Gauri Bhopatkar

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

A lawyer by training Gauri started her career in the development sector in 1995 with National Centre for Advocacy Studies (NCAS) the then pioneer organisation in the field of social change and people-centred advocacy. She began as a research assistant and the worked as programme officer for the capacity building and advocacy programme at NCAS till 2001.  During these years Gauri gathered knowledge and experience about a wide range of issues influencing social activism and policy advocacy on land rights, dalit rights, tribal rights, women’s rights and on budget analysis and good governance. She contributed through research & documentation on various social justice issues and was involved in bringing out newsletters, campaign material and training manuals for social activists across India. 1998-1999 was a year of change for Gauri, with her joining Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICS) at the University of London in UK, as a Chevening Scholar to pursue her higher studies in Understanding and Securing International Human Rights. She worked as intern with Interights and Anti Slavery during her Masters. Gauri joined Centre for Social Justice as Programme Coordinator of its Indian Institute of Paralegal Studies project in the year 2003, and spearheaded the task of establishing a paralegal network organisation to legitimise the role and function of paralegals in the existing legal system in India. She worked with grass root groups, NGos, CBOs and mass movements in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. Gauri was involved in the conceptualisation and implementation of action research project of UNDP on strengthening access to justice in India (Phase I), and as a part of which Gauri worked extensively with on the issue of access to justice and in particular, informal justice institutions of  tribal and nomadic communities in Maharashtra. This was a joint project of NCAS and IIPLS.  Year 2009 was again the year of shift in Gauri focus and professional milestone. She joined as a Programme Officer for the Building Capacities for Change Programme at the International Women’s Rights Action Watch (Asia Pacific), the only international organisation working on CEDAW as a tool for social change & advocacy on women’s rights.  Gauri coordinated initiatives to address the women’s realities in the area of conflict, economic & social rights, and using CEDAW in law reform and policy advocacy, and the managed IWRAW AP’ CEDAW Compliance Framework Project initiated in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Timor Leste and Laos till she decided to return back to India in 2013. This project was to strengthen capacities of women’s groups and NGOs to institutionalise CEDAW through legal and policy framework within national context. On her return to India, Gauri worked as independent consultant on sexual harassment at workplace, youth and gender equality, etc. She is passionate about human rights, women’s rights, access to justice, economic empowerment, and have certificate of participation in the Organisational Change Facilitation conducted by HID Forum, Bangalore. Gauri joined ECONET in October 2015, and took over the leadership role from April 2016.

Ms. Swati Bhalerao

ADMINISTRATOR

Ms. Swati Deepak Bhalerao is graduated in Arts with specialization in English and has additional typing skill in Marathi and English. She is sincerely working with ECONET as an administrator since five years with dedication.  Earlier she had worked as Secretarial Assistant, Project Assistant, Finance Assistant at Savitribai Phule University, pune for 7yrs. She has a dynamic personality to serve her duties more efficiently. As an administrator she holds multiple responsibilities like overall administration, personal assistance to chief executive officer, responsible for including reception, maintenance, office equipment purchases, and day-to-day operations. Apart from this multi task of work she is a very kind hearted and cheerful person who takes care of everyone and spread happiness. She also loves singing and cooking in her free time.

Mr. Jitendra Kathale

PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Jitendra Ambadas Kathale joined ECONET in August 2013. He is from Junnar in Maharashtra. He has completed his master of social work degree in Bharti vidyapeeth deemed university,Pune.  Since from last sixteen years he is engaging on social base activity in various fields.   

He is working as a Program coordinator in ECONET from last four years. Before joining in ECONET he worked Four years with Gramin Mahila va bal vikas Mandal as a program coordinator he also worked as supervisor in Economic development sector with Awakening Jagariti INTERVIDA for Eight and Half years. He is associated with MITCON, MCED and AFARM organization.

He is working on Bio energy project in Maharashtra, UP and Rajasthan in a project implementation on Energy base activity and Bio energy production like Bio gas, Kichangarden and organic farming. He also engages on Maharashtra Bhatake Vimukta Manch(MBVM) network. He also networking with various Organization.

Mr. Rahul Salvi

PROJECT COORDINATOR

Rahul joined our ECONET team/Family in April 2014. He has over 9 years of working experience in various NGOs in Pune, where he implemented community outreach, leadership programme.

He served for pathfinder International as project manager for two years where he worked for female sex workers in red light area Pune before joining the ECONET.

He is working with human institutional development (HID) department as a programme coordinator in ECONET since 2014 and also closely worked with various CBOs those who working for NT, DNT and ST community in Maharashtra. He is also coordinating ECONETs new youth fellowship programme started in April 2017. He is looking after all task related to leadership development.

Rahul has a MSW in Rural and Urban Community Development from Pune University and Diploma holder in civil engineering.

Ms. Sunita Deshmukh

PROJECT INCHARGE

Ms. Sunita Deshmukh holds her degree in social work from one of the reputed social work college Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai. Since 2015 she is working as a project In charge of Nomad women leadership program at ECONET. She provides technical & programmatic support to partner organization for planning, implementation, monitoring & evaluation of the program as well as making reports, documentation of program activities & research.  She is very prominent in her work. She has taken efforts to understand the culture, beliefs and lifestyle of nomadic people especially of women. Gender equality, women empowerment & community development are her key interest areas. In her prior work she has experience in counseling of women facing domestic violence & women in critical situation, project documentation, and preparation of training modules, facilitation & monitoring of livelihood activities, training facilitation on gender equality to adolescents as well as input sessions for women of short stay home on various topics.

Mr. Apparao Rathod

PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Apparao Rathod has started his work with ECONET team in April 2017. His Native place is Solapur (Mangalwedha). He has completed his master in Sociology from Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) Pune in 2015. He is also qualified the NET & SET in Sociology and done D. T. ed. Diploma with Sinhagad institute Navale college.

Before joining the ECONET he worked as a Research Assistant on the project “The political Economy of Sex Selection: Exploring Family Development Linkages” which is jointly conducted by Pune University -Women Study Centre Department and Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi.

Now he is working as a Programme Coordinator in ECONET on the programmes and activities related to NT, DNT communities. Apparao is very much passionate with his work through this Project he is coordinating Nomad Resource Center (NRC) and Maharashtra Bhatke Vimukta Manch (MBVM). For this purpose, he is closely working with different CBOs those who are working for NT, DNT community in Maharashtra. His future aim is to work for NT, DNT communities’ development through research and study.

Ms. Vinda Mahajan

CONSULTANT

Adv. Vinda is working with Econet as a legal consultant since September 2017. At ECONET she is a part of the project called ‘Nomadic Research Centre’. Under this project she collaborates with NGO’s in Maharashtra working on issues of Human Rights and rights of the indigenous people. She has completed her LLM from University of Pune with specialization in Human Rights and is passionate about working for promotion and protection in this field, and Environment,Wildlife Protection as well. Vinda brings in her experience as a litigating lawyer on cases of human rights violation and environment. She also works as a volunteer with various NGO’s, working in the field of Environment and wildlife Protection. Her experience of working in tribal areas like Melghat with the Aadivasi community has enriched her experience of understanding their life and culture. Before joining ECONET Vinda worked with TISS for effective implementation of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. This work was in collaboration with the Department of Women and Child Development, Maharashtra State. She is also enthusiastic about photography, music and cooking too.