NalandaWay has received awards, recognition, and support from the following organisations.

GuideStar India
Nalandaway was awarded the prestigious GuideStar India Champion level- Platinum award. Nalandaway joined India’s largest pool of credible NGOs after undergoing a rigorous due diligence process. GuideStar India’s Platinum Certification is the Champion Level Certification indicating that comprehensive transparency, accountability and good governance procedures are adopted by the organization with exemplary level of public disclosure.

NalandaWay won the Millennium Award as one of the top 3 education innovations in the country. This award is instituted by USAID, FICCI, Govt. of India and UK Aid.

SMERA ratings agancy, a SIDBI Company graded NalandaWay Foundation under "Healthy performance and sustainability" category.

Outlook Business magazine names Sriram Ayer as one of top 50 social entrepreneurs in India.

Sriram Ayer was awarded 'Architect of Future," by Waldzell Institute, Vienna.

South Asia Development Marketplace Award by World Bank.

Sriram Ayer was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship, a global network of social entrepreneurs.

Partners & Supporters

NalandaWay Foundation has been thankful to its supporters for the growth since inception. It has been supported by the following International and National donors and partners for its various projects.

Altius Foundation
Altius Foundation was born out of a collective belief of likeminded individuals who believed and had experienced the transformational impact that education can have on lives of families. They believe that without letting the economic backwardness of the family becoming an impediment, Altius would always strive to create opportunity for every child with education.
Apollo Munich Health Insurance
Quality healthcare and Apollo have become synonymous in the Indian subcontinent. Committed to bring world class health care within the reach of every individual, Apollo Hospitals Group joined hands with Munich Health, a world leader in the field of health insurance. Their joint venture- Apollo Munich Health Insurance is now one of the market leaders making great strides in the field of health insurance in India.
Cognizant Outreach
Cognizant Outreach is a grassroots corporate social responsibility project of Cognizant Technology Solutions. The aim of the project is to make a tangible difference in the field of education through the volunteer efforts of company associates support from its financial and administrative departments. The project helps company employees volunteer their support to schools and orphanages across the country.
Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank established its first branch in India in 1980. Currently, the bank operates branches in 15 cities. Building on its dominant global markets and leading transaction banking franchises, and with over 500,000 individual customers, Deutsche Bank is a fully integrated financial services provider to Indian corporate, institutional and individual clients.
eBay India Foundation
The eBay India Foundation is dedicated to recognized Non Government Organizations (NGOs) to create awareness, raise funds and list products and merchandise for sale to millions of global and Indian users.
Forbes Marshall
For over half a century, Forbes Marshall has been building steam engineering and control instrumentation solutions that work for process industry. Forbes Marshall's goal is to provide solutions in Energy, Efficiency and Process Automation, using the best technology the world has to offer.
Ford India Pvt Ltd
Ford India, established in 1995 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company is a global automotive industry leader. Ford has invested more than US$ 2 billion in India to expand its manufacturing facilities and dealership footprint to meet rapidly rising demand in one of the world's fastest-growing auto markets. Ford India currently operates a modern, integrated manufacturing facility at Maraimalai Nagar, near Chennai, which produces its award-winning range of products.
Habitat for Humanity India
Habitat for Humanity India is a non-profit organization that builds homes and provides housing-related services to low-income, marginalized families across India. The organization builds, rehabilitates and repairs simple, decent, affordable homes in sustainable communities with support from homeowner families, volunteers, donors and partner organizations.
Harris & Menuk
Harris & Menuk is an integrated company that specializes in the sales, marketing, and research & development of textile auxiliaries, specialty chemicals, colorants, and enzymes. Their aim is to enhance the performance and meet the constantly evolving requirements of the textile processing industry.
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi is the First Hospital in India to be Internationally Accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI). It is one of the best multi-speciality tertiary acute care hospitals with over 700 beds in India and the most sought after destination in SAARC region for healthcare delivery.
Integrated Enterprises
Integrated Enterprises (India) Private Ltd. is a leading financial services organization providing an array of financial solutions. Integrated Enterprises caters to the diverse and unique investment needs of retail customers.
ITC is one of India's foremost private sector companies. It has a diversified presence in FMCG, Hotels, Paperboards & Specialty Papers, Packaging, Agri-Business, and Information Technology. The company is rapidly gaining market share even in its nascent businesses of Packaged Foods & Confectionery, Branded Apparel, Personal Care and Stationery.
Kotak Mahindra Bank
Kotak Mahindra Bank is one of India’s leading financial institutions, offering complete financial solutions that encompass every sphere of life. The bank offers personal finance solutions of every kind to all people. Kotak has one of the largest and most respected Wealth Management teams in India, providing the widest range of solutions to high net worth individuals, entrepreneurs and employed professionals.
Millennium Alliance
Millennium Alliance is a collaboration between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) with the support of the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India. This alliance provides a platform to support Indian creativity and innovative solutions to benefit the population at the bottom of the pyramid in India and around the world.
Mindtree is a global information technology solutions that engineers meaningful technology solutions to help businesses and societies flourish. Its consulting-driven approach makes Mindtree a strategic partner to over 40 Fortune 500 enterprises. Their domain expertise, technical excellence and unique culture help businesses thrive and be future-ready. They help their customers achieve competitive advantage through flexible and global delivery models, agile methodologies and expert frameworks.
New York Life Insurance
New York Life Insurance is one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the country. They help people, families and businesses create, protect, and preserve their financial security through a wide range of products & services. The objective is to make sure that their customers are prepared for whatever life has in store and help them face the future with confidence.
Oracle Corporation established in 1977 provides enterprise software and computer hardware products and services. It works in more than 145 countries, servicing over 420,000 customers and believes in building strong communities.
Panos Institute South Asia
Panos Institute South Asia is part of the family of Panos Institutes worldwide that encourage and facilitate public discourse and debate on a wide range of issues. It aims at working in partnership with both local and regional partner organisations to stimulate and inform public and policy debate, and to provide information on key environment and development issues that is accessible to multiple target groups.
Plan India
Plan India is a part of Plan International, one of the world's largest community development organisations. Plan’s vision is of a world in which all children realise their full potential in societies which respect people’s rights and dignity. Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.
Pothys has established itself as house hold name in the textile industry in Tamil Nadu. Their undisputed reputation stems from an unflinching dedication to give people the highest quality, exclusive and diverse clothing options and unmatched customer service.
Radio Mirchi
Radio Mirchi is a nationwide network of private FM radio stations in India. It is owned by the Entertainment Network India Ltd (ENIL), which is one of the subsidiaries of The Times Group. Currently in 33 cities across India, Radio Mirchi has been ranked No.1 in all IRS (Indian Readership Survey).
Save the Children
Save the Children is an international organisation working for children's rights in 120 countries. They work across 13 states in India to ensure that every child has a happy and healthy childhood. They are determined to build a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation.
Shriram Foundation
Shriram Foundation was established in 1993 as the charitable arm of the Shriram Group, a pioneer in financial and investment services, to work for the underprivileged focusing on specific welfare initiatives. The Shriram Group believes that managing its business efficiently and cost effectively is its primary duty to the society. It also brings this same level of corporate efficiency to the administration and management of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Steria delivers IT enabled business services and is the Trusted Transformation partner for private and public sector organisations across the globe. By combining in depth understanding of their clients' businesses with expertise in IT and business process outsourcing, they take on our clients' challenges and develop innovative solutions to address them efficiently and profitably.
Sundaram Finance Limited
Sundaram Finance Limited, in 1954 began with the object of financing the purchase of commercial vehicles and passenger cars. Today the activities of the Sundaram Finance Group span Commercial Vehicle Finance, Car Finance, Insurance, Asset Management, Home Loans, Equipment Finance, Fleet Card, Infotech Solutions, Business Process Outsourcing, Tyre Finance and Logistics Services.
TATA Indicom
Tata Teleservices Limited launched its mobile operations in January 2005 under the brand name Tata Indicom which today enjoys a pan-India presence through existing operations in all of India's 22 telecom Circles. The company is also the market leader in the fixed wireless telephony market. Its network has been rated as the 'Least Congested' in India for five consecutive quarters by TRAI through independent surveys.
The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai
The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai is a coordinated team of professionals that strives to provide excellent consular services, both to Indians and to U.S. citizens. It is one of the top visa adjudication posts in the world, and the number one in processing employment based visas. The Consulate also provides an array of services to Americans residing or travelling to Chennai.
UNICEF has been working in India since 1949. The largest UN organisation in the country, UNICEF is fully committed to working with the Government of India to ensure that each child born in this vast and complex country gets the best start in life, thrives and develops to his or her full potential.
United Way of Chennai
United Way of Chennai (UWC) is a secular, non-partisan, non-political, non-profit, non-government, organization dedicated to improving lives in Tamil Nadu by identifying and addressing the long term needs of communities by promoting and encouraging voluntary charitable service and volunteerism. UWC is a part of the worldwide United Ways (UWW).
World Bank
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Impeccable strategies help the organization focus on the poorest countries, fragile and conflict-affected states, the Arab world, middle-income countries, global public goods issues, and delivery of knowledge and learning services.
World Vision
World Vision India is a humanitarian organisation working to create lasting change in the lives of children, families and communities living in poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, caste, race, ethnicity or gender. Spread across 174 districts in India, World Vision works through long-term sustainable community development programmes and immediate disaster relief assistance.
Agastya Foundation
The Agastya Foundation provides strong education to children from rural population from their early age. They teach through experimentation, exploration, and hands-on interaction. The foundation has impacted over 6 million children and 2,00,00 teachers in 16 states in India.
Ashoka is the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide, with nearly 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in 70 countries putting their system changing ideas into practice on a global scale. Founded in 1980, it has provided start-up financing, professional support services, and connections to a global network across the business and social sectors, and a platform for people dedicated to changing the world.
Confederation of Indian Industry
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the development of India, partnering industry, Government, and civil society, through advisory and consultative processes. It is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization, playing a proactive role in India's development process.
Chennai Corporation
The Chennai Corporation is the civic body that governs the city of Chennai, India. Established as the Madras Corporation in 1688, it is the oldest municipal body of the Commonwealth of Nations outside Great Britain It is headed by the Mayor, who presides over 200 councillors each of whom represents one of the 200 wards of the city.
DakshinaChitra is a centre for the living traditions of art, folk performing arts, craft and architecture of India with an emphasis on the traditions of South India. A project of the Madras Craft Foundation (MCF), DakshinaChitra opened to the public in December 1996. It is located at Muttukadu near Chennai
Department of Education, Delhi
Directorate of Education, Delhi aims to provide free and compulsory education to children upto 14 years irrespective of their caste, creed or sex. It predominantly looks after middle, secondary and senior secondary education. The department also runs 28 Degree Colleges funded by University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Delhi Government.
Department of Education, Tamil Nadu
Department of Education, Tamil Nadu, strives for one hundred percent enrolment and retention of children in schools. They provide inclusive environment in schools for differently abled children and to those from challenging backgrounds. Literacy rate of 80% in Tamil Nadu is a reflection of the fantastic work done by this Department.
Department of Social Defence
The Department of Social Defence functions under the Department of Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Programme of the Tamil Nadu state Government. The maintaining residential care institutions, there are about 653 employees for the management of the institutions including Medical Officers, Psychologists, Probation Officers, Teachers Instructors and watch and wards.
Goethe-Institut Max Meuller Bhavan Indien
For over 50 years, the Goethe-Institut Max Meuller Bhavan Indien, Chennai has been promoting an ongoing dialogue and exchange between Indian and German artists and experts in order to present German culture abroad and help shape a current understanding of Germany today. It offers language courses, organizes cultural events and has a Library. Goethe-Institut Chennai is the contact point for anyone interested in German culture and for those who want to study or teach German.
InKo Centre
InKo Centre aims to promote an inter-cultural dialogue by facilitating a consistent programme that draws on the rich traditions of both India and Korea. With a focus on language, culture and information, the Centre will look at the global dimension of such a dialogue while showcasing the local and national characteristics that underpin such exchange.
Lokas Advanced Web Solutions provides world class Internet Technology support to small & medium organizations. Starting from Domain and Hosting to mobile websites and Online Marketing, they provide a complete set of services required for a business to succeed online.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is a programme by the Government of India aimed at the universalization of elementary education "in a time bound manner". It addresses the needs of 192 million children in 1.1 million habitations. The programme is looking to open new schools in areas without schooling facilities, to strengthen existing school infrastructure through provision of additional class rooms, toilets, drinking water, maintenance and school improvement grants.
Swathi Soft Solutions
Swathi Soft Solutions is an integrated IT-enabled service provider that offers a wide range of e-products and end-to-end business solutions for a variety of clients worldwide. Backed by a combination of the best technological tools and brilliant talents, Swathi works on several platforms in various technologies.
The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai
The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai is a coordinated team of professionals that strives to provide excellent consular services, both to Indians and to U.S. citizens. It is one of the top visa adjudication posts in the world, and the number one in processing employment based visas. The Consulate also provides an array of services to Americans residing or travelling to Chennai.


NalandaWay Foundation is a registered public charitable trust headquartered in Chennai. The people behind the trust and their background are provided below.

Board of Trustees
Sriram V. Ayer
Sriram is the founder of the award winning NGO, Nalandaway foundation which helps disadvantaged children realise their dreams through the power of arts. He recently co-founded “Wandering Artist,” Chennai’s new hip art and culture hub, which India Today magazine called it as “one of the top five creative spaces to watch out for in India”. Named by the Outlook Business magazine as one of the top 50 social entrepreneurs in India, he has received numerous awards, including the World Bank’s development marketplace award, “Architect of the future” by Waldzell Institute, Ashoka Fellowship and more recently the Millennium Award for Innovation in Education instituted by US AID, Govt. of India, and FICCI. He is also the author of the much acclaimed novel “The Story of a Suicide.”
Patrick Madhusudhan Matthews
Patrick works for Ibhar Technologies, Chennai, India as the Head of Research & Development and holds a Masters in Science from IIT, Chennai. He has been involved in new technology research and product architecture design at Ibhar since 1996. Patrick is the co-founder of NalandaWay Foundation and heads the technology initiatives of the Trust.
Jayanth Vincent
Jayanth comes with over eight years of experience as the Director- Supporter Engagement/Public Relations at World Vision International- an international humanitarian organization focused on the development of children. Apart from initiating and running several social-change campaigns focused on child labour, HIV//AIDS and child malnutrition, Jayanth has played important roles in brand development for World Vision India and its international offices over the last few years. Jayanth advises NalandaWay on its communication strategies.
Ramya Rajaraman
Ramya is a Marketing Communications Professional with over eleven years experience in India and the US. She has a Masters degree in Communications from Portland State University, Oregon, USA. She is currently a Project Director at Inception Business Services, a marketing consulting firm in Chennai, where she leads some of their key client relationships. Previously, Ramya led the Resource Mobilization efforts at NalandaWay Foundation for over three years. An ardent lover of the performing arts, she also co-founded Hamsaa, an arts organisation that is committed to create more appreciation for the Performing Arts. Ramya strongly believes that active participation in, and appreciation of the Arts can bring about positive changes in communities.
As the Chief Strategy Officer of Apollo Hospitals group and Chartered Accountant, Mr. Venkataraman brings in immense expertise in the financial administration of the trust. Mr. Venkataraman is a philanthropist and supports numerous causes. He is also the Managing Trustee of the Sri Muthusamy Dikshitar Foundation which helps in the promotion of classical music. He advises the foundation on governance, policy and resource mobilisation.
Board of Advisors
Having served as the Chief Secretary to the Government of Tamil Nadu, Mr. Venkataraman has guided policy formation and implementation in Tamil Nadu for over three decades. His work experience covers a wide range of sectors from district administration, transport, infrastructure development and rural planning to social education and law & order maintenance. After retiring from the Indian Administrative Service in May 1994, he has actively pursued his interests in the fields of comparative philosophy and religion and has published several articles on these subjects. He currently spearheads the strategic initiatives of the organisation.
Padmashri. Dr. Anandakrishnan
Dr. Anandakrishnan is, currently, the Chairman of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He advises both the Union and State Governments on areas relating to educational methodology, technical education and curriculum. He had previously been appointed as the Vice Chancellor of Anna University and had also served as the IT advisor to the Government of Tamil Nadu. He advises the foundation on areas like strategy, methodology and technology
Anil Srinivasan
A renowned classical pianist, Anil Srinivasan is one of the most popular music personalities in South India. He is well-known for his path-breaking collaboration with vocalist Sikkil Gurucharan, with whom his output includes 6 published albums and several national and international tours. He has written extensively on music for several leading publications and also speaks regularly at conferences related to music and education. An ardent music lover, he is also known for having organized alternative performing arts platforms and festivals in Chennai. He advises NalandaWay on its music education initiatives.

Uma Viswanathan, Chief Operating Officer
Uma comes with 25 years of experience in corporate world and 4 years in social sector. A graduate in Human Resources Management and with Bachelors in Commerce, she has worked extensively in banking, FMGC sectors, and in training. She is also a certified Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) professional. Uma sets the standards high and runs the projects on a tight schedule at NalandaWay. She is our go-to person. Her work ethics are matched by her sense of adventure and never say die spirit. Uma does all this with amazing sense of humour and with a smile on her face.
Rajagopalan Venkatraman, Head - Resource Mobilization
Rajagopalan has over twenty-four years of experience in the IT industry with expertise in program management and delivery. He is a Computer Science Engineer with a Post Graduate Certification in Business Management (PGCBM) from XLRI, Jamshedpur. He has conceptualized and delivered training programs across many educational institutions. He is a member of an NGO that provides student centric learning at Anganwadis and corporation schools. Rajagopalan brings his zeal for education and expertise in Management for resource mobilization at NalandaWay. He is our Wikipedia for information on Carnatic music, heritage walks and history tours.
Ganesh Babu R, Manager- Admin/Accounts
Having acquired 20 years of experience in the fields of accounts, marketing and administration, Ganesh Babu is our Money Man at NalandaWay. Thanks to his dedication and meticulous practices at the foundation, every penny in the bank is saved and accounted for. He spends his time away from numbers by watching movies and playing with his children
Manjula Ponnapalli, Consultant – Music Education
Manjula is a musician with over a decade of experience in teaching, performing and collaborating with various ​artists across ​music genres. She is an alumna of Kalashetra, and has worked with Conservatoire à rayonnement ​régional, Réunion Island​ (Govt of France) as a performing artist and trainer of Indian Music department.

Her belief that music is a powerful medium for a greater harmony on earth makes her work at NalandaWay invaluable. She coaches NalandaWay’s Chennai Children’s Choir. Manju loves oil painting and finds travelling a fascinating way to understand herself.
Vidhya Thirunavukkarasu, Manager – Projects
A graduate from Madras School of Social Work, Chennai, and with a Bachelors in Visual Communications, Vidhya brings her great talent in fine arts, love for community work and stellar project management skills to NalandaWay. As our Manager for Arts in Education program for Greater Chennai, Vidhya designs and executes the program, builds relationships with stakeholders, and monitors and evaluates the program. A die-hard Rajini fan, you can catch her riding a sports bike.
Dhivya Ramalingam, Manager - Projects
Dhivya is a graduate in Electronic Media from Anna University and comes with a rich six years of experience in public broadcasting in health and Communication. Having served as the Deputy Director for Information, Education & Communication (IEC) department at Tamilnadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS), Dhivya currently is our Chennai City Manager for Arts in Education program. She handles relationship building and program execution. Dhivya continues to produce shows on public radio, whips up delicious food, and follows her love for theater and travel.
Arunraj, R. B, Senior Associate – Projects
Arun has a degree in Chemical Engineering with a heart of film maker. A brain tumor diagnosis in 2003 made him bid adieu to engineering and embrace story telling. He has made highly entertaining and successful short films for NalandaWay since 2006. Famous for his crackling wit, Arun devours world cinema, and loves to travel.
Prabhakar M P, Associate - Projects
Prabhakar was an entrepreneur before joining NalandaWay team. He is our aide-de-camp when it comes to project implementation. He is the backbone of our Arts Labs project handing its various aspects. He takes care of planning and coordinating sessions for our Chennai Children’s Choir. He is notorious for his amazing memory, has great people skills, and is crazy about sports.
Monisha V, Associate – Projects
Her Bachelors in Economics led her to realise that behind every economic issue, there is a social problem. This directed her to pursue Masters in Community Development at Madras School of Social Work, Chennai. Monisha’s keen interest in gender studies and her strong belief that moulding children helps in building healthy communities brought her to NalandaWay. When not at work, you can find her dabbling in art and sharing a good laugh.
Stephanie Fernandez, Associate – Projects
Stephanie has a Bachelors degree in Social Work from Stella Maris College, Chennai, and has past corporate work experience from a Fortune 500 company. Her passion for working with children brought her to Nalandaway. She has a great love for travel, in particular to the land down under as well as an overwhelming affection for dogs, most notably her dachshund, Sir Edward!
Sai Sudha, Associate - Communications
Sai Sudha completed her Bachelors in Christ College, Bangalore, where she triple majored in English literature, Media studies and Psychology. She went on to do a Masters in Community Development at Madras School of Social Work in Chennai. Her strong faith on the impact of education in molding little lives and her enthusiasm for children makes her an appropriate fit at NalandaWay. Sai brings along her outreach work experience from Greenpeace. She is a budding theatre artist and an enthusiastic Parai dancer.
Pradeepa R, Associate – Projects
Pradeepa heads our Arts Labs in Coimbatore. She is a graduate in Social Work specializing in Medical Psychiatry. She has a decade of experience as a customer care specialist. She works with NalandaWay due to her fervent desire to discover therapies to help children to overcome their psychological, emotional and behavioural problems. Pradeepa is creative, imaginative, and has great skills for interior decorating. As she grew up close to nature, she can name most trees in a forest.
Lakshmi Padmanabhan, Associate – Projects
Lakshmi is at NalandaWay, Coimbatore. She has a Bachelors in Electronic Media specialising in Graphic designing from M.O.P Vaishnav College, Chennai. Lakshmi went on to learn the state of education in India through a Masters in Education from Azim Premji University, Bangalore. There she discovered her love for children and teaching - a great combination to work at NalandaWay. Lakshmi uses art as a filter while she looks at the world. She likes to start her morning with the aroma of coffee and longs for deep conversation with anyone.
Zenia Yadav, Associate - Projects
Zenia is at our Delhi office. She has a Bachelors in Psychology from Delhi University and a Masters in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Science. She has previously worked closely with homeless women with mental illness and also with children of parents suffering from mental health issues. Her belief in a holistic approach to mental wellness brings her to work at Nalandaway. In her free time Zenia is a long distance runner, a lover of animals, an amateur photographer, and a budding decorator.
Govindharaj. C, Associate – Projects
An engineering graduate with more than a year of working experience in various software solutions firms, Govindharaj assists in following-up with schools and in mentoring teachers. His other interests include reading books and keeping himself updated on current affairs.
Milton Samsunder, Associate - Projects
Milton has a Bachelors in Sociology from Loyola College, Chennai and a Masters in Social Work from Madras School of Social Work, Chennai. He is a founder of Ilan Theater Society through which he has taken the power of street play and theater to communicate social messages on child abuse, harassment of women and human rights issues. His creative talent and interest to work with children makes him a great fit at NalandaWay. Milton writes scripts and directs plays in his spare time.
Vinoth Kumar, Associate – Projects
Vinoth Kumar is a Civil Engineer and worked as a lecturer at Gudiyattam Polytechnic College, Gudiyattam, Tamil Nadu. He loves being a teacher and dreamt of working with children. What better fit than NalandaWay? In his free time Vinoth is either playing Cricket or dancing with friends.
Dhanraj K, Office Assistant
With his quiet ways and gentle demeanour, Dhanraj is our Man Friday at NalandaWay. Responsible for a multitude of tasks ranging from sourcing of art materials to helping out with admin duties and office maintenance, Dhanraj has endeared himself to everyone by being the jack of all trades.
Nadeem Alam, Associate - Projects
Nadeem Alam, worked as a child labor in a Brass factory for more than seven years before being rescued in Moradabad, U.P. He has completed a two-year Gandhi Fellowship Program run by Piramal Foundation for Education Leadership. Nadeem has an M.A. in Social Exclusion & Inclusive Policy from Jamia Millia Islamia , New Delhi. This year he completed AIF Clinton Fellowship with Swapath Trust – District Dang, Gujarat. Throughout his career Nadeem has worked on rescue and rehabilitation of vulnerable children. Outside work, he loves chessboard and badminton.
Harish Basker, Associate - Projects
Harish Baskar comes with over 5 years of experience in both corporate and the social sector. Harish was a fellow at the Azim Premji Foundation working at a Government school in Puducherry. With his strong desire to make a difference for the disadvantaged sections of the society, he chose to join the movement to transform education even though he is a qualified engineer. Other than his passion to work with children, he also is an avid book lover and aches to spend more time close to nature.
Mani Thamizhan, Associate - Projects
Mani Thamizhan, a staunch Tamil-lover as his name indicates, has worked in the social sector for the past 4 years with education departments, schools, rural administrative bodies and even the law enforcement departments for the welfare of children. His biggest achievement so far is rescuing more than 158 children from child labour. He is also a painter, poet and mimicry artist. He believes art is a meditative experience and a great mode of expression for his thoughts.
Saurabh Dwivedi, Associate – Resource Mobilization
Saurabh Dwivedi has Masters in Sustainable Development Practices from Birla Institute of Technology (BIMTECH). At Nalandaway, he is working on resource mobilization for the Delhi Chapter. He has earlier worked for cancer patients. He also worked with children of government schools towards disaster risk reduction and social protection schemes. Outside work, he loves visiting hill stations.
Gautham Santhalingam, Associate - Projects
Gautham Santhalingam did his Bachelors in Tourism Management from the Madras Christian College. He then went on to do his Masters in Social Work from Loyola College, Chennai. Gautham previously worked in Nagpur and Wardha as a Football trainer for children from marginalized communities, including children from red-light districts. He is interested in organizing tours and is a passionate football trainer.
Ilakkiya – Associate - Projects
Ilakkiya is driven by passion to teach and interact with children. She has completed her Bachelor Degree in Engineering - Electronics and Communication. Ilakkiya draws inspiration from her mother, an anganwadi worker who teaches and cares for children from a young age and it is no wonder that she loves teaching as well.
Akash Jyoti Baruah, Associate – Projects
Akash has completed his Masters in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. He has specialized in mental health and his areas of interest include social movement, gender, education and social theories. Akash is inclined to both music and sports. He is an avid Tabla player and a badminton player who played at National Level during his school days.


NalandaWay Foundation is a non-profit that works with children from the poorest districts in India, helping them raise their voices and issues through theatre, visual arts, music, dance, radio and films. Over 17,000 children in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar and Jammu & Kashmir have benefited from our programmes. Our interventions have helped them become creative, learn life-skills and build self-confidence to create the lives that they truly want to lead

It was the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat that actually set us thinking. The brutal murder of more than 2000 people, including women and children, made us question the lack of tolerance in society; it also brought forth a realization that something needed to be done to end this violence. In our quest for solutions, we realized that it was children coming in from socially & economically disadvantaged backgrounds who were often rendered helpless and affected by such difficult environments. It was they who needed maximum support and encouragement to articulate their issues and problems. This immediate need for intervention led to the setting up of the NalandaWay Foundation.