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The Centre for Communication and Development Studies (CCDS) was set up in 2002 to promote open spaces for research, communication and dialogue on social justice, sustainable development, pluralism and transparent governance. CCDS works to build knowledge for social change, and to take information for social change out of the seminar rooms and to the people.

CCDS is a public trust, registered with the Charity Commissioner, Pune, Maharashtra (Registration No E 3657, Pune).


John Samuel (Managing Trustee) John Samuel is the Managing Trustee of CCDS. He is the Executive President of CCDS and its governance initiative, the Institute for Sustainable Development and Governance (ISDG), Thiruvananthapuram. John has 25 years of experience in strengthening democratic governance, public policy advocacy and sustainable development in India and internationally. He has headed the Global Programme on Governance Assessments, and been Global Democratic Governance Adviser at UNDP Headquarters, New York, and the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre. He was the International Director of ActionAid, leading its global thematic work on just and democratic governance and heading the Asia-Pacific region. He is the former Executive Director of the National Centre for Advocacy Studies. John has been a visiting fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, and at the Advocacy Institute, Washington DC.

Hutokshi Doctor, has over three decades of experience in media and communications. She held senior editorial positions at The Times of India and other leading Indian publications before deciding to focus on communications for social change. She co-founded CCDS in 2002, and headed the organisation as Director from inception to December 2019. She conceptualised, launched and edited, CCDS's award-winning online resource base on social justice and sustainable development in India. She also conceptualised and guided CCDSís youth and civil society outreach programme, Open Space. She has been a communications consultant to several international and national development organisations and institutions.

Manisha Gupte has been part of the women's movement since the mid-1970s. She has also been an activist in the health and civil rights movements in India. She co-founded MASUM, a rural women's organisation in 1987, after living in a drought-prone rural area for five years and has been its co-convenor since. She has an MSc in microbiology and a PhD in sociology. Manisha spent one year in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, as a visiting fellow. She is actively associated with pro-people and progressive organisations nationally, regionally and internationally. She has participated in and promoted campaigns related to women's health, violence against women, sexuality and minority rights. She has also worked on policy issues with the state and central governments in India over the past two decades.

Sandhya Srinivasan is a senior researcher and writer on public health and medical ethics. She has a bachelorís degree in philosophy (Bryn Mawr College, USA) and masterís degrees in sociology (University of Bombay) and public health (Columbia University, USA). She was executive editor of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics from 1998 to 2011 and is currently consulting editor of the journal. She is also associated with, a digital daily of political and cultural news from India. In 2002-03, she was an Ashoka Fellow for her work in medical ethics. She has served on the institutional ethics committees of the National Institute for Research in Reproduction, a government body, and of the Anusandhan Trust, which conducts research and advocacy on health and human rights. She is a member of the editorial board of Developing World Bioethics.

Mari Marcel Thekaekara is founder-associate director of ACCORD, an organisation that works with the tribals of Gudalur, Tamil Nadu. She researches and writes on issues related to social exclusion. She is the author of Endless Filth, a book on the safai kamdars of Gujarat, published by Books for Change. She was commissioned by the Directory of Social Change, UK, to do a study of poverty and development in the United Kingdom.

Programme Team

Anjali Shenoi, Programme Coordinator: Anjali has a Masters degree in International Development from the University of Bath, United Kingdom. She has over eights years of experience in the areas of gender, sexuality, public health and human Rights. She has contributed to national level research projects on medical and reproductive technologies, surrogacy and ethics of clinical trials and has co-authored and published papers on these issues that have also been presented at national and international conferences. She has also actively been involved in multiple social justice campaigns and peoplesí movements on issues of public health, womenís rights, access to medicine and unethical trials and human rights. Most recently she has helped conceptualise and developed a curriculum for adolescent girls in rural areas, that integrates gender, health, sexuality and life-skills with sports for CREA.

Anjula Srivastava, Research Associate: Anjula has a doctoral degree in Population Studies from the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai. Prior to joining CCDS, she worked as a research specialist with Saksham, The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Round-7, HIV/AIDS Counselling Programme at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She has been a visiting scholar at the Centre for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Stanford University, USA. She has published in national and international journals, has co-edited a book, Challenges of the Twenty First Century: A Transdisciplinary Perspective (2011), and a journal volume. Her areas of research include gender and labour market; social aspects of HIV/AIDS; and urban poverty and technology.

Tejal Mahashabde, Research Associate: She has a masters degree in economics from the University of York, United Kingdom. She works as an independent research consultant with different organizations that work in the field of education and socio-economic intervention. She has earlier worked on a project based around reverse migration and returnee entrepreneurs, executed by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) in association with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She has also started an initiative called Learner Centric, which aims at generating digital resources for teachers, parents and any other stakeholder associated with school education.

Vinita Datye, Research Associate: Vinita has a masterís in social work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She began her career in adoption and later shifted to research. She has 15 years of experience in social and health research including public-private partnerships, HIV/AIDS, TB, H1N1, reproductive health and, more recently, in the evaluation of the quality of education in local body-run primary schools.

Sawankumar Somwanshi, Researcher: Sawankumar has a master's degree in social work, with a specialisation in urban and rural community development. He has an MPhil in social work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, and is working towards his PhD.

Technical and admin team

K C Dwarkanath, Finance and Admin Head: Retired manager of a nationalised bank, he has been in charge of finance and personnel at CCDS for over 10 years, building sound financial and organisational systems for the organisation.

Ashish Pawar, Manager (Accounts & Finance): Ashish has a Masterís degree in Commerce with a specialisation in Banking and Finance. He began his career as an accountant with Bajaj Auto Finance Limited and has over 12 years of experience in financial accounting system. Having worked with the Savitribai Phule Pune University and Econet, Ashish is experienced in managing accounts of corporates, academic institution and Not-for-profit organisations.