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Founder Members



Claude Alvares

Claude Alvares is a renowned Indian environmentalist based in Goa, India. He has worked extensively on natural education, environment protection and organic farming and has developed a holistic philosophy of life. He is the editor of the Other India Press publication based in India, the Director of the Goa Foundation (an environmental monitoring action group) and a founding member of OFAI. He lives at Parra, Goa with his wife Padma Sri Norma Alvares, an environmental lawyer and three children.


Alexander Daniel

Dr. Alexander Daniel (1941-2005) was the pioneer of the organic farming certification and market movement in India. He was one of the first members of the Standards-Cum-Accreditation Committee for Organic Foods, Govt. of India, during the 1990s and was involved in the development of the first National Standards for Organic Produce (NSOP). He was among the initiators of national organic certification and established the operations of ECOCERT Certification in 2001. He established the Institute for Integrated Rural Development (IIRD) in 1987 in Aurangabad, India.


Mathew John

Mathew John is Founder-Director of the Keystone Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that has been supporting environmental and rural development in South India for nearly 20 years. He is also Managing Director of Last Forest Enterprises Private Limited. He works with social enterprise and is in the Board of IFOAM. As member of the Fair Trade Forum – India, he has been overseeing the umbrella branding exercise of Retail Shops within the country.


CK Ganguly

CK ‘Bablu’ Ganguly is a development activist, social entrepreneur and change-maker with 40 years of experience working with marginalised and rural populations in the Anantapuramu and Chittoor districts of Andhra Pradesh. He is the Chief Functionary and Executive Director of The Timbaktu Collective, member of the World Board of IFOAM and the recipient of “One World Award – 2014” conferred by Rapunzel Naturkost, Germany’s leading organic food company, and IFOAM-Organics International.


P.V. Satheesh

P.V. Satheesh is the founding member of the Deccan Development Society (DDS) in India, and currently serves as General Secretary of DDS and Director of the Zaheerabad Project. A prominent spokesperson within Indian civil society, he works on issues including gender, food security, food sovereignty and ecological agriculture. He is an internationally recognized development and communication specialist, renowned for his use of participatory methodologies. Satheesh has initiated or been a key member of a number of networks on food security and ecological agriculture, including India’s Southern Action on Genetic Engineering and the Millet Network of India.


Joy Daniel

Joy Daniel is the Founder-Director of Lipok Social Foundation, Aurangabad. He has played an active role in several national and international networks to promote policies and regulations in favour of small farmers and peasants who practice organic farming. He has been associated with networks such as IFOAM, URGENCI International and Biodynamic Association of India (BDAI). Joy Daniel worked with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and GiZ in some other countries of Asia and also played the role of Executive Director of IIRD, Aurangabad.


Niranjana Maru

Niranjan Maru is the Head of the Department of Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management in Chetana Vikas, Wardha. She has done her masters in Botany with Ecology specialty. Her interest and work is in alternative technology development for Sustainable Agriculture, Field-based Micro-Watershed Development, with prime focus on food and nutrition security. She is also the co-founder and current member of National Steering Committee of a National Organic Farming Association.


Vanaja Ramprasad

Vanaja Ramprasad is the founding Trustee of GREEN Foundation, an organization that has worked in different agro-ecological regions of Karnataka. She has worked with marginalized farmers in the dry land regions of Karnataka to promote the use of indigenous seeds and agricultural practices. She was the recipient of the Equator Initiative award in 2004, was one of the world board members of the IFOAM and was invited by the IAASTD to be a lead author in the world wide event to prepare the document on Science Technology and Development impacting agriculture.


Utkarsh Ghate

Utkarsh Ghate was the Director at GMCL & CCD- Covenant Centre for Development and worked to promote eco-friendly herbal medicines, organic food, social enterprises & renewable energy, to benefit thousands of rural families’ livelihood security/ improvement. He also promote women micro-enterprises for economic development to bring peace security in violence torn region. He joined UNDP National rural livelihood mission project in southern Chhattisgarh in 2016.

Kalyan Paul

President, PGSOC

Sandip Pattanayak

Secretary, PGSOC

Robert Leo

Treasurer, PGSOC

Vishalakshi Padmanabhan
Karthik Gunasekar
Roopa Prabhakar