Who We Are

Population Foundation of India (PFI) is a national non-government organisation (NGO), which promotes and advocates for the effective formulation and implementation of gender sensitive population, health and development strategies and policies. The organisation was founded in 1970 by a group of socially committed industrialists under the leadership of the late JRD Tata and Dr Bharat Ram. PFI addresses population issues within the larger discourse of empowering women and men, so that they are able to take informed decisions related to their fertility, health and well-being. It works with the government, both at the national and state levels, and with NGOs, in the areas of family planning, reproductive and sexual health of adolescents, community action for health, scaling up of successful pilots and social and behaviour change communication. PFI is guided by an eminent governing board and advisory council comprising of distinguished persons from civil society, the government and the private sector.

Poonam Muttreja - Executive Director
At PFI, we firmly believe that family planning is a matter of women’s rights and gender justice – of treating women with dignity.

50 Years of PFI

In the first decade, Family Planning Foundation (FPF), focused on research and building knowledge on India’s changing demographics to support policymaking and programme planning. The organisation’s objective was to promote family planning as a means of economic and social well-being of the family. Significant progress was made in biomedical research, with focus on contraception for women, and also men.

FPF used communication such as publications, seminars and films to engage with and inform policy makers and political leaders. In 1978, FPF produced a National Award-winning film ‘Parvati’ to highlight the benefits of family planning.

Family Planning Foundation brought attention towards an integrated approach to family planning – focusing on reducing infant and maternal mortality. Ensuring people’s rights to sexual and reproductive health and choices were part of the new discourse.

The organisation continued to expand knowledge on family planning through a five-state diagnostic research study on population growth and development. Studies on implications of infant mortality on fertility rates, and a report on benefits of incentives were also commissioned.

Family Planning Foundation became Population Foundation of India in 1993 in keeping with its changing mission, from supporting a reduction in population growth to actively championing improvement in quality of life for India’s people.

JRD Tata, founder of PFI was conferred the prestigious UN Population Award in 1992 in recognition of his work on the issue of population and development. The JRD Tata Memorial Awards and Oration was instituted in 1993 in memory of our founder. The Awards are given for the best performing states and districts in the field of reproductive health, while the Oration is a lecture series on population issues.

PFI pushed for increasing allocations for population stabilisation, focusing on health and education, and a renewed look at India’s north-eastern states. The organisation advocated a life cycle approach to family planning for sustainable social development. We were also responsible for training panchayat (village self-governance institution) representatives on issues of reproductive health and family planning.

In the first decade of the 2000s, PFI grew in its scope – there was increasing interface with the government and an expanded reach across the country. PFI played a crucial role in the formulation of the national and state level population policies, especially in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

In response to new realities, PFI’s work was expanded to include gender, HIV/AIDS, urban health and scaling up. In 2004, for the first time, PFI moved to implementation in the district and lower levels through advocacy and communication on issues of missing girls, quality of care in reproductive health services and law, policy and rights. In 2005 the government set up the Advisory Group on Community Action (AGCA) to support and advise the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on community monitoring under the National Rural Health Mission. The secretariat of the AGCA was housed in PFI and continues to be so even today.

Family planning was now widely recognised as a function of overall social development, no longer limited only to population stabilisation. PFI began to address population issues within the larger discourse of health and rights of women.

PFI’s focused engagement with policymakers in the wake of the maternal deaths in Barwani in 2010 and sterilisation deaths in Bilaspur in 2014 also showcased its evidence-based advocacy. PFI moved towards using new approaches like entertainment education and outreach with communities to further positively influence people, launching its flagship transmedia initiative Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon (MKBKSH – I, A Woman, Can Achieve Anything) in 2014.

Today PFI works at the individual, social and policy level to create an enabling policy environment for girls and women to claim their rights, young people to be involved in demanding and supporting efficient and accountable governance, and informed policymakers. We work closely with national and state governments to support and strengthen our national plans and programmes.

There is a renewed focus on the needs and aspirations of young people, recognising that providing them with information to make correct decisions regarding their health and wellbeing is critical. The social and behaviour change communication programmes at PFI use innovative technology, including an artificial intelligence-enabled chatbot, to reach young people and women in entertaining and informative ways.

Our People

  • Team
  • Advisory Council
  • Governing Board
PFI has a young, dynamic team who work to create a positive impact on people’s lives.
Mandira Kalra Kalaan
Associate Director– Communications, Delhi

Mandira has worked in the field of Social and Behaviour Change Communication for 20 years. At PFI she leads the communication programmes looking at the best way to combine our digital first approach with engaging and impactful content relevant for all our target audiences. Mandira expertise lies in developing 360 degree social and behaviour change communication campaigns, but she also has a special interest in using technology to reach young people. She is interested in gender, rights, women’s health, communication theories and social media. In her spare time you’ll most likely find Mandira on her farm with her teenage daughters and multiple animals. She is passionate about artisans and textiles, travel, music, cooking, farming and raising feminist and kind daughters.

Mandira is stepping up to make PFI a thought leader and innovator in the field of social and behaviour change communication.

 
Sanghamitra Singh
Sr. Manager-Knowledge Management & Partnerships, Delhi

Sanghamitra Singh is a Health Scientist and holds a PhD in Cell Biology, with a focus on type II diabetes, from the George Washington University (GWU), Washington D.C. A scientist by training, but conceptual thinker and communicator by trade, Sanghamitra has extensive experience in conceiving and executing research projects. She has authored a number of peer-reviewed articles and National Institutes of Health (NIH)- commissioned studies. At PFI, Sanghamitra is the technical expert on health issues and her responsibilities include overseeing the development and dissemination of the Foundation’s work, literature and publications. She also works closely with the Executive Director in strengthening and expanding partnerships with key stakeholders. Prior to joining PFI, Sanghamitra worked with GWU, NIH Maryland, Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Maryland, as well as Ajinomoto Corporation, Tokyo. Sanghamitra is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer and has a passion for visual arts.

KG Venkateswaran
Director-Advocacy, Delhi

KG Venkateswaran is a management graduate with over 20 years’ experience with corporate as well as development sector. He brings his niche experiences in public health. He has started his career with pharmaceuticals and medical diagnostic companies as a marketing professional and got his way to move to the development sector and was leading SBCC roles before returning to marketing role in a health MNC and setting their last mile connectivity into rural markets of India. In 2015, he left his employment to start a social sector advisory firm, Auriga Consultancy and Management Services Private Limited. In last four years with Auriga, he has supported clients in SBCC, corporate communications and public relations. Besides managing the advisory firm, he has also been working independently, consulting international and national NGOs like Population Council, IPE Global, IntraHealth International and Public Health Foundation of India in data visualization and documentation.

 
Sagarika Ganguly
Associate Director-Human Resources, Delhi

Sagarika is Strategic and innovative senior HR professional with 20+ years of experience of driving HR initiatives to achieve business goals. Over the years she has been exposed in the areas of organisational restructuring, optimising manpower, change management, motivation and retention strategies. In these years she has developed a natural aptitude for managing good relationship with all the stake holders and attainted success.
She worked with Healthcare/Health-tech, Pharmaceutical and Building material industry. Handled businesses with large work force of 1500 + employees in multiple locations including union /non-unionized workforce.
She is masters in Business Administration and Humanities with Psychology as her major from Halifax Unoversity, UK and University of Calcutta respectively.
Before joining Population Foundation Sagarika worked with HSBC, NationWide Primary Healthcare Services Pvt. Ltd, Apotex, Peerless Hospital

Raam Kumar
Chief Finance Officer, Delhi

Raam Kumar is Chief Financial Officer at PFI. He manages Finance, Administration, Information Technology and Program Operations portfolio at PFI. He comes with a strong 30 years of experience in the field of controlling and reviewing financial data, planning, monitoring internal controls, human resources, managing audits, administration and operations. He has worked across Public sector, private sector and development sector, with the last 20 years as Head of Finance. Prior to joining PFI, he worked as Chief Finance Officer at Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust and before that as Director-Finance at Encyclopaedia Britannica India (Pvt.) Ltd. He is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and has done Masters in Business Administration.

 
Shilpa Nair
State Head-UP

Shilpa Nair leads PFI’s work on Gender, Family Planning, Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health, Community Action and Behavior Change Communication in the State of Uttar Pradesh. She works closely with government, policy makers, media, NGOs, civil society networks and communities to highlight, prioritize and improve health and wellbeing of women, children and adolescents. In a career spanning over two and half decades, Shilpa has led implementation of several large scale projects providing technical assistance to government institutions, strengthening civil society, mobilizing communities, building champions and catalyzing on ground implementation of health interventions and services. A member of key consultative forums of the Government of Uttar Pradesh, prior to joining PFI, Shilpa has held leadership roles with Global Health Strategies (GHS), Family Health International (FHI 360), CARE International, Program for Appropriate Technologies In Health (PATH), State Innovations in Family Planning Services Project Agency (SIFPSA) and Family Planning Association of India in projects funded by the US Agency for International development (USAID), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) .

The Advisory Council provides guidance and advises on PFI’s work and programmes.
Ms Srilatha Batliwala
Chairperson, Advisory Council

Ms Srilatha Batliwala, a social activist, advocate of women’s rights, scholar, and author of many books on empowerment of women is from Bengaluru. She graduated from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai with a Master of Arts degree in Social Work. She has been engaged in promoting the feminist movement, building leadership qualities in women, monitoring and assessing gender sensitive issues, and creating a pool of women activists. She was instrumental in establishing four institutions and two grassroots-level feminist campaigns.

Ms Batliwala has worked for various international institutions, such as the Ford Foundation in New York, the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University and has been Chair of the Board of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO). Ms Batliwala is actively involved in many organisations dealing with women’s rights – she is Scholar Associate with the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), Co-Chair of the board of ‘Gender at Work’ (a global network of women), and member of the board of Samudaya Nirman Sahayak and IT for Change (SPARC) in Mumbai, founded in 1984 to facilitate urban poor to take part in development works of the community. She has many publications to her credit and is a Fellow, Women’s Policy Research, and Advocacy at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bengaluru.

 
Professor M S Swaminathan
Chairman Emeritus

Professor MS Swaminathan is Chief Mentor of MS Swaminathan Research Foundation. A plant geneticist by training, Professor Swaminathan’s contributions to agricultural renaissance in India have him being referred to as the leader of the green revolution movement and sustainable food security. He has served as Chairman of the UN Science Advisory Committee, as Independent Chairman of the FAO Council, as President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, and as President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs.

The International Association of Women and Development conferred on him the first international award for significant contributions to promoting knowledge, skill, and technological empowerment of women in agriculture and for mainstreaming gender considerations in agriculture and rural development. Professor Swaminathan was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1971, the Albert Einstein World Science Award in 1986, and the first World Food Prize in 1987.

Professor Swaminathan is a Fellow of many of leading scientific academies and has received over 75 Honorary Doctorates from universities around the world.

Professor K Srinath Reddy

Professor K. Srinath Reddy is the President of the Public Health Foundation of India and past President of the World Heart Federation. He chaired the High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage, set up by the Planning Commission of India. He has also served as the President of the National Board of Examinations which deals with post-graduate medical education in India. He is the first Bernard Lown Visiting Professor of Cardiovascular Health at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Earlier, Professor Reddy served as the Head of the Cardiology department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He is a global leader in preventive cardiology and has provided instrumental direction to strengthening training, research and policy development in the area of public health.

 
Dr Syeda S Hameed

Dr Syeda S Hameed is a former member of the Planning Commission, Government of India. She is the Chairperson of the Dalit Foundation and the Faiz Centre, India, and the founder trustee of Women’s Initiative for Peace in South Asia and the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation. She has been the Chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad and a founder member of the Muslim Women’s Forum and South Asians for Human Rights.

Dr Hameed graduated from Delhi University. She holds a doctorate from the University of Alberta, Canada. She has taught at the University of Alberta and at the Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi.

Among the books she has written is ‘Beautiful Country: Stories from Another India’. Dr Hameed was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007.

Mr Keshav Desiraju
Elected Chairman in February 2017

Mr Keshav Desiraju has recently retired from a career with the Indian Administrative Service and in 2013 was Secretary, Health & Family Welfare to the Government of India. He continues to remain engaged with issues in public health, particularly mental illness and mental health, primary health care and community health, and serves on the board of several non-profit organisations in the sector.

 
Mr Rajya Vardhan Kanoria
Elected Vice Chairman in August 2014

Mr R V Kanoria is the Chairman & Managing Director of Kanoria Chemicals & Industries Ltd.  He has been President, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and has chaired the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry and the Commission on Trade and Investment Policy of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Paris.

Mr Kanoria is the past Trustee of Operation Smile in India. He received the Swiss Ambassador’s Award for Leadership and Business Ethics in 2013, and has also been bestowed with the Distinction of Commander of the Order of Leopold II by the King of Belgium for his contribution to the development of business ties between India and Belgium.

He holds an MBA from IMD, Switzerland and has several articles to his credit.

PFI’s Governing Board manages the governing function of the organisation, providing direction and oversight on different organisational issues. The Board is entrusted with the highest approving authority.
Professor K Srinath Reddy

Professor K. Srinath Reddy is the President of the Public Health Foundation of India and past President of the World Heart Federation. He chaired the High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage, set up by the Planning Commission of India. He has also served as the President of the National Board of Examinations which deals with post-graduate medical education in India. He is the first Bernard Lown Visiting Professor of Cardiovascular Health at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Earlier, Professor Reddy served as the Head of the Cardiology department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He is a global leader in preventive cardiology and has provided instrumental direction to strengthening training, research and policy development in the area of public health.

 
Mr Vinod Rai

Mr Vinod Rai holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University, and Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. He is a retired civil servant of the Kerala Cadre. He served as Secretary in the Department of Financial Services in the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. He was later appointed as the 11th Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

He assumed office on 7 January 2008 till 22 May 2013. He is widely considered a symbol of the anti-corruption movement and is credited with having turned the office of CAG into a powerful force for accountability and transparency in contemporary India. He is the current Chairman of the Banks Board Bureau.

Mr Rai is also a global trustee of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation. On 30 January 2017, the Supreme Court of India appointed him as the Chairman of the Committee of administrators of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Mr Rai is a Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

Dr Ajai Chowdhry

One of the six founder members of HCL, Dr Ajai Chowdhry is currently Chairman of the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Patna. He has been driving a vision of ‘IT for the masses’ and been part of several government committees working towards this goal. He is a Padma Bhushan awardee for his consistent contribution in building the IT industry of the nation, besides several accolades received for his key role in championing the cause of the domestic Indian IT market.

Dr Chowdhry has been conferred with Honoris Causa Doctorate of Science by IIT Roorkee and was also awarded a Honoris Causa (D. Sc.) by IIIT Jabalpur in recognition of his significant contribution to the Indian IT industry. Gifted with a pedant sense of entrepreneurship, he is presently the Board Member of the incubation centre at Indian Angel Network and IIT Delhi.

Dr Chowdhry has served as a member of the Advisory Council of Population Foundation of India and has guided the organisation in designing the transmedia serial, Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon.

 
Mr Kiran Karnik

Mr Kiran Karnik describes himself as a ‘public un-intellectual’, a non-academic with a strong interest in public policy and strategy. He is widely recognised for his work in the IT sector, as President NASSCOM from 2001 to 2008, and for helping to put Satyam Computers back on track – as Chairman of its government-appointed Board – after it suffered the biggest corporate fraud in India’s history. He has been on many key government committees, including the Scientific Advisory Council to Prime Minister, and the National Innovation Council.

Before his last full-time job in NASSCOM, Mr Karnik was CEO of Discovery Communications India (1995-2001) and launched Discovery Channel and Animal Planet in India and South Asia. As Founder-Director of Consortium for Educational Communication (1991-95), he oversaw production and transmission of UGC’s Countrywide Classroom TV programmes. Earlier, he spent over two decades in ISRO and was deeply involved in the use of space technology, especially for education and development, including the path-breaking Indo-US Satellite Instructional TV Experiment (SITE) and the Kheda TV project.

Mr Karnik is currently involved with a number of not-for-profit organisations in the fields of education and development, and is the honorary President of India Habitat Centre.  He was a Director on the Board of Reserve Bank of India till September 2015, and currently chairs the Board of Reserve Bank Information Technology Private Limited. He also serves as an Independent Director on the Boards of a few other companies. He has contributed to, authored and edited many books, including “The Coalition of Competitors”, on NASSCOM and the IT industry. His latest book (“Crooked Minds”) is on innovation. He has also been a regular contributor to major national dailies.

Mr Karnik has been conferred many awards, including the Padma Shri.

Mr Keshav Desiraju
Elected Chairman in February 2017

Mr Keshav Desiraju has recently retired from a career with the Indian Administrative Service and in 2013 was Secretary, Health & Family Welfare to the Government of India. He continues to remain engaged with issues in public health, particularly mental illness and mental health, primary health care and community health, and serves on the board of several non-profit organisations in the sector.

 
Professor M S Swaminathan
Chairman Emeritus

Professor MS Swaminathan is Chief Mentor of MS Swaminathan Research Foundation. A plant geneticist by training, Professor Swaminathan’s contributions to agricultural renaissance in India have him being referred to as the leader of the green revolution movement and sustainable food security. He has served as Chairman of the UN Science Advisory Committee, as Independent Chairman of the FAO Council, as President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, and as President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs.

The International Association of Women and Development conferred on him the first international award for significant contributions to promoting knowledge, skill, and technological empowerment of women in agriculture and for mainstreaming gender considerations in agriculture and rural development. Professor Swaminathan was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1971, the Albert Einstein World Science Award in 1986, and the first World Food Prize in 1987.

Professor Swaminathan is a Fellow of many of leading scientific academies and has received over 75 Honorary Doctorates from universities around the world.

Our Partnerships
  • Government
  • Donors
  • Non Government Partners
List of Partners
  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  • State Health Society Bihar, Government of Bihar
  • State Innovations in Family Planning Services Project Agency (SIFPSA)
  • National Health Mission, Uttar Pradesh
  • Niti Aayog
  • Doordarshan and All India Radio
List of Partners
  • ActionAid Association
  • Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
  • Apollo Trading and Finance Pvt Ltd
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • BFL Investment and Financial Consultants Pvt Ltd
  • International Foundation for Research and Education
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • REC Foundation
  • National Health Systems Resource Centre
  • The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • The John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation
  • United Nations Population Fund
List of Partners
  • ActionAid Association
  • Alwar Mewat Institute of Education and Development Aman Biradari Trust
  • Bureau of Rural Economical and Agriculture Development (BREAD), Bihar
  • Center for Catalyzing Change (C3)
  • Dastkar, New Delhi
  • Family Planning Association of India (FPAI)
  • Gender at Work India Trust, New Delhi
  • Ghoghardiha Prakhand Swarajya Vikas Sangh, Bihar
  • Gram Nirman Mandal, Bihar
  • Indian Association for Study of Population (IASP)
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
  • International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS), Maharashtra
  • Jan Jagran Sansthan, Bihar
  • Jatan Sansthan, Rajasthan
  • Kanchan Sewa Ashram, Bihar
  • Karuna Trust, Bangalore, Karnataka
  • Kolkatta Rista
  • Loktantrashala – School for Democracy
  • Mijwan Welfare Society, Uttar Pradesh
  • Mithila Gram Vikas Parishad, Bihar
  • Narayani Seva Sansthan, Bihar
  • Neha Gramin Mahila Vikas Samiti, Bihar
  • NIDAN, Bihar
  • Nirantar Trust
  • Parivartan Mokimpur, Bihar
  • Ritinjali, New Delhi
  • Samagra Seva Kendra, Bihar
  • Sarvo Prayas Sansthan, Bihar
  • Save A Mother Foundation, Uttar Pradesh
  • Save the Children
  • Shiv Shiksha Samiti, Rajasthan
  • Shramik Bharati, Uttar Pradesh
  • South India Aids Action Programme, Tamil Nadu
  • The YP Foundation
  • The Coalition for Food & Nutrition Security
  • The CounterMedia Trust
  • Voluntary Action Network India
  • Wishes and Blessings