Ms. Sanchaita Gajapati Raju, Chairman, MANSAS,
On the 4th of March 2020 Ms. Sanchaita Gajapati Raju took over as the first female Hereditary Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the MANSAS Trust and the first female Hereditary Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Simachalam Devasthanam in Visakhapatnam.
Sanchaita Gajapati Raju is the grand daughter of Shri PVG Raju and the eldest surviving daughter of Late Shri Ananda Gajapathi Raju & Smt Uma Gajapati Raju. She hails from a distinguished political family of the Royal House of Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh. Her grand father, the erstwhile Maharaja of Vizianagram Shri PVG Raju, was Member of Parliament for five terms & Member of the Legislative Assembly for Four Terms and a highly respected Philanthropist . Her father late Shri Ananda Gajapathi Raju was a Cabinet Minister in Andhra Pradesh State and then served two terms as Member of Parliament from the Bobbili Parliamentary Constituency. Her mother Uma Gajapati Raju was a Member of Parliament from the Visakhapatnam Constituency.
Sanchaita Gajapati Raju is a qualified lawyer and was enrolled with the Delhi Bar Council. After her graduation she has also worked with a media company involved in the production of critically acclaimed, National Award winning and Emmy nominated documentaries and TV shows.
She stepped out of the profit world to set up SANA- Social Awareness, Newer Alternatives in 2011, a registered not for profit Trust, which within a short span of its inception has been acknowledged for path breaking work in the field of providing clean drinking water and sanitation to the marginalized sections of Indian society. Sanchaita has been recognized for her use of holistic, innovative and pioneering approach to social intervention using cutting edge technology. Her commitment to uplift the life of the underserved community and give back dignity to the marginalized has been recognized when her social intervention model won the Google Global Impact Challenge which carried a grant of Half a Million USD. With this grant money, as well as support from the District Administration of Visakhapatnam, local CSR funds & the IT giant Oracle on board; she scaled up her initiative to give drinking water and bio-toilets using renewable energy and technology to all girls schools in the tribal & rural regions of Visakhapatnam & Vizianagaram. Today this initiative has a footprint in over 40 sites.
Sanchaita has been invited to speak about her social work in the grass roots at prestigious national and International forum including IIT, Roorkee and Wipro. In April 2015 she was invited to address the Women in the World Summit, hosted by The New York Times at the Lincoln Center in New York. Sanchaita also addressed the WITW summit in New Delhi in November 2015. In 2016 she was selected as one of the 50 Women of Pure Wonder by the Vodafone Foundation and featured in their book on this subject.
Sanchaita was invited by the DG UNESCO to address the UNESCO conference on Sustainable Development Goals and presented her innovative and holistic model of social intervention and accessing communication, in Paris on the 26th September 2016. And was also invited to Kabul Afghanistan by the USAID.
Sanchaita is committed to and has been promoting the use of recycled water as an integral part of the water security policy of any government. Her NGO SANA showcased this commitment through a pilot project with the Delhi Jal Board at the Keshopur Sewage Treatment Plant to convert sewage waste into safe drinking water. This Toilet to Tap initiative, the first of its kind in Delhi, was commissioned on the 9th of July 2015. It produces 70,000 liters of safe drinking water every day. With this innovation Delhi now joins the select few cities from across the world who endorse recycled water for drinking.
In 2019, Sanchaita has embarked on a new social initiative on the future of farming in the urban and peri urban context and is setting up a demo farm with Cornell University, USA as her knowledge advisors for this initiative.
Sanchaita Gajapati Raju was invited in her capacity as a leading social entrepreneur to participate in the GES 2017 held in Hyderabad inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi, Hon’ble EAM late Smt Sushma Swaraj & the advisor to the American President Ms Ivanka Trump. Sanchaita was also chosen among the young leaders of India to participate in the Town Hall discussion with President Obama and The Obama Foundation in December 2017. In July 2018, Sanchaita was invited to speak at the Sixth Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas on Capacity Building in Affordable Waste Management chaired by the Hon’ble Minister for External Affairs Late Smt Sushma Swaraj with Hon’ble Minister for Drinking Water & Sanitation Sushree Uma Bharati. Sanchaita was also invited to speak at the Jaipur Lit Fest in 2016, 2019 and 2020, and at the Pravasi Diwas in Varanasi 2019.
In April 2019 Sanchaita was invited by the US State Department to visit the USA as part of the for the prestigious International Visitors program. In June 2019 Sanchaita was invited by ORF & the Govt of Morocco to speak at CyFyAfrica in Tangier. Sanchaita Gajapati Raju has recently joined mainstream Politics as a member of the BJP and has been appointed as a National Executive Member of the BJYM and a media panelist from Delhi.
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