Dhruva Team

CWC’s consultancy, Dhruva draws on the talents both of CWC’s staff, with their combined decades of experience working with children and marginalised communities, and from leading experts in the field from all over the world.

Dhruva team members:

Nandana Reddy, founder & director development

Nandana is the head of Dhruva. Active in the field of children’s rights and child labour for more than thirty years, she is a former Chairperson of the International Working Group on Child Labour (IWGCL). She has inputted extensively into policy in both India and the UN and ILO systems, including drafting relevant legislation. She has designed and conducted training programmes on child labour, children’s participation, protagonism and governance in several countries and has been a consultant for international NGOs, organisations and Multinational Corporations.

Kavita Ratna, director communications

Kavita is director of advocacy and fundraising for the Concerned for Working Children. She is primarily involved with information management, communications, advocacy and training. She works closely with Bhima Sangha, the union of working children facilitated by CWC, and with the National Movement of Working Children on communication work and publications. She has also been associated with the International Movement of Working Children facilitated by the International Working Group on Child Labour (IWGCL). As a Dhruva facuty member, Kavita has developed training modules, conducted workshops and designed strategies that enable children’s participation, protagonism and governance.

Damodar Acharya, founder & executive director

Damodar has been a trade union activist since the early 1980s. He has more than 15 years of field experience in implementing programmes that have enabled children to organise themselves and participate at all levels of decision making. He is a global fellow of the Ashoka foundation, selected for his work on rural livelihoods. He is also one of the members of the CHAKRA Network set up by Prof. Hiran Dias of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok.

Ganapathi M. M., assistant director

Ganapathi has more than fifteen years of field experience working with children and their communities. He has worked extensively in the field on children’s citizenship, enabling children to form their own local government institutions and facilitating structures to link these with local governments. He has conducted several training programmes for children and NGOs on the subject of children’s participation. He has also conducted training programmes on CWC’s Appropriate Education Programme.

Venkatesh Moodkeri, assistant director

Venkatesh has over twenty years of experience in planning, designing and monitoring field programmes. He has vast experience in facilitating participation of children and civil society in governance processes at the local government and other decision making fora. His expertise is in Appropriate Education, based on Montessori method and enabling designing materials and conducting training programmes for teachers; in gender empowerment, sexuality rights and adolescent issues.He has facilitated many PRAs and participatory research by children and marginalised communities

T. Shivanand Shetty, assistant director

Shivanand has a diploma in Civil Engineering and more than fifteen years of experience in working in appropriate and environmentally friendly construction techniques. He has been a coordinator of the Namma Bhoomi regional resource centre and a supervisor of appropriate construction technology. He has been training students, communities and NGOs in various appropriate construction methods.

Roshni Nuggehalli, assistant director

Roshni oversees CWC’s research, advocacy and communications department, including child-led research. She works on issues of child labour, juvenile justice and children’s information management and advocacy and is also involved in participatory monitoring and evaluation processes. A graduate of Purdue University in the US, she holds a master’s degree in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources.

External faculty:

Prof. Michael Bourdillon is a professor of Social Anthropology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Zimbabwe and an expert on child labour. He is the author of Child Domestic Workers in Zimbabwe and the editor of Earning a Life: Working children in Zimbabwe. He is also actively involved with an NGO ‘Streets Ahead’ that works with street children in Harare.

Prof. Hiran Dias is a freelance consultant on the management of development NGOs. He was formally the head of the development NGO management training programme at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand. He is also a former president of the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He spearheaded the CHAKRA consortium that designs and conducts training programmes for NGDO Managers in Asia. He is a director of the Centre for Poverty Analysis.

Judith Ennew is a senior research fellow in Gender Studies at the University of Malaya, Malaysia, and a former senior research associate at the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge, UK. She has been an activist and researcher in chilren’s rights since 1979 and is a former international co-ordinator of Chid Watch International Monitoring Children’s Rights Project. She is the author of The Next Generation: Lives of Third World Children and Street and Working Children: A Guide to Planning.

Dr. Victor P. Karunan is a deputy representative at UNICEF Malaysia. He has over thirty years of networking, research and advocacy experience in social development, particularly in the field of child rights. He is a former regional development advisor to Save the Children and has taught Child Rights at the Human Rights and Social Development postgraduate programme of Mahidol University in Thailand. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Julian Kramer is the head of the Analysis Unit at the Directorate of Integration and Diversity in Norway. A former senior policy advisor to Save the Children Norway, he is a social anthropologist with several years of experience working with issues concerning children, especially the disadvantaged in Asia. He has designed and conducted several workshops on the issue of children’s rights and has facilitated a process documentation workshop to enable children document the process of their own research.

Lakshapathy P. is the executive director of the Association for the Promotion of Social Action (APSA), a community based organisation working for civil society participation. He is a founder member and a Director of the Concerned for Working Children. He has extensive experience in designing and conducting training programmes for children and adults in child participation and protagonism. He is one of the members of the CHAKRA Consortium.

Amukta Mahapatra is the director of SchoolScape, a centre for education training, and a veteran educationalist. She has provided education training and consultancy for the Government of Tamil Nadu. She is a former principal of the Abacus school in Chennai, the first school in India to teach the mainstream curriculum using Montessori methods. She also founded the Mandara Resource Centre, specialising in training teachers in alternative education practices.

William Myers, an educationalist, has been working on policy for marginalised children for over 20 years. He is a consultant on child work and has formerly served both UNICEF and the ILO as an official dealing with child work issues. He has authored variety of publications (including articles) on disadvantaged children, education and child labour. He is one of the co-authors of What Works for Working Children, a landmark publication in this area. He was a member of the resource group set up to assist the International Working Group on Child Labour.

Brian Raftopoulos is the director of Research and Policy at the Solidarity Peace Trust in South Africa and a former deputy director at the Institute of Development Studies, Zimbabwe. He was worked extensively on child labour issues, and is a former member of the International Working Group on Child Labour.

Henk van Beers is director of programme development for Save the Children, Vietnam, and a former senior advisor on children’s participation in Southeast Asia for Save the Children, Sweden. He has designed and conducted numerous capacity building courses on children’s participation and is the author of Children’s Participation: Experiences in capacity building and training. He was a member of the resource group of the International Working Group on Child Labour.

Prof. Ben White is professor of Rural Development, Environment and Population Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) at Erasmus University in the Netherlands. He has published several papers and publications on the issues of children, children’s rights and child labour. He was a member of the resource group of the International Working Group on Child Labour.

Martin Woodhead, professor of Childhood Studies at The Open University, UK, is a developmental psychologist who has written and published extensively on early childhood issues. He has carried out numerous studies on child labour and children’s rights, including consultancy work for Save the Children, Council of Europe, OECD, UNICEF, and UNESCO. He was special adviser to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in the drafting of General Comment 7, ‘Implementing Child Rights in Early Childhood’ (2005) and led on the preparation of the UN Secretary General’s Status of the UNCRC report of August 2010, focussing on infancy and early childhood. He is an author of Increasing choice or inequality? Pathways through early education in Andhra Pradesh, India and Children’s well-being in contexts of poverty: Approaches to research, monitoring and participation.

  • When you look into a child’s eyes you expect to see hope, trust and innocence; but when you see these signs of childhood are replaced by betrayal, hunger, fear & suspicion, we need to take a serious stock of ourselves and the society we have created.

    - Nandana Reddy | CWC

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