Anita Ratnam


Anita Ratnam is the Founder and Executive Director of Samvada (Bangalore), an organisation that has been working with youth on issues of social justice and sustainability since 1990. She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management from IRMA ( Anand), and an MA in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia ( Norwich, UK) .
Anita Ratnam was among other pioneers in the 1980s who had the determination and tenacity to start organisations to address issues confronting Indian society. She has steered Samvada over the last 25 years and initiated work with young people way before, it became the ‘in thing’. Today, Samvada runs Youth Resource Centres in different parts of Karnataka where young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are sensitised, supported, mentored and motivated to become confident individuals, community leaders and champions of social change.
She has also initiated Baduku Community College to equip marginalised youth with knowledge, skills and values needed to enter and influence professions. Eight professions which address emerging social and ecological crises of contemporary Indian society have been identified as core areas for Baduku College Interventions.
As Executive Director of Samvada, she has, over the years brought together an interesting and diverse team, constantly reinvented the organisation to keep it relevant, nimble and responsive to the changing needs of young people in Indian society. In the last 30 years she has nurtured Samvada with her values, creativity, warmth and incisiveness. She has written and taught on a range of issues related to youth, gender justice, social inclusion, traditional occupations and globalisation. Her writing includes academic papers, columns for newspapers, short stories, poetry, research reports and innovative proposals. Anita wears multiple hats – that of a institution builder, scholar, writer, trainer, activist, mentor, an advocate for Indian crafts, single mother, and a partner at Anekataa- where she helps corporations build inclusive workspaces.


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