Kalanjiyam’s diverse team comprises of passionate and dedicated individuals from various backgrounds, spanning local villages to Chennai, India, and even abroad. The board of trustees is a united group of men and women who share a common vision for rural community development, collectively striving to create a meaningful impact on a population scale.
Munusamy Raviraaj, Founder and Director
Munusamy Raviraaj, a seasoned social worker and communicator with over three decades of experience, embarked on his transformative journey in Madurai. His passion for societal change ignited in his early twenties, leading him to script socially conscious narratives and serve as a creative director for a local youth theater group. Later, as a School Administrator, he elevated a primary school to a high school. In the late ’90s, Raviraaj collaborated with pioneering NGOs combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Tamil Nadu, spearheading crucial interventions in prevention, care, and support statewide. In 2006, driven by a vision for sustainable community development, he founded Kalanjiyam Trust, where he plays a central role in shaping its vision and programs, using his extensive experience to tailor solutions to community needs. Raviraaj’s unwavering commitment to serving and empowering communities defines his inspiring leadership within the organization.
Lakshmi Ramakrishnan, Managing Trustee
Public Health professional with more than 23 years of experience, obtained her Bachelor of Science from Rutgers University, USA, and Masters in Public Health from California State University, San Jose. Since moving to India, Lakshmi has worked at various levels with grassroots non-profit organizations, International PVOs, autonomous and private research organizations, corporates and various government agencies. As a co-founder of Kalanjiyam Trust, Lakshmi has been instrumental in its growth since 2006. Her role encompasses organization building, resource mobilization, donor relations, and guiding the design and execution of Kalanjiyam’s programs. Her dedication to community development motivated her return to India, where she is committed to serving and uplifting local communities, reflecting her deep passion for positive social change.
Ms. T. Malarvizhi, Trustee
Ms. Malarvizhi is a dedicated and creative individual with a strong desire to contribute to the development of rural communities as a social worker. She is a multi-talented individual who balances family, community, and various professional commitments with passion and a strong sense of purpose. Since 2003, she has been actively involved in educational interventions, and charitable activities focusing on providing food and clothing to destitute women and girls. With a solid academic background and excellent personal skills such as creativeness and script development has helped her to contribute as social worker for the last 20 years.
Ms. P. Nandadevi, Trustee
Mrs. P. Nandadevi is a committed individual aspiring to contribute to the betterment of rural communities. Possessing good communication skills and a creative mindset, she is a source of inspiration to many in the community. Notably, she has participated in Women’s Programme on ‘Violence Against Women’ and has underwent training for different government program schemes. P. Nandadevi has been actively supporting charitable activities such as providing food and shelter for homeless and destitute, volunteering in various community activities and local schools and supported educational interventions at primary and middle school levels.
Mr. Shreedhar Rajaram is the founding trustee of Maithri Educational and Charitable Trust based in Chennai and supports education programs for disadvantaged children. Mr. Shreedhar has been a mentor and guide since inception and has demonstrated the path for supporting disadvantaged communities.
Mr. Vishwanathan Gurunathan is an engineer and self-employed professional who has strong inclination into social issues. In the US he is an active participant in many local developmental efforts. He has been an active supporter and advisor for Kalanjiyam since its inception. He is also closely working with the Kalanjiyam team to develop a Volunteer In Rural India Program.
Dr. Aravind Ramakrishnan is a leading Oncologist and runs a successful Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in Austin, Texas, USA. He has extensive experience in cancer research and publications to his credit. He has been a committed well wisher and patron and provide guidance on improving the quality of interventions implemented by the Trust.
Ms. Kavita Thirumalai is a Public Health professional who cares deeply about the underprivileged and plans to work on improving basic health and education for this sector. Her training in public health gives both a grasp of the fundamentals, and also the ability to assess the effectiveness of programs via systematic evaluations and data analysis. Her interest is to engage with and support organizations that have a like-minded mission, and to be actively involved in the relevant non-profit community.
Mr. N. Ramakrishnan is a socially minded individual and has been involved in various community service activities in USA and India. He has been a strong supporter and advisor to Kalanjiyam, especially in the areas of administration and fiscal planning.
Dr. Krishna Bharath is Computer Science and is an active member of the technology community in Silicon Valley. He is interested in improving public health and education, by applying technology and scalable solutions to improve the funding, delivery, and monitoring of services.
Dr. Vidhyashankar is an Industrial Engineer with an MBA in International Business. He has 20 years of experience encompassing varied industries viz. Education, Banking, Information Technology and Telemarketing. Specifically he has worked with Citibank, Ameritrade (USA), First Data Solutions (USA), Sitel (USA), APAC Telemarketing (USA), Utilicorp (USA), California Energy (USA), HCL Technologies.
Dr. Nimmi Chellappa is a social development professional completed her PhD and manages various charitable activities in and around Tamil Nadu. She has been an active advisor and well wisher since our inception.
Mr. Prasad Ramanan, IT Professional and Young Entrepreneur, USA is a young professional in the IT sector who has been a strong supporter of Kalanjiyam since its early days. He has been very involved in the development of our efforts for improving the quality of education.
Kalanjiyam staff are dynamic and community-focused, carefully selected from the local villages where Kalanjiyam operates. They embody the principle of community-driven development and aim to empower local leadership and capacity for sustainable initiatives.
Core Team is a dedicated group which is the backbone of Kalanjiyam’s operations. They are responsible for program planning, implementation, and coordination, ensuring that initiatives align with the community’s needs and aspirations.
Para Teachers work closely with local schools and students, providing valuable teaching and educational support. They play a pivotal role in enhancing educational outcomes and their efforts strengthen the educational foundation of the m community.
Health Team includes professionals such as nurses and outreach workers, drivers and other support staff. They implement the community health initiatives, offer medical support and guidance and also facilitate communication and engagement with the community. Additionally a team of Sanitation workers are engaged and placed in the local schools to contribute to maintaining a clean and hygienic school environment.
What sets Kalanjiyam’s staff apart is the local roots and commitment to self-development. They are carefully chosen from the communities they serve, with the intention of nurturing their skills, capacities, and leadership abilities. Through active participation in Kalanjiyam programs, these young men and women not only contribute to their community’s growth but also become inspiring role models for others. Kalanjiyam’s staff are catalysts for positive change, working tirelessly to improve the lives of those they serve.
Many of our activities are carried out by a team of professionals who have volunteered their time to Kalanjiyam efforts. This includes a diverse range of professional who have done writing work, development of our website to developing audio visual materials.
We also engage community members from local villages and having their own livelihoods. They are a voluntary team who form the link between Kalanjiyam and the local communities, selected based on their social inclination, leadership qualities, commitment to the development of their communities.
Kalanjiyam IEC materials
Writing and Editing work