Blog

Team Aajeevika

Aajeevika Bureau is an energetic collective of field workers and staff, who share the common vision of a world where labour is valued, and migration is safe, secure and dignified. Our staff are deeply embedded in migrant communities, across Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.
Here is a profile of some of our senior team members:




Rajiv Khandelwal, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Rajiv is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Aajeevika Bureau. In this role he oversees the organisation’s strategies, programmes, liaison, fundraising and capacity building functions. Over the course of his 30 year career, Rajiv has held leadership roles in a range of non-profit organisations, implementing programmes, conducting research and providing advice and guidance to NGOs, donors and government in Rajasthan. Rajiv worked for many years with the tribal communities of Southern Rajasthan, implementing large scale agricultural change programmes. The idea of Aajeevika Bureau took seed at this time, when Rajiv saw a significant change in livelihoods from farming to wage labour. Rajiv was named an Ashoka Fellow (2005) and India Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2010). He holds a degree in rural management from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand. Rajiv can be reached at rajiv@aajeevika.org

Krishnavatar Sharma, Co-Founder and Programme Director
Krishnavatar is Co-Founder and Programme Director at Aajeevika Bureau. He leads Aajeevika Bureau’s field programmes and programme teams. Krishnavatar brings over 27 years of solid experience of developing programmes and leading field teams. Previously, Krishnavatar worked as a lawyer at District and Session courts at Jaipur and Sawai Madhopur. He then joined the development sector, working in the tribal regions of southern Rajasthan. Krishnavatar was named India Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2010). He holds a degree in BSc (Bio) and LLB from Rajasthan University. Krishnavatar can be reached at krishna@aajeevika.org

Dr Pavitra Mohan, Director – Health Services and Secretary, Basic Health Care Services
Pavitra is Director of Aajeevika Bureau’s partner, Basic Health Services, providing high-quality, low cost health services to the most vulnerable communities. With over 18 years of clinical, research and teaching experience, Pavitra co-founded Basic Health Services in 2013 with Dr Sanjana Mohan. Previously, Pavitra worked at UNICEF’s India Country Programme for nine years, leading its child health programmes across India. He taught in the Rabindra Nath Tagore Medical College in Udaipur and worked at Action Research and Training for Health (ARTH), a leading public health NGO. Pavitra is a Fellow with the prestigious National Neonatology Forum of India. Dr Pavitra trained as a doctor at Delhi University and holds a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina. Pavitra can be reached at amrit@aajeevika.org

Rupal Kulkarni, Chief Executive Officer, Shram Sarathi
Rupal Kulkarni is the CEO of Aajeevika Bureau’s partner, Shram Sarathi, providing credit, insurance, pension and savings to seasonal labour migrants in India. Rupal currently oversees strategy, fundraising and research at Shram Sarathi. She has over eight years of development experience in India and Ghana and has studied at London School of Economics and University of Mumbai. She is also part of a distinguished cohort of social entrepreneurs at the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Programme. Rupal can be reached at rupal@shramsarathi.org

Sanjay Chittora, Programme Manager, STEP Academy
Sanjay is a Programme Manager at STEP (Skill Training Employability & Placement) Academy, Aajeevika Bureau’s skills and training centre. With over 15 years of training and programme management experience, Sanjay oversees a range of vocational training, life skills and employability initiatives. Previously, he worked at Mine Labour Protection Campaign (MLPC). Sanjay earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from USSW-Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur. Sanjay can be reached at sanjay.chittora@aajeevika.org

Santosh Poonia, Programme Manager, LEAD
Santosh is a Programme Manager, leading Aajeevika Bureau’s legal aid work. He guides and supervises legal aid and education for migrant workers and their families. He also mentors collectives of migrant workers and liaises with government departments, corporates and other NGOs. Previously, Santosh worked at the Indian Institute of Health Management and Research, Jaipur. He holds a Master’s degree in Sociology and Political Science from University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. Santosh can be reached at santosh.poonia@aajeevika.org

Abha Mishra, Programme Manager, Networking, Partnership and Advocacy
Abha is a Programme Manager at Aajeevika Bureau. She oversees networking, partnership and advocacy, supporting Aajeevika Bureau's relationships with local administration, governments, corporate and NGOs. She has a background in journalism and legislative advocacy and played a key role in setting up Aajeevika Bureau’s family empowerment programme. Previously, Abha worked at Democracy Connect. Abha is a graduate of Delhi University. Abha can be reached at abha.mishra@aajeevika.org

Amrita Sharma, Programme Manager, Centre for Migration and Labour Solutions
Amrita leads the Centre for Migration and Labour Solutions (CMLS) team, supervising its research studies, policy advocacy function, and its teaching and networking initiatives. She brings 11 years of experience in field research, training and programme incubation support to Aajeevika Bureau. Prior to Aajeevika, Amrita worked at IWMI-Tata Water Policy Programme. Amrita holds a degree in rural management from IRMA, Anand, and a Masters in Public Policy and Development Studies from CEU, Budapest and ISS, The Hague. Amrita can be reached at amrita.sharma@aajeevika.org

Priyanka Jain, Programme Manager, Centre for Migration and Labour Solutions
Priyanka leads the research programme at the Centre for Migration and Labour Solutions (CMLS). She provides oversight of CMLS’ research projects, which examine a range of cross-cutting labour migration issues. Priyanka also brings significant experience in research training of practitioners working with migrant communities. Previously, Priyanka worked as a public servant with the Singapore government's Economic Development Board. She holds a Masters degree in Development Studies from IDS, University of Sussex and a BsC in Economics from SMU. Priyanka can be reached at priyanka.jain@aajeevika.org

Divya Varma, Programme Manager, Centre for Migration and Labour Solutions
Divya is a Programme Manager within the Centre for Migration and Labour Solutions’ team. Divya leads Aajeevika Bureau’s policy and partnerships work, engaging with a range of stakeholders, from industry to government. Previously, Divya worked at The Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) and at Asylum Access. A Fulbright Scholar, Divya holds a degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Postgraduate Diploma from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand. Divya can be reached at divya.varma@aajeevika.org

Kamlesh Sharma, Programme Manager, Salumbar
Kamlesh is a Programme Manager (Regional Coordination), for the Salumbar region of Rajasthan. He coordinates all support services for migrant families living in Salumbar, across health services, financial services and women’s empowerment groups and skill training. Previously he worked at ARTH, helping communities access and manage health care, and for two years at a local newspaper in Udaipur. Kamlesh is a trainer, organiser and programme manager, supervising field centres and teams in Salumbar. He holds a BA from Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur and an MBA in Human Resources, through distance education. Kamlesh can be reached at kamlesh.sharma@aajeevika.org

Rajendra Sharma, Programme Manager, Gogunda
Rajendra is a Programme Manager (Regional Coordination), for the Gogunda region of Rajasthan. He coordinates all support services for migrant families living in Gogunda, across health services, financial services and women’s empowerment groups and skill training. Previously he worked as a Field Supervisor for N.S. Associates, Jaipur in collaboration with Institute of Health Management Research, Jaipur. He is a trainer, organiser and programme manager, supervising field centres and teams in Gogunda. Rajendra has a Master’s Degree in Sociology and a BA degree from Rajasthan University, Jaipur. Rajendra can be reached at rajendra.sharma@aajeevika.org

Mahesh Gajera, Programme Manager, Destination Services
Mahesh is Programme Manager for Destination Services, Ahmedabad. He provides strategic direction to Aajeevika Bureau’s programmes, and coordinates field teams in Ahmedabad. Previously, Mahesh worked at a range of organisations, including the Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation, Gramin Vikas Trust and Gujarat Livelihood Promotional Company. He has over 20 years’ experience in implementing participatory livelihood programmes among tribal communities. Mahesh holds a Masters in Rural Studies from Lokbharti Gram Vidyapith. Mahesh can be reached at mahesh.gajera@aajeevika.org

Sanjay Patel, Executive, Centre Coordination
Sanjay is an Executive at Aajeevika Bureau, managing the Surat centre. Sanjay has worked at Aajeevika Bureau in both Surat and Idar since 2008. Previously, Sanjay worked in a range of development roles, including at Vikram Sarabhai Centre for Development Interaction (VIKSAT) in Ahmedabad. He holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University. Sanjay can be reached at sanjay.patel@aajeevika.org

Rajesh Bardhan, Programme Manager, IT
Rajesh leads the IT practice of Aajeevika Bureau and is based in Udaipur. He brings over 15 years’ experience as an IT Professional with Aajeevika Bureau, with expertise in IT, MIS, System management and software development. Previously, Rajesh worked for a range of organisations, including Child In Need Institute (CINI). Rajesh holds a Master’s in Computer Application (MCA) from IGNOU. He is a Certified System Security Analyst (CSSA), awarded by the National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT). Rajesh can be reached at rajesh.bardhan@aajeevika.org

Jitendra Jain, Programme Manager, Finance and Administration
Jitrenda is a Programme Manager and is based in Udaipur. Jitrenda designs, develops and manages Aajeevika Bureau’s core finance and administrative functions. He is also Founder Director of Shram Sarathi, Aajeevika Bureau’s partner. Previously, Jitendra worked at Vividha, Bank of Rajasthan and Government of Rajasthan. Jitendra has an M Com from University of Rajasthan. Jitrenda can be reached at administration@aajeevika.org