Dusty Foot Foundation (DFF) a not for profit organization registered under section 8 of Indian Companies Act, 2013, is the youth and community outreach initiative of Dusty Foot Productions (DFP) - a media and communications production house based in New Delhi.
DUSTY FOOT FOUNDATION (DFF) works to leverage the power of youth in conservation action and social change through the use of digital technology and education; scaling up through inter-disciplinary and inter-sectoral collaborations and effective networks of government, civil society and community partnerships. The aim is to help youth connect with their roots – preserve their natural resources, traditional knowledge and sustainable practices, and integrate digital communication to build skills, generate aspirational livelihoods, strengthen enterprise and local economy for an ecologically secure and sustainable future.
Rita Banerji is the founder of DFP, DFF and the Green Hub Project. An Ashoka Fellow, she is the winner of multiple Green Oscars for her films on wildlife and environment, and was awarded the National Geographic – CMS Prithvi Ratna award for her outstanding contribution to conservation. Rita was inducted as an Ashoka Fellow for the Green Hub project in 2019. (https://www.ashoka.org/en-in/fellow/rita-banerji ) She has been part of 3 films that have won the Green Oscar (Wildscreen Panda Award), the last being ‘The Wild Meat Trail’ in 2010. Rita has consistently made award-winning films related to biodiversity conservation, wildlife, environment and social development. Rita brings the experience of working with youth and communities on the ground across India, mentoring and training them in filmmaking and digital documentation, especially in the field of environment, wildlife and people's biodiversity. She was awarded the Sanctuary Nature Foundation Wildlife Service Award 2020 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq3cJBd0v6s)
Mihir Shah: A prominent Indian economist and former member of the Planning Commission of India, Mihir is an expert on water and rural development. In 1990, he co-founded Samaj Pragati Sahayog, which is today one of the largest grass-root initiatives for water and livelihood security, working with its partners on a million acres of land across 72 of India’s most backward districts. He has spent nearly three decades living and working in central tribal India, forging a new paradigm of inclusive and sustainable development. In 2017, he became one of the Founding Signatories of the Geneva Actions on Water Security, which aims to secure environmentally sustainable water services for those people who are least able to afford them.
Rangu Rao is a leading Indian development professional with more than 25 years of experience of working in some of the most challenging, tribal, drought-prone, backward areas of the country. He is co-founder of Samaj Pragati Sahayog (SPS). Rangu Rao has combined 25 years of living and working at the grass-roots with policy advocacy, deeply informed by his endeavours in the field. He is currently CEO, Safe Harvest Private Limited (SHPL), which is perhaps the only company of its kind in India that is engaged in marketing of agricultural commodities produced without the use of chemical synthetic pesticides. SHPL works closely with 24 farmer producer organisations located in some of the most difficult geographies, across 11 states in the country. Safe Harvest retails close to 60 products in more than 500 stores across the cities of Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Vizag and Vijayawada. It has recently begun operations in the NCR.
Nandini Velho is a wildlife biologist and researcher. Her field work in remote areas has focussed on the human-dimensions of wildlife management as well as understanding rainforest dynamics in tropical forests. Concurrently, she has worked closely with local forest managers, policy makers and engaged in depth with on-ground outreach and conservation activities within communities. She has additionally worked on healthcare and logistical support of front-line forest staff, conservation education and writing in the popular medium. Nandini's experience in the field has enabled her to gain experience in designing and implementing research projects with tight deadlines and limited budgets while taking into consideration socio-economic contexts of the communities she works with.
Sanjay Sondhi, Founder Trustee, TITLI TRUST is a Dehradun-based naturalist. An engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Kanpur (1987), the study of natural history has been his passion for more than three decades. His natural history interests include studying, photographing and writing about nature with a special interest in birds, butterflies, moths and amphibians and reptiles. He has authored numerous books and technical papers on amphibians and reptiles, birds, butterflies and moths and other Indian wildlife.
Sanjay spent 20 years in the corporate world. In 2005, he was one of 8 awardees selected from 120,000 global employees for the highest individual award in Honeywell. In his last assignment, he was the Managing Director of Honeywell Turbo India based in Pune. He moved on from the corporate sector in mid-2008 to devote himself to nature conservation and environmental protection.
Tisha Srivastava is a generating critical, creative communication responses to national issues and recording change in a lively way is her core passion. A 23 year work experience across India's well-known brands from Miditech to NDTV to Yahoo, she has focused on field reportage and innovative features, with versatility in form and content across TV, the web, mobile content and social media. This includes national case study research published as books, pioneering positive news series online, policy shifting news and feature campaigns, high impact TV specials and original web content series. Supporting talent and creating hands-on communication training modules are a major part of her skill set. Published widely, with international/national awards and nominations, fellowships and book chapters, her interest and contact base is consistently pan-India.
(Shriresha) Shibani Chaudhury is a development strategist, communicator and youth trainer. Since 1991, she has been part of several award winning films, and worked in various capacities in different locations across India, including working with wildlife, communities and conservation, as Head - Communications and Campaigns, IFAW-WTI. Post 2010, she was Executive Director, SRUTI-Society for Rural, Urban & Tribal Initiative, an organization committed to empowering marginalized people on issues of natural resource management, small-holder agriculture, gender equality, among others. Subsequently, she has worked independently helping re-vision and restructure the PVRNest Childscapes programme for children at risk around the Delhi-NCR. She has also worked on several independent assignments and films in recent years.
Shibani is interested to collaborate and develop outreach to support children and youth to build perspective and individual capacity to emerge as positive catalysts and actors in society. She believes that youth must take the lead towards ecological and socio-economic security through the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, preservation of traditional knowledge, and building of local opportunity and excellence within communities on the ground.
Rehana is a social development manager and video editor. She has a keen interest in enabling young people to achieve their best potential. Her particular interest is the well being and empowerment of children and youth at risk, especially adolescent girls. She has also been a fellow of Gender Sexuality Lab 2019 organised by Nazariya (A Queer Feminist Resource Group) and Orikalankni.
She has managed the Childscapes project for DFF and is continuing to take forward her involvement with Green Hub and other DFF projects. She has worked on various film edits including editing assignments for Insight Dojo, Algebra, Eco-Grants, Art Ichol and Enquiry.
Azeem Haider is an accountant with more than 12 years of experience in core accounting, direct/indirect taxation and audit work. Since 1 April 2018, he is Founding Partner in the accounting firm M/s Brass Tax Accounting Solutions, working with Individuals, Private Limited Companies, Partnership Firms and Non Profit organizations. Prior to this, Azeem has worked with M/s S.M. Varma and Co. (Chartered Accountants), New Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi as a senior accountant from November 2007 to March 2018.
He has also worked as an Audit assistant with M/s MCM Maheshwari & Co. (Chartered Accountants) Hauzkhas, New Delhi from March-2006 to June 2006; and as Accountant Assistant with M/s Neeraj Jagdish & Associates (Chartered Accountants) Laxmi Nagar, Delhi from Sep.2005 to Feb 2006. He has been a part of statutory audit of Zutshi Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd., Crown Security Services, Venu Charitable Society. He has also conducted the internal audit of Bhopal Memorial Hospital & Research Center, Bhopal. He works in Tally 7.2 and Tally ERP 9. Azeem has recently joined to support and manage the accounts at Dusty Foot Foundation.