom. She is a trustee of CCDS.

Mini Shrinivasan taught in primary schools for several years before moving to teacher training and development of teaching-learning materials. She worked with the Centre for Learning Resources, Pune, involved in designing training inputs for NGO and government projects, focussing on improving the quality of elementary education for children from the poorest sections of society.

Manjima Bhattacharjya has a PhD in sociology and has been active in the Indian women's movement for over 10 years. In the past, she has worked with Jagori, a feminist resource centre, and the International Secretariat of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in Geneva. She is currently on the executive committee and governing body of Jagori. Her special areas of interest include gender, globalisation, work, feminism and other social movements, sexuality, trafficking and migration. She has written for an eclectic mix of publications: The Times of India, ELLE, Me/DNA, Seminar, The Book Review, Agenda, Infochange and others, on an equally eclectic range of issues. She has a special commitment to making theoretical issues and debates accessible to the layperson.
She is from the younger generation of feminists in India who have tried to build on the struggles of earlier generations using new ways of networking, campaigning, organisational development, media and technology, in their activism and within the organisation structures they have worked in. She currently freelances as a writer, researcher and consultant for NGOs and international organisations from across the world, combining her academic training and activist experience to provide support and expertise on gender-related issues.
She was born in Assam, raised in Kuwait and New Delhi and now lives in Mumbai, which makes it difficult for her to answer where she comes from.

Neema Pathak is a member of Kalpavriksh, an environmental action group. She has worked as a researcher at the Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi. She has co-ordinated several projects, including the preparation of a Directory of National Parks and Sanctuaries in Maharashtra state, a Directory of Community Conserved Areas in India and the South Asia Regional Review of the above programme.

Oishik Sircar is a human rights lawyer and independent researcher and presently a Fellow in Reproductive & Sexual Health and Women's Rights at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. He has previously worked as a campaigner with Amnesty International India, and has taught courses at the Women's Studies Centre, University of Pune, and Research Centre for Women's Studies, SNDT Women's University, Mumbai. In 2005 he set up the CCDS Human Rights Education Initiative. He works and writes in the areas of postcolonial feminist legal theory, sexual rights, migration studies and cultures of human rights.

Rahul Goswami researches rural economies with a focus on agro-ecology. He is a consultant with the National Agricultural Innovation Project, Ministry of Agriculture, and is an examiner for UNESCO's Culture Sector, on intangible cultural heritage. He writes on issues concerning food and energy. He has worked with IUCN/South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics and has been a journalist with the mainstream and business press in India (Business Standard and the Sunday Observer), South-East Asia (the Straits Times group) and the Persian Gulf region.

Rahul Srivastava has written on the environment, popular culture and new knowledge practices. He has studied sociology and anthropology in India and the United Kingdom. He was co-director of PUKAR, Partners for Urban Knowledge Action and Research, a Mumbai-based research initiative founded by Prof Arjun Appadurai. He is now concentrating on writing fiction.

Rajashri Dasgupta is an independent journalist based in Kolkata specialising on issues r elated to gender, health, human rights and social movements. She has been working as a journalist for more than 25 years and started her career in Business Standard before she moved to political and social issues as a senior editor in The Telegraph. She was awarded the Panos Fellowship and exposed the unethical drug trials with quinacrine to sterilise women in West Bengal. She has contributed articles in edited volumes on health, women and violence. She is on the editorial board of the Kathmandu-based Himal Southasian. She is involved in the peace and women's rights movements and on the board of several organisations working for social change.

Rashme Sehgal is a Delhi-based writer/journalist who has specialised in investigative reporting. She broke the story on the Taj Corridor Scam for The Times of India in June 2003, and did a series of media-related exposes during her tenure with The Telegraph. She was also the first Indian journalist to expose the ISI presence in Kashmir for The Independent in 1990. Her first novel, Headlines and Other Lives, was published in 2005.

Rubina Lal has an MEd and PhD in special education. She is a senior lecturer in the Post-Graduate Department of Special Education, SNDT Women's University, Mumbai. Dr Lal has worked with people with developmental disabilities, and their families for 25 years. She has introduced new methods of intervention for children with developmental delays in India and is an active participant in advocacy and human rights movements for the disabled. She is President of SOPAN, Society of Parents of Children with Autistic Disorders. Lal has presented papers at several national and international conferences including the UN Conference on Population & Development (1994), Cairo . She is the recipient of the Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship for Post-Doctoral Research 2003-04.

Saloni Mathur is Programme Officer at HAQ: Centre for Child Rights, New Delhi. Her work has included research and evaluation of childcare organisations, reproductive health and child rights. Vocational guidance to children, training of helpers in child care institutions, workshops on educational material for effective teaching in preschool, processes of child rights with children have been an important area of her work.

Sandhya Srinivasan is a freelance journalist specialising in public health and development issues. She has a master's in public health and is Consulting Editor of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. She was a Panos Reproductive Health Media Fellow in 1998 and an Ashoka Fellow. She is Consulting Editor, Public Health, for www.infochangeindia.org and has edited infochangeindia's comprehensive section on HIV/AIDS. She is a trustee of CCDS.

Shailendra Yashwant is an activist, writer and photographer who has been documenting, reporting and campaigning on environmental justice issues in the Asiapacific region for over two decades.Shailendra was part of the team that established Greenpeace's presence in India and since 1998 has held various senior management positions with the international pressure group, including Campaign Director of Greenpeace India and Campaign Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.His flair for communications strategies, commitment to non-violent protest and creativity in executing innovative tactics to influence public opinion has helped galvanize people's movements on key ecological issues in India and Southeast Asia. He is the founder of Mitra Foundation, a not for profit initiative that pioneered carbon-neutral campus programmes in India and is now running solar library programmes in underprivileged schools. As a photographer he has worked with Outlook, The Hindu and other leading Indian publications.

Sharmila Joshi works in the academic field of historical sociology, with an interest in issues related to development, gender, labour and social movements. She has been a journalist, writing for several years on social issues.

Sujata Madhok was editor of Women's Feature Service from 1989 to 2000. She has been active in the women's movement and has worked with women's groups in Delhi on a range of issues and campaigns. She has co-ordinated radio series on Women and the Law and on Women and Health for broadcast on All India Radio. She has also worked for The Statesman, The Hindustan Times and Democratic World.

Sudhirendar Sharma is a Delhi-based water expert and development analyst. Sharma has a doctorate in environmental sciences. He has worked with India Today and The Pioneer and with the UN for the World Bank's water and sanitation programme. Policy analysis of water management and the role of traditional knowledge in human development are his special interests. He is Director of the Ecological Foundation.

Copy editor

Gita Vasudevan has been assistant editor of Sanctuary and Cub magazines and copy editor of Humanscape. She was a senior copy editor with the Business India group, Mumbai, for several years.

Webmaster

Vijay Narvekar holds Diplomas in Electronic Engineering and Internet and Multimedia. He specialises in developing, designing and managing websites for civil society organisations and corporate houses.

Administration and Accounts

KC Dwarkanath is Manager, Operations. A senior finance professional, formerly a bank manager, he has been with CCDS for the last six years.