NEW DELHI: Founded by Bill Drayton in 1980, today Ashoka is the world’s largest network of leading social entrepreneurs and ranks among the top 5 NGOs of the world. The first-ever social entrepreneur to be selected as an Ashoka Fellow was Gloria De Souza from India, in 1982, who revolutionised the system of learning in classrooms.
Impacting millions of people and communities through their work, the Fellows include people like Nobel Laureates Kailash Satyarthi (Bachpan Bachao Andolan), Muhammad Yunus (Grameen Bank), and Magsaysay awardee Anshu Gupta (Goonj), among several others. Currently, the organisation has over 400 Ashoka Fellows in wide ranging fields such as farming, education, human rights, finance, local media, and women and youth empowerment, across India.
Ashoka offers a modest need-based stipend to support personal financial costs of Fellows for three years. More critically, Ashoka India leverages learnings from its rich global network to act as a strategic thought partner and help fellows find the most efficient way to drive systemic change.
Ashoka South Asia functions as a collaborative network that supports and amplifies change by bringing together these changemakers. The newest batch of Ashoka Fellows includes:
Sebastian Groh (Bangladesh) – ME Solshare
Sebastian is transforming how energy is being delivered and consumed through his game-changing peer-to-peer solar energy trading platform. His digital, decentralized and decarbonized solution is empowering people to take their energy futures in their own hands.
John J (India) – Grassroot Tea Corporation
John envisions an industry where small-scale tea farmers look at each other as partners to collaborate with, as opposed to competitors, so they can all participate and benefit equitably from the tea supply chain.
Bharath Palavalli (India) – Fields of View
Bharath is creating tools and methods to allow different stakeholders to discuss, collaborate, disagree and function together on creating relevant and usable policy.
Danny Sajida Rahman (Bangladesh) – PFDA Vocational Training Centre
Danny is empowering the caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) to define the future their children and families will have.
Pranshu Singhal (India) – Karo Sambhav
Pranshu is building a cohesive and comprehensive e-waste movement in India that is enabling all stakeholders to recycle responsibly.
Prasanna Shirol (India) – Organisation for Rare Diseases India
Prasanna is building an ecosystem to address the immediate and unmet needs of patients and families with rare diseases. By creating a unified coalition of stakeholders that includes the Public, Private and Citizen Sectors, he is introducing the social, physical and policy infrastructure that is needed to diagnose and treat patients.
Sachin Chaudhary (India) – Trust Circle
Sachin is improving emotional resilience and well-being for all by focusing on prevention and early intervention for mental health issues, and by empowering individuals and organizations to take proactive action, create awareness, destigmatize mental health, and to promote overall well-being for our society at large.
E K Shaji (India) – Jodo Gayan
Shaji is building critical thinking and problem-solving capacities in children, by enabling teachers and government administrators to innovate curriculum and pedagogy for this.
Shailabh Kumar (India) – Uplift Mutuals
Shailabh has created the first mutual health insurance model in India that is community owned and led, thus giving them control to take care of their health more proactively.
Amanda Kiessel (Sri Lanka) – Good Market
Amanda is building a curated system for social enterprises, responsible businesses, and conscious consumers to come together, support each other, and catalyze the transition to a 21st century economy that is good for people and good for the planet.
Established in 1980 and known for the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship that it awards to the world’s leading problem-solvers. Currently, the organization has over 400 Ashoka Fellows in wide ranging fields such as farming, education, human rights, finance, local media, and women and youth empowerment. With solving problems to bring about system change at its core, Ashoka believes and promotes the idea of everyone being a changemaker given the times we live in.