Amrut Bang has led the NIRMAN initiative since 2008 as Program Coordinator and is involved in shaping up the strategy, building partnerships, recruitment, fund raising, and project management. He also fulfills the much needed role of mentor and guide to all those involved in the NIRMAN process. Prior to NIRMAN, he worked in Symantec Corp. for a year after he received his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Pune University. He also holds an M.S. in Non-Profit Leadership from University of Pennsylvania. Besides his role in NIRMAN, he is an RTI activist and has managed to bring a change in the state government’s policy to ensure availability of doctors in tribal and rural areas. He is also a part of the SEARCH Executive Committee.
Amrut is a self-learner and did not go to school till 10th standard. As he was exempted from the stifling influence of schooling, he maintains a healthy curiosity that is exhibited in his wide range of interests, from music and nature to chess and swimming. He is a voracious reader, with a photographic memory, who is particularly interested in physics and evolution. He also writes Bollywood inspired songs on social issues, from hand washing to employment guarantee scheme. He is married to Dr. Aarti Bang who is a NIRMANee and works as a psychiatrist in SEARCH. Amrut is a total- teetotaler and will never say no to a cup of tea!
Sunil Chavan, a.k.a, Sunil Kaka holds an M.Sc. in Statistics and an MBA in Marketing. After working in IT for 17 years, he started his own company in 1996 and then sold it in 2012 to shift to the social sector. While he used to volunteer before, he now works full time in the social sector as a part of NIRMAN executive team and as Head of Operations at ML Dhawale Trust in Palghar. As a keen businessman and entrepreneur himself, armed with his knowledge of finance and economics, he offers strategic and financial advice to the NIRMAN team as well as to the participants of NIRMAN.
With a warm and ever positive personality, he is a mentor to all NIRMANEES in every possible aspect. He is an avid collector of artistic objects brought back from his many travels and has managed to make his home more wondrous than a museum or an art gallery, of particular note is his selection of exotic teas. He enjoys old Hindi songs and reading books.
Satish Girsawle, a.k.a Darren, hails from Rajura tehsil in Chandrapur district and he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Government College of Engineering Chandrapur. He had shown his skills of leadership and organization through college which he now uses to motivate all NIRMANees who haven’t yet found their motivation and purpose. His belief in the need to realize India’s demographic dividend inspires him to work with the youth and his gregarious nature adds great value to NIRMAN’s outreach and selection process. He is actively involved in the planning and functioning of the camps and he also manages the program’s social media front.
Satish comes from a farming family and is thus keenly aware of the social and political issues of the community which he often channels into his roles as a playwright and an actor. He is a stand up poet who can, on the spot, put in two lines the gist of his keen observations of people and situations. He also loves sports, particularly, talking about it to his large circle of friends.
Gajanan Burde, a.k.a, Gaju, comes from Gunjepar in Lakhandur tahsil of Bhandara district and is trained as an electrical engineer. Before joining the NIRMAN team he was a visiting lecturer at Government Polytechnic, Gondia. His primary role in the team is of an administrator and it is thanks to his skills that the camp functions smoothly. His calm and soothing presence creates a comforting atmosphere for the participants. He loves meeting and interacting with new people, which is essential to his role of camp facilitator.
Gajanan is a skilled athlete and his ‘catches’ during cricket matches are a stuff of legends in the NIRMAN team. Apart from being a sportsman, Gajanan also loves to cook and he is among the few people who begin their routine at 5.30 am when the rest of the world is enjoying sleep.
Jui Jamsandekar is from Kolhapur and holds degrees in computer engineering and clinical psychology. Before joining NIRMAN team she worked in Oracle and Zensar, two giants of the software industry, as a computer programmer. During this time, she pursued her dream of studying psychology, with a particular interest in the 18-28 age group and volunteered for a suicide prevention hotline. With an MA in Clinical Psychology, Jui now provides important inputs to the selection process and to interactions with the participants. Her study of positive psychology and emerging adulthood gives a crucial foundation to NIRMAN and to her work in qualitative analysis of the participants’ growth and development. Jui manages to find the delicate balance between empathy and objectivity which is seen in her unique ability to provide compassionate critiques. She loves to paint and read in her free time.
Aditi received her degree in Electrical Engineering from Nagpur University and was among the toppers at the college and University level during all four years. Her technical expertise acquired a job in Hitachi, a multinational technology company, before she joined NIRMAN. She felt that her skills and creativity were better utilized to help those in need instead of being used to increase the profits of a giant corporation. Her interest in education led her to NIRMAN where she gets to work with budding social change makers of her age and contribute to their human development.
As a member of the NIRMAN Team she is responsible for content development including videos, graphics, photos, writing articles, etc. She is also studying positive psychology and the ways in which it relates to NIRMAN process. NIRMAN camps become a deeper experience because of her ability to form strong emotional bonds with the participants.
Aditi is not only hardworking and sincere but also a very creative and artistic person. Her innovative ideas have led to some amazing gifts for her friends and colleagues. She also loves to paint and sketch in her free time.
Swapnil is from Washim district in Vidarbha where he finished his primary and secondary education. He received a BS-MS degree from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune and majored in Biology. He was part of the team that won Bronze Medal at the international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) contest held at Boston, USA for their project on TB detection using synthetic biology. He has also been published in international journals including Genetics and Biochemical Journal.
Post his training in IISER, instead of pursuing the usual career path of science graduates, Swapnil decided to join SEARCH because he was not satisfied with the kind of research that went on in laboratories and wanted to bring basic science to the community. At SEARCH he is a part of three different teams including Monitoring and Evaluation, Tribal Health and NIRMAN and his research skills are invaluable to all of them. As part of the NIRMAN Executive Team he is involved in data analytics and program evaluation, selection process and camp facilitation where his inputs lead to thoroughly stimulating discussions.
He enjoys field work and spending time in the villages and interacting with the community. He is also a sportsman and a fitness buff who diligently practices an exercise routine.
Suyash Toshniwal is born with fire for activism! He finished his 11th and 12th from Yogeshwari College in Ambajogai. This institution under Swami Ramanand Tirth played a role in the struggle of the Princely State of Hyderabad becoming a part of the Republic of India in 1948. Suyash was born in a politically active household and his reading habits led to further development of his revolutionary ideas. He was a key member of NCC and was a part of the state level team and also a part of the National Integration Camp.
During the college years, he came across the work of Andha Shraddha Nirmulan Samiti and was inspired by the life of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar. He started work with ANIS and was a part of the nationwide performance of the play titled Socrates Te Dabholkar, Pansare via Tukaram. He also revitalized the Vivek Vahini program and headed the social media cell of Maharashtra ANIS.
After completing his B. Tech. in Information Technology, Suyash started working with Persistent Systems, the prestigious multi-national software firm. He quit the cushy IT job after a year to pursue his mission of lifelong social service and joined SEARCH, the parent organization of NIRMAN.
As part of SEARCH, Suyash works in developing software solutions, website development, monitoring and evaluation of various programs, technical training, and handling the social media. He also organizes the youth in colleges of Gadchiroli as part of the anti-tobacco, anti-alcohol movement Muktipath. In the NIRMAN Team, he is responsible for website development, follow up of participants, and as a facilitator in the camps. His talent for yelling slogans, honed over years of activism, energizes the entire camp atmosphere!