Board of Director

Ms. Prema Gopalan
Executive Director

Founder and Director of Swayam Shikshan Prayog. Since 1993, she has been involved in disaster rehabilitation projects and in building the capacities of rural women’s collectives to access and manage resources so that they can participate in decision-making processes that affect the allocation and management of resources. With a view to building strong community institutions, a network of federations built and strengthened linking women’s SHGs of 80,000 + members to increase access to micro finance and sustainable livelihoods, health services ,water and sanitation and delivery of relevant products and services in health, food and nutrition and renewable energy etc. Ms. Gopalan has made an invaluable contribution to the global discussions in the areas of social entrepreneurship, grassroots engagement with local government, and in empowering women to address poverty and inequality, with a particular focus on health and livelihoods. Prema earned an M.Phil in Sociology and Research Methodology and Masters in Social Work.

Mr. Upmanyu Patil


Upmanyu has been working with SSP since 1994. In this position he is responsible for the organization’s strategic planning, operations, corporate partnerships, training, and business development. Upmanyu has 16 years experience in disaster mitigation, rural and environmental development, and water and sanitation management for community and local governments, particularly in state and district technical assistance plans that mobilize women’s networks, communal, and panchayat raj institutions (PRI) participation in 200 communities. Upmanyu earned a diploma of civil engineering from Government Polytechnic College, Bidar, and a postgraduate diploma in business administration from Symbiosis Pune University.

Mr. Narhari Rao

Academic Qualifications: Graduated with first class honors in Science, with a post graduate degree in Law from the University of Bombay and management from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, rated as one of the top management schools in India.

Professional Qualifications: Qualified as a professional Cost and Management Accountant with membership of the Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India; Certificate in Software Technology from the prestigious Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR); Certificate in Organization & Methods from the Indo-American Society.

Mr. Laxmikant Malvadkar

Laxmikant oversees a gamut of basic business, vocational and entrepreneurship training programs for rural women collectives and youth in Latur, and is responsible for developing training material and liaising with government and technical institutions. From 1993-1997, Laxmikant was a coordinator for the Earthquake Rehabilitation Project in Latur and Osmanabad districts, implementing Samvad Sahayak – communications assistance.

From 2001-2004, he was involved in developing the community operational manual for the Jalswarajya project, a community water management and sanitation project supported by the World Bank; from 1989-1994, he managed the Indian government-supported Marathwada Regional Day Care Center’s training operations in Antar Bharti. Malvadkar has earned Master of Computer Management and MBA both from Swami Ramanand Tirth Marathwada University, Nanded.