Manish has spent the past nineteen years as Coordinator of Shikshantar Andolan. He is also a co-founder of Swaraj University, Udaipur as a Learning City and the Creativity Adda. He is very excited about organic farming, slow food cooking, cooperative games/group facilitation and filmmaking. He is a founding member of the Indian Multiversities Alliance, the Giftival Network, Ecoversities Network, Vikalp Sangam, Learning Societies Unconference, Berkana Exchange. Before co-founding Shikshantar, Manish spent two years serving with UNESCO Learning Without Frontiers transnational initiative. Prior to that, he worked as a consultant in several countries in the areas of educational planning, policy analysis, research, program design, and media/technology with UNICEF, UNDP, the World Bank, USAID, the Academy for Educational Development and the Harvard Institute for International Development. Manish also spent two years as an investment banker in the belly of the beast with Morgan Stanley working in the telecom and high technology sectors. He has spent several years trying to unlearn his Master's degree in Education from Harvard University, and a B.A. in Economics, International Relations and Political Philosophy from Brown University.
Vidhi has been a Learning Activist with Shikshantar on the Udaipur as a Learning City process-project for the past nineteen years. She works with the Families Learning Together and Unschooling initiatives, as well as on community media and expressions in Udaipur as a Learning City. She is interested in traditional knowledge and is working on the Grandmother’s University. She is very passionate about slow food and helps support the Hulchal Saturday Café and many local food festivals. Vidhi and Manish are unschooling their daughter Kanku. Before co-founding Shikshantar, Vidhi spent two years working for Lok Jumbish, a grassroots project in Rajasthan. In this capacity, she designed and ran a program in rural villages to raise awareness and design inclusive schooling services for children with special needs. Prior to that, Vidhi worked directly with children in Delhi with Spastics Society of Northern India..
Formally educated in Electronics Engineering Gaurav Gurjar is an internationally certified Permaculture Expert and works towards restoring degraded landscapes. He has been traveling extensively and has immense experience in identifying native vegetation of South East Asia and is currently working with Afforestt as Jungle Tree Expert, on their mission to preserve and bring back our native forests.
For last 2 years, Gaurav has been working extensively on native vegetation and setting up urban Food Forests in Delhi, in association with Swechha India. Before this, he has been consulting various farmer groups in Rajasthan on natural farming techniques and regeneration of degraded land. He has traveled India extensively, volunteering at different places and communities focused on permaculture and regeneration of degraded land.
In 2015 he represented India at international level at “We Feed The Planet” conference in Milan, in association with Slow Food International, Italy. He is also the winner of India’s first environment based reality T.V. Show, Godrej Green Championship in association with NDTV.
Navneet Kaur Ahuja
Navneet is a freelance photographer, researcher and consultant. She tries to reinvent herself with every new project on a varied subject. Her photographic and consultancy work are centered on building a relationship with her subjects.
She has more than a decade long career in managing facilities, administration, and other related areas. After having worked in conventional private jobs, she transitioned to freelance working in mid-2010 and has been able to successfully project manage various competing projects in diversified roles associated with both profit making and not for profit organizations that required her attention to detail and focus. She has also been involved in various community outreach programs. She uses photography as a form of creative expression and to tell stories. She strongly believes that photo-stories embrace newer modes of dissemination.
Most recently, she has been occupied with her second photo-story book “Reflections”. It is a visually powerful book with non-fiction human life stories. She tried to develop an artistic language using still images, artwork, poems and songs. As a photographer, her first book was “ON THE ROAD to initiatives of change” – a photo-story book featuring 35 lives in the state of Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa, commissioned by Tata Steel Co. She is a veteran with Delhi Photo Festival, India’s first international biennial photo festival. She leads the submissions, event management, and administration.