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Co-founder & Managing Trustee, Aishwarya Trust
Co-founder, SELCO
Founder & CEO, TrustIn
Co-founder, Dream a Dream

Date & Time

Tuesday Tue, 3 Oct 2023


Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

Starting and dedicating one’s life to running an NGO or Social Enterprise is not easy. It is all consuming—emotionally;  in terms of alternative career opportunities; and in terms of how one use’s one’s time. Many social entrepreneurs invest their own money for the cause they are passionate about.

So what makes individuals start on such journeys? Is it the heart (in terms of something that has touched one, or a personal experience)? Is it the head (seeing a problem by which one is not personally affected, but which bothers one enough to look for solutions)? Or maybe the hands (seeing a problem which one has the skills to solve)?

And what keeps them going? What are the trials and tribulations they face? And the joys and satisfaction which more than compensate?

This session will look at these questions and more, with a panel of Changemakers from varied sectors of Development Work, each of whom is trying to make the world a better place.


Chitra Vishwanathan

Co-founder & Managing Trustee, Aishwarya Trust

Chitra Viswanathan is the present Co-founder and Managing Trustee of ‘Aishwarya Trust’, a non-profit organization with a mission of supporting underprivileged children, who are suffering from Congenital Heart Defect (CHD). The foundation was set up in memory of her daughter, Aishwarya, whom she lost to CHD at the age of three. Since its inception in 2008, they have successfully completed 167 heart transplants across India, Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan and Iraq.

Chitra says, “My father K Nagarajan is the founder and backbone of the Trust. Our personal life-changing experience with Aishwarya has made this cause very real, meaningful and worthwhile for us. We have helped screen more than 1.9 lakh children and supported more than 6000 successful surgeries so far.’

Harish Hande

Co-founder, SELCO

Dr Harish Hande is the co-founder of SELCO Solar Light Private Limited. Harish is a graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and a Masters and PhD from University of Massachusetts, US. Harish got the idea of bringing solar lighting systems to rural India when he was doing his PhD on sustainable energy at the University of Massachusetts. During a field visit to the Dominican Republic, he was surprised to find poor villagers using solar lighting and reasoned that if it was possible for the poor in the Dominican Republic to use solar lights, he should be able to bring solar lights to the rural poor in India too. And thus SELCO started as a social enterprise in 1995.

In 2011, Harish was conferred the Ramon Magsaysay Award in recognition of his vision to catalyse development outcomes via sustainable energy. Harish serves on the boards of many organizations, both national and international.

Meghana Srinivas

Founder & CEO, TrustIn

Meghana is a legal tech entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of TrustIn, a startup that empowers companies to build safer cultures through a secure, sensitive SaaS system for end to end POSH [Prevention of Sexual Harassment] implementation. She also consults as a certified external member on the Internal Committees of multiple companies.

She’s passionate about harnessing the power of technology to scale impact and innovation, and about building capacity in individuals, teams, and organizations towards sustainable and positive impact.

Meghana is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and was the Program Director at the CoWrks Foundry, a VC-backed business accelerator for early stage tech companies. Previously, she’s managed multiple programs, projects and people in the social impact space, at major nonprofits including Teach For India.

Vishal Talreja

Co-founder, Dream a Dream

Vishal is an Educator and Social Entrepreneur. He co-founded ‘Dream a Dream’ along with 11 others. ‘Dream a Dream’ is a registered, charitable trust empowering children and young people from vulnerable backgrounds to overcome adversity and flourish in the 21st century using a creative life skills approach. They currently work with 10,000 young people a year through two innovation labs – After School Life Skills Programme and Career Connect Programme; they have trained over 35,000 teachers/educators impacting over 875,000 children and young people and impact over 3+ Million children through various state government partnerships in Delhi, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Nagaland and Karnataka.

Vishal has co-authored 4-research papers with Dr. David Pearson and Dr. Fiona Kennedy related to Life Skills in the Indian context and has written a host of articles, white papers, policy briefs related to Education Transformation. He has also co-authored a book, When We Thrive, Our World Thrives along with with Dr. Connie K Chung and Dream a Dream staff and participants. He has also published a book of poems called, My Soul Stirring.