Usha is a Social Activist who has been working to stop child marriages in Rajasthan for over 17 years. Usha’s journey began as a fourteen year old, when she was almost married off to a stranger ten years older than her. Determined to continue her education and determine the path of her own life, Usha’s successful fight to stop her own child marriage inspired a lifetime of work empowering other girls in Rajasthan and beyond to stand up for their rights.
As well as acting as Vikalp’s Secretary, Usha oversees all of Vikalp’s programs and is heavily involved in direct field work and program development. Usha’s tireless commitment and passion in working for women and girls’ rights has been recognized with a number of national and international awards, including the Celebrating being Woman Award (2012); The Bhasker Woman of the year Award (2012); The L’Oreal Paris Femina Award (2013); and the Jija Bai ‘Celebrating Womanhood Award’ (2014). Usha holds a BA and MA specialising in Hindi, and has worked as a program co-ordinator with Udaipur’s Aastha Sansthan, and as a part of Vishakha and Action Aid’s Lok Adhikar Network.
Currently living in Udaipur, Usha continues her dedicated work to improve the status of women in India, and is contributing to creating a society that is equal and just for both men and women.
Founder Yogesh Vaishnav currently acts as Vikalp’s Treasurer and oversees all programs. Yogesh’s experiences and training are as broad as they come; now social activist and participatory trainer, he was initially a science graduate, and holds a Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. Yogesh now has more than 20 years of experience in the social development sector as a social and gender activist at grassroots level. He has been involved in various types of participatory training, module and resource writing, documentation, advocacy, lobbying, networking, project management, curriculum writing, monitoring and evaluation, design work and media development.As well as looking after IEC, documentation, and other capacity building components of the Vikalp team, Yogesh oversees Vikalp’s programs and is always working to develop new ideas for the future. Yogesh is also a national committee member for We Can End All Violence Campaign launched by Oxfam Great Britain, and has represented Vikalp in a number of international forums and events. His key areas of work and interest are child marriage, the interaction between gender and masculinity, sexuality and engaging men and boys to ending all violence against women.
Pooja, Coordinator of vikalp’s, who joined vikalp in 2016. A Gujrati girl Pooja started her professional career at the age of 22 and before that she was engaged in volunteer work with few organizations. She left her house 2 years back in order to fulfil her dream and dedicated herself in social sector. She was a commerce student in 11th and 12th but her passion driven her to social sector and she completed her graduation and post-graduation in human develop and family studies from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. She is the coordination person between Vikalp’s field office and head office. In Vikalp, she has been actively engaged in addressing women’s issues and young girl’s issues. She is always keen to learn new things and new ideas. She likes to travel and likes to communicate with new people. She shows her interest in learning and knowing about different cultures and customs of society.
Vishnu is one Vikalp’s Programme Organisers. In his work with youth, particularly men and boys aged 15-25, Vishnu helps to create awareness among local communities about issues of gender-based violence, child marriage, girls education and more, through discussion and workshop-style activities held in local areas. Vishnu was a Vikalp volunteer and youth leader, and began working for the organisation in order to make a difference changing harmful practices and stereotypes. He has now undertaken various courses on gender and sexuality, and is pursing a graduate science qualification. He is deeply interested in science and loves playing cricket – when he gets the time!
A Programme Organiser in Mavli Block, Meena has been with Vikalp since the start of 2015. Before 2015 Meena was a field worker for local NGO Rajsamand Mahila Manch for 6 years, where she worked with issues surrounding gender/domestic violence, government schemes and child marriage. She came to work with Vikalp because she is passionate about stopping domestic violence, and believed that working at community level through Vikalp groups was an effective way of achieving that goal. She says that the work she does ending discrimination, connecting people with opportunities and education is hugely rewarding.
Known around the office as Raja, Ajeet is Vikalp’s main office administrator, tech expert and general go-to guy: no job is too big or too small. Ajeet looks after all of Vikalp’s Hindi typing and general admin, keeping us all in line! Ajeet started officially working with Vikalp in 2014, but had been involved in the organisation as a volunteer for 2 years before that time.
|Mohd. Ishaq Mansoori
Vikalp’s office accountant extraordinaire, Ishaq is responsible for making sure all Vikalp projects are being conducted in a way that is financially efficient and sustainable in the long term. He has an enormous breadth of experience in the accounting and bookkeeping field, as well as graduate and ongoing study into various aspects of business, finance and accounts.
Dinesh ensures everything around the office runs smoothly by looking after general office maintenance and providing assistance to the staff. His warm, enthusiastic demeanor and unrivalled chai-making ability helps the rest of the staff stay motivated and focused on the task at hand.
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