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Kirtee Shah

President - Founder

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Neeta Chalke

Secretary Convener

Kirtee Shah,

Chairman, KSA Design Planning Service Pvt. Ltd., Ahmedabad

Kirtee Shah is the founder President of India Habitat Forum (INHAF). As a member of the Prime Minister appointed National Commission on Urbanization (NCU) in the mid 80’s, he chaired a Working Group on Urban Poverty in India. Founder Director of Ahmedabad Study Action Group (ASAG), he was president of Habitat International Coalition for a decade in the mid ‘90s. He has been on several committees set up by the Planning Commission of India; was on the Board of Directors of HUDCO, and has consulted with several UN agencies, the World Bank, CDIA and others. He was advisor to the GOI’s 50,000 houses project for the war victims in Sri Lanka and Chaired a Committee, set up by HUDCO, for the Rejuvenation and Strengthening of the Building Centres Network in India. He is Chairman and Chief Architect of KSA Design Planning Services Pvt Ltd., an Ahmedabad based firm of practicing architects.


Neeta Chalke,

President, Mashal

Neeta Pawar-Chalke, an alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Science and Mumbai University, has over 25 years of experience in the development sector. Her efforts have primarily focused on sectoral advancement in the field of Housing, Poverty Alleviation, Slum Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Public Transport, River and Water body Protection and Rejuvenation, Civil Society strengthening, Policy Advocacy, Research and development communication. Her commitment to institution building has ensured the professionalism and innovation in all the organisations, she has been associated with. She is presently the National Convener of INHAF and President of Mashal.

Keya Kunte,

Architect and Urban Planner

Trained as an urban planner and architect, Keya has worked with Indian non-profit organisations on human settlement development initiatives, related research, and institutional support. Much of her work has focused on supporting communities to access tenure security and improved housing & sanitation through participatory settlement mapping, community-led upgrading, examining the outcomes of national missions and sub-national implementation, and in advocating for planning & digital inclusion. 

Keya obtained her Master’s in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and holds a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the Centre of Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad. Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. (Human Geography) at University College London as part of the European Research Council Advance Grant-funded project – Regional Futures: Territorial politics of digitalisation-as-urbanization in the global south.


Arwah Madan,

Associate Professor, Economics, St. Mira’s College for Girls, Pune

Dr. Arwah Madan works as Associate Professor, Economics, St. Mira’s College for Girls, Pune. With a Ph.D in Financial Management & QT from the University of Pune, Dr. Madan has worked for over 25 years in a range of fields including Banking Law and Practice, Financial Institutions & Markets, Law and Economics, Microeconomics, Public Finance, Women and Gender, Corporate Governance, Poverty and Livelihoods. She has served as Subject Expert on Boards of Studies of Symbiosis International University and Savitribai Phule Pune University. Dr. Madan holds many national and international publication to her credit and has served as Research guide to many students on various topics like Domestic Workers, Carbon Credits, Financial Integration, Central Bank Autonomy, Reproductive and Child Health, etc.


Banashree Banerjee,

Urban Planning and Housing Expert

Banashree Banerjee has been associated with INHAF since its inception. She is an architect and urban planner who is a teacher, researcher and practitioner. Currently, she works as an independent consultant, teaches at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Rotterdam and provides professional support to a number of NGOs. In the past, she has worked with the Kerala Government, HUDCO and Delhi School of Planning and Architecture. Her professional work focuses on urban poverty and informality, affordable housing, inclusive and participatory planning and urban land management. Banashree has experience working in several countries besides India, including Myanmar, Thailand, Bangladesh, Philippines, Korea and Egypt and has several publications to her credit.


Hariharan Chandrashekhar,

Green builder-entrepreneur

Hariharan Chandrashekar is an economist by training who turned to business in the late 1980s with a mission to mainstream and accelerate sustainability directions for watersheds, water and energy management, as well as water- and energy-efficient buildings with no Capex addition and reduced Opex. He is co-Founder and Trustee of AltTech Foundation (2003), of Prem Jain Memorial Trust (2018), of Academy for Mountain Environics (1991), and of BCIL (1994), the builder company that has created a few million Sft of pioneering green homes. He is also a Senior Fellow and national executive member of the CII Indian Green Building Council (from 2003) and a Governing Council Member at INHAF. He has striven to decentralise solutions that can make cities sustainable. He today mentors solutions for old and new buildings, promotes education to produce green business managers (, is driving a successful public campaign in Bengaluru for saving in 2021 calendar year 1000 crore litres (WOW Action Forum). In partnership with Canada India Centre Carleton Univ and the UK High Commission, he currently leads directions that nurture technology from the world over for solutioning sustainability in Indian cities. He mentors a new crop of green technologies, and sustainability professionals. He’s also advisor for the Paris-based Les Ateliers Maitrise d’oeuvre urbaine (loosely translated as ‘Workshops for urban project management’) on greening cities in Africa. His writings on the economics and ecology of urbanising have influenced substantial change.


Ravikant Joshi,

Urban Finance and Management Specialist

Dr. Ravikant Joshi is an Urban Finance and Management specialist and has worked in India and abroad. He is a former chief accounts officer of Vadodara Municipal Corporation with more than 35 years of experience. He was responsible for the conceptualisation, designing and implementation of Municipal Financial, Budgetary and Accounting System Reforms and their computerization in Vadodara Municipal Corporation. He conceived, designed and spearheaded implementation of Accrual Based Double Entry Accounting System in 159 municipal bodies of Gujarat during 2006-2010. Since November 2002, Dr. Joshi has been working as a freelance consultant. Dr. Joshi has worked as an Advisor – Urban to CRISIL Risk and Infrastructure Solutions, Mumbai from 2002 to 2017 and with Urban Management Centre-Ahmedabad from 2017-2020. He has worked as a short-term consultant (STC) for multilaterals like World Bank, Water & Sanitation Program, ADB, USAID, DFID, UN Habitat, CLGF and for various national/state level organisations on urban issues.


Souvanic Roy,

Professor, IIEST- Shibpur

Dr. Souvanic Roy is a Professor at Architecture, Town and Regional Planning Department and Founder-Director of the School of Ecology, Infrastructure and Human Settlement Management in Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Shibpur. Engaged in teaching, action research, consultancy and advocacy in the areas of Urban and Regional Planning, Housing, Urban Conservation, Environmental Planning and application of alternative technology in Architecture, Dr. Roy has coordinated number of research projects funded by national and international agencies. Presently member of the jury board of CEPT University of Ahmedabad, School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), New Delhi, Bhopal and Vijayawada and a Mentor of Design Innovation Centre at SPA Bhopal, he also served as a member of the Working Group for National Advocacy on Urban Renewal Mission; Chairman of ITPI, West Bengal Regional Chapter and Member of the Steering Committee for Govt. of West Bengal on State Urban Strategy.


Anita Reddy,

Founder, AVAS, Bengaluru

Anita Reddy has been a dedicated activist for the past 40 years and has worked for the upliftment of slums in Bengaluru. Over the years she has worked on several developments across villages of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. She is one of the founding trustees of AVAS (Association for Voluntary Action and Service), as also of DRIK (Dwarkanath Reddy Institutes for Knowledge) and DWARAKA (Development of Women and Rural Artisans for Knowledge and Action) Foundations, both initiatives of Ramanarpanam Trust (DRRT). Reddy is a recipient of Mahila Sadhaki Award of the Guild of Women Achievers in 1997, a recipient of the Jean Harris Award from Rotary International and the Woman Achiever Award from the Ladies Circle India, she was declared as the Person of the Year by the Namma Bengaluru Foundation in 2010-11. The same year, in 2011, Reddy received the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.


G. Shankar,

Founder, Habitat Technology Group, Kerala

Shankar is the pioneer of a people’s housing movement based on cost effective and sustainable building technologies in India. An alumni of College of Engineering Trivandrum and Birmingham School of Architecture, UK, his concept of green architecture has brought about a qualitative change to the shelter sector in Kerala, India. His sensitivity to the needs of the common man, the marginalized, the fisher folk, the slum dwellers and the tribals earned him the title of ‘People’s Architect’. Since 1987 he is UN Consultant for disaster mitigation (Srilanka & Maldives). He is also the chairman of the national committee constituted by the Government of India to formulate guidelines on disaster resistant building technologies. He is the founder and chief architect of Habitat Technology Group, an NGO working in the shelter sector in south Asia with responding centers in India and in other developing countries like Bangladesh, Srilanka and Nigeria. Shankar was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2011.


Dr. Sheuli Mitra is an architect and urban planner, educated in Jadavpur University, Kolkata and IIT Kharagpur. She is presently Associate Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at SPA, Bhopal. She has been involved both in teaching and professional work in architecture and urban planning for the last 20 years. Her research areas include urban studies, focusing on urban transformations and the social and economic dynamics in land and housing markets, affecting urban structures. Currently she is involved in undertaking research and consultancy works in the domain of urban land and affordable housing. She has earlier headed the consulting division of Eastern India of an International Property Consultant leading to her insight into the role of private sector in housing markets. Her research addresses process and product innovations to make supply of urban land and housing more socially accessible. She has publications to her credit and has presented her work in national and international forums. Through her teachings and studio works, she tries to initiate and disseminate her works in the research domain of urban land and housing among students, professionals and public.

Shital Pawar,

Executive Editor, Sakal Media Group

Shital currently works as Executive Editor with the Sakal Media Group, the largest independently owned media business in Maharashtra. She holds a Masters in Social work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Journalism, Mass Communication/Media Studies from Savitribai Phule Pune University. Her qualifications as a computer engineer and a social development researcher have shaped her work in the field of Media as a strategist.


Dr. Saswata Bandhyopadhyay,

Urban Planning and Climate Resiliency

Dr. Saswata Bandhopadhyay, is an Urban Planning professional with advanced qualifications in Urban Planning, Land administration and a Doctoral Degree in Exploring Climate Resiliency in spatial planning. Saswat has over 28 years of experience in the fields of Urban and Regional Planning, Sustainable Tourism Development Projects and Inclusive Heritage Based Urban Development in India and China. Saswat has proactively engaged in some of the prestigious inclusive and sustainable urban development assignments funded by The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Cities Alliance, UCLG Barcelona, UCLG-ASPAC, Government of Bhutan, Government of Sri Lanka and Tonga, PIC. 

As a Team Leader, he has been involved preparation and appraisals of several Tourism Development DPRs in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, and Inclusive Heritage Based City Development Plans for the city of Varanasi, Hyderabad, Ajmer-Pushkar and Bharuch in India. Saswat, presently, is an expert member of the High-Level Committee (HLC for Urban Development Sector and  also a Member of the Urban Planning Capacity Assessment committee set up by the Ministry of Urban and Housing and Affairs, Government of India.


Avinash Madhale,

Program Coordinator, Urban Program Group, CEE, Pune

Dr. Avinash Madhale is Program Coordinator at Centre for Environment Education’s Urban Program Group based out of Pune. For last 15 years, he has been facilitating participatory budgeting and helping citizens engage in city governance processes. He has been working as a political communication expert in the area of sustainable urban transportation, water & sanitation, school education and informal economy with focus on street vendors. Avinash has been a member of City Sanitation Committee, Pune Municipal Corporation as well as a member of Pune City Volunteer Technical Corps created under JnNURM. A keen learner of political communication and political economy, he also served as International Relations Officer of the Orientation Programme of the Asia Link Project (2006) at Hunan Normal University, China and University of Pune, India supported by European Union. He recently received his PhD from the University of Pune on the thesis titled “Politics of Participation and Policies of urban governance: cases of participatory processes in Urban India”.