J. V. Shankar Narayan
Head, Operations & Community Initiatives
Shankar holds a Masters Degree in Kannada and started his career as a college lecturer. He later moved to the development sector. He has worked with Action Aid Karnataka Projects and is the founder of Social Initiative for Rural Empowerment, NGO in Yadgiri, Karnataka.
Director, Research, Resource & Evaluation
Vaijayanti heads the Resource and Research group in the Foundation. A trained economist, she holds an M.Phil in Applied Economics from the Centre for Development Studies, JNU. She has worked in the health sector and decentralisation prior to venturing into the education field. In education she has extensively worked on issues ranging from Early Childhood education to School education in the Indian context. Most of the research works have been evidence based policy research in education sector. She also heads ASER- Karnataka since 2009. She has been a member of several committees set up by the Government of Karnataka on Elementary education, Human Development and ECCE. Vaijayanti has also anchored the preparation of NCF for ECCE- Karnataka.
Head, Math Programme
Nagraj has a master's degree in computer science from Mangalore University. His prior experience in the IT sector led him to work with multiple US-based startups where he helped them set up their India centres. He has also been an entrepreneur in the F&B and clean technologies sector. He has always been keen to work in the social space, and even as part of the corporate world, he involved in multiple CSR initiatives. After spending over 2 decades in the corporate sector, consulting and heading product organizations, he finally decided to contribute full time to the social development segment and joined Akshara. Nagraj currently heads the math resource team at Akshara and is responsible for its flagship program Ganita Kalika Andolana.
Head, Finance and Admin
Soumya is a Chartered accountant with close to a decade of work experience with ICICI Bank. She switched to the development sector to make use of her corporate experience in the development sector. Handling Finance and admin fit the bill. She wants to bring her practical outlook and finance skills to the sector. Education is one of the causes close to her heart and she loves meeting the eclectic mix of people in the sector.
After spending many years in the creative corners of the advertising world, Sushmita moved to Akshara in 2014 to build our community on social media. What started off as plans for an architect in the making, ended up with a Masters Degree in Communication. She is also now a part of our Strategic Partnerships team and also helps in conceptualising Akshara's outreach events and campaigns.
Asha has an Engineering degree in Information Science and has worked in the IT sector for 5 years before moving to Akshara Foundation as part of the Fund Raising team. She also coordinates the volunteering activities at Akshara.
Angelina holds a Bachelors degree along with a D Ed and JOC degrees. She has rich experience in teaching both as a pre-school and a primary school teacher. She has also been a headmistress for 6 years. Angelina manages Akshara’s programmes in Kustagi and Mundargi.
Lakshmi Mohan has been with Akshara Foundation for nine years, documenting programmes, doing monthly reports and reviews and writing on the many facets of the organisation’s work. She used to be a freelance journalist.
Senior Programme Manager - Digital Learning
Pushpa has worked in IBM for 17 years in various capacities including project executive, technical solution architect and pre-sales architect. She took a break from corporate in 2015 and joined TeachForIndia (TFI) as a fellow from 2015-2017. During her 2 years fellowship in TFI, she taught English and Maths to a bunch of 34 kids in Government school in Bangalore in Grades 3 and 4. She has a Masters degree in physics and an MBA from Symbiosis, Pune. Pushpa is responsible for leading “Building Blocks” – Akshara’s math learning app.
Programme Manager - Math Programme (Odisha)
Lipsa has an MBA from IIM Bangalore in Finance & Public Policy and a degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bhubaneswar. After her MBA, she worked with the industrial conglomerate- General Electric in four different businesses and domains of finance as part of FMP-one of GE's oldest leadership program. At GE she was an active member of GE Volunteers across all her business locations. After finishing two years in GE, she joined Akshara Foundation, driven by her longtime career goal to work for education in her home state of Odisha. She is also serving as the President of IIT Bhubaneswar's Alumni Association and her team are working towards creating an ecosystem for Alumni-student-institute partnerships. She is working as the Program Manager for the Odisha edition of Akshara's flagship programme- Ganitha Kalika Andolana
Anu brings a rich and varied experience of working in strategy consulting and financial services. She is an IIM Bangalore alumnus and has worked with established organisations like PwC and Lazard India as well as start-ups. Education for the underprivileged is a cause very close to her heart. At Akshara, she is helping forge partnerships to fulfil our mission of making our education systems work for every child.