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Pratham Foundation Leadership

Pratham has had a long history of having an impact on children and young adults in India. Thanks to an experienced team of researchers and practitioners from a range of industries, along with so many passionate supporters who have made generous investments in education and in India.

Pratham Education Foundation India

Pratham Foundation is based in India with chapters all over the world, including Australia. Meet Pratham Foundations leadership here.

Dr. Madhav Chavan

Pratham Co-Founder and President

After obtaining a PhD in chemistry from Ohio State University and serving on the faculty at the University of Houston, Dr. Madhav Chavan returned to India where he worked in the slums of Mumbai as part of the National Literacy Mission.

Farida Lambay

Pratham Co-Founder

With 25 years of experience as an education and social activist, Farida Lambay co-founded Pratham in 1995 with Dr. Madhav Chavan. She heads the Pratham Council for Vulnerable Children and is also responsible for Pratham’s direct programs in Mumbai and Gujarat.

Dr. Rukmini Banerji

Pratham CEO

Trained as an economist in India, Dr. Rukmini Banerji completed her BA at St. Stephen’s College and attended the Delhi School of Economics. She was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and earned her PhD at the University of Chicago.

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Pratham AUS Board

Pratham AUS was established in Sydney as a charitable, not-for-profit organisation to raise funds for the Pratham Education Foundation India. The Pratham AUS board includes:

Sarita Chand

Sarita (BArch) has had a 20-year architectural career in Australia where she was a Partner at BVN Architecture. She has been actively involved in associated organisations, such as the Australian Institute of Architects, NSW Board of Architects, NSW Arts Council, and the National Association of Women in Construction. Before coming to Australia Sarita worked as an architect in India, Malaysia and England.

Anoop Kalra

Anoop holds a Bachelor of Accounting in Finance and Accounting from the University of Technology Sydney and a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment from Securities Institute of Australia. He has been involved with investments for over 25 years, focussing on equities funds management and has worked at firms such as BT Funds, Perpetual, Caledonia and Ellerston Capital.

Piyush Bhatt

Piyush (B Sci, FCA, FCPA, GAICD) has a Bachelor degree in Management Sciences from the University of Manchester (UMIST). He has experience working in a community housing company in Sydney as well as in the for-profit sector in Australia and overseas. Piyush has also served on the Board of the Sydney University Cricket Club.

Guy Beres

Guy (B. Sci, MA) is a Senior Solution Architect with Salesforce with 20 years of experience delivering and leading the delivery of IT solutions to top tier corporate clients in Sydney, Melbourne and London. He is a published writer with a keen interest in politics and the evolution of news media.

Debra (Debbie) Berkhout

Debbie spent 18 months participaing in experiential learning programs in India, where she met with NGOs taking care of street children and developed strategies for building corporate responsibility partnerships in the private sector. In Australia, Debbie’s career has focused on urban renewal and social sustainability.

Jill Weekes OAM

Jill is a coach and mentor to business executives. Previously she was CEO at Starlight Children's Foundation for 12 years, leading the growth from a small Sydney charity to a national organisation delivering services to over 250,000 seriously ill children and their families each year.

Ritu Bajaj

Ritu Bajaj is the founder and Director of Asha Foundation, a private ancillary fund with a mission to support and empower children and youth through education, care, medical intervention and community initiatives which deliver hope and opportunity. Previously, she was a Group Regulatory Manager, Telstra NZ and Manager, Regulatory Strategy. She was also a Senior Associate with A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm. She has an MBA, a Master of Economics and a Bachelor of Economics.

Samantha Sachdev

Samantha Sachdev currently works for Wolters Kluwer, the global publishing and software company, where she is a commercial lawyer and corporate governance specialist.


She brings to the board 10 years of experience in writing commercial law for the Australia legal profession, and before that 12 years practicing as a corporate solicitor in Australian leading banks, law firms and corporate regulator ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commission).


She graduated UTS with a double degree in Law and Commerce (majoring in Economics).  She brings to the board over 2 decades of robust corporate law and corporate governance knowledge across various Australian industries and businesses. Samantha is widely known in the Australian legal industry as both an educator and thought leader through her professional research and writing.

Dr. Dipti Talaulikar

Dr. Dipti Talaulikar is a clinical and laboratory haematologist at Canberra Health Services, and professor at the Australian National University.


She has published more than 80 papers on blood cancer and has been the recipient of multiple teaching awards including 2 Vice-Chancellor awards for teaching and educational excellence at ANU.


Dipti is the director of "The Link" program at ANU and runs a national mentoring program tailored for culturally diverse female health professionals.


She plays an active role in the community as the women's representative of the Federation of Indian Associations of ACT Inc. (FINACT) as part of which she has developed a social initiative called Sakhi which provides a platform for women to connect and support each other.

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