Varun Vidyarthi has a formal background in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and Business Management from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. He started his career as an engineer with the corporate sector in Pune, Maharashtra. The Indian spiritual tradition of finding a purpose in life, led him to abandon a corporate career to live and work for poor villagers in Uttar Pradesh, North India.
During the early eighties, his analysis of linkages between social structure and resource management issues in rural India led him to work as Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, U.K., Research Fellow at the East West Center, Honolulu, U.S.A.
As a specialist in participatory methods, Varun has served as a Consultant with several international organizations like FAO, UNICEF and is currently the Founder Director of Manavodaya. Varun has lectured extensively on the above subjects at various institutions and universities across the world.
Varun is a member of expert Committee in the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. He has also been a member of the Planning Commission of India : Working group on Microfinance and Gender.
Dr. Amla Vidyarthi
Dr. Amla Vidyarthi has a formal background in scientific research. She has a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry and started her career as a Research Fellow of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research ( CSIR ), Government of India. Her research work has been published in leading international journals on the subject.
Dr. Amla has worked as a Consultant to the Intermediate Technology Development Group, London for developing alternative liquid biomass fuels for the third world and later at the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. on the toxic effects of fumes from cooking stoves used in rural areas.
Dr. Amla is a specialist in group management tools especially accounts and cash management, methods of monitoring and leadership development. She has conducted programmes on the subject for professionals from different parts of the world.
Dr. Amla has worked as a Consultant to CAPART, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India for evaluation of the work of NGOs. She has also travelled extensively in South Asian countries including Srilanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand and Phillipines for gaining and sharing knowledge on the subject.
Amla together with Varun were recently conferred the Human Values award at the national level in India in recognition of their contribution to values based management.