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Odisha Development Seminar

Odisha Development Seminar, OSA -2018

Date scheduled: July 5, 2018

Time: 5:30 - 8:00 PM

Conference Room: TBD

Suggested Format: 

A 20-25 minute presentation by each speaker, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A/discussion.


Moderator: Ajaya K Mohanty

Names of the Speakers and tentative schedule

Welcome by the Moderator

A)   Arun Sahu ,  Dy Consulate General,  Toronto

B)  Jagadananda – Tribal Developmemt,  

C) Anjali Kaur, Malaria No More (MNM) - Malaria Eradication  

D)  Dash Benhur - Digital Library

E)  Ramesh Tripathy - Water shortage & Preservation

F) Joyasree (Ranu) Mohanty – Empowering Women through Nano Finance

Summary and vote of thanks – (Moderator)

Profiles of the Speakers

Mr. Jagadananda, Ex State Information Commissioner

 JagdanandAn eminent social activist and state planning board member. His works involved in grassroots micro-planning in the tribal dominated districts, a founding Convener of the National Social Watch Coalition, the founder of CYSD (Centre for Youth and Social Development). As a member of the Civil Society Advisory group at the Commonwealth Foundation, he brought several social policy issues and concerns of the Civil Society to Commonwealth Heads of the Government (CHOGM) and UN Summit on Social Development (Copenhagen).

Dash Benhur

dashbenhurEminent Odia writer Prof Jitendra Narayan Dash, Sahitya Akademi award winner writer, popularly known as Dash Benhur in Odisha, will be the guest speaker at 2018 OSA Convention. Dash Benhur is widely respected across Odisha for his mammoth work in the field of children’s literature in Odia. He is the author of more than 100 books, including 15 collections of short-stories. 61-year old Prof Dash, a noted Gandhian scholar, has been honored with numerous awards including the ‘Odisha Sahitya Akademi’ and ‘Odisha Bigyan Academy’ Awards. He is also the founder member 

Anjali Kaur (Malaria-No-More)

Senior Director, Asia Pacific

anjalikAnjali Kaur is Malaria No More's Director of Asia. She leads MNM’s expanding body of work throughout Asia, working closely with the Strategic Communications and Policy and Advocacy teams to engage with the government, private sector, civil society and media. Ms. Kaur has 15 years of development experience working at the field, country, and global levels in Asia, Africa and Latin America with a focus on evidence-based, integrated global health programs. Kaur comes to MNM from UNICEF’s Polio Programme, a key implementing partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, one of the largest evidence-based global health initiatives ever undertaken. She has worked on polio at the country and HQ levels for the past six and half years, most recently as the Advocacy and Resource Mobilization Specialist, leading on donor engagement for UNICEF. Prior to UNICEF, Kaur held roles with the World Bank, UNFPA, and the Earth Institute, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil.

Martin Edlund (Malaria-No-More)
Chief Exceutive Officer

martinMartin Edlund is a founding member and CEO of Malaria No More. During his tenure at Malaria No More, he has implemented high-profile engagement campaigns leveraging cutting edge mobile, social, and e-commerce platforms as Chief Marketing Officer. He has been instrumental in shaping the narrative of the complex and evolving issue of malaria for leadership audiences across the globe, beginning with his work around the White House Summit on Malaria. Edlund also lived and worked in West Africa as Malaria No More’s Director of New Programs, where he helped launch innovative net distribution and education campaigns with country leadership and local partners in Senegal, Cameroon, and Chad.

Prior to joining MNM, Martin was a journalist for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New Republic and Slate, among other publications, and a political consultant in Washington, D.C., specializing in online campaign strategies.

Ramesh Tripathy

Shri Tripathy graduated in Civil and Municipal Engineering in 1962 from University College of Engineering, Burla.(Now VSSUT). He completed P.G.Dip. (WRD) from University of Roorkee in 1967 and M.E. (WRD) in 1970.

He is a Life Fellow of The Institution of Engineers (India) and a Life Member of Indian Council of Arbitration. He joined in service with Irrigation & Power Dept. (presently Department of Water Resources), Govt. of Odisha in June 1962 and continued till superannuation as Engineer- in-Chief (Water Resources) in Aug. 1999.

Major assignments during service carrier include:

Planning and designs of irrigation and power projects in Odisha. Designs of hydraulic gates and structures in India, while on deputation to Central Water & Power Commission (Water Wing) from 1968to 1972.He was associated with the detailing of hydraulic gates and problems faced during the operation of gates in many projects in the country.

-          Top Level Expert with WAPCOS (Government of India) from 2000 to 2015 and engaged for Consultancy Services of Rengali Left Bank Canal system and development of Small hydro-electric projects in Odisha. From 2012 to 2015. Extensively toured remote areas in the districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Gajapati and Ganjam in connection with development of green and renewable energy, as a result of which, several Small Hydro Electric Projects , including Khadag ( 4 projects), Chheligarh ( 4 projects), Kolab basin projects, Uttei- Roul projects, several downstream of dam small P.H. etc. are under various stages of process.

-          Director, Member of Dam Safety Review Panel of Govt. Of Odisha.

-          Independent Director of Odisha Construction Corporation Ltd. and Odisha Hydro Power Corporation Ltd. (Government of Odisha undertakings) and in several committees of the Corporations.

-          Expert Witness representing Govt. of Odisha for Vansadhara Water Disputes Tribunal (constituted by the Supreme Court of India) against Andhra Pradesh.

-          Closely associated in various forums on Mahanadi water issues.

Arun Kumar Sahu, Deputy High Commissioner of India to Canada

arunsahuSenior Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer Arun Kumar Sahu from Odisha has been recently appointed as the Indian deputy high commissioner to Canada and is based in Toronto. 


The 1996 batch IFS officer is a well-known diplomat, speaker and writer. Prior to this appointment, he was in New Delhi as Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs and Deputy Director General, Indian Council of Cultural Relations .As a diplomat, he has served in Indian Embassies in Beijing, London and Tehran. His anthology of short stories   “Akash ro Luha” has been appreciated by the Odia readers. Mr. Sahu holds a Master’s Degree in War Studies from King’s College London and a Master’s degree in Linguistics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is an alumnus of Ravenshaw College and Ravenshaw Collegiate School in Cuttack.



Joyasree (Ranu) Mahanti – Founder, Aamara Biswas (India) and Our Biswas (US)

Ranu_IMG_2644Joyasree always had a passion to help alleviate suffering, especially among women in her home state of Odisha, India. It was in this vein that she transitioned from her career as a Computer Programmer Analyst for the city of Lansing, Michigan to working with several India-based NGOs from 1997 to 2007). In 2007, she established two organizations, Aamara Biswas (Our Trust) in India and Our Biswas (Our Belief in the Services of Women of All Societies) in USA, for implementing an idea, which she named Nano Finance. Though she did not have any formal background or training in social work, her 10 years of experience in grassroots projects with different organizations in India (many of them microfinance) inspired her to find a better way (through Nano Finance system) to help the poorest of the poor – a demographic often excluded from traditional microfinance institutions.



Empowering Women through Nano Finance

Joyasree (Ranu) Mahanti

East Lansing, Michigan


Nano Finance is a system which relieves poverty among women and girls by giving them interest free small loans which they can pay comfortably for their emergency needs, livelihood, children’s education, and basic healthcare. Without such loan, millions of very-low-income women face urgent needs, but have no alternative to borrowing from money lenders who typically require 10% or more per month interest and refuse to accept repayment except of the entire principal. This amount is nearly impossible to save for many women, often resulting in an endless cycle of indebtedness. To implement the Nano Finance system Joyasree (Ranu) Mahanti established Aamara Biswas organization in 2007 in Odisha. Development happens automatically when the women/mothers are empowered and have the financial independence even at a minimum level.  Since its inception Aamara Biswas has helped nearly 10,000 women and their families escape the cycle of poverty. Trust (BISWAS) is the key factor for the success of Aamara Biswas.




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