P. Veerabhadra Naika
P. Veerabhadranaika has a post-graduate degree in gender studies and a doctorate in sociology from Mysore University. He has worked on elementary education, rights-based development, and in organising youth. He has conducted indepth studies on ashramshalas in Chamarajanagar district and has engaged in advocacy work related to improving education among tribals/adivasis. His areas of interest are critical development, rural sociology, and educational studies.
Sunita has worked in Delhi, Pune, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep on a range of environmental issues. She has been living and working on a forest farm near Sirsi since 2002. Sunita is the founder trustee of Vanastree (www.vanastree.org)– a women farmers’ seed saving collective based in Sirsi, and the key lead behind the successful ‘Malnad Mela’ that were held in Bengaluru and Sirsi.
P.Srinivas (‘Soil Vasu’)
P. Srinivas alias Vasu or ‘Soil Vasu’ is the founder of SOIL, a trust for caring for, protecting and rebuilding soil health. He has worked in various parts of Karnataka with a focus on promoting sustainable agriculture. He is especially concerned about the state of soils in India and has developed several teaching and demonstration modules related to issues around soil. An expert teacher with pedagogies that draw on humour, songs, poetry and in-depth knowledge of local and scientific practices, Vasu is a well-known resource person for issues related to soil/land, crops, organic manure, and seed conservation.
At PUNARCHITH he teaches the module on sustainable agriculture and has helped set up demonstration plots for youth learners.
H.MUTHURAJU has a Master’s in Biology from Kuvempu University, Shivamogga. He has earlier worked as a head master in a private school and as a member of the BAIF team, Yelandur. His areas of interest are sustainable agriculture, horticulture, and land restoration. He is also a keen computer and camera enthusiast.
At PUNARCHITH he anchors work at the Angarike Maala land and its restoration. He also takes sessions on agriculture during the ILP course.
H. Suma has training in finance and has worked with Reuters and then at Ernst and Young (Bengaluru) for twelve years. Her deep interest in ecological issues and social concerns led her to quit her job and she currently divides her time between VANASTREE and PUNARCHITH.
At PUNARCHITH, she is in charge of accounts and also takes the sessions on accounts for the ‘Integrated Learning Programme’. Her pedagogies for accounts include enabling youth to choose options, make decisions, and critically assess their expenditure patterns. A keen naturalist, she also enjoys working on the land and home garden.
At Punarchith, Samira has led discussions and sessions on ecology and understanding forest-land relationships. In addition, she conducts walk tours which emphasise listening and understanding forest life. She sees her association with PUNARCHITH as an opportunity to share her learnings about the BR Hills and at the same time she recognises that she has learnt much from the rural youth learners themselves.
Dwijendranath Guru is an independent technology developer, technical consultant and sustainable food systems activist. Dwiji works on improving methods and machines used for cultivating, storing, processing and consuming millets. He has a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota (USA).
Dwiji’s writings and presentations can be found at http://themillet.org, http://millets.wordpress.com/author/dnguru . He also blogs at http://dwiddly.wordpress.com and actively engages with people through workshops, demonstrations, talks, and discussions on social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.