Awards and Recognition.
” As part of a social welfare funding project, I visited tribal homes in Orissa, India. During one of the visits to a small village, parents of minor girls as young as 5-6 years old offered them to me in exchange for money. The ground reality of the red corridor in the country shook me to the core. This marked the watershed moment of my life. Returning to Delhi, I decided to quit my corporate job to visit tribal areas of India in an attempt to understand the extent of trafficking and empower tribal girls and women.”
Dr Rashmi Tiwari, the Founder and Director of the Aahan Foundation, a Doctorate in Economics, and a Diploma in Sustainability and Responsible Leadership from The Swedish Institute has held leadership positions in Corporates before she founded the NGO. She was the Director at the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in India and Executive Director at The CEO Clubs India.
She launched Aahan Foundation in 2013 to address a string of interconnected social problems related to girls & women, including Gender Inequality, Girl Child Trafficking, Child Marriage, Poverty, Lack of awareness and facilities for Health, Hygiene and Sanitation, Illiteracy.
She uses her experience as a certified leadership coach using tools based on the latest research on brain science to help underprivileged girls transform their personal and professional lives.
Her efforts have been widely recognised. She is a Fellow of Vital Voices (USA), Fellow of SIMP. She was selected as one of India’s emerging women business leaders under the Fortune/US State Department Leadership Mentorship Program.
- Top 100 Social Enablers 2017
- Women Rights Award
- Chosen as Tejaswini
- The Good Crusader
- Top 100 Women Leaders by TIAW
- VVLead Fellow
- Participant Global Ambassador Program
- “Pushpalata Ranade National Bravery Award”
- US State Department & Fortune Magazine Mentorship Program
Bhavleen Baali, Director-Education
For Bhavleen, to become a teacher and shape young minds to become their best versions has been her childhood dream. She could never imagine herself doing anything else and she took every step to achieve excellence in this field and achieve her dream.
After completing her Masters in commerce, she completed her B.Ed and has been in the education space ever since. She worked in some of the most recognised education establishments in the country before crossing paths with Aahan and found this whole new realm to not only educate kids coming from marginalised backgrounds but also the ‘Adivasi girls’ who are survivors of gender-based violence.
These girls touched her heart the moment she met them and she devoted herself to the cause by taking over the reins of the education team of Aahan. She is setting up replicable models for teaching girls and loves working every day in a job that she has a heart and soul in.
Kriti Sinha, Edumentor & Storyteller
A graduate of Kamala Nehru College in Psychology and Human Resource Management, she is currently pursuing her Masters in Applied Psychology from Amity University.
Journey with Aahan and Adivasi girls started out as an internship but slowly made her a part of something even bigger. Her interaction with the girls in Jharkhand exposed her to the bitter truth of the inequalities of our education system and the wide divide between rural and urban areas. She has done extensive research on the issue of domestic violence faced by the girls in the Adivasi communities of Jharkhand.
This led her to her mission of mentoring and educating Adivasi girls with foundational level communication skills and building up their English language skills. Creating a safe space has helped the girls come forward with their stories of courage and everything that they have ever been through. She aims to bring forward these stories and help these girls break the glass ceiling.
Program Coordinator Artee K Munda
An Udan Fellow of 2017, she is the Program Co-ordinator of Aahan and oversees all the programs run at the ground level. She works towards helping the community understand the ill effects of trafficking, child marriage, girl child rights through paintings. She wants to use her art to create awareness about the GBV prevalent in tribal society, rich tribal art and culture and depict the dreams of Aahan girls. She is also trying to revive the dying art of Sohrai.
Rupanti Munda, Sports Coordinator
Rupanti, born in Dhoti Village in Latehar District of Jharkhand is a Braveheart. A captain of the Aahan Bravehearts Football team, Rupanti has been awarded by the Jharkhand Government for her contribution to football at the grassroots. From holding village level community development programs to training girls in villages in Jharkhand, Rupanti plans and coordinates Aahan Foundation’s sports initiative.
Rupanti visits extremely difficult and dangerous areas in Jharkhand to meet with girls and their parents. She has prevented many girls from being trafficked and married off at an early age.