Our Team

The fellowship is a commune and that reflects in our team too. Our alumni have come back and give the fuel to the engine. Meet the core team. Click on image to view LinkedIn profile

Syeda Zainab (She/Her)

A 2022 India Fellow, Zainab is from Kashmir and a humanities graduate from Ramjas College, Delhi. She started her grassroots journey, learning as a library educator in Gopalgunj district, Bihar, with the Professional Alliance for Youths Growth. Her exposure involved running children’s libraries and community engagement activities.

Zainab has volunteered with initiatives like Robinhood Army and Visionaries. As a member of Enactus, she has learned the value of entrepreneurship and collaboration. Teaching languages, including Urdu, Kashmiri, Persian, and Arabic, is a personal passion. Zainab is on a journey to initiate change, create a positive impact, work with people, and learn and experience diverse realities and perspectives.


Richa Williams Pinheiro (She/Her)

A 2015 India Fellow, she has completed her post graduate diploma in event management, following graduation in Biotechnology. She also worked for four years in the event management space before becoming a fellow. As a fellow, she worked with Grassroutes Journeys Pvt. Ltd. Her key role there was of curating new experiences and promoting existing community-based rural tourism initiative. Richa continues to work with Grassroutes on business and organizational development.

At India Fellow, Richa brings vibrancy to our outreach and communications, with a focus on engaging various stakeholders like youth, grassroots organizations and knowledge partners.

Dharmesh Chaubey (He/They)

Dharmesh is a 2019-20 alumni of India Fellow. He worked in Bhuj with Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, in gender justice and livelihoods. Dharmesh has done his masters in English from the University of Allahabad and leads RAQS – support group working with queer persons and women on the issues of gender, sexuality and mental health.

He has written for several newspapers and magazines including Pink Advocate, Business Standard, The Leaflet, Sadaneera and Baya. Dharmesh has also translated for G.N Devy’s Linguistic Survey of India, Grindr’s Sexuality Resource, Nishikant Kolge’s Gandhi Against Caste, an other articles. He lives with anxiety and depression, enjoys reading poetry, fantasy fiction and philosophy. Besides that, he loves preparing elaborate meals and exploring the depths of the internet for cringe content.

Amruta Huddar (She/Her)

A mental health professional with 5+ years of experience using different creative arts therapy modalities in various settings ranging from psychiatric institutions, schools, shelter homes, and care homes. 

Apart from being an avid traveller and performer, she is certainly a perennial learner. Amruta is perpetually exploring the various facets of the world in depth. While having a background in performing arts and history, Amruta has found her calling in the work that sees the intersection of expressive arts and psychology in a therapeutic setting.

A 2017 India Fellow, Amruta helps our fellows create meaningful spaces amongst themselves. At the same time, her own journey with stuttering and finding a space to interact with it has been beautiful.

Suyash Toshniwal (He/Him)

After his education in engineering and working in Information Technology, his curiosity and motivation to work towards a rational society brought him in touch with the work by Narendra Dabholkar – a physician and social scientist. Inspired, Suyash spent his time busting superstitions and myths in villages across Maharashtra.

After working with organizations like SEARCH, Ugravedan Foundation and Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences on project management, communication and partnerships, his interest in nurturing leaders of tomorrow brought him to the India Fellow team. In the fellowship, Suyash leads the facilitation of learning spaces for the fellows, grassroots engagements and anchoring internal processes and systems.

Swati Saxena (She/Her)

A 2016 India Fellow, is a commerce graduate from Lucknow University. She further did an MBA in Finance from ICFAI, and worked with Deloitte for five years. It was during a year-long break from corporate when she got to know about the fellowship while volunteering with non-profits and start-ups.

At India Fellow, Swati supports with strategic thinking, pedagogy development, training, nurturing key partnerships and the team, outreach and communication. Swati enjoys reading, writing and exploring new places – all of which she gets to do amply here!

Anupama Pain (She/Her)

coFounder of the fellowship, Anupama is an ICICI Fellow and with the team since 2014. She has four years of work in corporate consulting, after a bachelor in engineering from Mumbai University. Between 2010 to 2014, she worked on participatory design and implementation of products for women collectives in areas of rural finance and pro poor value chains. She also has experience of setting up an agri value chain based enterprise – FreshFromFarms, connecting farmers from rural to urban consumers.

Anupama is currently part of the academic advisories and various other social ventures. She is a generalist, and strives to keep her curiosity intact through inventive learning and work engagements.

Rahul Nainwal (He/Him)

Rahul is the Founder of iVolunteer and introduced the concept of formal volunteering in India. He has done pioneering work in placing Indian volunteers across the country as well as overseas. In 2010, through the India Fellow program, Rahul led the learning component of the then first of its kind fellowship in India.

He is also the founder of Cashrelief which is experimenting with direct cash transfers in India. A TED Fellow, Rahul is an alumnus of both Institute of Rural Management IRMA and the Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership – THNK. He is also the head of the UPES School of Business and the Runway Incubator. His expertise lies in entrepreneurship and human centered design. He is a marathon runner, a cyclist and an avid trekker.